This reveals a fundamental difference between Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain:
Senators John McCain and Barack Obama released their Senate financial disclosure statements on Friday, revealing that Mr. McCain and his wife had at least $225,000 in credit card debt and that Mr. Obama and his wife had put more than $200,000 into college funds for their daughters.
Yeah…the circumstances differ. When you leave your wife to marry a fabulously rich heiress, a quarter million of debt comes off as chump change—even “at a stiff 25.99 percent interest rate.” And squirreling away a couple hundred thousand for your kids future isn’t really necessary. But the fiscal report betrays a rather caviler fiscal attitude in the McCain residence.
This strikes me as a metaphor showing a fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans—the self-anointed party of “fiscally responsibility”—have intentionally outspent their means. They’ve piled unprecidented debt onto the backs of Americans for generations to come.
George W. Bush came into office with a $5.7 trillion federal debt. Today that figure has ballooned to $9.5 trillion, which means that every American has their own $31,100 credit card charge.
Contrast this to Bill Clinton, who took office with $4.4 trillion in federal debt and left office with $5.7 trillion. And with a budget surplus in his second term, Clinton pushed hard to invest in the future, a vision captured in his farewell address:
First, America must maintain our record of fiscal responsibility. Through our last four budgets we’ve turned record deficits to record surpluses, and we’ve been able to pay down $600 billion of our national debt–on track to be debt-free by the end of the decade for the first time since 1835. Staying on that course will bring lower interest rates, greater prosperity, and the opportunity to meet our big challenges. If we choose wisely, we can pay down the debt, deal with the retirement of the baby boomers, invest more in our future, and provide tax relief.
Instead…we got George W. Bush and the Big Credit Card.
This fall we will have a choice between Candidate A, whose household finances show a credit card debt of $225,000 and Candidate B whose household has saved $200,000 to invest in their children’s future.
Pretty easy choice, huh?