At the close of business on Jan. 20, 2009, the day Obama was first inaugurated, the debt of the federal government was $10,626,877,048,913.08. At the close of business on Thursday, Feb. 28, the debt of the federal government hit $16,687,289,180,215.37.
That means that so far during Obama’s presidency, the total debt of the federal government has increased by $6,060,412,131,302.29.
According to the latest estimate from the Census Bureau, there are 115,031,000 households in the United States. Thus, the debt of the federal government has increased by approximately $52,685 per household during Obama’s time in office.
Under Obama, the debt has already increased by more than it increased under all U.S. presidents from George Washington through Bill Clinton.
The total federal debt did not finally exceed $6.06 trillion until June 28, 2003, during President George W. Bush’s first term. At the close of business on June 27, 2002, the total federal debt was $6,018,752,489,419.85. By the close of business on June 28, it was $6,126,468,760,400.48.
In the less-than eleven years that have passed since June 27, 2002, the federal debt has increased by more than $10 trillion.
State Dept. Still Downplaying Religious Element in Terrorist Threat Advisory
Like jihadist terrorists from Pakistan to Central Asia to North Africa, these Hamas fighters in Gaza are motivated by a certain interpretation of Islam, and they use the Qur’an and other Islamic writings to justify their acts. (AP Photo, File)
(CNSNews.com) – A State Department “worldwide caution” updating U.S. citizens about potential terror threats has little to say about the fact that most of the terrorist groups targeting Americans profess themselves to be inspired by Islam.
The 2,000-plus word memo released this week does not use the word “Muslim” at all. “Islam” is used only where it appears in the actual name of a militant group (such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan), and in reference to “anti-Islamic videos and cartoons,” which the department says were linked to some anti-Western violence last September.
The memo uses the term “Islamist” only once – to describe extremist groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba that are active in South Asia.
Elsewhere the advisory is silent on the religious/ideological motivation driving the majority of anti-Western terrorist groups.
Yet, of the terror organizations it refers to, all but one are Islamist-oriented. They are al-Qaeda and “affiliated organizations,” including al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and al-Shabaab in Somalia; the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan; Hezbollah in Lebanon; the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Islamic Jihad Union and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement in Central Asia; and in South Asia, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Indian Mujahideen and unnamed “indigenous sectarian groups” – which could refer either to Islamic groups (such as the anti-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi), or possibly radical Hindu groups.
The sole non-Islamic entity among the groups listed is the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), a secular, far-left organization that claimed responsibility for a bomb at the entrance to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey on February 1.
The department’s worldwide caution also does not specifically mention the fact that in some countries, such as Nigeria and Iraq, Christians and churches repeatedly have been picked out as terrorists’ targets.
(Where potential terror targets are named, there is a reference to “places of worship” – no religion indicated – along with others such as hotels, clubs, restaurants, schools, sports venues, business offices, public areas and tourist destinations.)
In Nigeria, it says, “[t]he loosely organized group of factions known as Boko Haram continues to carry out significant improvised explosive device and suicide bombings in northern Nigeria, mainly targeting government forces and innocent civilians; attacks have increased since their attack on the U.N. building in the capital of Abuja last year. The president of Nigeria declared a state of emergency in certain areas in response to activities of extremist groups.”
The worldwide caution does not note that Christians have been the primary target of Boko Haram, which has vowed to cleanse northern Nigeria of Christians in its “jihad” and has also demanded that Nigeria’s Christian president convert to Islam or resign.
More than 700 Christians were killed in violent attacks in the West African country last year.
The Obama administration has resisted calls to designate the group as a “foreign terrorist organization,” and U.S. officials have underplayed religion as the main motivation for the violence, citing other, local grievances. Last June it did designate three Boko Haram individuals under an executive order designed to disrupt funding to terrorists.
The trend in the worldwide caution is in keeping with the administration’s emphasis on “al-Qaeda and its affiliates” as the main enemy, rather than radical Islamists or jihadists driven by a particular interpretation of their faith.
Its current National Security Strategy (NSS) uses variations of the phrase “al-Qaeda and its affiliates” multiple times in identifying the enemy. The word “Islam” appears just twice – the U.S. was not fighting a war against Islam, it says, and “neither Islam nor any other religion condones the slaughter of innocents.”
Released in 2010, the NSS updates the one produced by the Bush administration in 2006, which said that “the struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st century.”
After the current NSS was published, Washington Institute for Near East Policy experts argued in a report that not acknowledging religious motivation behind Islamist terrorism was not helping the effort to fight it.
They said the administration should recognize Islamism as “the key ideological driver” behind the threat, and prioritize an effort to combat the ideology.
“To be sure, officials need to make very clear that they do not consider Islam itself a danger, only the distorted version of Islam perpetrated by radical extremists,” the experts said. “But they – and, in particular, the president – must also come to terms with the fact that individuals implicated in each of the recently exposed plots in the United States were imbued with a common radical ethos.”
Cops scramble for bullets while DHS stockpiles 1.2 billion rounds
Will the U.S. soon face a critical situation in which the federal government– primarily the Department of Homeland Security – possesses an ammunition surplus while local and state authorities face ammunition shortages and backlogs in purchasing more rounds?
Current trends could find the federal government with a strong ammunition advantage over local police and sheriff departments.
Range Master Sgt. Ted Glisson told WSAV-TV in Savannah, “What we’ve incorporated is we’re doing more dry firing practice and this basically gets some people better suited to do what they need to when they come out here on the range.”
Dry firing is pulling the trigger but not firing a bullet.
Glisson said that while his unit currently had enough ammunition, he was concerned because “one of our suppliers was running short on what they had because there’s a mass – everybody’s trying to get a lot of ammunition and things like that.”
Similar reports are cropping up nationwide amid fears of a federal clampdown as the Obama administration continues to push gun legislation in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre.
Brownells, the largest supplier of firearm accessories in the world, reported it had sold several years’ worth of ammunition in just a matter of hours.
The company released a statement apologizing for the delay in fulfilling orders, explaining the it had experienced “unprecedented” demand for AR-15 ammunition magazines since earlier in the week.
CNS News reported police departments nationwide are experiencing ammunition shortages, referring to the online law enforcement website, PoliceOne.com
Sgt. Chris Forrester of the Greer Police Department in South Carolina told local TV-news channel WSPA: “It’s never easy to get ammo, but since the tragedy in Connecticut, it’s become even more difficult.”
Forrester explained the problem ordering ammunition began about a month ago.
“You’ll call and they say ‘sorry we’re out,’ or ‘it’s on back order,’” he said.
Chief Terry Sult of the Sandy Springs Police Department said: “It affects our ability to be prepared. It affects the potential safety of the officers, because they’re not as proficient as they should be.”
While local authorities scramble to fulfill future ammunition needs by turning to the same suppliers from which private gun owners purchase their rounds, the Department of Homeland Security reportedly maintains a large stock of ammunition.
Last March, DHS reportedly ordered 450 million rounds of .40 caliber ammunition, including hollow point bullets, from defense contractor ATK to be delivered over five years.
Hollow-point tip bullets are rarely used in training exercises. They are among the deadliest bullets, with the ability to pass through barriers and expand for a bigger impact without the rest of the bullet warping.
In April, Business Insider reported on an additional DHS request for 750 million more rounds for a total of at least 1.2 billion bullets. The 750 million is more than 10 times what U.S. troops used in a full year of Iraqi combat.
It was not immediately clear how many bullets were delivered to DHS.
In 2009, manufacturer Winchester posted an award to its site affirming it will deliver 200 million rounds to DHS over five years, serving as yet another order on top of others that may have already been partially fulfilled, as Business Insider noted.
DHS runs a large weapons training program at its Firearms Division replete with indoor and outdoor firing ranges, ammunition and weapons storage. Courses include a rifle-training program, precision rifle observer training program, reactive shooting instructor training program, submachine gun instructor training program and a survival shooting training program.
“That doesn’t make the most recent batch of 200,000 rounds seem out of line, but those billion or so rounds, seem like they could be better accounted [for],” commented Robert Johnson at Business Insider earlier this month.
With additional research by Joshua Klein
A newly released GAO report finds that “…absent policy changes…the federal government continues to face an unsustainable fiscal path.” The Government Accountability Office completed its annual audit of the government and the news is just sad. It is no surprise, and it won’t be reported by the mainstream media [properly], but it is sad nonetheless.
The report gives a jab at those in the government who do not seem capable of providing accurate financial information. The report said that the federal government “must have ready access to reliable and complete financial and performance information.” This information is needed when audits are done. The “weaknesses” cited in the report are astonishing, and abundant.
It is no surprise that for the non-accountable federal government, tracking tax-payer money would just be an annoyance. Nobody will report on the fact that the American economy is imploding, so why should the government bother to maintain financial records?
The main problems cited were “serious financial management problems at DOD,” the federal government’s “inability to adequately account for and reconcile intragovernmental activity and balances between federal agencies,” and the federal government’s “ineffective process for preparing the consolidated financial statements.” Pathetic.
To add insult to injury, President Obama has repeatedly made it clear that he is not interested in negotiating with Congress over raising the debt ceiling. The GOP has repeatedly asked to negotiate spending cuts and entitlement reform, but despite Obama’s position in 2006 that raising the debt ceiling was a sign of “leadership failure,” he has clearly changed his mind while he holds the purse strings.
The GAO report should be a wake-up call.