Pull the other one. It rings a bell.

By Robert Wallace
America’s Right

According to Politico, President Obama has already sketched out his objective for 2010s State of the Union Address. And – get this – the main objective? Cut the federal deficit.

(I’ll wait for the laughter to die down.)

According to the article:

The president’s plan, which the officials said was under discussion before this month’s Democratic election setbacks, represents both a practical and a political calculation by this White House.

I’m sure it was “under discussion” before the 2009 election results rolled in. Between the narrow survival of a toothless cap-and-trade bill, the health care reform effort on life support, and the growing public skepticism about the make-believe “created or saved” jobs there was plenty to discuss. And I’m pretty sure the discussion came to an end when the election results came in.


Politico outlines the practical and political considerations:

On the practical side, Obama has spent more money on new programs in nine months than Bill Clinton did in eight years, pushing the annual deficit to $1.4 trillion. This leaves little room for big spending initiatives.

On the political side, Obama can help moderate Democrats avoid some tough votes in an election year and, perhaps more importantly, calm the nerves of independent voters who are voicing big concerns with the big spending and deficits

That’s all pretty obvious stuff. The questions I have are whether Obama has any intention to actually cut spending and how this will play out in the GOP. You might wonder why I even have any question about Obama’s sincerity. The reason is that there’s recent precedent. Bill Clinton moved hard to the right to survive after the Republican swept into power in 1994. You know that that date has got to be on the minds of every Democrat politician in the nation. And one simple way to forestall a repeat of 1994 would be to preemptively move a little bit to the right now rather than having to move more to the left later. So it’s possible.

But not likely.

For all the talk about cutting spending the White House has not talked about cutting the cap-and-trade legislation nor are they expressing a willingness to make cuts to entitlements or to defense spending. Most likely the Obama administration is scrambling to find symbolic cuts and accounting tricks to inflate them so that a token sacrifice can be laid on the altar of fiscal responsibility to avert disaster in 2010.

In a way that’s a relief. Token gestures are almost certain to do nothing but anger the independents that Obama once wooed so successfully. He still has the right rhetoric:

A lot of independents, Democrats and Republicans — all are concerned about is what are we going to do about this long-term debt. We’ve got to show people that we are responsible stewards for their taxpayer dollars and that we’re taking some serious steps to at least lay the foundation — the pathway — for bringing those deficits down over the next several years.

The problem is that you can’t promise people that you’re going to increase spending and cut spending at the same time. That would be a stretch, even for the man who pulled off the Great Con of 2008.

—————
Robert Wallace is classical liberal studying economics in graduate school. He and his wife work as business analysis consultants, and they live as undercover conservatives with their two small children in a socialist bastion of a college town. He has been writing for America’s Right since December 2008.

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Comments

  1. Rix says:

    Good analysis, Robert, but no conclusion. And the conclusion should be as follows: there is little merit in attacking Obama's cred on budget and economy. Whatever light of truth you want to shed on this administration's misdeeds, it will be drowned in the MSM's gushing over "severe spending cuts" and "Bush's reckless policies". Obama must be attacked on those counts that put him squarely on defensive: that he is a Chicago gangster oligarch, a Muslim, an accomplice to Islamic terrorism, and – first and foremost – an illegal President. And frankly, I do not care if either of the above is true (though personally I believe all of it is). Whatever works. It's a naivete bordering on idiocy to discard tools because they are perceivedly "immoral" when our lives and our children's future is at stake.

  2. goddessdivine says:

    How ironic that the very man that has exponentially sped up deficit spending will speak on cutting deficits. That guy will read anything his teleprompter feeds him. I still can't wrap my head around exactly how this guy got elected. (Oh wait; a lackluster opponent, the help of ACORN, and legal help willing to cover up anything and everything.)

    These last ten months have brought new meaning to the phrase: Elections have consequences.

  3. suek says:

    No problem.

    He'll cut defense spending.

  4. Gail B says:

    Robert, you're correct! Even Geithner has been talking about the unsustainable national debt.

    This regime plays us like a piano–or TRIES to!

    LOL
    verity: shist (shiest? or sh**s?)

  5. Bosotn Blackie says:

    Obamama is SO predictable, just say what he thinks the American people want to hear but then do as he wants.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Jeff,

    I find Rix comments about the President of the United States EXTREMELY offensive. His comments are border on treason. I thought you monitored this blog.

    Chuck

  7. Gail B says:

    Rix is right!

  8. Gail B says:

    Chuck–

    There are lawsuits against Obama-Soetoro ongoing right now. And, Obama-Soetoro has been charged with treason.

    Wake up!

  9. Robert Wallace says:

    Good grief, Rix. The reason I'm glad your political beliefs are only shared by a fringe minority – and the reason I intend to make sure they stay that way, is that your extremism has nothing to do with American values and everything to do with the fatal purity of the French Revolution.

    I have no doubt that if your views for armed rebellion and such were ever enacted that is exactly where we would head. In everything from your kooky conspiracy theories ("privately sworn in", seriously?) to your embrace of religious bigotry I see nothing but senseless violence and slaughter in any future where you play a significant role in shaping events.

    If the American Revolution would have been guided by your ideals it would have been far bloodier, far shorter, and I pray to God we would have lost. Because the alternative – living with your principles – would have been worse.

  10. Robert Wallace says:

    For what it's worth I realize that that wasn't much of an argument. It wasn't intended to be.

    I don't even know how to begin arguing with someone who makes the statements that you make because debate is an act of reason and your comments are often insane.

    In everything from your espousal of Japanese isolationism as a model for the US (didn't it occur to you that the only reason that Japan can afford to be isolationist is that in terms of national defense it is a client state of the very non-isolationist United States?) to your embrace of banning religions in the United States to your paranoia to your bloodlust there's just not enough that is rational for me to formulate much of a response.

    And here is my statement last of all: if the American people are as beyond saving as you believe they are, then your revolution is intrinsically and irredeemably anti-American.

    The fundamental principle of this country is that the power to govern derives from the populace. And so if this American people choose, en masse, to embrace statism, socialism, or any other political abomination than there is no longer a principled stand from which to oppose them and *coerce* them into another form of government.

    Should the day arrive when America has chosen emphatically, finally, and irrevocably to give up on the US Constitution then no amount of nuking people in the Middle East or spreading bizarre conspiracy theories about the President can possibly rescue what has been lost.

    What you don't understand is that we're in a contest of ideals. Not of political might. And your solution is to concede defeat on the former while banking on the latter.

    You are in short the very thing you claim to hate: an elitist intent on imposing your own superior will on a populace against their wishes, and that is not something I will ever be a part of or stand for. Not even when that populace has chosen the wrong thing.

  11. Rix says:

    Chuck, which part of my statement did you find particularly offensive? About Obama the a medresseh alum being a Muslim? Maybe about Obama the terror accomplic who grants civil rights to confessed terrorists having blood of thousands of Americans on their hands? Or about Obama the Kenyan born of British dad and adopted by an Indonesian, Obama who was privately sworn in and never vetted? Or perhaps about Obama who defiles the country and shreds the Constitution by bowing to foreign rulers?

  12. Rix says:

    Mr. Wallace,

    For starters, you are intolerant and, on more than one occasion, downright insulting. I did not expect that on AR. I would like to officially inform Jeff of my regret that you joined the blog's contributors.

    It is also absolutely clear that you don't even read the responses. I do support isolationist stance but – if you bothered to read, you'd likely notice – Japan was brought up in completely different context, namely as a successful outcome of a preemptive nuclear strike. Calling me a "religious bigot" is outright moronic because I have proclaimed my non-religious views, as well as willingness to accept others' religious beliefs as long as they aren't pressed on me, on a number of occasions. Doubting the fact that Mr. Obama was sworn in privately shows that you are not only intolerant but ignorant as well, since that is a well-known fact (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inauguration_of_Barack_Obama, chapter "Oath of Office"). And, if you failed to pay attention, those "conspiracy theories" were what brought me, and quite a few others, to AR.

    While I am not ready to give up on the blog – fortunately, there are many good posters here, too – I am done with commenting your posts. Some things can be helped; stupidity and arrogance are not.

  13. Robert Wallace says:

    Rix -

    You better believe I am intolerant of some things, and pretty high on that list you will find bigotry and paranoia masquerading as patriotism.

    1. Japan – No, I don't think it was clear fro the context. But now that you've stated what you meant I realize I misunderstood your point.

    2. You don't have to be religious to be bigoted against religions in general or against specific religions. Your views on Islam constitute religious bigotry. Period. Your cavalier attitude about banning a religion in a country that was in large part founded on religious freedom is horrifying. And you should have expected that telling that to a Mormon – of all people – would have generated a strong reaction. For someone who claims to embrace conservative principles you sure have no problem jettisoning them when it suits you, but the point of having principles is that you stick to them even when it's not convenient.

    3. "Doubting the fact that Mr. Obama was sworn in privately"

    I *know* that he was sworn in "privately". This happened because he ad Chief Justice Roberts screwed up the oath of office. So they redid it. All of this is common knowledge. Trying to find some hidden meaning behind it is *exactly* what I mean by "political paranoia". It's utterly insane to act as though there was some sinister motive behind this when the truth is in plain view. And how "private" is a ceremony that is attended by "a small audience of presidential aides, reporters and a White House photographer." I guess you think the MSM are all part of the secret cabal, but now you're telling me that Chief Justice Roberts is also in on the conspiracy?

    The really funny thing is that if he *hadn't* retaken the oath you would be at the forefront of claiming that the mistakes in the oath meant he wasn't really the president!

    Once you weigh anchor and set sail from the shores of sanity into the uncharted waters of paranoia you can see conspiracies everywhere. It's an easy game to play, and unfortunately you'll always find a few sad folks willing to egg you on because your conspiracy theories ease their cognitive dissonance or bring simplicity back into a complicated world.

    "I am done with commenting your posts. Some things can be helped; stupidity and arrogance are not."

    Works for me.

  14. Robert Wallace says:

    Rix-

    You can't turn lead into gold, and you can't transmute that Goldwater quote into "the ends justify the means".

    When you embrace conservative principles, which include a respect for life and freedom of religion, and when your extremism is measured in your willingness to sacrifice *for* those principles instead of your willingness to sacrifice the principles for political expedience, then you will have a legitimate reason to wrap yourself in the Goldwater quote.

    Until that point, you're just using sophistry to validate your paranoia.

  15. Robert Wallace says:

    suek-

    I think that I agree with you. There's a reason I started calling Obama's campaign The Great Con of 2008 well before the first vote was cast, let alone before the last one was counted.

    I believe in the American people, and I believe that Obama could never have been elected if the people knew what he truly stood for. Which is why – unlike Rix – I put a lot of faith in the effort to educate the American people about what Obama truly stands for.

    What's more: I realize that if the majority of Americans willfully choose Obama's politics that I don't have a right to impose my politics on them just because I'm right and they are wrong. That kind of tyrannical elitism is exactly what a true libertarian fights *against*.

    If that day comes then it will be time to discuss other options. As long as like-minded people believe in liberty and limited government we should seek to build a nation that exemplifies those principles. But you can't build a nation of liberty through violent coercion. That's like trying to make ice cubes with a flame thrower.

  16. Rix says:

    "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." –Barry Goldwater

  17. suek says:

    Count me in as one of the fringe minority…

    While it's true that

    >>the power to govern derives from the populace. And so if this American people choose, en masse, to embrace statism, socialism, or any other political abomination than there is no longer a principled stand from which to oppose them and *coerce* them into another form of government.>>

    it also is true that the only way in which this power is legitimate, is if it is obtained by honest and open presentation to the people and the people vote on such a change with full knowledge. That has not been the case with this president. Not only has his eligibility never been proven without a doubt – possibly violating the very Constitution he has sworn to uphold – but the possibility remains that he has obtained office through deceptive measures of his party leaders.

    In addition to that, he presented himself to the people as a moderate, and is governing as a far leftist. In other words, people bought a pig in a poke. While I grant that many were fooled and therefore got what they deserved, nevertheless, it's really offensive to propose that the people voted for this government – that's not what they did.

    Leftists are very clever. They have succeeded in defeating us from within – we'll see if it stands.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I much prefer one-liner comments.

    Rome burns as egos battle.

  19. Anonymous says:

    1776?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Nat,

    Would you please define what you mean by "entitlements". Is Medicare not an entitlement? I kind of remember that AG has relentlessly attacked Obama for proposing cuts to Medicare.

    Chuck

  21. Jan says:

    Robert – I absolutely love the way your mind works!

    On a previous post I commented that "if and when it is necessary to take up arms, I will be there. Until then, however, I would like to try other means."

    This is the first time in my life that I have seen this many people actively involved in politics. Yes, we are not the majority; yet. However, every day those standing in opposition grows. I say we give it some time to see if the opposition can influence the changes needed.

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