Lance Kolbet, the president of University Financial, watched President Obama’s speech with 18 years of financial expertise behind him. Obama addressed the nation with his ideas on how Congress should tackle the issue of raising the debt ceiling and reducing the deficit.
Kolbet said President Obama was not delivering a new solution, but rather trying to make it OK for everyday Americans to hear the plan he has already laid out. Kolbet is a Republican and ran for state Senate last year, but it was his financial perspective that helped in dissecting the speech.
As he watched the speech, Kolbet commented that he was confident that Congress will raise the debt ceiling. He said there is no way either party will let the government default because the stakes for each side are too high.
Kolbet is in favor of creating a balanced budget amendment, but said America needs to focus on bringing jobs home and reeling in federal control of programs to really boost the economy and bring the deficit down. He said the president is worried about losing the government’s AAA bond rating, but that individual states that rely too much on federal dollars are also being re-evaluated for their bond ratings. He suggested that the government not necessarily strip itself of entitlement programs, but that the states should have more control over those programs.
President Obama talked about having to sacrifice to cut the deficit and Kolbet said that he would be willing to sacrifice his future Social Security and Medicare payments, but with a promise that the federal government would keep spending down.
“But you’ve got to show me something that we’re not going to be right back in this place again. What Republicans are saying now is, We’ll raise the debt ceiling, we’re OK with that, but are we going to be here again, or five years from now? Because if we are, we’re swamping the ship,” Kolbet said.
Kolbet thinks health care is at the crux of reining in the deficit. The debt ceiling has been raised 74 times since March 1962.