You know Suze Orman. She’s that nice, perky lady on CNBC. The one who likes leather and writes all those personal finance books on your shelf.

Well, the point is, you do know her. Or if you don’t, you know Dave Ramsey. Or someone else who’s taught you some pretty basic ideas, among which are: Don’t max out your credit cards. If you do max out your credit cards, cut them up and pay them off. Don’t count on “new revenues” (like a better job you don’t have, or a tax hike) to bail you out. And above all, if you’re maxed out already, don’t apply for more credit. Stop digging your hole.

And therein lies the problem for Barack Obama.

When the debate was about shaving or adding a billion — or a hundred billion — here or there from programs you’ve never heard of in far-off budget years, America’s eyes glazed over. This has always been true, regardless of who was in power. This has served the left well. For most of a century, Washington could and has pretty routinely come up with some new thing we “had to do” “for the children.” And no one really worried that much about how it would be paid for.

Democrats may spout off a lot of bold talk to the contrary, but their pollsters know the truth: The economy is credited to or blamed on presidents. This president lost our credit rating. No President has ever done that. Not the much-maligned Bush. Not his father. Not Jimmy Carter. Not Gerald Ford or Richard Nixon. Not even FDR at the height of the Depression. Not even Herbert Hoover, that human embodiment of the lowest you can go.

No one had ever lost America’s perfect credit, until Barack Obama.

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