President Obama addressed the nation last night to supposedly bring us up to speed on what’s going on with the debt ceiling stalemate between the Republicans in the House and him & the Democrats. I didn’t see the live broadcast but did catch the video & read the transcript, and was completely disgusted afterward. I started writing a post about it but it was late so I didn’t get very far with it, so decided to quit & go to bed before my blood pressure got out of hand. This morning I found this video from Patriot Post Humor in my inbox this morning; it’s nothing short of perfect.
As tempting as it is to just leave it at that, I need to get a few things off my chest. First off, the impending crisis precipitating this stalemate is the very real threat that, “… our country’s Triple A credit rating would be downgraded…” But he claims, wrongly, that the way to dodge that bullet is to raise the credit ceiling so the country can continue to pay its bills; that’s only a temporary fix to a much deeper problem. The fact that we’ve run out of credit and risk defaulting on bond interest payments is only a symptom that
we’re the government is spending too much. Way, way, way too much. The biggest problem as I see it is that neither of the plans being proffered by the House and the Senate adequately addresses the issue of spending beyond our means, and the proposed cuts won’t be enough to avoid the downgrade in the credit rating. All of the finger pointing and bickering will be for naught, and we’ll still have the “tax increase” resulting from higher interest rates.
He also said that raising the debt limit is something that other Administrations have done in the past, implying that it’s no big deal; what he doesn’t tell us is that the debt ceiling has already been bumped up three times since he entered the White House, by a total of nearly $3 Trillion (whereas previous increases have been much more modest and some only temporary.) And that mousy little bedbug Harry Reid is gaming to raise the limit by another $2.4 Trillion; $5+ Trillion in three years isn’t business as usual, as Mr. Obama would have us believe. Far from it.
For the last decade, we have spent more money than we take in. In the year 2000, the government had a budget surplus. But instead of using it to pay off our debt, the money was spent on trillions of dollars in new tax cuts, while two wars and an expensive prescription drug program were simply added to our nation’s credit card.
Really; no kidding? We’re spending more money than we take in? Thank you Professor Obvious. But excuse me, when can you “spend” a tax cut? In case someone at the White House needs to be reminded, the money does not belong to Washington, DC. It wasn’t spent, it wasn’t given away, it was simply not taken from its rightful owners, people who, for the most part, can use that money to do more to improve the economy than our illustrious elected leaders could ever do. And the code words for “It’s Bush’s Fault” are just a little too obvious these days; that excuse is wearing really thin.
He also said:
As a result, the deficit was on track to top $1 trillion the year I took office. To make matters worse, the recession meant that there was less money coming in, and it required us to spend even more – on tax cuts for middle-class families; on unemployment insurance; on aid to states so we could prevent more teachers and firefighters and police officers from being laid off. These emergency steps also added to the deficit.
Again with trying to blame Bush. True, Bush was no fiscal conservative and he didn’t do much to help things especially with that bailout fiasco in 2008, but continuing to try & pin the blame for the explosion of the federal debt over the last three years on him is just plain ludicrous. And spending more money that the government doesn’t have at a time like this is like throwing gasoline on a fire. If he and the Democrat-controlled House and Senate are the budget hawks he is trying to make them out to be now, why didn’t they take the opportunity when they didn’t have to worry about the pesky Republican to get the country back in the black? They were too busy ramming their version of Health Care Reform through and spending money like drunken sailors to repay the left-wing special interests. Funny that nobody was much concerned about bipartisanship then, when the Republicans were effectively shut out of the entire process (cue more eyeball rolling.)
And I love his line about the so-called “balanced approach” and “contributions”:
The only reason this balanced approach isn’t on its way to becoming law right now is because a significant number of Republicans in Congress are insisting on a cuts-only approach — an approach that doesn’t ask the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to contribute anything at all. And because nothing is asked of those at the top of the income scales, such an approach would close the deficit only with more severe cuts to programs we all care about – cuts that place a greater burden on working families.
It’s like a robber thanking the banker for his “contribution”. His definition of a balanced approach means cutting a little here & there and raising taxes as well, although he doesn’t have the courage to call them tax increases. And last I checked, when it comes to income taxes, the top 10% of those “wealthiest Americans” already pay nearly 70% of all federal income taxes. Just how much is their fair share, Mr. President? And the red herring he keeps throwing around about the private jet owners… This from the guy with the grandest of all private jets, and the one which we have the privilege of paying for (cue rolling of eyes.)
Yes, given the situation we’re in, the debt limit does need to be raised, but I’m convinced that it should only be temporary and only accompanied by drastic cuts that put the country on track to balance the budget. And sign me up as a supporter of a Balanced Budget Amendment; that’s one thing that is long overdue. If there’s one thing in Obama’s speech last night that I can agree with is that the fault for the mess du jour lies with both parties and all the politicians. Anything that We The People can do to put a bit in their mouths is a step in the right direction.
I also watched John Boehner’s response to Obama’s speech; the difference between the two men is striking. Boehner comes across as the adult in the room, looking much more like a leader than Obama does on his best day. Ever since the days of the 2008 campaign I’ve said that Barack Obama was not qualified for the job of President, and he’s spent the last two years proving he’s in way over his head. Last night’s speech just reinforced the fact.