President Obama’s credit card abuses are much worse than Marco Rubio’s AP

The media have become extremely interested in Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio’s GOP-provided American Express card, which he used between 2005 and 2008 when he was speaker of the Florida House. Apparently, the press is trying to turn the card—which had to be paid off every month—into a proxy for Rubio’s financial honesty and responsibility.

When low-information voters put Barack Obama in the White House, they provided him with a type of credit card—drawn on the U.S. Treasury, otherwise known as taxpayers. Yet for the past seven years the press has been singularly uninterested in how honest and responsible Obama has been with that financial trust.

The accusation is that Rubio sometimes used the card for personal expenses. The Florida senator has conceded that point and says he should never have done so. In some cases, he mistakenly provided the wrong card.

I can relate: my wife did just that a few months ago, only in reverse. She mistakenly used our personal card to pay for a business expense. I caught it when reviewing the credit card statement, as Rubio apparently did. Mistakes do happen.

But Rubio also claims that he reviewed the bank statement monthly and reimbursed the Florida GOP for any personal expenses.

Obama also has a credit card, on the U.S. Treasury, which he’s been raiding for seven years, including billions of dollars that were, arguably, for personal (that is, “personal political”) benefit. He has never said he made a mistake—indeed, he continues to defend his biggest failures—and yet the media have given him a pass.

Let’s “review” some of Obama’s expenses, since he seldom does.

The spending spree — When Obama took office in January 2009, the federal debt was $10.63 trillion. Today it’s $18.6 trillion, an $8 trillion increase in seven years—and he still has more than a year to go. Just last Tuesday, the debt increased $339.1 billion—a one-day record.

That increase would not have happened without Obama’s encouragement and signature. Spending money the government doesn’t have will be one of the more disgusting hallmarks of his presidency. So where are the mainstream media news stories about his financial irresponsibility?

The effort to confuseOn October 2, Obama asserted, “I want to repeat this because the public apparently never believes it. Since I took office, we’ve cut our deficits by two-thirds. The deficit has not been going up; it has been coming down—precipitously.”

The federal deficit, which is the difference between how much money the federal government receives in a year and how much it spends, has indeed been shrinking, from $1.4 trillion in 2009 to $439 billion in 2015. That’s in part because the economy is doing better than it was seven years ago, but also because the budget sequester imposed spending caps.

But Obama knows most people don’t know the distinction between the annual deficit and the $18.6 trillion federal debt that’s growing by leaps and bounds every day. And so he feigns irritation that the public thinks the deficit is growing, when he knows they think he’s referring to the real problem: the debt.

He has used those funds for his own (political) purposes — Perhaps more than any other president, Obama hands out financial goodies to his donors—really big goodies.

The biggest recipient of his largesse is likely the environmental movement, which just happens to be one of his biggest donor groups. The U.S. credit card has funded solar-panel companies (e.g., Solyndra), wind turbines (e.g., Cape Wind), renewable fuel efforts, and a host of failed efforts—many of which had big donors on their boards.

Plus his administration handed out millions of dollars to community organizers to promote Obamacare, billions to create health insurance co-ops (about half of which are shutting their doors), and billions more to Planned Parenthood. All those constituencies then vote for Obama and other Democrats.

So by all means the media should be investigating elected officials who abuse their financial responsibilities. But that means going after Obama, not Marco Rubio.

Merrill Matthews About the author:

Merrill Matthews is a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation, a research-based, public policy think tank in Dallas, Texas. Follow him on Twitter @MerrillMatthews

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