Conservative Political Commentary

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

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hey, Big Spender . . . America’s on to You!


Dreamstime.com
President Barack Obama’s claim to fiscal responsibility is nothing short of ludicrous, although he makes the claim in seriousness. Based on a report by MarketWatch columnist Rex Nutting, which is based on seriously flawed data, Mr. Obama claims to have presided over a period in which  “federal spending, since I took office, has risen at the slowest pace of any president in sixty years.” In fact, the Obama Administration has increased spending at a robust pace, and by the greatest amount ever by far (video here).

According to Brian Darling at Heritage Foundation, while Politifact rated Nutting’s article as “mostly true,”

What Politifact must have missed is a very important data point: President Obama signed most of the spending attributed to President George W. Bush’s last year in office, which was assigned wrongly to Bush in Nutting’s piece. (Heritage’s Emily Goff and Alison Fraser set the record straight on The Foundry.)

Nutting argues that President G.W. Bush’s second term spending bills from Fiscal Year 2006-2009 averaged 8.1% and President Obama’s annualized growth averaged 1.4%.  The reason why Nutting included FY 2009 is because it was “the last of George W. Bush’s presidency — federal spending rose by 17.9% from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion.”  This assumption is incorrect and dishonest.  This flaw in Nutting’s analysis is the reason why the Obama numbers are wrong and Nutting’s whole piece is based on flawed data.
Further, according to the article (citing Congressional Quarterly), Congress delayed the Fiscal 2009 Omnibus, hoping for a Democratic Congress, to avoid George W. Bush’s threatened vetoes, and to gain an opportunity for further bloated spending. So this spending is attributable to Obama’s watch, not Bush’s.

Also, the Nutting article mishandles the fact that TARP spending was under Bush and some TARP recovery happened under Obama.

A Wall Street Journal article dated October 13, 2010 includes a table that indicates that federal spending rose 21.4% from 2008 to 2010, with domestic items leading the way. Unemployment benefits rose 240.4%. Defense spending rose 12.1%.

The outrageous spending increases were a major factor in the GOP Congressional victories in 2010. But with Obama in office and Democrats controlling the Senate, not much has changed, and we are in line for trillion-dollar annual deficits for several years to come unless more serious changes are made. The current situation cannot continue without bringing on another recession at the least, and financial collapse likely later.

The Mitt Romney campaign is correct in saying 
“For the last three-and-a-half years, President Obama's liberal policies of wasteful spending and skyrocketing debt haven't lived up to his own promises to control our nation's mounting deficits. As president, Mitt Romney will finally change Washington and stop passing our financial burdens on to the next generation.” -Andrea Saul, Romney Campaign Spokesperson (Quoted in Chicago Sun-Times)
The Sun-Times quotes President Barack Obama in the same article as follows: 
President Obama, In 2009: “Today I'm Pledging To Cut The Deficit We Inherited In Half By The End Of My First Term In Office.” OBAMA: “[T]oday I'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office. This will not be easy. It will require us to make difficult decisions and face challenges we've long neglected. But I refuse to leave our children with a debt that they cannot repay - and that means taking responsibility right now, in this administration, for getting our spending under control.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks, Washington, D.C., 2/23/09)
But that pledge apparently has expired.

Later, the White House came up with the pathetic excuse that they didn’t realize how bad the situation was when the president took office. I say they needed, and still do need, some competent economists.

What’s needed is not “slower growth” in spending, but rapid and serious cuts. Four more years of Obama in the White House will bring us four more years of out-of-control government in the Executive Branch. It is well established by now that liberals will never cut spending and will always want higher taxes. That’s just the way they are. This cannot be changed.

Recent polls show that voters are increasingly skeptical of Obama’s ability to improve the economic situation, and are more trusting of Mitt Romney. Examples:

Rasmussen, 05/15/12:  58% of likely voters trust Romney more on economy, 39% trust Obama more.

In the poll, 55% say the economy would get better over the next four years if Romney was elected, compared with 46% who say it would improve if Obama were re-elected. Twenty-seven percent say the economy would get worse in a Romney first term, compared with 37% who say that of an Obama second term.
Mitt Romney definitely has the better economic plan, and now appears to have an advantage on economic issues with Americans.
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Sunday, May 6, 2012

No Record to Run on, Just Fear and Loathing among Different Groups

Dreamstime.com

Barack Obama’s so-called "Forward" re-election strategy is the most un-presidential in memory as his policies are the most offensive and anti-constitutional.

The man who seemed to have all the answers in 2008, and convinced enough people that he was going to be the post-racial and post-partisan president, has turned out to be the “most-racial and most-partisan” president (as Rush Limbaugh described him), and he is doubling down on his class warfare themes that the evil rich should be paying a substantially larger share of income taxes, and the not-rich should have perpetual government-paid benefits from cradle to grave, starting with Head Start (which doesn’t work), and ending with Medicare (which he is going to be raiding further for the benefit of Obamacare).

Never mind that there is no mention of cutting anything except defense, with cuts which would gut our defense readiness and leave us more vulnerable in terms of national security. Any dollars cut from defense (or anything else) will never be used to reduce the deficit, but only to increase spending on liberals’ beloved, bloated social programs.

The president’s ideal of American life is pictured in the Obama campaign’s presentation “The Life of Julia” which pictures a woman relying on government help from age 3 onward, as though she could barely function if (shudder!) the awful Romney actually reduced spending on such stuff. She evidently must receive government-(i.e., taxpayer)-paid contraception, education grants, student loans, and healthcare lest she perish for lack of government funding. Obama nowhere hints of self-reliance or independence from the public trough. His ridiculous “War on Women” and “Buffett Rule” propaganda illustrate the class-warfare-based pandering to groups he hopes will support him as they did in 2008.

His support for re-election must come from hardened socialists, radical feminists and environmentalists, and other leftist fringe interests, and people who are not paying attention to economic realities, but like his “sincerity” and think his promises are somehow trustworthy.

President Barack Obama has no record that he can run on. He has empty promises, fear and resentment among various groups, the pathetic pleading of ignorance of the actual economic situation that existed when he took office, and blaming of George W. Bush, bad weather, an uncooperative Congress, etc., etc., for the continued bad economic and business environment characterized by continued massive unemployment and “growth” so slow it still doesn’t look like a recovery. But not to worry, increased government spending, more entitlements, more job-destroying EPA and Dodd-Frank-type regulations are his answer, along with more golf outings and vacations for the First Family.

Unemployment figures for April 2012 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics include the following: 8.1 per cent official unemployment rate; 115,000 jobs added in April; teenage unemployment rate 24.9 per cent; Number of unemployed persons at 12.5 million; number of people “marginally attached to the labor force” (not counted as unemployed) at 2.4 million (these had looked for work sometime in the last 12 months, but not during the 4 weeks preceding the survey, and their number includes 968,000 “discouraged workers” who had given up looking for work; persons unemployed for 27 weeks or longer at 5.1 million; persons working part time because their hours had been cut or because they couldn’t find full-time work at 7.9 million.

These numbers indicate a great deal of economic difficulty and misery for many American families. The Administration seems to have very little with which to improve this situation, and one must suspect that in the socialist/Marxist world, government dependency is a good thing, and people in economic distress tend to look to government for the help they need. In this case, they would be looking to a government that is more interested in restructuring American society to their socialist/Marxist model than in correcting the economy, which would actually recover quite well if left alone by government.

Mitt Romney is made out to be a villain because he’s (1) “rich,” (2) “out of touch,” and (3) planning to cut spending on some of Obama’s dear socialist programs, (4) and maybe even restore the defense budget so that it won’t be so deeply into the danger zone.

Romney is, politically, our only hope at present for any kind of “return to normalcy,” which we very urgently need. Four more years of Obama? More coddling of “Occupy,” more forced unionism, more illegal immigration, less freedom, and lots more spending until our debt has to be dealt with via cheap, cheap dollars, and savings and investment are all but wiped out, along with our currency. That could make Greece’s present situation look positively desirable by comparison. We won’t get another Reagan, but we can hope for a pretty good non-Obama. If Romney is half as good a president as Calvin Coolidge, we will be immensely better off than if Mr. Obama is re-elected.

With the recent hubbub about Obama’s dog-eating, and Obama’s desperate attempt to be all things to all people of the leftist extreme, I can’t help but be reminded of Benjamin Franklin’s proverb and its potential political applications: “He that lies down with Dogs, shall rise up with fleas.” (Poor Richard, 1733)
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