Thursday, January 21, 2010

Obama - Lesson Not Learned

The message of Massachusetts has clearly passed right over the head of our President without even stopping for a moment to sojourn between his rather prodigious ears. According to Obama, the problem is not that any of his massive assaults on our economy are at the heart of the Mass. rebellion, but rather it has been his inability to properly explain his programs - and that, Obama tells us, is because he has been too busy. This from the Washington Post:

Obama said the relentless pursuit of his domestic policies -- and a failure to adequately explain their virtues -- had left Americans with a "feeling of remoteness and detachment" from the flurry of government actions in Washington.

"We were so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are and why we have to make sure those institutions are matching up with those values," he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

Obama has appeared on our screens so often the past year that he practically has his own weekly time slot. With the exception of Fox and the WSJ, his coverage has been so favorable and one sided across the entire spectrum of the MSM that it has been near obscene. Indeed, the relationship between the President and NBC/MSNBC news crews has been such that I am amazed that none of the members of those crews have yet to come down with e-coli infections. And still, Obama thinks his problem is an inability to get the benefits of his plans favorably across to the public?

And do note Obama's choice of words - "speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are . . ." Is there any way to interpret that other than that Obama feels we need his assistance to identify and define our "core" American values? Could that be any more offensive? This man's arrogance and condescension are limitless. The only reason he needs to identify these values is because he is attempting to redefine them to comport with his socialist world view -a view that he recasts in the words of morality.

And this also from the WaPo article:

The White House had already begun a determined effort to pivot its message to expressions of concern about the economy and jobs as it prepares for congressional midterm elections in November. Tuesday's defeat made that shift in rhetoric even more urgent.

How incompetent must these people be to believe that a single problem we face will be solved, that a single job will be created, that a single drop of energy will be produced, by not more than a change in "rhetoric." I said in an earlier post that, at this point, my perception of Obama is that he is an ideologue - a fanatic. And this proves my point. He is unable to see outside his ideological paradigm. And if the public does not share his beliefs, than there is no thought given to changing his paradigm and plans, but merely to talk more persuasively. Though I suppose this is at least an inch in the right direction. It was only last week that Obama was yet again blaming Bush for the economy and, in an added twist, blaming Republicans for obstructionism - when Democrats have held a supermajority in Congress for the past year. This man is drowning.

Karl Rove, writing in the WSJ, weighed in today on the fiscal mess Obama has charted for us during his first year in office:

. . . Mr. Axelrod wrote that no one is entitled to his own facts, even as he argued that George W. Bush is responsible for Barack Obama's deficits. He argued that Mr. Bush forced the hand of this administration by leaving office in the midst of a sharp recession.

That argument won't fly for two reasons. First, at some point this administration has to take responsibility for itself. It's also not even close to accurate. Consider that from Jan. 20, 2001, to Jan. 20, 2009, the debt held by the public grew $3 trillion under Mr. Bush—to $6.3 trillion from $3.3 trillion at a time when the national economy grew as well.

By comparison, from the day Mr. Obama took office last year to the end of the current fiscal year, according to the Office of Management and Budget, the debt held by the public will grow by $3.3 trillion. In 20 months, Mr. Obama will add as much debt as Mr. Bush ran up in eight years.

Mr. Obama's spending plan approved by Congress last February calls for doubling the national debt in five years and nearly tripling it in 10.

Mr. Bush's deficits ran an average of 3.2% of GDP, slightly above the post World War II average of 2.7%. Mr. Obama's plan calls for deficits that will average 4.2% over the next decade.

Team Obama has been on history's biggest spending spree, which has included a $787 billion stimulus, a $30 billion expansion of a child health-care program, and a $410 billion federal spending bill that increased nondefense discretionary spending 10% for the last half of fiscal year 2009. Mr. Obama also hiked nondefense discretionary spending another 12% for fiscal year 2010.

Mr. Bush did move to give voters more control over their tax dollars. Both his Social Security reform ideas and the drug program he created offered templates for driving federal spending curves in the right direction, counter to what Democrats wanted to do.

Democrats, for example, proposed creating a prescription drug program as an alternative to the one Mr. Bush proposed that would have cost a projected $800 billion over 10 years. The Bush drug benefit was originally expected to cost half that amount and today costs a third less than what it was initially expected to cost because it uses market forces to drive prices down.

Mr. Axelrod claims the pork-laden stimulus package has been a success. But Mr. Obama told Americans that if it were passed, unemployment wouldn't rise above 8%. It is now 10%. The president also said it would create 3.7 million jobs, 90% of which would be in the private sector. By Mr. Obama's standards, the stimulus failed miserably.

Mr. Bush did sign the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) into law and loaned $240 billion to banks. But those loans are being returned at a profit to the Treasury. Rather than using those funds to pay down the deficit, Mr. Obama wants to use them for new spending. What's more, he has lavished some $320 billion from TARP on car companies, union allies, and pet causes that will never be fully returned.

Mr. Axelrod boasts Mr. Obama's proposed health reforms will "not add to the federal deficit." But if that turns out to be true, it will only be because Massachusetts voters just elected a senator who promises to vote against those reforms.

In going after Mr. Bush's fiscal record, Mr. Axelrod unwittingly revealed why Democrats are losing. Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats have made a mess of the nation's finances and are desperate to pin the blame on someone else. It's not likely to work.

Even in deep blue Massachusetts, voters aren't standing idly by while the administration puts the nation on a dangerous trajectory. When Democrats lose a state they carried by 26 points a little more than a year ago, very little is safe for Mr. Obama's party this fall.

Obama has floated another smoke and mirrors plan to address the deficit, even as it is he and his party that are driving up the spending and deficit. That plan would essentially move responsibility for taxing and spending out of Congress and put it into the hands of a partisan-weighted commission. This commission would do nothing more than duplicate the work that Congress already does in committee. How an extra layer of duplicative bureaucracy will be a panacea for our economic ill is not at once obvious. This from WaPo:

Under the agreement, President Obama would issue an executive order to create an 18-member panel that would be granted broad authority to propose changes in the tax code and in the massive federal entitlement programs -- including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security -- that threaten to drive the nation's debt to levels not seen since World War II. . . .

The commission is likely to form the centerpiece of Democrats' efforts to reduce projected budget deficits, which have soared into record territory in the aftermath of the worst recession in a generation. Government spending to bail out the troubled financial sector and to stimulate economic activity have combined with sagging tax collections to push last year's budget deficit to a record $1.4 trillion. The budget gap is projected to be just as large this year and to hover close to $1 trillion a year for much of the next decade. . . .

. . . House leaders are insisting, however, that they will not go along with the commission's creation unless the Senate does approve stringent pay-as-you-go budget rules, an outcome that is far from certain. Such rules, which helped produce budget surpluses under President Bill Clinton in the late 1990s, bar lawmakers from approving legislation that increases the deficit.

That last paragraph is so wrong on so many levels. For one, the Clinton surpluses came not from pay-as-you-go rules, but by changing Social Security into a ponzi scheme, with excess Soc. Sec. receipts being transferred to our general funds and spent annually by Congress. Two, the House legislation for "pay as you go" contains massive loop holes for deficit spending for all of Obama's economy killing socialist plans. Three, the only substantive effect that the House legislation would really have would be to permanently end the use of tax cuts to stimulate the economy. The President is certainly capable of submitting a budget that reduces deficits. The House and Senate are certainly capable of passing balanced budgets without a new "pay as you go" law. But then again, the purpose of the pay as you go law is not deficit reduction or balanced budgets, its propaganda, smoke and mirrors, and tying the hands of Republicans to enact tax cuts.

At any rate, it is clear that the loss of bluest of blue Massachusetts has not resulted in Obama learning a thing. That is a very dark cloud with a bright silver lining. It is horrifying for what it means Obama will attempt over the next 11 months, and yet it is gratifying for what it means the voting public will do in the 11th month.


Ex-Dissident said...

Now watch how this message will become parroted throughout the left. How long do you think it will take Zuckerman to accept this world view?

Paul_In_Houston said...

Without a trace of shame, I'm going to trumpet my own "Don't forget the money angle, Paul" , in which I conclude (concerning his Messiah complex)...

What makes him so dangerous is this attitude makes it extremely difficult for him to compromise in the face of reality. Bill Clinton could see the writing on the wall and adapt to changing circumstances as easily as breathing. Obama simply cannot.

So, if you figure on him seeing the light anytime soon; well... don't hold your breath

I doubt I'll ever have to worry about revising whatever I've written about Obama, as I don't see a snowball's chance in Houston of any change in him.


OBloodyHell said...

> I said in an earlier post that, at this point, my perception of Obama is that he is an ideologue - a fanatic.

In the words of Monty Python...

'E's a looney...


Paul_In_Houston said...

In the words of Monty Python...

'E's a looney...

You win, OBloodyHell.

I can't top that one. :-)