It may be lame, but it obviously works. President Obama has a bunch of saps that he easily plays for fools in the Republican party. Of course, an eagerly complicit media makes a great ally. There should be no doubt that reality has taken a back seat to perception in today’s America. And as we all know, perception is ALL that matters.
This President could literally get away with murder and the story would be craftily spun in his favor. Some excuse would allow a readily accepted alibi. No questions would be asked. A shadow of a doubt?…Perish the thought!
This is the norm in politics today. Responsibility is shunned by Barack Obama. And why shouldn’t it? When there’s a group of suckers in Washington that make themselves so readily available in the roll, there’s no need. And the American public…well, most of them.. just accept what he says as gospel. He can do no wrong! As has been purported quite a bit lately, Barack Obama isn’t even CONNECTED to what’s wrong! The voters may express displeasure with our country’s direction, but they absolve the man primarily responsible! It’s just all part of where nonsense is the new status quo. Will we come to realize this shell game? Not anytime soon…
National Review’s Jonah Goldberg takes a look at this raging phenomena in Washington….
“The GOP will probably lose the public relations battle over the sequester, because that’s the Republicans’ job in the age of Obama.”
We are just days away from a cataclysm of biblical proportions. The cuts foretold in the Budget Control Act of 2011 are young as far as prophecies go, but apparently they are every bit as terrifying as rivers of blood and plagues of locusts. Any day now we can expect White House spokesman Jay Carney to take to the podium and read a prepared statement: “And when he opened the seventh seal, there was a small decrease in the rate of increase in federal spending.”
The great game in Washington is who will get the blame for something both House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama agree will be calamitous for the country. It is an argument so idiotic, it could pass for seriousness only in Washington. The Republicans correctly note that the president proposed the sequester. In fact, back when the president believed that Republicans were more terrified of these automatic budget cuts than Democrats were, he pretended that he would veto any attempts to get rid of them that didn’t give him even more of the tax hikes he holds so dear. Now that Republicans have already agreed to a tax hike, they’ll be damned if they’ll raise them even more.
Fair enough. But the GOP agreed to the idea. This wasn’t some elaborate con in which John Boehner wakes up thinking March 1 is a morning like any other, only to discover that $85 billion is missing.
The GOP will probably lose the public-relations battle over the sequester, because that’s the Republicans’ job in the age of Obama. A U.S. ambassador is murdered in a terrorist attack the administration ineptly responded to — and blamed on a video — but the only real story is that Republicans are so crazy, they want to know what happened. The president nominates a middle-brow pol to run the Defense Department, one who must recant all of his well-known views in order to get the job, and the story is how irrational the GOP is for caring. If the White House dispatched a drone to circle Boehner’s home, the front-page story in theNew York Times would be on the speaker’s troubling paranoia.
But that doesn’t mean Republicans should make the White House’s job easier. Which is why it’s good news that the House leadership is reportedly working on legislation that would force Obama to choose where the $85 billion in cuts should come from. Both the president and Boehner agree that the across-the-board cuts required by the sequester make no sense, given that most agencies can find less painful ways to trim a few pennies out of every dollar.
It’s unlikely that Obama will take such a deal, since he and the Democratic-controlled Senate twice rejected legislation that replaced sequester cuts with more reasonable ones. Obama wants more tax hikes and thinks he can convince the country to accept them if the choice is between what he calls reasonable revenue increases and catastrophic cuts that will let people die in the streets, leave children to go hungry and illiterate, and allow poisoned food to sit rancid on supermarket shelves.
And he’s not crazy for it. This strategy has worked time and time again. If an agency has a billion-dollar budget and someone proposes cutting a dollar from its scheduled increase in funding, that dollar will be the one earmarked for the screw needed to keep a bridge from collapsing on a grade school’s Thanksgiving parade.
And that is what galls me. If the sequester goes into effect, the federal budget for this year will still be larger than last year’s ($3.553 trillion in 2013 vs. $3.538 trillion in 2012). With the sequester in effect, federal non-defense spending will still be 10 percent higher than it was in 2008. But Washington, led by Obama but with GOP help, is telling the American people that unless government gets an even bigger raise (with money borrowed from China, by the way), civilization will unravel, 911 calls will go unanswered, and Bane shall irrevocably seize control of Gotham.
The federal government has grown inexorably for decades. Our president casts himself as a Solomonic manager, and yet he is saying that absent a few extra pennies on every dollar, there’s no way he can maintain government’s core functions? A manager in any other field of human endeavor would be fired on the spot for making such an argument. But in Washington, this passes for leadership.”
— Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. You can write to him by e-mail at JonahsColumn@aol.com, or via Twitter @JonahNRO. © 2013 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
Poll: WHEN IN DOUBT, BLAME REPUBLICANS – Townhall
Time, once again to take a look at some of the quotes from the past week out there!….
Some good, some..not so good….
Whole Foods CEO, John Mackey
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to ‘Meet the Press’s’ David Gregory
One of MSNBC’s MANY resident MORONS, Toure, on the ongoing conversation about gun violence…
Leading HBO media dumbass, Bill Maher…on Pope Benedict’s resignation…
Dr. Benjamin Carson, in one of his many interviews, after shaking things up at the National Prayer Breakfast…
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) wises up and explains the President’s continuous campaign mode…
Now that the Carnival Triumph has safely docked in Mobile, we can turn our attention back to the more mundane matters. I mean, COME ON!…It was a media field day!…BUT, I digress…
Our so called ‘elected officials’…the Democrats, in particular, have continued their same old, tired “simply deny there’s a problem” approach to the fiscal insanity that is the Federal government. Credit card economics is their answer. But you have to ask yourself, “how can this continue?”….”How can we continue to spend more and more and more when there’s less and less coming in?” The math says you can’t. However, facts don’t matter…it’s the optics and the lies that do….
Let’s see what these morons are saying….
During one of the seemingly countless budget crises, Speaker Boehner relayed Barack Obama’s reaction to his efforts to convince the President that we have a SERIOUS problem….
The Queen of Denial, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) throws in her LESS than 2 cents worth of ill conceived mindlessness..Her answer: We need more money!
Economic nonsense from the illustrious idiot, Steny Hoyer (D-MD)…..I wonder if I could go buy more stuff that I can’t afford and excuse it by saying it’s because I haven’t paid for stuff I ALREADY bought?…
Iowa Sen., Tom Harkin (D), proving once again, what an imbecile he is…I suppose all you have to say is “I’m rich!…I can’t be broke!”…Problem solved!
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)…clearly an embarrassment to that state…seems to think the President is “leading”…what she doesn’t say is WHERE!…Of course, typically, she has to throw in some racial component…
THESE idiots are in CONTROL!…THIS sort of thinking is deciding and shaping OUR future!…We are lied to day after day after day by those who cannot and will not approach what needs to be done with a serious and competent mind set…Their selfishness will bring economic ruin to this nation..one way or another…
Yet, we continue to place faith in them and power in their hands…It’s dispiriting, discouraging…and FRIGHTENING!
As I’ve highlighted a time or two here, I’m very much a fan of columnist Peggy Noonan. I like here sensical approach to matters. It’s based in calm, collective thought. Not knee jerk reaction to stupidity. Her latest piece offers the Republican party some needed guidance in these troubled times…
LESSONS CONSERVATIVES NEED TO LEARN
“Two lessons on how conservatives and Republicans might approach the future, and a look at the meaning of Barack Obama.
Lesson one: Golf star Phil Mickelson this week complained about taxes—”I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state”—and suggested he may leave California. Before anyone could jump down his throat, he abjectly apologized: He didn’t mean to hurt anyone, he shouldn’t have said it, taxes are a “personal” issue.
Actually they’re pretty public. The American Revolution started as a tax revolt. It is not remarkable that a man might protest a 50% to 60% tax rate that means he has to work from January through July or August for the government, and only gets to keep for himself and his family what he earns from then through December.
Most fans would rather see Mr. Mickelson hit a ball with a stick than hear his economic analysis, and talking about tax burdens when you’re making up to $50 million a year sounds like . . . well, a pretty high-class problem.
But his complaint came as kind of a relief. It was politically incorrect. It was based on actual numbers and facts and not grounded in abstractions, as most of our public pronouncements are. And it was unusual: Most people in his position are clever enough not to sound aggrieved.
Conservatives and Republicans feel a bit under siege these days because their views are not officially in style. But the Cringe is not the way to deal with it. If you take a stand, take a stand and take the blows. Many people would think that paying more than half your salary in city, state, county and federal taxes is unjust. Mr. Mickelson is not alone.
Lesson two came from Republicans on Capitol Hill. Conservatives on the ground are angry with them after the Benghazi hearings. Members of the Senate and the House have huffed and puffed for months: “It’s worse than Watergate, Americans died.” Just wait till they question the secretary of state, they’ll get to the bottom of it.
Wednesday they questioned Hillary Clinton. It was a dud.
The senators weren’t organized or focused, they didn’t coordinate questions, follow up, have any coherent or discernible strategy. The only senator who really tried to bore in was Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who asked a pointed question that was never answered: If you wanted to find out what happened when the consulate was attacked, why didn’t you pick up the phone the next day and call those who’d been there? John McCcain made a spirited, scattered speech—really, it was just like him—that couldn’t find the energy to end in serious questions.
Some conservatives are saying Mrs. Clinton looked unhinged, angry. In their dreams. She came across as human and indignant, and emerged untouched. What air there was in the Benghazi balloon leaked out. Someday we’ll find out what happened when somebody good writes a book.
All this looked like another example of the mindless personal entrepreneurialism of the Republicans on the Hill: They’re all in business for themselves. They make their speech, ask their question, and it’s not connected to anyone else’s speech or question. They aren’t part of something that moves and makes progress.
Minority parties can’t act like this, in such a slobby, un-unified way.
Hill Republicans continue not to understand that they are the face of the party when the cameras are trained on Washington. They don’t understand how they look, which is like ants on a sugar cube.
Finally, it became obvious this week that the Republican party top to bottom has to start taking Barack Obama seriously. All the famous criticisms of him are true: He has no talent for or interest in sustained, good-faith negotiations, he has no real sense of alarm about the great issue of the day, America’s debt. He’s a chill presence in a warm-blooded profession.
But he means business. He means to change America in fundamental ways and along the lines of justice as he sees it. The proper response to such a man is not—was not—that he’s a Muslim, he’s a Kenyan, he’s working out his feelings about colonialism. Those charges were meant to marginalize him, but they didn’t hurt him. They damaged Republicans, who came to see him as easy to defeat.
He doesn’t care if you like him—he’d just as soon you did, but it’s not necessary for him. He is certain he is right in what he’s doing, which is changing the economic balance between rich and poor. The rich are going to be made less rich, and those who are needy or request help are going to get more in government services, which the rich will pay for. He’d just as soon the middle class not get lost in the shuffle, but if they wind up marginally less middle class he won’t be up nights. The point is redistribution.
The great long-term question is the effect the change in mood he seeks to institute will have on what used to be called the national character. Eight years is almost half a generation. Don’t you change people when you tell them they have an absolute right to government support regardless of their efforts? Don’t you encourage dependence, and a bitter sense of entitlement? What about the wearing down of taxpayers? Some, especially those who are younger, do not fully understand that what is supporting them is actually coming from other people. To them it seems to come from “the government,” the big marble machine far away that prints money.
There is no sign, absolutely none, that any of this is on Mr. Obama’s mind. His emphasis is always on what one abstract group owes another in the service of a larger concept. “You didn’t build that” are the defining words of his presidency.
He is not going to negotiate, compromise, cajole. Absent those efforts his only path to primacy in Congress is to kill the Republican Party, to pulverize it, as John Dickerson noted this week in Slate, to “attempt to annihilate the Republican Party,” as Speaker John Boehner said in a remarkably candid speech to the Ripon Society.
Mr. Obama is not, as has been said, the left’s Ronald Reagan. Reagan won over, Mr. Obama just wins. What Mr. Obama really is is Franklin D. Roosevelt without the landslides. He has the same seriousness of intent but nothing like the base of support.
In 1932, FDR won the presidency with 58% of the vote to Herbert Hoover’s 40%. In 1936 it was even better: Roosevelt won 61% of the vote to Alf Landon’s 36.5%.
In 2008, Barack Mr. Obama beat John McCain solidly, 53% to 46%. But last year, against a woebegone GOP candidate, Obama won just 51% of the vote, to Mitt Romney’s 47%. (Yes: ironic.)
Mr. Obama received 66 million votes in 2012—but four years earlier he received 69.5 million.
His support went down, not up.
He is moving forward as if he has FDR’s mandate and attempting to crush his enemy every bit as ruthlessly as FDR, who was one ruthless patrician.
It will take guts and unity to fight him. Can the GOP, just in Washington, for now, develop those things?”
Well…the day has arrived….
The impervious ‘leader’ crowns himself emperor….at least for four more years.
Barack Obama’s second inauguration is met with much indifference and not much cause for celebration today. He begins with a divided, divisive, and frustrated America. Much of which he helped create.
Fred Barnes at The Weekly Standard takes a look at the President whose hallmark is feigning compromise will trying to convince the nation that’s what he’s all about. NOTHING could be further from the truth…
“President Obama complained in a Saturday radio and Internet address that crucial issues are resolved in Washington only at the last possible moment. It was late December when he spoke, three days before the deadline on the fiscal cliff. A deal to avert automatic tax increases had yet to be reached.
‘America wonders why it is in this town why you can’t get stuff done in an organized timetable,” he said. “Why everything has to always wait until the last minute. We’re now at the last minute. . . . Let’s not miss this deadline. That’s the bare minimum we should be able to get done.’
As usual, the president accepted no responsibility, much less blame, for the recurring phenomenon of brinkmanship. Two weeks earlier, he said Republicans were the impediment to reaching timely agreements because “it is very hard for them to say yes to me.”
True, it is difficult. But there’s a bigger problem. It’s not Obama’s inability to get along with Republicans. Nor is it the fact that he’s an exceptionally poor negotiator. The real problem is simply Obama’s refusal to compromise.
The president claims to be open to compromise. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s not a coincidence that he hasn’t arranged a single bipartisan compromise with Republicans. Others in his orbit have—Vice President Biden twice, Senate majority leader Harry Reid once—but not Obama personally. He wrecks compromises. He doesn’t facilitate them.
In 2011, he came close to negotiating a $4 trillion “grand bargain” with House speaker John Boehner—before blowing it up. Boehner went out on a limb by agreeing to $800 billion in tax hikes, but Obama insisted on $400 billion more in taxes. That killed the compromise.
Following his reelection in November, the president appeared receptive to a compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff. But he suddenly increased his demands far beyond what Republicans could swallow. Thus, no compromise. Instead, a cliff deal was forced on Republicans, who feared being blamed for raising taxes. It was largely on Obama’s terms.
Why is Obama unable to compromise? I think there are both personal and political reasons. Far more than other politicians, Obama is convinced of the rightness of whatever he proposes. As best I can tell, this is not merely an excess of self-confidence. It’s a vanity, a conceit. On top of that, Obama regards practically everything Republicans want as ideologically toxic.
He was spoiled in his first two years as president. Democrats had overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate, so he got most of what he wanted—Obamacare, stimulus—without the need to compromise with Republicans for their votes.
When those majorities vanished in the GOP landslide in 2010, Obama was confronted with a Republican House and a barely Democratic Senate. He still hasn’t adjusted. And with reelection, he doesn’t think he has to. He believes it’s time for Republicans to knuckle under.
He talks about a “balanced” approach to taxes and spending. But the balance is heavily weighted in favor of tax increases, the bigger the better, and what often amount to phantom spending cuts. He’ll cut money for overseas wars that was never going to be spent in the first place.
Yet as the president told journalist Richard Wolffe, “You know, I actually believe my own bull—.” Indeed, he does, now more than ever.
The political rationale for spurning compromise comes from Obama’s attachment to his Democratic base—labor, liberals, feminists, environmentalists, minorities. He relied on them in his campaign for a second term and he’s loath to cross them now. And they’re dead set against any meaningful cuts in spending (except for defense).
To reach a compromise with the other party, “you can’t just sit back and hope that a bipartisan deal will fall in your lap,” says Keith Hennessey, an economic adviser to President George W. Bush. “You have to proactively challenge your own party to make it happen.” Obama is unwilling to do that.
In speeches and at press conferences, he pays lip service to tackling entitlements, but it’s always in the future. He’s endorsed a small reduction in Social Security’s annual cost-of-living increase, but backed away from actually offering it to get a bipartisan compromise. Why? His base opposes even this tiniest of concessions.
In the next three months, Obama faces three deadlines, or cliffs. Government borrowing will reach its limit—the so-called debt limit—in late February or early March. The $1.2 trillion sequester goes into effect on March 1. And the continuing resolution that keeps the government operating in lieu of a budget expires on March 27.
If the president wants to deal with these before the last minute, he’d better be prepared to compromise. Last week, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell urged him to “engage now or force a crisis later” on increasing the debt limit. To clear the way, McConnell said, what’s required is “a bipartisan spending-reduction solution.”
Spending cuts are precisely what Obama refuses to consider. He’s called for a “clean” bill to increase the debt limit, unlike 2011 when he was forced to compromise and accept spending cuts (negotiated by others). That was a painful episode for Obama. And he’s adamant about not compromising this year.
He’s no help on the sequester either. To replace its across-the-board cuts, half defense, half domestic, Obama wants to include tax increases. This is reminiscent of the spending cuts that passed muster with Biden last year, only to be brushed aside when Obama joined budget talks.
In all this, President Obama may be unaware that his allergy to compromise has a downside. It keeps him from acting in his own interest. For a freshly reelected president, he has a surprisingly low job approval rating. It hovers around 50 percent. But he has it within his power to improve his standing. Americans crave two things in Washington: bipartisanship and reduced spending. Deliver them and his approval rating will soar. All that’s required on his part is compromise.”
Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.
Barack Obama’s Deficit Problem – Townhall
A Divider, Not a Uniter – The Daily Caller
My fellow Americans…if you don’t already know it, you’re f***ed….that’s it…pure and simple…Facts, truth, decency…all of that is out the door!….Lost forever!…So, you better get used to it!…In the meantime, let’s check in on this war AGAINST achievement and success…shall we?…
I wonder what Rep. Pelosi (D-CA) thinks about that….
Mr. President?…do you think we can talk about reducing spending now?…
Rep. Pelosi, I turn back to you…any chance of significant reductions in spending to reduce the debt?
Meanwhile….at the White House…
And finally…in case you’re wondering who those DUMB ASSES are…they’re the ones deciding YOUR future now..while YOU are paying their bills AND yours!..
As the focus gradually moves away from the Sandy Hook tragedy, we see our government ‘leaders’ returning to what they do best…either nothing at all or making matters worse. Take your pick. They’re both detrimental to our national health. True to form, they have little, if any, regard for finding solutions. Only what plays best to the moronic masses, combined with whatever maintains their position and perception in the public eye. And, the American public, plays right along. You can ALWAYS count on that!
The Economic Collapse blog takes a look at the continuing idiocy in Washington and how they’re doing more damage than helping matters….
WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE BARACK OBAMA AND JOHN BOEHNER THINKING?
“Barack Obama and John Boehner both seem absolutely determined to drive U.S. government finances off a cliff. The mainstream media would have you believe that there are vast ideological differences between the two of them and that they are bitter enemies, but that is simply not the case. Both of them say that tax increases are “necessary”, but they disagree over the details. Both are seeking about a trillion dollars of spending cuts and about a trillion dollars of new “revenue”, but they don’t see eye to eye on how to get there. But overall, they are both definitely playing in the same ballpark. And those numbers certainly do sound impressive until you realize that they are talking about a time span of ten years. Personally, I would love to see federal spending cut by a trillion dollars this year. But that will never happen. A trillion dollars over the course of a decade breaks down to about 100 billion dollars per year. That still sounds like a lot of money until you put it up next to the trillion dollar deficits that we have been running for four years in a row. Even if somehow those spending cuts turned out to be real (which they aren’t), they would still only put a very small dent in our yearly budget deficits. Obama and Boehner both want to continue to have a gigantic federal government that showers people with government money, and both of them want to continue to pass much of the burden for paying for this gigantic government on to future generations. And both of them want to continue to steal more than 100 million dollars an hour from our children and our grandchildren in order to maintain the false bubble of debt-fueled prosperity that we are enjoying right now. This is incredibly foolish and they are leading us down a path that will lead to national ruin.
Sadly, even the pathetically small “budget cut” and “new revenue” figures that they are floating around turn out to be quite hollow when you inspect them more closely.
For example, the “new revenue” figures that both Obama and Boehner are talking about rely on extremely unrealistic assumptions about U.S. economic growth. In order to meet their revenue projections, the U.S. economy would need to grow significantly faster than it is right now and we would need to get through the entire decade without having a single recession.
What do you think the chance of that happening is?
But that is the way that things work in Washington D.C. – our politicians function in a world where it is assumed that everything will work out just perfectly in the future.
For example, if the figures put out at the beginning of the Bush administration were to be believed, we should be absolutely swimming in government surpluses by now.
That didn’t work out too well, did it?
The “spending cuts” are even more illusory.
Obama is projecting that we will save 130 billion dollars by manipulating the way that inflation is calculated for annual increases in Social Security benefits.
But our politicians are already pretending that there is hardly any inflation when any rational person can see that prices are soaring.
So can they really manipulate the numbers to make them look even smaller?
By doing so, they would be cheating elderly Americans out of 130 billion dollars. But I guess this is more convenient for our politicians than going after real government waste.
Obama also plans to save $290 billion by having lower interest payments on U.S. government debt.
Try not to laugh.
The average rate of interest on U.S. government debt was 2.534 percent at the end of November. That is ridiculously low. The only place it is going to go in future years is up.
Back in the year 2000, the average rate of interest on U.S. government debt was6.638 percent. If the average rate of interest on U.S. government debt rose back to that level, we would be paying out more than a trillion dollars a year just in interest on the national debt.
So Obama’s projection that we are going to save 290 billion dollars over the next ten years by forcing interest rates on U.S. government debt even lower is insanely optimistic. Only a delusional person would make such an assumption.
And most of the savings from the “projected spending cuts” that Obama and Boehner are proposing would not happen until later in the decade.
After all, they don’t want to “hurt the economy” right now.
In fact, Obama is actually proposing that we should increase spending by $80 billion this year so that we can encourage economic activity.
So don’t let anyone fool you with any nonsense about how Obama and Boehner are working on a plan that would get U.S. government finances in order.
No matter how their “negotiations” turn out, we will continue to run trillion dollars deficits year after year with no end in sight.
If Americans want a monstrous federal government that passes out government checks like candy, then they should pay for it. Personally, I think that taxes are already way, way too high and that the government already brings in more than enough money.
If Americans don’t want to pay much higher taxes, then they should tell the government to quit spending money that we don’t have.
But all of this trying to have it both ways has got to stop. We are destroying the future for our children and our grandchildren. We have already run up 16 trillion dollars in debt and we can’t even seem to slow down our reckless debt binge. If they get the chance, someday future generations will curse us for what we did to them.
The funny thing is that John Boehner was supposed to be a “conservative” that was going to do something about all of this debt. But since John Boehner has been Speaker of the House, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation that has increased the size of our national debt by approximately $18,944 per household.
For example, did you know that there are now more than one million homeless students in America? Sadly, it’s true…
The number of homeless students in America topped one million for the first time last year as a result of the economic recession, a number that has risen 57 percent since 2007.
The US Department of Education found that of these 1,065,794 children, many lived in abandoned homes, cheap hotels, stations, church basements and hospitals. Some spent their time sleeping over at the houses of various friends whenever they could. Others fell victim to drugs and sexual abuse, in some cases trading sexual acts for food, clothing and shelter or selling illegal drugs.
Even in the midst of our debt-fueled prosperity, the number of Americans that are dependent on the government just continues to rise.
According to one recent survey, 55 percent of all Americans have received money from a safety net program run by the federal government at some point in their lives.
So how bad will things get when we eventually quit borrowing so much money and we start living within our means?
Nobody is looking forward to that day. Certainly not our politicians. They don’t want to be blamed for all of the painful adjustments that will happen once the party ends.
So they just keep borrowing and spending. But at some point the music will stop and the house of cards will come crashing down.
It won’t happen this week or this month, but it will happen soon enough.
I hope that you are ready.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan is one of my favorite columnists. She always delivers an opinion based on facts, pure and simple. She’s sensible and direct. You don’t find much of that these days. Check out her expert analysis of how President Obama squandered an opportunity and a legacy…
“He had the confidence without the full capability.”
HOW FAR OBAMA HAS FALLEN
“So where are we? A softly catastrophic storm left us, in the Northeast, shocked at the depth and breadth of its power to destroy. Everyone who could be was hunkered down Monday waiting it out, and at first we hoped it might not be as bad as we’d been warned, because we’d all seen higher wind and harder rain. But the waters rose and wouldn’t stop, breaching dunes, overwhelming barriers, filling the tunnels and subways like a bathtub, as somebody said on TV. It was—is—a true crisis. So far, our political leaders have done pretty well. But the hard part will be from here on in—getting things up and operating again without the original adrenaline rush.
New York’s mayor, Mike Bloomberg, was sterling—a solid, unruffled giver of information whose news conferences were blessedly free of theatrics save for his gifted sign-language interpreter, who wowed a city and left the young evacuees in my apartment furiously signing “Where’s the coffee?” and “I think the baby needs to be changed.” Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey was his usual compelling self, similarly informative. This is a man who knows a levy from a berm. He is one tough red-state player on a blue-state field. If Mitt Romney loses, will Mr. Christie garner Republican criticism for his hearty embrace of president Obama just days before the election? Yes, he will. Will it hurt him in Jersey? Not a bit. Will it help Jersey? Yes. They are cold and wet and running out of food in the house. Keep your friends close and your president closer.
The “I” of the storm was New York’s Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo. He was equally competent and effortful but took the mildly hectoring tone of a kind of leftism that is now old. It involves phrases like “As I’ve long said.” I think this is the worst and I was appalled and when I was at HUD I handled storms and I learned a great deal and I saw we were prepared and I am relieved and I will work hard and I need you to know global warming is what I told you it was.
The winning politicians of the future will not be all about I. People don’t like it. They don’t want to have to wade past the ego to the info.
Which gets us to Tuesday. No one knows what will happen. Maybe that means it will be close, and maybe it doesn’t. Maybe a surprise is in store. But the fact that Barack Obama is fighting for his political life is still one of the great political stories of the modern era.
Look at where he started, placing his hand on the Bible Abe Lincoln was sworn in on in 1861. It was Jan. 20, 2009. The new president was 47 and in the kind of position politicians can only dream of—a historic figure walking in, the first African-American president, broadly backed by the American people. He won by 9.5 million votes. Two days after his inauguration, Gallup had him at 68% approval, only 12% disapproval. He had a Democratic Senate, and for a time a cloture-proof 60 members. He had a Democratic House (256-178) with a colorful, energetic speaker. The mainstream media were excited about him, supportive of him.
His political foes were demoralized, their party fractured.
He faced big problems—an economic crash,two wars—but those crises gave him broad latitude. All of his stars were perfectly aligned. He could do anything.
And then it all changed. At a certain point he lost the room.
Books will be written about what happened, but early on the president made two terrible legislative decisions. The stimulus bill was a political disaster, and it wasn’t the cost, it was the content. We were in crisis, losing jobs. People would have accepted high spending if it looked promising. But the stimulus was the same old same old, pure pork aimed at reliable constituencies. It would course through the economy with little effect. And it would not receive a single Republican vote in the House (three in the Senate), which was bad for Washington, bad for our politics. It was a catastrophic victory. It did say there was a new boss in town. But it also said the new boss was out of his league.
Then health care, a mistake beginning to end. The president’s 14-month-long preoccupation with ObamaCare signaled that he did not share the urgency of people’s most immediate concerns—jobs, the economy, all the coming fiscal cliffs. The famous 2,000-page bill added to their misery by adding to their fear.
Voters would have had to trust the president a lot to believe his program wouldn’t raise their premiums, wouldn’t limit their autonomy, wouldn’t make a shaky system worse.
But they didn’t trust him that much, because they’d just met him. They didn’t really know him.
You have to build the kind of trust it takes to do something so all-encompassing.
And so began the resistance, the Tea Party movement and the town-hall protests, full of alarmed independents and older Democrats. Both revived Republicans and, temporarily at least, reunited conservatives.
Why did the president make such mistakes? Why did he make decisions that seemed so unknowing, and not only in retrospect?
Because he had so much confidence, he thought whatever he did would work. He thought he had “a gift,” as he is said to have told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He thought he had a special ability to sway the American people, or so he suggested to House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
But whenever he went over the the heads of the media and Congress and went to the people, in prime-time addresses, it didn’t really work. He did not have a magical ability to sway. And—oddly—he didn’t seem to notice.
It is one thing to think you’re Lebron. Its another thing to keep missing the basket and losing games and still think you’re Lebron.
And that really was the problem: He had the confidence without the full capability. And he gathered around him friends and associates who adored him, who were themselves talented but maybe not quite big enough for the game they were in. They understood the Democratic Party, its facts and assumptions. But they weren’t America-sized. They didn’t get the country so well.
It is a mystery why the president didn’t second-guess himself more, doubt himself. Instead he kept going forward as if it were working.
He doesn’t do chastened. He didn’t do what Bill Clinton learned to do, after he took a drubbing in 1994: change course and prosper.
Mr. Obama may yet emerge victorious. There are, obviously, many factors in every race. Maybe, as one for instance, the seriousness of the storm has sharpened people’s anxieties—there are no local crises anymore, a local disaster is a national disaster—so that anxiety will leave some people leaning toward the status quo, toward the known.
Or maybe, conversely, they’ll think he failed to slow the oceans’ rise.
We’ll know soon.
Whatever happens, Mr. Obama will not own the room again as once he did. If he wins, we will see a different presidency—even more stasis, and political struggle—but not a different president.”
You think ‘Jason’ was mad, being left to fend for himself in Crystal Lake?….Wait until he gets a load of what’s been going on in the meantime!
Yep…some sobering facts about the national debt. The topic few understand…and fewer still REFUSE to do anything about…I’m referring to those so called “leaders” in Washington. You know the ones. The ones more concerned about Olympic uniforms..and where they’re made (as if many garments are made in the U.S., any longer!) instead of getting a grasp on the fiscal mess they’ve help perpetuate year after year after year!
From The Economic Collapse:
The U.S. government has stolen $15,876,457,645,132.66 from future generations of Americans, and we continue to add well over a hundred million dollars to that total every single day day. The 15 trillion dollar binge that we have been on over the past 30 years has fueled the greatest standard of living the world has ever seen, but this wonderful prosperity that we have been enjoying has been a lie. It isn’t real. We have been living way above our means for so long that we do not have any idea of what “normal” actually is anymore. But every debt addict hits “the wall” eventually, and the same thing is going to happen to us as a nation. At some point the weight of our national debt is going to cause our financial system to implode, and every American will feel the pain of that collapse. Under our current system, there is no mathematical way that this debt can ever be paid back. The road that we are on will either lead to default or to hyperinflation. We have piled up the biggest debt in the history of the world, and if there are future generations of Americans they will look back and curse us for what we did to them. We like to think of ourselves as much wiser than previous generations of Americans, but the truth is that we have been so foolish that it is hard to put it into words.
Whenever I do an article about the national debt, Democrats leave comments blaming the Republicans and Republicans leave comments blaming the Democrats.
Well you know what?
Both parties are to blame. Both of them get a failing grade.
If the Republicans really wanted to stop the federal government from running up all this debt they could have done it.
If the Democrats really wanted to stop the federal government from running up all this debt they could have done it.
So let’s not pretend that one of the political parties is “the hero” in this little drama.
The damage has been done, and both parties will go down in history as being grossly negligent on fiscal issues during this period of American history.
Sadly, neither party is showing any signs of changing their ways.
Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney is promising to eliminate the federal budget deficit in 2013. They both talk about how the budget will be balanced “someday”, but as we have seen so many times in the past, “someday” never comes.
I didn’t mean to get all political in this article, but the truth is that the national debt threatens to destroy everything that previous generations have built, and our politicians continue to give us nothing but excuses.
The following are 27 things that every American should know about the national debt….
#1 It took more than 200 years for the U.S. national debt to reach 1 trillion dollars. In 1986, the U.S. national debt reached 2 trillion dollars. In 1992, the U.S. national debt reached 4 trillion dollars. In 2005, the U.S. national debt doubled again and reached 8 trillion dollars. Now the U.S. national debt is about to cross the 16 trillion dollar mark. How long can this kind of exponential growth go on?
#2 If the average interest rate on U.S. government debt rises to just 7 percent, the U.S. government will find itself spending more than a trillion dollars per year just on interest on the national debt.
#3 If right this moment you went out and started spending one dollar every single second, it would take you more than 31,000 years to spend one trillion dollars.
#4 Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the U.S. national debt has increased by an average of more than $64,000 per taxpayer.
#5 Barack Obama will become the first president to run deficits of more than a trillion dollars during each of his first four years in office.
#6 If you were alive when Jesus Christ was born and you spent one million dollars every single day since that point, you still would not have spent one trillion dollars by now.
#7 The U.S. national debt has increased by more than 1.6 trillion dollars since the Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives. So far, this Congress has added more to the national debt than the first 97 Congresses combined.
#8 During the Obama administration, the U.S. government has accumulated more new debt than it did from the time that George Washington became president to the time that Bill Clinton became president.
#9 If Bill Gates gave every single penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for 15 days.
#10 As Bill Whittle has shown, you could take every single penny that every American earns above $250,000 and it would only fund about 38 percent of the federal budget.
#11 Today, the government debt to GDP ratio in the United States is well over 100 percent.
#12 A recently revised IMF policy paper entitled “An Analysis of U.S. Fiscal and Generational Imbalances: Who Will Pay and How?” projects that U.S. government debt will rise to about 400 percent of GDP by the year 2050.
#13 The United States already has more government debt per capita than Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland or Spain does.
#14 At this point, the United States government is responsible for more than a third of all the government debt in the entire world.
#15 The amount of U.S. government debt held by foreigners is about 5 times larger than it was just a decade ago.
#16 The U.S. national debt is now more than 22 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.
#17 It is being projected that the U.S. national debt will surpass 23 trillion dollarsin 2015.
#18 Mandatory federal spending surpassed total federal revenue for the first time ever in fiscal 2011. That was not supposed to happen until 50 years from now.
#19 Between 2007 and 2010, U.S. GDP grew by only 4.26%, but the U.S. national debt soared by 61% during that same time period.
#20 The U.S. government has total assets of 2.7 trillion dollars and has total liabilities of 17.5 trillion dollars. The liabilities do not even count 4.7 trillion dollars of intragovernmental debt that is currently outstanding.
#21 U.S. households are now actually receiving more money directly from the U.S. government than they are paying to the government in taxes.
#22 The U.S. government is wasting your money on some of the stupidest things imaginable. For example, in 2011 the National Institutes of Health spent $592,527on a study that sought to figure out once and for all why chimpanzees throw poop.
#23 If the federal government used GAAP accounting standards like publicly traded corporations do, the real federal budget deficit for last year would have been 5 trillion dollars instead of 1.3 trillion dollars.
#24 The Federal Reserve purchased approximately 61 percent of all government debt issued by the U.S. Treasury Department during 2011.
#25 At this point, the U.S. national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was first created.
#26 If the federal government began right at this moment to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 480,000 years to completely pay off the national debt.
#27 The official government debt figure does not even account for massive unfunded liabilities that the U.S. government will be hit with in the years ahead. According to Professor Laurence J. Kotlikoff, the U.S. government is facing a future “fiscal gap” of more than 200 trillion dollars.
As the U.S. economy continues to crumble, even more Americans are going to become financially dependent on the federal government.
For example, spending on food stamps has doubled since 2008. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and have needed some assistance from the government. Since Obama became president the number of Americans on food stamps has gone from 32 million to 46 million.
But the Obama administration believes that a lot more Americans should be enrolled in the food stamp program. The Obama administration is now spending millions of dollars on ads that urge even more people to sign up for food stamps. In fact, their efforts to get even more Americans to sign up for food stamps have become very creative….
The government has been targeting Spanish speakers with radio “novelas” promoting food stamp usage as part of a stated mission to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps.
Each novela, comprising a 10-part series called “PARQUE ALEGRIA,” or “HOPE PARK,” presents a semi-dramatic scenario involving characters convincing others to get on food stamps, or explaining how much healthier it is to be on food stamps.
I’m all for helping those that cannot feed themselves, but do we really need to run ads urging more people to become dependent on the government?
Of course Obamacare is going to cause our debt to balloon in size as well. It is being projected that Obamacare will add more than 2.6 trillion dollars to the U.S. national debt over the first decade alone.
So where are we going to get all this money?
We can’t keep spending money that we do not have. We have got to prioritize. Every single category of government spending needs to be cut.
But instead we feel like we can keep ripping off future generations of Americans and that we will always be able to get away with it.
What we have done to our children and our grandchildren is beyond criminal.
The truth is that we should have listened to the warnings of our founding fathers about government debt. For example, Thomas Jefferson once said that if he could add just one more amendment to the U.S. Constitution it would be a complete ban on all borrowing by the federal government….
I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.
Where would we be today if we had taken the advice of Thomas Jefferson?
That is something to think about.
If you’re not, you damned well should be!…..