Thursday, April 14, 2011

The President's Speech

The loyal left is swooning over the President’s speech because he has, overnight, turned into a fighter for noble values and is giving “feisty” speeches and declaring that things “will not happen” while he is President. I’m rather wondering why, if the speech was so feisty, did Joe Biden sleep through so much of it.

I will remind people that he does this on a regular basis. He remains “above the fray” while Congress gets its hands dirty, emerges to provide one lofty speech filled with noble principles and no actual details, and then hands the ball back to Congress and lets them finish generating legislation filled with garbage. He did it on the “health care reform” debate, and look how that turned out. That mess doesn’t take effect until well after his reelection and we have no idea whether or not it will actually work.

I admit I was quite stirred by the defense of Medicare, and we do need to be reminded of these values. It should be noted, though, that while he says that we all share them as Americans, that is not actually true. Democrats share them to the extent that they don’t cost too much, Independents share them to the extent that they can get someone else to pay for them, and Republicans don’t share them at all.

I winced a little when he said that Medicare should be defended because, “There’s nothing courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill.” He’s a little out of touch, I think, because I don’t believe there is a single voting block that has more clout than today’s seniors.

His denunciation of Republicans for creating the mess we’re in would have been more stirring if we had not been hearing it endlessly for two years and if he had not spent the past two years rabidly cutting taxes and boasting about how often he has cut taxes and how many he has cut taxes for.

What? Republican tax cuts deepen the deficit and his tax cuts don’t?

I was rather appalled yesterday by the leak that he was going to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion in 12 years, a whopping 17% off current levels, but it’s even worse than that. One trillion of it is even more phony than the “we’re going to reduce the increase and call that a cut” ploy. It consists of saving by means of reducing the projected interest on the projected debt because we will not have borrowed as much. Even the Republicans don’t have the brass to try that one on us.

He’s going to cut $400 billion from “national security” over the next ten years, or about $40 billion per year. Since we spend about $1 trillion per year in that category, that’s a fraction of 1% in cuts, 0.04% to be precise. Just call him “chainsaw” for short.

And Obama is going to illustrate how much we “all share these values as Americans” by raising taxes on the rich and, further, by eliminating tax deductions for the rich to pay for them. He is going to demonstrate how firmly united we are and assure that we all pull together to solve our common problem by igniting class warfare. He is going to illustrate how independent and self reliant we are by embracing our willingness to extract money from “the other guy.” We have tapped out the American Indians, so now we need to start pillaging the wealthy in their gated communities.

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