This was added on 4/27/11
I do not go into politics on this website - but considering the lengths that Obama has now gone to to clear up the issue of his American birth (being born in America is a requirement to be president), I feel it necessary to comment on it because it involves a number of important facts.
In Hawaii, it is illegal for a long-form birth certificate to be issued publicly at all - and even the person whose birth certificate it is can only see it by going personally to the records office. That is why Obama had never provided it.
He, along with others, had provided a number of other pieces of concrete evidence that he was born in Hawaii - on a date after it became a state - but that was not acceptable to many Republicans.
From everything that I can tell, the reason why the Republicans care involves the following line of reasoning - Obama is destroying the country with his huge deficits of over $1 trillion/year and his socialist policies such as his health care bill, so if we can just prove he was not born in the United States, which would make him ineligible to be president, he will be out and we, the Republicans, can take over and do it right.
Well, Obama provided his long-form birth certificate today. He had to get a special dispensation, special permission, from the Hawaii authorities to get it at all - and probably only got that because he is president - and still had to go to the office in Hawaii in person to actually take possession of it.
But the reason why the Republicans want to prove that he was not born in the United States is not valid in the first place. All the complaining by the Republicans about what is going on in the country and "what Obama is doing to it" is irrelevant because we are already past the point where it matters. George W. Bush actually put us past the knee of the debt exponential - it happened sometime between about March and October 2008, before Obama was even elected. The mere fact that Obama's deficits are the first ones above $1 trillion is irrelevant, what we are seeing in regard to this is, as far as I can tell, just an example of the phenomenon of round numbers.
Other examples of the phenomenon of round numbers in recent times are how sales of PC's took off several years ago as soon as the price came down below $1000 and how people recently started regarding the price of oil as too high as soon as it went above $100/barrel. Another case is that a lot of people started thinking, as soon as the Dow went back above 10,000 following the downturn, that we maybe have a real chance at full economic recovery again after all (which was never true to begin with - this website explains why).
The fact that Obama's deficits went above $1 trillion/year is not what is bankrupting the country, the fact that our debt is past the knee of the exponential is what is bankrupting our country, and that happened before Obama was even elected (president).
A characteristic of exponentials is that they do not start going up quickly immediately after they are past the knee - there is still some time after that when the exponential can be acted upon within reason to reverse it - but once the exponential is past that time period and starts going up quickly, it has reached the point where it is impossible to stop the uptrend. For the U.S., the slow period was from later in 2008 to late 2009. From December 2009 onward, the exponential has been rocketing upward and has added $2 trillion to the national debt in just over one year, 13 months (it went from $12 trillion to $14 trillion, a point it reached on about Jan. 1, 2011). It is precisely that rocketing up that got everyone's attention - and it is precisely that rocketing up that means it is too late to do anything about the situation in the big picture.
And, no, it is not Obama's huge deficits that caused the debt to start rocketing upward, it was the compounding interest on the previous debt - it is the compounding effect that makes the exponential, including going past the knee, in the first place. Obama's deficits certainly did not help - and they did, in fact, help the compounding along - but they did not cause the compounding to go through the knee of the exponential in the first place. I might add that once an exponential is underway, it is quite usual for nothing to be done to reverse it (and, in fact, in nature it does not happen at all) - and this time, what happened was that it was actually helped along by Obama's even much higher record deficit spending (see below). But the math simply does not support the idea that Obama's huge deficits are what got us into trouble in the first place - the simple reality is that George W. Bush's at-the-time record deficits are what put us past the knee of the exponential. Saying that the $1 trillion-plus deficits are destroying the country sounds good, and even impressive, but they are not actually the reason why the national debt is rocketing up so quickly in the meantime, and that is what is bankrupting the country, not the (mere) fact that Obama's deficits are as high as they are, over $1 trillion/year.
One other line of reasoning that could be used is that Obama's deficits actually did put us over the top, since the national debt did not start racing up until after they happened. No, all Obama's deficits did was speed up the compounding (and not by much, at that) - the national debt was already heavily compounding on itself before Obama's deficits came along. Basically, people had a choice between going into an even deeper downturn sooner, if Obama's level of deficit spending had not happened - i.e., the downturn that started in 2008 would have been even deeper - or having the coming downturn be even deeper that it otherwise would be. Because of the law against recessions mentality, the latter option was chosen, that the coming downturn will be even deeper that it otherwise would be.
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So things have actually already gotten away from us more than a couple of years ago - and that is, actually, why I put up this website.