Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Unethical Defense

I am utterly opposed to cutting spending at this point, and have no doubt that we should be supporting the economy rather than cutting the legs out from under it right now. I voted for Obama, and I don’t know what he could have done about the debt ceiling other than what he did. That being said, this defense of him is sheer nonsense.

"The “real drivers” of our current debt are Bush’s two tax cuts, Bush’s two wars, and the economic collapse that Bush and Wall Street fathered."

Let's get real. The Bush tax cuts ended in December of last year. They are now the Obama tax cuts, and he wants to extend the majority of them, which are for the middle and lower income brackets, some $3 trillion plus. Obama has added more than one tax cut on top of those, including a payroll tax cut which he wants to extend. He has spent much of the past two years bragging about how many times he has cut taxes and how many people he has cut taxes for.

The Bush war in Iraq is ending this year, as scheduled by Bush before he left office, except that Obama is trying to extend it. The Bush war in Afghanistan was wound down to a small war and Obama accelerated it to a major one. Obama escalated the war in Pakistan, and added wars in Libya, Yemen and Somalia.

The economy is indeed a major driver of the deficit, and what has Obama done about that? One "stimulus" which was too small and which consisted in far too great a degree of tax cuts. (You do recall we are complaining about “the Bush tax cuts”?) A year spent haggling over "health care reform" which began with closed door deal making with the drug companies to eliminate drug price negotiation and reimportation, and with hospital industry to preclude the public option. Then an immediate pivot to "responsibility in government and living within our means."

So we cannot reasonably complain about the Bush tax cut policies when Obama is continuing those same policies with tax cuts of his own. We cannot reasonably complain about the Bush war policies when Obama is continuing those same policies with wars of his own. We cannot reasonably complain about Bush crashing the economy when Obama has made damn little effort to restore the economy.

Valid ethics dictates that one does not complain about problems that one is not trying to correct, and that one does not criticize faults that one exhibits in one’s own behavior. That defense is unethical on both counts.


  1. I don't know. I personally feel I pay more than I need. Combine Federal with state and local taxes (and fees) and it is a huge whammy. I believe we need cuts. How drastic? I don't know. Pretty draconian probably. It will have to be done sometime but at the same time I do not really want to see even more people out of work (even though many of them really do nothing but collect a check). I do think that at some point there will need to be a very major downsizing of the Federal Govt. There is a whole lot that is just "makework" that the Feds do and is not necessary. I do agree that Social Security and Medicare need to be left off the table.

    I know. A case of wanting the cake and eating it to.

    I don't know. I just get a sense that this country is headed in a direction that will lead to disaster. All of them (and us for voting fools in) are to blame.

  2. bruce3:53 PM

    Okay, spending on what exactly? the two major wars? the several minor ones? And supporting the economy how?

    I think a lot of the the spending previously was on giveaways to promote consumer spending or debt relief. Does/did that translate to more jobs? or just shuffling money around? And where did the money come from and where does it get paid back from and when?

    There will come a time when spending MUST be changed - cut spending, spend more on social programs including health care, less on other things. Maybe even need to raise taxes. And pay back all the money we borrowed, and will continue to borrow.

    I'm not saying spending is bad - just make it count, or it's wasted. Just like the prolifigate spending of the late spending economy.

    And you are absolutely correct in saying the defense of Obama (&/or current policy) is ethically indefensible. Stop blaming others.