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And now for the bad news

It always feels good to see sanity prevail in an election, yes! And now for some honesty about what isn’t so good, in this election.

Unlike the Reagan wins of the 1980s, or the GOP’s 1994 “Contract with America” win, the 2014 GOP (as a national whole) neither provided nor sold to the voters a pro-freedom, government-cutting vision. The GOP skillfully profited from voter dissatisfaction with President Obama; and little more.

Racial guilt aside, the voters originally bought into Obama because he promised the Impossible Dream: a government which would be Big, but still somehow friendly and American (never mind that oppression is inherent to all Big Governments), and which would look out for them (never mind that socialism serves the elites, undermines the economy for ordinary people, and mathematically cannot provide benefits of much value to most people).

In this election six years later, the voters have repudiated Obama because he failed to deliver on the dream. He promised smooth, cool delivery of the dream. Instead, he gave a string of incompetent, messy disasters that even a corrupt media could not hide: such as the Gulf oil spill (BP’s actions had been approved by Obama regulators), Obamacare (with its expensive and oppressive mandates), Libya war, Benghazi, Syria war, ISIS, Ebola, and a moribund economy where the jobs are part-time, the taxes are higher, the U.S. national debt is doubled and only things that go up are the financial markets and the cost of living. The voters feel “lied to” and for that, they have now punished Obama.

In other words, the voters have not yet learned that the dream itself is impossible. The voters still want Friendly Fascism: a Big Government that somehow (1) works (or, in the famous saying, “makes the trains run on time”); while it (2) maintains a veneer of traditional American freedoms. It is impossible. But voters are hoping now that the GOP can help to correct Obama’s excesses and make the dream work.

The GOP, in this election in 2014, has done little to educate the voters on the dream’s utter impossibility – and thus, little to move America forward.

More Americans beginning to see through Obama?

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 3:41 pm - October 20, 2014.
Filed under: National Politics,Obama Incompetence,Obama Prevarications

This is everywhere, and with reason: President Obama makes rare campaign trail appearance, people leave early.

That is,

  • People bought tickets to the rally and then didn’t care what he had to say, and
  • The “mainstream” media were willing to report the fact.

P.S. Yes, he basically lied about the economy. Maybe at least some people are getting tired of the lies?

Obama Appoints Hack Democrat as Ebola Czar

Posted by V the K at 1:16 pm - October 17, 2014.
Filed under: Obama Incompetence

A competent and rational president would have picked… perhaps a noted epidemiologist to coordinate the administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak, or perhaps someone from the military accustomed to mustering and managing large numbers of diverse people and resources.

Obama chose a fiercely partisan Democrat lawyer and lobbyist. These are the qualifications of freshly appointed Ebola Czar Ron Klain.

In January of 2011, Klain stepped down as chief of staff for Vice President Joe Biden. Before that, Ron Klain was a well-connected Washington lobbyist. According to Senate lobbying disclosure records, Klain’s clients included Fannie Mae, U.S. Airways, Time Warner, CIGNA, and Imclone.

Klain also worked as chief of staff for former Vice President Al Gore, Janet Reno, the Senate Democratic Leadership Committee, and the Senate Judiciary Committee. But that’s not all! Ron Klain did debate prep for both Obama and former president Bill Clinton. And if that weren’t enough, Klain was also general counsel of Al Gore’s election recount committee in 2000.

So, Klain was probably one of those guys high-fiving each other after disqualifying thousands of military votes over minor technicalities.

A cynic might suggest that his appointment shows Obama is more concerned with managing the political and public relations side of the Ebola outbreak the medical side.

This would be like George W. Bush putting Karl Rove in charge of the Hurricane Katrina response.

But where was Hillary in all this?

Leon Panetta, former top Clinton staffer and Obama CIA director, is out there serving the Clintons by taking shots at President Obama…errrr, excuse me, out there promoting his new book:

For Bill Clinton, history will remember that he “always kept fighting back” to get things done…“Whether it was Democrats or Republicans, you know, he found a way to be able to do some things, to be able to accomplish some things that were important.”

He makes a similar observation about Hillary Clinton, saying she would be a “great” president. “One thing about the Clintons is, they want to get it done,” he says, in words that draw an implicit contrast with Obama…

And Barack Obama’s legacy?

“We are at a point where I think the jury is still out,” Panetta says. “For the first four years, and the time I spent there, I thought he was a strong leader on security issues. … But these last two years I think he kind of lost his way.

“These last two years” – translation, since the indispensable, brilliant Hillary left – so no, nothing happening now is her fault.

But let’s get down to specifics, Mr. Panetta. How has Obama lost his way? From Politico:

Panetta’s criticisms of the Obama administration are similar to the criticisms former Defense Secretary Robert Gates laid out in his own memoir: that those inside the White House sometimes put politics first on matters of war and peace.

Panetta describes efforts to reach a deal with Iraq to allow U.S. troops to remain in the country in the runup to the December 2011 expiration of the status-of-forces agreement — a deal Obama has said he couldn’t achieve because Iraqi leaders wanted U.S. troops gone. “Privately, the various leadership factions in Iraq all confided that they wanted some U.S. forces to remain as a bulwark against sectarian violence,” Panetta writes…

“I privately and publicly advocated for a residual force that could provide training and security for Iraq’s military…But the president’s team at the White House pushed back…”

2011…isn’t that more like three years ago?

So, let’s see. Panetta, Gates, and the Joint Chiefs all pushed in 2011 for a residual U.S. force in Iraq, that would have prevented today’s crisis with ISIS. (Sorry for the rhyme.) They even did so publicly. Did Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton? Perhaps a little, but not very much. From Jennifer Rubin in June 2014:

Clinton’s failure to impress upon the president the importance of a significant force and to negotiate a deal with Iraq under whatever circumstances existed represents a key failure – one that has directly contributed to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the collapse of the Iraqi military.

So for “PBS NewsHour” Clinton tried out a new tale: “Certainly when President Obama had to make the decision about what to do, he was deciding based on what the Bush administration had already determined, because they were the ones who said troops have to be out by the end of 2011.”

This is patently untrue. The Bush team had always intended that there be a follow-up to the SOFA [Status of Forces Agreement]…The game plan for the Bush team and the Obama team was to conclude a deal [to leave a residual force]; Clinton and her boss failed to do so.

For Hillary to claim that the Bushies planned on having all troops out by 2011 is itself a potshot at Obama. If true, it would mean that Obama hardly did anything to “end the war” – he only followed a Bush plan.

But what does all of this add up to? Well, Clinton Central has evidently decided that the way to get elected in 2016 is:

  1. Keep playing the “Blame Bush” card when possible. And if it isn’t possible,
  2. Blame Obama.

As always, we should expect the Clintons to tell a mixture of truth and falsehoods to get what they want, which is: Power.

The Obama Regime Is Also Handling the Ebola Outbreak Incompetently

Just like everything else…

Cue the Ebola Outbreak Theme Music… (I hear this in my head during every Ebola news story).

The CDC is now tracking at least 100 people who came into contact with the Ebola patient now being treated in Dallas. (BTW: Some influential African-American thought-leaders are claiming Ebola was genetically engineered to kill black people.)

Also, the Enterovirus that was almost certainly brought into this country by the illegal “Dreamers” Obama welcomed over the border has been traced to as many as 10 deaths. While another strain with polio-like complications has paralyzed dozens of American children.

The Obama Administration’s response has been to retain open borders with countries in which there are Ebola outbreaks with no travel restrictions.

BTW: Back in 2005, President Bush recommended tough measures to prevent pandemics in the event of outbreaks of serious diseases like Ebola and Enterovirus68. In 2010, Obama discarded all of those recommendations.

Political Correctness uber alles.

Update: The “Smahtest Preezident Evah!” can’t even pronounce the word “Ebola” properly.

Update (from Jeff): A Missouri doctor raises the alarm, saying the CDC is “sugar-coating” the true risk from Ebola, thus “lying”.

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ISIS and Obama’s Narcissism

So, yesterday, the Mohammedan savages of the Islamic State (ISIS) sawed off the head of an American journalist on live video, but no one on the left seems to care very much.

President Obama does not want to deal with ISIS and makes it clear that he does so only with the greatest reluctance. Some say this is out of fear of angering the far left base of his party, but that’s not it. It’s because just a few months ago, he was trash-talking ISIS as the “JV Squad” of Al Qaeda, whom he had put “on its heels” by personally making the “gutsy call” of taking out Osama bin Laden. (Because, you see, no other president would have had the guts to do that. [Well, Bill Clinton didn’t, and he bragged about his failure to kill Osama bin Laden.]}

No, Obama does not want to deal with ISIS because their barbarity is a reminder of his own disastrous foreign policy failure. To admit that this “JV Squad” is a problem would be admitting that he underestimated them, that his policies allowed them to become a threat. His ego simply will not permit him to confront his failure; that would require admitting that he failed.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry matches his boss for egocentric narcissism. He has very little interest in ISIS, his bailiwick is “Global Warming.” Not so much because he believes it is a genuine crisis as it is because he believes that his position will win him plaudits from the New York Times editorial page, the faculty lounge at Harvard, the international elites, and his fellow yachtsmen; the people that really matter.

The Obama Administration will do little to fight ISIS unless they do something really bad, like shoot a 292 pound thug who just robbed a convenience store, or their actions become an unignorable political liability to the Democrat Party. Until such time as that happens, ISIS can go on murdering and beheading as much as they please.

Nearly half of America still doesn’t get it

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 5:00 am - June 17, 2014.
Filed under: National Politics,Obama Incompetence

What’s amazing is not that, in 2014, President Obama’s personal likeability numbers have finally dipped below 50%. What’s amazing is that, in 2014, they are still up at 40-45%.

How dumb are people? How many more Democrat-Obama disasters do people need before they can admit that the Emperor has no clothes (and continually lies to them about it)?

Iraq

Just one link today and no lengthy comment for it. All I can say is: This is what happens when America wills itself to be led by a president who truly, deep down, does not understand or believe in America.

Obama Uses the Metro-Hipster Word for Soccer

While in Brussels, the capital of Bureaucratic Eurotopia, President Obama repeatedly referred to the sport real Americans know as “Soccer” as “football.” Andrew Stiles explains what this minor gaffe reveals about the president.

Hearing someone (any American, that is) refer to soccer as “football” is one of the most definitive signs that you should never be friends with that person. This is especially true if they immediately clarify themselves to let you know they were actually talking about “soccer.” If they begin to explain why they say “football” instead of soccer (see previous paragraph), it is advisable to extricate yourself from the conversation/relationship immediately.

This gaffe (if we can call it that) is just the latest example of Obama’s deeply held desire to join the global cultural elite.

In soccer, players are encouraged to over-react and wildly exaggerate the slightest injury in order to convince officials to penalize the other team. If that ain’t the central tactic of modern liberalism, I don’t what is.

Update and Bump:  President Class Act caught on camera chewing gum (Nicorette probably) during D-Day Commemoration.

What they should do, is start counting hookers & blow

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 7:36 am - May 30, 2014.
Filed under: Economy,Liberal Lies,Obama Incompetence

Despite trillions in economic “stimulus” which have pushed the stock market to record highs, the U.S. economy officially shrank by 1% in the first quarter.

Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — decreased at an annual rate of 1.0 percent in the first quarter according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis…

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “advance” estimate issued last month.

If second quarter GDP does the same, the economy will officially be in a recession.

But surely the problem isn’t with the economy? Now in its fifth “summer of recovery” – yes fifth, so there! – and with the official unemployment rate dropping, surely the economy is fine?

The problem must be that our government officials aren’t measuring GDP correctly. After all, truth is a social construct, right? Just rig the GDP counting methods until officials produce a number that “proves” the economy is growing, and have President Obama declare it’s true, and it will be true.

They did things that way in 2013. For example, when Obama simply declared that his irresponsible budget proposal was “fiscally responsible”. Or when they suddenly declared the GDP to be $550 billion higher after deciding that GDP should include future government pension promises, money lost on failed movies, and so forth.

Italy gets the idea. Italy will start to count cocaine sales, prostitution and smuggling as part of their GDP.

The UK is also working on it. Contribution of drug dealers and prostitutes to the UK economy boosted GDP by £10bn according to estimates.

For the first time official statisticians are measuring the value to the UK economy of sex work and drug dealing – and they have discovered these unsavoury hidden-economy trades make roughly the same contribution as farming.

You see? In this modern world, when a hooker helps a Kennedy get to sleep at night, she contributes as much to national wealth as a farmer growing food for someone’s table.

Obama needs to get on this (so to speak). That way, The Party can prove that the economy is always growing. /sarc

Update: China-Russia’s open dollar bypass

While China, Russia and Iran may not be natural allies, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and they’re getting together to oppose the U.S. I’ve suggested before that President Obama’s efforts to isolate Russia are only goading these countries in their ongoing efforts to create a non-U.S. system for world trade and finance, a system that other countries (Germany, other BRICs, etc.) would come to do business with. Eventually bringing about the decline (or overthrow) of the U.S. dollar as the world’s key currency.

For my earlier posts on this, see here, here, here, here and here. The last was six weeks ago. What’s happened since?

The non-U.S. dominated world: bit by bit, it’s coming.

Hat tip to Zero Hedge, which has long covered this story and furnished several of the above links.

#bringwhateverandstuff … Is this really how we handle things now?

I don’t really know how to express how puerile and silly the whole thing with the First Lady and that hashtag thing was, so I’ve put it down in a few thousand words instead (and included a thousand empty ones for you to play along and do your own as well).

(By the way, a whole bunch more here. I haven’t read through all of them, so if I accidentally ripped someone off with one of mine, it was totally unintentional.)

Have fun

Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from The Ranch)

michelledosomething

michellesgirls

michellebringbackourgirls

michellebringsexyback

(more…)

Obama, pretending he hasn’t been President all this time

With splendid “Who, me?” innocence, President Obama declared on April 16:

The good news is our economy is growing again, our businesses are creating jobs…

Here’s the challenge, and a lot of folks here know it. A lot of people don’t feel that progress in their own lives yet. So, the stock market’s doing great. Corporate profits are soaring. Folks at the very, very top are doing better than ever. But too many Americans, if they’re lucky enough to have a job, are working harder and harder just to get by, much less to get ahead.

For too many middle class Americans, it feels as if the same trends that have been going on for decades are continuing. They’re working hard, but wages flatline, incomes flatline, cost of everything else going up.

(For video – and hat tip to Peter Schiff – click here.)

As I mention often (in GP categories such as Economy or Occupy Wall Street), President Obama’s own policies are the cause of the rising inequality, stagnation and poor employment, inflation and rising costs that he decries.

The way he denounces the economy, you’d never know he’s been President for five and a half years.

The Ukraine crisis – and the dollar’s decline

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 11:18 am - April 14, 2014.
Filed under: Debt Crisis,Economy,National Security,Obama Incompetence

We know the Ukraine crisis is hot, with Ukraine and Russia accusing each other of terrorism and east Ukraine basically expecting a Russian invasion. But what interests me is the larger backdrop: the erosion of the U.S. dollar as the world “reserve currency” (or centerpiece of global finance and trade).

You see, the more President Obama tries to isolate Putin, the more he pushes Russia and its trading partners – such as China, India, Germany, Iran – to speed their efforts to integrate their economies and financial systems, to the exclusion of the U.S.

Consider the following news items. None are earth-shattering, but each reveals a bit of the picture.

So, Russia annexing territory (the Crimea) is not really a big deal to Washington; it triggers token U.S. sanctions. But Russia trading with its own neighbor (Iran), in a way that bypasses the dollar-based financial system and thus the U.S. ability to eject little countries from world trade – that gets Washington’s attention. That tells you where the sore spot is.

To continue:

Do you see where this is going? Not toward Russia being isolated. Maybe, in time, toward the U.S. being isolated.

UPDATE: Ordinary Russians are only annoyed, not frightened, by U.S. sanctions.

The dollar’s removal proceeds apace

Like aging, the overthrow of the U.S. dollar (as the key world currency) is a gradual process. In the last month, I’ve blogged on Russia as a U.S. financial opponent, growing ties among the BRICS nations, and growing Germany-China ties, all tending toward the decline (or eventual elimination) of the dollar from those countries’ relationships with each other.

Today it’s growing Russia-Iran ties (that remove the U.S. dollar from their partnership):

(Reuters) – Iran and Russia have made progress towards an oil-for-goods deal sources said would be worth up to $20 billion, which would enable Tehran to boost vital energy exports in defiance of Western sanctions, people familiar with the negotiations told Reuters.

In January Reuters reported Moscow and Tehran were discussing a barter deal that would see Moscow buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods…

[A] source said the two sides were looking at a barter arrangement that would see Iranian oil being exchanged for industrial goods including metals and food…

The Iranian official said missiles would also be part of the deal, together with Russia providing assistance with building two nuclear plants in Iran…

Missiles? Yikes! But this is what you can expect, with Jimmy Carter President Obama at the helm. He should have assisted Iran’s (aborted) Green Revolution back in 2009-10, when he had the chance.

Hat tip, ZH.

Hashtag Diplomacy

Posted by V the K at 9:19 am - March 27, 2014.
Filed under: Obama Incompetence

The US State Department is really getting tough on Vladimir Putin.

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Yeah, that will have Putin quaking in his boots. (Putin, BTW, has an 80% approval rating in Russia.)

Also, did you read where John Kerry pitched a hissy-fit because the Israeli Defense Minister said the US was showing weakness?

Are there any adults left at the State Department? May I speak with one of them, please?

 

Inflating the cost of retirement

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 3:07 pm - March 24, 2014.
Filed under: Depression 2.0,Economy,Obama Incompetence

To retire, you need a regular income stream. For a lot of Americans, that’s Social Security. But many will tell you it’s not enough; plus you only get it in your 60s. What would it take for a person to retire on their own, today?

For that, you need investment income. Hopefully, you invest capital safely and live off the proceeds. Let’s take a lottery-ticket approach. Say you’re young (no Social Security for decades, and your principal needs to last, so no dipping into that). How much do you need to win in the lottery, to get $50,000/year of investment income?

This will be verrrry quick-and-dirty. Let’s simply assume that you keep your lottery winnings half in 5-year bank CDs, and half in a U.S. stock market index fund. I won’t bore you with the math. In brief, currently you’d get 1.55% from the 5-year CDs (per bankrate.com), and 1.88% from the S&P 500. It comes out to your needing roughly $2.9 million.

$2.9 million, just to yield $50,000/year. But what’s interesting is how this compares to times past.

  • 5 years ago (2009): the 5-year bank CD rate was around 3.5% (again per bankrate.com), and the S&P dividend yield was around 2.5%. You would have needed roughly $1.7 million.
  • 10 years ago (2004): the bank CD rate was around 3.5%, and the S&P dividend yield around 1.8%. You would have needed roughly $1.9 million.

Again, these numbers are just for a long-lived person to get themselves a $50,000 annual yield. A person in their 60s, collecting Social Security and/or dipping into their principal, would need rather less money. Especially if the stock market goes well (we know that always happens, right?) so they get some capital appreciation.

But here’s the point that applies to everyone: the kind of change we can see in the numbers.

  • Between 2004 and 2009, the cost of a $50,000 yield stayed roughly the same (going down 10% or so).
  • Between 2009 and today, the cost of a $50,000 yield has skyrocketed (up over 60%).

And that’s why tens of millions of Americans now feel like they can never retire. They can’t retire because the cost of getting X amount of retirement income (from bank CDs or stocks) has skyrocketed, in the last five years. Whatever their own “retirement number” was, big or small, suddenly they need much more. So they can’t retire, and keep working.

This is one dark side of market bubbles. The Federal Reserve’s ZIRP and “QE” policies are designed to make the financial markets go higher. A stock market bubble means, among other things, everyone paying more money for small (or nonexistent) yields. Higher bond markets mean lower bank CD yields. High real estate markets mean higher housing costs. The financial markets are roughly like your price tag for retirement. In the last few years, Obama/Bernanke/Yellen have pumped some giant inflation into them. It’s not a good thing.

And all of that is aside from the question of inflation in general: the fact that $50,000 today won’t buy you what it did 5 years ago. (Gasoline and medical costs, for example, are way up.) “Thanks, Obama!”

How the wheel turns!

We’ve gone from liberals who’d make fun of former GOP standard-bearer Mitt Romney (on Russia), to…well…Russians openly mocking President Obama.

Now being remembered, a typical example of liberals who made fun of Romney:

Arianna Huffington
@ariannahuff

So I guess if Romney is elected we can get ready for a new cold war with Russia.
#justwhatweneed
8/31/12, 8:56AM

Romney got in his (well-justified) “I told you so” last weekend:

Why, across the world, are America’s hands so tied?

A large part of the answer is our leader’s terrible timing. In virtually every foreign-affairs crisis we have faced these past five years, there was a point when America had good choices and good options. There was a juncture when America had the potential to influence events. But we failed to act at the propitious point; that moment having passed, we were left without acceptable options….

Meanwhile, Obama’s sanctions on a few individual Russians, and calls to try to make their stock market go down and stuff, have provoked their contempt:

“The US and EU sanctions against Russia are absurd and unreal,” State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Deputy Chairman Alexander Romanovich told Itar-Tass…“This is an operetta, and we can only laugh…”

Ordinary Russians are none too impressed, either.

UPDATE: Russia and China drawing closer together. “The worse Russia’s relations are with the West, the closer Russia will want to be to China. If China supports you, no one can say you’re isolated.” It’s just like Obama, to not get that.

A sign of the times?

The sexy up-and-coming political movement, “the wave of the future”, is (almost by definition) the one where the young, hot women are. I don’t know where they are now, except Obama ain’t it. As just one illustration, here’s Carey Wedler, a former Obama groupie burning her 2008 campaign T-shirt.

YouTube Preview Image

Her list of specific disappointments with Obama is pretty left-wing, but she has some pro-liberty ones in there too, and she comes to a libertarian-anarchist conclusion: “The institution of government is the problem.”

UPDATE: More signs?

It’s hard to blog about Obamacare

It’s hard because there are so many items to choose from, weekly. And they’re mostly both technical and depressing (not fun to read). Obamacare is a mess of unbelievable proportions. Even now, I have 40+ related items open in browser tabs, that I had meant to get to sometime.

But here goes; I’ll try to hit a few highlights. First, President Obama’s top three Obamacare promises in 74 seconds, all lies:



The House GOP want to bless Obama’s delay of his “individual mandate” (that immorally forces people to buy insurance). Yet Obama means to resist them.

Last month, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that Obamacare will weaken the economy. Along with other Obama policies, it effectively raises marginal tax rates, giving people less incentive to work. “…the CBO…reported that by 2024 the equivalent of 2.5 million Americans who were otherwise willing and able to work before ObamaCare will work less or not at all as a result of ObamaCare.” Labor unions agree that Obamacare will slam wages and work hours.

Even Dana Milbank (liberal at the Washington Post) agrees that young people are rejecting both Obamacare, and Obama. “The administration announced last week that only 1.08 million people ages 18 to 34 had signed up for Obamacare by the end of February…If the proportion doesn’t improve significantly, the result likely will be fatal for the Affordable Care Act.”

Robert Tracinski asks, What was the point of Obamacare? Because it’s not insuring the uninsured; many of them are finding Obamacare unaffordable (!) and not signing up. The Washington Post agrees.

Along those lines, Catherine Austin Fitts observes, “I don’t see Obamacare as something designed to offer healthcare…It was designed to create a framework that would allow three things. One…to use digital technology to radically reduce labor costs…Second…you wanted, as the baby boomers were aging, to…dramatically reduce the healthcare services available to them…Third…to use healthcare to really control the population…an effort to centralize power.” – Austin Fitts sees government bureaucrats as profoundly competent, once you know their real plan. What they achieve in practice (which may be bad) was very likely their real plan, as opposed to what they told the public.

Bonus article: The Greeks are finding that socialized medicine doesn’t work, once you get older and need more of it.

UPDATE: Obamacare raises family insurance costs MORE than the previous eight years, combined. Just like Obama adding more to the national debt than the previous 8 Presidents combined, I guess.