On Tuesday’s “The O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer spoke to the severity of one of the overlooked aspects of the looming fiscal cliff debate: the growth of U.S. deficit spending and the national debt.
Host Bill O’Reilly asked Krauthammer about the possibility of a Greece-like crisis, and Krauthammer emphasized the growth of the debt to gross domestic product ratio under President Barack Obama as a show of the severity of the threat.
“I mean, it’s not going to happen overnight,” Krauthammer said. “But clearly, at some point, and we know that that point is 90 percent, 100 percent ratio of debt to GDP. We’re already under Obama over seventy percent of debt to GDP. When his term started, the ratio of debt to GDP was 44 percent. It’s now about 73 percent. That’s in four years. That’s astronomical.”
But there is a political component to increased spending, Krauthammer said, and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was unable to successfully make the case that the nation is in danger.
“I think it’s pretty easy to win elections when you give away candy that you borrowed from the Chinese,” he said. “And I think the reason the Republicans lost is they didn’t make the case. They didn’t make the case that this is unsustainable.”
Krauthammer said he remains optimistic despite Romney’s shortcomings because when Romney was able to make the case, his campaign benefited.
“And you know the irony is he did it in the first seven minutes of the first debate,” Krauthammer added. “And that’s what rocketed him to the head of the pack, to the lead in the campaign. And then he rested on his lead and he was afraid to make that case. Look, I think, if you explain to the American people that you can’t keep borrowing a trillion dollars a years, ad infinitum, you can win. We’ve got to make that case and, I think, that we can win. So, I’m rather optimistic.”