ATR’s John Kartch took a swipe at President Obama’s maritime metaphor of "This is a big ocean liner. It’s not a speedboat" on the American Spectator blog yesterday, when he pointed out that Obama’s focus on cutting the deficit is misguided:

By repeatedly trumpeting the claim his budget will cut the deficit in half in five years, Obama distracts from the most meaningful metric:  Total government spending as a percentage of GDP will rise to a crushing 24.5 percent in 2019.  The average of the past 40 years is 20.7 percent.

Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush did not help matters by ceding the deficits-are-the-problem frame to those wishing to increase the role of government in our lives.

Focusing on the deficit is like focusing on the visible tip of an iceberg rather than the unseen (and in this case, growing) danger beneath.  Obama’s maritime metaphor in his concluding statement –"This is a big ocean liner. It’s not a speedboat" – reminds us the Titanic was sunk by the iceberg itself, not the visible tip.