Conservative Political Commentary

...anti-socialist, anti-globalist, and usually with an attempt at historical and economic context

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Don’t Blame Me, I’m Just the President

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...Image via Wikipedia
President Barack Obama
News item:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Monday he inherited many of the country's problems with high debt and deficits when he entered the White House, sounding a theme likely to dominate his 2012 re-election campaign.
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President Barack Obama would have us believe that he’s doing, and has done, his dead-level best to get America’s economy back to where it should be. But he’s been obstructed by everyone else, especially those Tea-Partiers, GOP leaders, and European problems, not to mention the Japanese tsunami, and probably global warming.

There are numerous issues on which Obama and Company are so wrong that the U.S. economy is being wrecked, or, as Ben Stein mentioned a year or two ago, they’re standing on the economic oxygen hose and the patient is getting worse.

“A Theme Likely To Dominate His 2012 Re-election Campaign”
In 2008, Mr. Obama campaigned as one who seemed to have the answers, knew the best strategies, and, while criticizing the Bush Administration, offered no hint of thinking that they had created any problems that he couldn’t overcome. Yet now, Bush is going to be blamed as Obama runs for a second term? He’s going to have to spend eight years undoing Bush’s damage? Seems that will be his message, according to Reuters.

“Tea Party Downgrade”


A recent Democrat talking points memo had David Axelrod, John Kerry, and others putting forth the phrase “Tea Party Downgrade,” as though the intransigence of the Tea Party is what resulted in the credit rating downgrade of U.S. securities by Standard and Poor’s. The agency followed up on Monday, August 8, 2011, with downgrading Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and other federal institutions. The explanation for blaming the Tea Party for any of this is the ludicrous claim that they refused to “compromise,” and that, as Axelrod stated, the ratings agency was looking for revenues. Standard and Poor’s explicitly said that they weren’t addressing that aspect, but they were concerned with the increasing debt, and the lack of any viable efforts to get it under control.

I suppose it’s George W. Bush’s fault that the Democrats in Congress have not passed a budget in over two years, and that the budget Obama submitted would have accelerated spending and the deficit. Congress could not support it. Nor could they support a bill to increase the debt ceiling without regard to the deficit or spending cuts. Republicans, meanwhile, have submitted actual plans, Paul Ryan’s, and the Cut, Cap and Balance proposals, for instance. All of which were said to be DOA in the Senate and/or on the President’s desk. Tea Partiers were trying to do what they were elected to do, and in the end were influenced by Speaker John Boehner’s fear of allowing a default, and got into line to vote for the insipid plan that finally passed. But at least they held the line on taxes, a not-insignificant thing.

“The Grand Plan”
Obama wanted a “grand plan.” That way, he could put off any cuts until two years down the road (slowed acceleration of spending being regarded as a “cut”), get significant tax increases quickly, and spend several hundred billions more in “stimulus.” But of course he bears no responsibility for the credit rating downgrade. If you believe that he doesn’t, perhaps you’d be interested in a bridge for sale in Brooklyn. But even the “grand plan,” never saw the form of an actual proposal written down on paper. So of course the President couldn’t be held to anything he might have said.

If you listen to the president and his helpers, you get the idea that our economic problems would be solved if only those corporate jet owners and the “rich” would pay their fair share. Not mentioned is the fact that the top percentiles of earners pay the overwhelming majority of income taxes, and about 47 percent of American workers pay no income tax. But the problem is not taxes. The problem is spending. You can be sure that if taxes were increased today, Obama would quickly find ways to spend every cent of any increased revenue (and not toward retiring the debt), and soon revenues would actually be lower because the economy would shrink even more.  Liberals will never reduce spending and they will always want higher taxes. This should be axiomatic by now. Promises of future reductions are made, but never fulfilled.

So far, there have been no spending cuts, and the Democrats are calling for more spending. Somewhere, John Maynard Keynes is probably smiling. But most of us are not.
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