Friday, January 28, 2011

Obama - The State of the Union - Deficit Reduction Commission

Obama has proven once again that he is an empty suit.  In fact he may be Manchurian Candidate realized.  Back in February 2010 Obama empaneled a bipartisan Deficit Reduction Commission.  (The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform). The goal of the Commission was to offer suggestions on how to reduce the ever growing deficit. In December 2010 the Commission issued its recommendations: "The Moment of Truth".  In February 2010 the Washington Post (link now broken, alternate source) reported that Obama signed legislation to limit deficit spending.  In signing that legislation Obama is reported to have said: "“Now, Congress will have to pay for what it spends, just like everybody else, ... After a decade of profligacy, the American people are tired of politicians who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk when it comes to fiscal responsibility. It’s easy to get up in front of the cameras and rant against exploding deficits. What’s hard is actually getting deficits under control. But that’s what we must do.”(Emphasis added)

This past Tuesday, Obama gave his State of the Union Address. Naturally, I expected Obama to review the recommendations of the Commission and to offer concrete suggestions for those to be implemented.  He did make a gratuitous mention that: "The bipartisan Fiscal Commission I created last year made this crystal clear. I don't agree with all their proposals, but they made important progress. And their conclusion is that the only way to tackle our deficit is to cut excessive spending wherever we find it -- in domestic spending, defense spending, health care spending, and spending through tax breaks and loopholes."

At this point Obama drops the ball, there are no real recommendations, just empty nice sounding rhetoric. Charles Krauthammer writes: "The November election sent a clear message to Washington: less government, less debt, less spending. President Obama certainly heard it, but judging from his State of the Union address, he doesn't believe a word of it." To me the trite "solutions" offered up by Obama such as reducing medical costs, fixing social security, fixing the tax code, and raising taxes on the rich are the same old tired empty promises that every recent president has made and consequently tossed in the trash heap of history.

Particularity specious was Obama statement that: "So tonight, I am proposing that starting this year, we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years. This would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, and will bring discretionary spending to the lowest share of our economy since Dwight Eisenhower was president." (emphasis added).  Like myself and others, Mr. Krauthammer quickly observed that: "A $40 billion annual savings for a government that just racked up $3 trillion in new debt over the past two years is deeply unserious." Moreover, in 10 years Obama will not even be in office, which makes this deficit reduction proposal speculative and ever more ludicrous.

Now that Obama has been in office for two years, he finds that: "It’s easy to get up in front of the cameras and rant against exploding deficits."  To bad that he won't make the hard decision of "actually getting deficits under control. But that’s what we must do.” Continued deficit spending lays waste to any claim by Obama that he has any real intention to operate the government in a fiscally prudent manner and to balance the budget.

We have a "kid" on a sugar high grabbing all the candy in the candy store who seems incapable of comprehending that when it is gone it is gone.  Maybe Igor Panarin is right.

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