Economics

Circumstances Forced Me to Do What I Wanted to Do Anyway

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Discussing the "stimulus" bill he hopes to sign next week, President Obama says:

Look, I would love not to have to spend money right now….This notion that somehow I came in here just ginned up to spend $800 billion…that wasn't how I envisioned my presidency beginning. But we have to adapt to existing circumstances.

This stance seems to be at odds with his oft-repeated assurances that the legislation aims not simply to create jobs but to do so through sound investments that will lead to greater prosperity in the long run. Obama bridles at the "pork" label, arguing that the spending on things such as education, health care, energy programs, infrastructure, and broadband Internet service is justified on its own terms, irrespective of the recession. Furthermore, he campaigned on middle-class tax cuts and has insisted on keeping two years of rebates in the stimulus plan. Add all that together, plus various other line items he favors on non-recession-related policy grounds, and you've accounted for most of the package's cost. How can he expect us to believe that an economic emergency forced him to pursue his pre-existing tax and spending priorities?

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  1. This notion that somehow I came in here just ginned up to spend $800 billion

    What? I’m sorry, I don’t speak Jive…

  2. for the last time washington, when you are suave shampoo broke, you do not go buy a beamer, thats just common sense, that our goverment can not understand

  3. Obama, like GWB before him, is an lying opportunist politician.

    In related news –

    Sun expected to rise in the east tomorrow.

  4. Yo, fuck Barack Obama.

  5. Stealing yours and your children and grand children’s money for the benefit of his chronies is really not what he planned on doing and it is going to hurt him more than it hurts you. Don’t you feel better now?

  6. I really despise the Challenged One

  7. How can he expect us to believe that an economic emergency forced him to pursue his pre-existing tax and spending priorities?

    Hell, anyone who voted for his vapid Hope and Change mottos is easily stupid enough to buy this.

  8. How can he expect us to believe that an economic emergency forced him to pursue his pre-existing tax and spending priorities?

    Strong in the force?

  9. How can he expect us to believe that an economic emergency forced him to pursue his pre-existing tax and spending priorities?

    “I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.”

  10. “Hell, anyone who voted for his vapid Hope and Change mottos is easily stupid enough to buy this.”

    Having spoken to numerous people who did at least from my experience you are right. Most of them have never talked to anyone who actually endorsed small government and have no idea what any of the arguments are for it. Further, when presented with the arguments against the porkulus, the only response seems to be that “Republicans are against it and they did bad things over the last year so therefore it must be a good thing”. No kidding. I honestly thought that a lot of the argument by emotion, invective and temper tantrum on the Left was the result of them being out of power and feeling powerless.

    The stimulus package and the TARP has showed me that that is how they always think. It is all about emotion for them. There are pricipled liberal positions. Positions that say that we should help the less fortuneate and tax high incomes so that we have a more equal society. I don’t agree with those positions but they do exist and are not crazy. The porkulus bill does none of that. Even a principled liberal ought to hate it. But these people have no principles other than emotion. It is as if the spending bill is some kind of symbolic act. It doesn’t matter if it helps anyone or does any good. What matters is that we are doing something and that that something repudiates the evil Republicans. Logic, economics and principle be it conservative or liberal really don’t enter into it.

  11. Where’s joe been? Has he already given up his Obama apologia?
    I’ll miss him (just a little) for the next four years.

  12. How can he expect us to believe that an economic emergency forced him to pursue his pre-existing tax and spending priorities?

    Strong in the force?

    Your cheap Jedi mind tricks won’t work on me, Obama.

  13. What? I’m sorry, I don’t speak Jive…

    You wanna talk Jive?
    I’ll talk some Jive!
    I’ll talk some jive like you’ve never heard!

  14. What? I’m sorry, I don’t speak Jive…

    Stewardess Taktix? I speak Jive…

  15. Maybe what Obama meant was that he didn’t mean to blow his load so early

  16. I’ll sub for Joe on this one.

    How can he expect us to believe that an economic emergency forced him to pursue his pre-existing tax and spending priorities?

    His pre-existing tax priorities didn’t entail cutting so many taxes. People on the left are screaming over it, but we need the stimulus. Read Robert Samuelson.

    Also, Free Mike Phelps!!!

  17. Taktix,

    I think “jive” is a word that needs to return to the lexicon along with “jive ass” and its derrivitive “jive ass m*****f*cker” and the oldy bot goody “jive turkey” and “shuck and jive”. There is just something about 70s venacular that fits the times and something about the word jive and its derrivitives that fits Obama.

  18. “His pre-existing tax priorities didn’t entail cutting so many taxes. People on the left are screaming over it, but we need the stimulus. Read Robert Samuelson.”

    No his need to get at least one Republican to vote for it in the Senate did. Take away the need to give Collins and Spenchter fig leaves to sell out the country and the left wouldn’t have anything to complain about.

  19. Your cheap Jedi mind tricks won’t work on me, Obama.

    So are you a Hutt or a Toydarian?

    Who am I kidding; you’re a *libertarian*. You obviously are blue, with a serious gut and little fairy wings.

  20. The moderate Republicans in the Northeast (whats left of them in the Senate) will be defeated next time regardless of how they vote. They may as well vote the way they really feel, against it.

  21. “The moderate Republicans in the Northeast (whats left of them in the Senate) will be defeated next time regardless of how they vote. They may as well vote the way they really feel, against it.”

    I wouldn’t count on anything for 2010. I think the Dems really misread the mood of the country in passing this debacle. I think guys like Dodd and Reid are going to go down. Spenchter might go down from a primary challenge because anyone tight of Reid hates his guts. Collins isn’t going anywhere.

  22. “They may as well vote the way they really feel, against it.”

    but that is not how they feel. I have no doubt Collins and her room temperature IQ thinks this is a great idea and loves having the power to determine how a few hundred billion of it are spent.

  23. What RC Dean said at 12:19pm. You asked, that’s the answer.

  24. You obviously are blue, with a serious gut and little fairy wings.

    Serious gut?!?

  25. John,

    Seconded! “Jive turkey” is completely made of win.

    Maybe what Obama meant was that he didn’t mean to blow his load so early

    “Um. Uh. This happens to other presidents, right?”

  26. Careful Epi. Obamawan may find your lack of faith disturbing.

  27. Where’s joe been? Has he already given up his Obama apologia?

    God I hope so.

  28. This can’t possibly be right…

    Where is joe to explain away what is so obvious.

  29. What? I’m sorry, I don’t speak Jive…

    “Ginned up” is old redneck slang, not jive.

    And jive talkers don’t use “just” intensively, especially not to intensify Okie slang that they also don’t use.

    Don’t tell him. It’ll ruin the joke (that he is).

  30. I’m imagining joe looking a lot like The Operative at the end of Serenity.

    “I’d like to kill you myself if I ever see you again.”

    “You won’t — there is nothing left to see…”

  31. What are you guys talking about? joe is clearly on a cruise or a race around the world. When he gets back he’ll explain everything.

  32. It must be great to make fun of a guy when he’s not around to respond.

  33. Elemenope,

    Relax. I’m sure they are just teasing anyway . . . I think.

  34. It must be great to make fun of a guy when he’s not around to respond.

    It sure is, but how do you know he’s not around?

  35. LMNOP is such a dope. Oh, wait? He’s here?

  36. Oh what the hey…I’ll play devil’s advocate. Heck, in this case I even believe my interpretation.

    He means he had no intention of hurling hundreds of billions out the door willy-nilly. He’s a Dem, of *course* he was going to increase spending on stuff, he just wanted to go about it slowly, heck probably even much less.

  37. Obama bridles at the “pork” label, arguing that the spending on things such as education, health care, energy programs, infrastructure, and broadband Internet service is justified on its own terms, irrespective of the recession.

    Look, Obama is a lying piece of shit. Any items justified on their own terms are properly handled in the normal budgeting procedure, not emergency spending bills. So he can go fuck himself. He’s as crooked as Bush.

  38. “Where’s joe been? Has he already given up his Obama apologia?”

    Wouldn’t you? I do know some liberals who are looking at this thing going WTF? Who look at the proposed troop buildup for Afganistan and say WTF? I wouldn’t want the job of defending this crap.

  39. It sure is, but how do you know he’s not around?

    He’s not known for having a laconic comportment.

  40. Beware, Elemenope. Joe doesn’t sleep. He waits.

  41. “Terse? I can be terse. Zoe’s terse. Once, in flight school, I was even laconic!”

  42. He’s not known for having a laconic comportment.

    The guy posted here from his supposed cruise vacation yet he can’t find his way here for several days now, exactly as Obama has gone critical regarding breaking promises and doing stupid shit?

    Mm’kay.

  43. Epi,

    Maybe he’s wining and dining another mans wife? They tend to be clingy.

  44. By not being here, joe wins the thread!
    That guy is good.

  45. Cynical to the point of stupidity, Jacob. You don’t have to like Obama to believe that he’d be happy not to be wrangling with this huge messy bill in his first month of presidency.

    There’s a lot of other easy and popular stuff he could have done first, without the spotlight and controversy that goes along with a giant bill.

    Since Obama’s not stupid, I have to believe he thinks this bill is necessary.

  46. What spotlight? What controversy?

    He has all the votes needed to pass this turkey. The only reason it wasn’t done already was because he wanted some Republicans to vote for it too.

    Without that self-imposed, would-be-nice goal, the stimulus would have been passed a week ago.

  47. Speaking of joe, I once again have to point to my comment here:

    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/129949.html#1133797

    Oh, and apparently Seattle is going to produce the next drug czar. Sorry, freedom lovers.

  48. pre-existing tax borrow and spending priorities?

    Fixed that for ya.

  49. You don’t have to like Obama to believe that he’d be happy not to be wrangling with this huge messy bill in his first month of presidency.

    Hey, here’s a thought: why don’t they take this huge messy bill and break it up into small pieces? Then, they can debate the specifics, and have a roll call vote. Could it be they really don’t want anybody to see how much bone and gristle and sawdust are in the sausage?

  50. Well, DannyK, I believe that Obama’s primary mission is to greatly expand the scope and power of the federal government so that it can achieve all sorts of lefty lib goals.

    I also believe that he agrees with his Chief of Staff that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste, and so he has siezed on this “crisis” to jam through absolutely every lefty lib wet dream spending bill that he can.

    If he really believed that we needed a massive stimulus bill, then he would be pushing a massive stimulus bill. One thing this is not, is a stimulus bill. Too much of the spending is delayed and practically none of it has any relation to increasing economic productivity.

    So, its hard for me to escape the conclusion that what Obama is doing is spending his political capital, not on easy popular stuff, but rather on seizing the moment to grab the lefty lib brass ring. He’s a smart guy, and he knows he’s about to succeed in fundamentally altering the field of play in American society and politics during his first month in office.

  51. I think Joe’s teaching a winter driving course.

    Remember, class:
    When the car begins to skid, stand on the gas!!!!! Then, cover your eyes with one hand, while yanking the steering wheel back and forth as quickly as possible with the other. Screaming like a hysterical little girl also helps.

  52. The fact is, this bill is mostly just a Democratic wish list, thrown into a “stimulus” package to allow panicmongering to overcome any objections. Everyone knows this. A truly great president who honestly believed that the government needed to act because things were that bad (I don’t agree, but let’s give him the error), would have publicly castigated the House for presenting the stupid bill in the first place. He’d have stated in no uncertain terms that this wouldn’t help much, come back with a better bill.

    Of course, Obama is already broadcasting rays of mediocrity in all directions, so no surprise that he did no such thing.

    Guess if we can waste time and money on such things, the economy must really not be in serious trouble, hmmmm? Maybe that CBO statement that we’d be coming out of the recession at the end of the year is correct.

  53. It must be great to make fun of a guy when he’s not around to respond.

    We do it when he’s here too…and you’ve got to admit it’s more fun then. So it’s not like we’re afraid he’ll find out and bitchslap us into next week or something.

  54. “Maybe that CBO statement that we’d be coming out of the recession at the end of the year is correct.”

    I tend to think it is. We should have a recovery starting by the end of the year.

  55. So it’s not like we’re afraid he’ll find out and bitchslap us into next week or something

    Cause then you’d be pwned.

    He is a great troll though. Too bad he decides to apply himself in that manner, but you have to admit he’s good at it.

  56. The greatest guy in the world at playing a flute with his asshole is still, at the end of the day, just a guy who plays a flute with his asshole.

  57. What we’re all wondering, SF: are you that guy?

  58. We should have a recovery starting by the end of the year.

    I think we can put that scenario on ice. We should have had a recovery by the end of the year, but with the damage that Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are currently inflicting on the productive sectors of the economy, there is no telling when the recession will end.

  59. Sadly, I can barely start my iPod with my balls.

  60. R C Dean,

    In fifty years, people will look back on these times and thank God that the Democrats quick action got us out of the Lesser Depression. Of course, we know the truth–they created it. And to be fair, so did Bush with his panic attack lead-in to the Obama administration.

  61. Look, I would love not to have to spend money right now

    It’s good we finally have a President who’s not afraid to be honest.

    This notion that somehow I came in here just ginned up to spend $800 billion

    Exactly! He campaigned on spending a trillion, but instead retrained himself to spending a mere $800B.

    Kudos to you, sir.

  62. Maybe joe got caught up in the new troll filter. Or today’s news might be too much for the servers to handle with him frantically posting silly defenses of his hero.

    Speaking of speaking styles. Is anyone else sick of hearing Obama pronounce words like policy and diplomacy with a long a at the end? Is it pretenshesness, laziness, or is he just trying to piss me off?

  63. The problem isn’t Obama. He’s just another weak-willed, stuffed-shirt president. The problem is him in conjunction with this God-awful Congress.

  64. First thing we do, let’s kill all the lobbyists.

  65. Pro:

    Allah bless you. The Supreme Leader is but a pawn of an evil Congress.

    They forced his caninet on him

    They forced this spending on him

    It was an evil Congress that dictated how the money should be spent.

    It was the evil Congress that closed down Gitmo.

    It was the evil Congress that refused to end torturing innocent people.

    It was an evil Congress that refused to end the Patriot Act.

    The Supreme One is pure of heart and close to Allah.

    Who could possibly imagine any of this to be the One’s fault.

    Racists.

  66. And to be fair, so did Bush with his panic attack lead-in to the Obama administration.

    Too true. Bush was playing the legacy game, and somehow thought that the way to avoid being Hoover II in the history books was to do exactly what Hoover did.

    Good riddance, say I. Too bad that his successor will be even worse on domestic policy and has made no real moves toward improving on any of the Bushite security/civil rights abuses.

  67. Curious, George,

    Oh, Obama sucks, don’t get me wrong. I just meant that combining him with what may be the worst Congress in a century is really bad. How I wish we had divided government right now!

    R C Dean,

    One of the only things I liked about Bush was his indifference to his legacy. Clinton was obsessed with it, and Obama apparently is dedicated to ripping off Lincoln and Kennedy in every step he takes. But Bush blew the one chance he had to say, “Take a chill pill, people.” Nah, he had to worry about his place in history. What a piece of crap president he was.

  68. “How can he expect us to believe that an economic emergency forced him to pursue his pre-existing tax and spending priorities?”

    Most of the people he’s talking to are stupid/inattentive?

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