Monday, July 18, 2011

Economy Monday – Obama Demands Concessions While Offering None

It’s Monday, boys and girls, and you know what that means when it comes to the wrangling over the Federal budget: not a lot got done over the weekend.

Oh, words were tossed about. President Obama continues to try to cast himself as the adult in the room, an image that the public is finding increasingly transparent. And by transparent, I mean that we can see right through it. Keith Henessey has a good post on the weekends’ lack of progress to solve our current fiscal crisis.

If you listened to the Sunday talk shows, particularly the ones on the so-called Mainstream Media channels, you’d just hear a recitation of all the White House talking points and very little in the way of real information. Personally, I can’t flagellate myself that way, especially when I know what needs to be done, as does everyone else.

I was reminded this weekend of a famous quote by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who once said that any British housewife could balance the budget. In that same spirit, any American could balance our budget. As I’ve stated before, Washington’s budget is no different from the budget of most American households, except there are a lot more decimal places and zeroes.

But you’d never know that if all you listened to were the MSM Sunday shows. Those alleged purveyors of knowledge leave out much more than they include when it comes to their reporting and their opinions on the budget battle. Bob Shieffer on CBS’ Face the Nation tried to corner Senator Marco Rubio on the issue yesterday. Rubio responded by saying this,

"The way the deal is currently structured right now, it gives the President the ability to raise the debt limit. But as I've said already on the problem; The debt limit is not really the problem here, the problem here is the debt.

"The debt limit is actually the easiest part of the problem. It's one vote away from being solved. But, if all we do is raise the debt limit and it's not accompanied by a credible solution to America's debt problem, we're in big trouble."
What you won’t hear from the MSM is the simple fact that the Democrat-controlled 111th Congress, led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, is directly responsible for this crisis, along with President Obama. With Democrats in full control of the White House and Congress, they ran up our debt to stratospheric heights. We were told at the time that these increases were temporary. Now, President Obama is trying to make them permanent, all the while still managing to blame his predecessor for a problem that he created.

Not only that, his recent citing that some 80% of Americans favor tax increases has been proven false. In fact, Ace points this out rather adroitly in his dissection of an NPR poll where they gather one set of opinion statistics and report something completely misleading. Nice work, there.

Another voice of reason in this debate is Charles Krauthammer. He’s been making the rounds of the political talk shows with one question. When confronted with the false MSM talking point that it’s the Republicans who are blocking the path to negotiation of a budget solution, he now asks the liberals, “Where is Obama’s plan?”

(h/t to

That’s the best way to shut up liberals: confront them with facts. Works every time.

What’s needed is what I call The Neo Plan to reduce the budget. “Cuts, lots of cuts.”

There are plans out there. Curiously, President Obama chooses to ignore the recommendations of his own Simpson-Bowles Commission while he criticizes the Ryan plan. If you want to see a credible plan that imitates what you or I would do with our own budget mirrored at the federal level, be sure to check out this link from Financial Times, Lawrence Solomon: A Tea Party Budget.

I shall tease you with this,
First, scrap government departments that overlap with functions traditionally and primarily met at the state level, and that often do more harm than good. The country’s educational performance declined after the federal government imposed its educational priorities on the states, which have the prime responsibility for education. Scrap the Department of Education, a failed Carter-era experiment that had its roots in president Dwight Eisenhower’s desire to imbue the education system with Cold War thinking, and out goes a US$77-billion annual expense. Likewise, scrap all or parts of the Department of Energy, the Small Business Administration, the Federal Transit Authority, Federal Highway Administration, Housing and Urban Development and other federal areas that intrude on state and local responsibilities. Apart from the dollar savings from eliminating duplication and cancelling perverse projects, the quality of public services is likely to rise when the former federal functions move closer to home in state or local government, or become privatized and are delivered in the private sector.

It should be noted that the Department of Energy has one useful function: there’s a lot of military research and development that goes on there that shouldn’t be cut. That’s the part we need to keep.

One important thing to remember in any budget talks is this: when liberals and even so-called moderate politicians speak of cuts to federal programs, what they call a cut is actually a cut in the rate of increase of funding. That’s built in to the budget, sometimes to allow for inflation, sometimes for population increases. It doesn’t take much to see that an ever-growing federal budget is a given, and is a big part of why it’s out of control.

What’s needed are drastic cuts, meaning real, live reductions in staff, salaries, and benefits for these bloated bureaucracies and, at a minimum, a moratorium on any new regulations combined with a thorough review of the effectiveness of those regulations. Just like President Obama promised, but hasn’t done. It's almost like he has no idea how the economy works.

Also, note that President Obama has not offered up one single concession of his own. At no time has he suggested even one of his signature programs for cuts. Not the Stimulus, not ObamaCare, not the bailouts of the auto companies, not the student loan takeovers, nothing. All of his programs must remain in place unaltered.
Who’s being the rigid ideologue now?

1 comment:

Ken Krout said...

Nicely summed up. The point that bugs me is how the 2 parties take turns alternating between being in power and screwing everything up, and being out of power and screaming about how everything is screwed up. I cringed when the Bush era of government overspent, but the current Dems make him look like an absolute amateur.