Friday, February 05, 2010

Placing Blame

Sometimes one can get sort of “lost” in how intelligent our President is and how well he speaks, and in so doing lose track of exactly what he is saying. I’m not sure if he does this on purpose, or if he gets as carried away by his own intelligence as his audience does. Consider this, at his conference with the Republicans the other day,

“The fact is, 10 years ago, we had a budget surplus of more than $200 billion, with projected surpluses stretching out toward the horizon. Yet over the course of the past 10 years, the previous administration and previous Congresses created an expensive new drug program, passed massive tax cuts for the wealthy, and funded two wars without paying for any of it -– all of which was compounded by recession and by rising health care costs. As a result, when I first walked through the door, the deficit stood at $1.3 trillion, with projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade.”

To take them in order. In its three years of control of Congress, your party has not suggested reducing or paying for that drug program in any way, and now is proposing to actually expand it as part of “health care reform.” When the House wanted to pay for that expansion with higher taxes on the wealthy, you agreed with the Senate that you’d rather pay for it by making people pay more for health insurance.

As to the Republican tax cuts of which you are so critical, in your State of the Union address you said this,

“Now, let me repeat: We cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college.”

If you are so opposed to cutting taxes, why are you not only doing it so massively, but patting yourself on the back for it and, when Republicans did not applaud, asking that they do so? And even now you are proposing yet more tax cuts on top of those you have already made.

Finally, where have you come to the American people and presented them with the bill for the two wars that we are still fighting, including the one which you expanded? Further, where is the action on the part of your party to reduce the scale of either of these wars? The war in Iraq is scheduled to wind down, but that is a result of agreement between Bush and the Iraq government, and not as a result of any legislation passed by three years of a Democratic Congress or any executive order issued by you.

I'm not arguing as to the validity or otherwise of these policies or actions, but to the hypocrisy of continuing the exact same policies that you decry as being at fault for today's problematic environment.

Your words of blame, Mr. President, sound all very well and are true enough as far as they go; but after three years of your party in control of Congress and one year with you in office, there has not even been an attempt to reverse course on one single part of the issues for which you blame your predecessor. I will be more interested in hearing that finger-pointing when you have at least made an effort to change the course that he and his party set, when you and your party are not travelling the exact same road.

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