Economics

Does Obama Believe What He Says?

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I ask, because today, he said this:

Now, there are those who claim we have to choose between paying down our deficits on the one hand, and investing in job creation and economic growth on the other.  This is a false choice.  Ensuring that economic growth and job creation are strong and sustained is critical to ensuring that we are increasing revenues and decreasing spending on things like unemployment insurance so that our deficits will start coming down.  At the same time, instilling confidence in our commitment to being fiscally prudent gives the private sector the confidence to make long-term investments in our people and in America.

Restoring fiscal responsibility

So one of the central goals of this administration is restoring fiscal responsibility.  Even as we have had to spend our way out of this recession in the near term, we've begun to make the hard choices necessary to get our country on a more stable fiscal footing in the long run.  So let me just be clear here.  Despite what some have claimed, the cost of the Recovery Act is only a very small part of our current budget imbalance.  In reality, the deficit had been building dramatically over the previous eight years.  We have a structural gap between the money going out and the money coming in.

Folks passed tax cuts and expansive entitlement programs without paying for any of it—even as health care costs kept rising, year after year.  As a result, the deficit had reached $1.3 trillion when we walked into the White House.  And I'd note:  These budget-busting tax cuts and spending programs were approved by many of the same people who are now waxing political about fiscal responsibility, while opposing our efforts to reduce deficits by getting health care costs under control.  It's a sight to see.

The fact is we have refused to go along with business as usual; we are taking responsibility for every dollar we spend.  We've done what some said was impossible:  preventing wasteful spending on outdated weapons systems that even the Pentagon said it didn't want.  We've combed the budget, cutting waste and excess wherever we could.  I'm still committed to halving the deficit we inherited by the end of my first term—cutting it in half.  And I made clear from day one that I would not sign a health insurance reform bill if it raised the deficit by one dime—and neither the House, nor the Senate bill does.  We've begun not only changing policies in Washington, we've also begun to change the culture in Washington.

I could spend all night throwing hyperlinks underneath some of those whoppers above, but for now check out Contributing Editor Veronique de Rugy's June economics column about how "Barack Obama's first budget promises 'fiscal responsibility'—and delivers the opposite."

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117 responses to “Does Obama Believe What He Says?

  1. Why wouldn’t Obama tell whoppers? No one, least of all his supporters, calls him on it.

    1. The difference between Osama and Obama:

      One is trying to destroy America, the other is succeeding.

      1. That’s not bad. I wish I knew somebody I could tell it to.

      2. That’s not bad. I wish I knew somebody I could tell it to.

    2. Now, there are those who claim he is telling the truth.

  2. Funny that he doesn’t mention that his party’s Congress deliberately put off passing a FY09 budget until The Won was in office. Contrary to what he says now, this year’s deficit is all his and he needs to stop whining like a little titty-baby about his spendthrift ways.

    That said, he’s insane.

  3. Every word he says is a lie, including “and” and “the.” (Hat tip: Mary McCarthy on Lillian Hellman.)

  4. “Previous eight years…”

    I wish the President would get over his shyness about blaming the previous administration for the folly of his current economic policies.

    1. Naturally, Obama voted against all those profligate, wasteful programs like TARP and American Leyland. And as soon as we get done spending a few trillion more on health care, etc. we’ll stop. Now pass me the pixie dust.

      1. +1 for American Leyland

        I had to smile at that, even though it was in the midst of an extended groan at the overall message of the article.

    2. As of January 20, 2010, Democrats should be forbidden to use the phrase “the previous eight years” – unless they include Obama’s first year in office.

      1. “Previous 40 years, especially accelerating over the past 9.”

  5. Pointless question, oh you non-believer. For those who follow The One, belief is a matter of faith, not mundane facts.

  6. According to some rightwingers Obama is using the Cloward-Piven strategy to create a socialist America so this behaviour is deliberate. Considering how suspicious I was of leftwing hyperbole about Bush’s imminent war with Iran and how he was going to cancel elections I should be as suspicious of rightwing claims of Obama as Kenyan and Muslim Marxist out to destroy America but I can’t help but think they have a point.

    And where is Radley Balko praising Obama for being the liar he expected him to be?

    1. I don’t know if he is malevolent or incompetant. But, honestly does it make any difference?

      1. Yes, because malevolent means he will at some point achieve his ends and stop.

        1. That is a good point. And very depressing. I think he is just stupid, which means he won’t ever stop until he is out of office.

        2. That is a good point. And very depressing. I think he is just stupid, which means he won’t ever stop until he is out of office.

        3. The ends he claims to have (at least behind closed doors) are going to take a while to achieve. That’s like hoping that the dog shit on your shoe will just disintegrate by itself because after all, it only has a finite number of smell molecules to emit.

          1. The Evil One is not Obama, it’s his very own version of Karl Rove: Valerie Jarrett. That woman is one despicable bitch.

    2. Obama, unfortunately, is an American citizen.

      But he is following the Cloward-Piven script. No mistaking that.

  7. I can’t believe there’s anyone left in the country who takes the phrase “investing in America” seriously anymore.

    It’s like saying the blowing $30,000 on a new wardrobe is “ivesting in yourself”.

    Stop fucking reading ‘The Secret’, Congress!!!

    1. My thoughts exactly. I’m pretty economically ignorant, but how many American households think it’s a good idea to “spend themselves out of this recession”?

      1. That, and “teachable moment” should also be consigned to the shitheap of unsavory verbiage.

  8. You have to admit he’s spot-on about Republican hypocrisy on spending and deficit issues.

    1. But so what? They are not in power. And even if they were worse than him, that doesn’t excuse his excesses.

      1. And if they ever get back in power, they’re going to do the same shit they did before.

        I agree that it doesn’t excuse his foolishness. But the “liberaltarian” experience of 2006 should have taught us that we have to be wary of pretending our temporary allies are blameless in this mess, and trust them as far as Obama can throw a pitch at the All Star Game.

        1. They won’t be as bad. They cant’ be. There just isn’t anymore money. Also, the Republican Congress in the 90s wasn’t bad. They only got bad after they had been in power and become totally corrupted. They will do okay for a few years until they can no longer resist the temptation to steal. Republicans do okay in power for a few years and then become theiving scumbags. Dems arrive in power that way.

          1. By February of 1995 they were already corrupt. January kicked ass, though.

            1. Bullshit. The 94-00 Congress was great. Where do you think those surpluses came from? And the cut in capital gaines taxes and welfare reform and pretty much the entire Clinton era economic boom? Other than the impeachment nonsense, you really couldn’t ask for much better of a Congress. Much better than the what we had in 00 until now.

              Don’t rewrite history. Sometimes the truth sucks. But the sucky truth is that they didn’t do a bad job. And in fact, the entire domestic policy of the Clinton Gingrich era wasn’t bad. I would sure as hell trade Obama and Pelosi for Clinton and Gingrich right now.

              Libertarian love to be cool and claim everyone but them sucks. But the truth is more complex than the fairy tales.

              1. Where do you think those surpluses came from?

                Assuming you were alive and not imprisoned in your mother’s basement, eating only pizza, pancakes, and whatever else would fit under the door, during the 1990s there was this economic boom thing going on which was entirely unrelated to any government activity. It was fueled by the emergence of new markets following the Cold War, the dawn of the Internet economy, etc. Government spending did not go down in real terms, revenues just went up.

                What may have helped somewhat was the fact we had divided government during the last half of the decade. As soon as Bush came into office we saw the GOP’s true colors, and now we’re being reintroduced to those of the Dems.

                1. Bullshit. It wasn’t just a divided government. They had the old deficit reduction act and actually lived by it. The boom boosted revenues and shockingly they didn’t spend it. You can say, it was because of this or that, but the facts are what they are. Just because you dont’ like them, doesn’t change them. And the Bush “deficits didnt’ get large until 2003 and dropped every year from 04 until 07. And they were never high in historic terms when looked at in terms of % of GNP. When you have a 13 trillion dollar economy, a five hundred billion dollar deficit (Bush’s highest) is not a huge deal. A trillion and a half one, is a big deal.

                  1. It sure helped having the Iraq and Afghanistan wars off the books (“emergency spending”). And the Medicare prescription drug program (“nondiscretionary spending”).

                    1. It sure helped having the Iraq and Afghanistan wars off the books (“emergency spending”). And the Medicare prescription drug program (“nondiscretionary spending”).

                      You’re again completely wrong. Both of those things are on the books. They weren’t in the OMB projections, but they’re included in the past numbers up there. The Dept. of the Treasury has to account for the debt actually incurred, unlike in projections.

                      And yes, Medicare Part D isn’t paid for, but it somewhat limits my rage that the only major Democratic complaint against it was that it wasn’t large enough and didn’t have enough of a deficit.

                  2. Welfare reform and Nafta/Cafta were pretty decent.

                2. No no no Tulpa! Reality is more complicated than that! Here, let John break it down for you:

                  GOP = goooood
                  Dems = :((((

                  1. How many fucking times do I have say the Republican Congress in 00-06 were crooked scum before it gets through your thick skull? If you want to talk about this, fine. But at least pay attention to the aruments.

                  2. You are obviously too fucking stupid to read or pay attention to what is being said. So just shut the fuck up and let Tulpa and I talk. No one fucking asked your dumb ass anything anyway.

                3. “Government spending did not go down in real terms, revenues just went up.”

                  Of course CLinton had something to do with that. They tried to cut medicare and cut spending in the fall of 95 and Clinton vetoed it shutting the governmetn down. And immediately claimed that evil Republicans were going to kill grandma. Remember the “gingrich that stole Christmas” Newsweek cover? Or were you living in your mom’s basement playing Nintendo and eating pizza then?

              2. Obviously you’d trade two Dems for a Dem and a Repub. The question is, would you also trade Bill Frist and George Bush for Gingrich and Clinton?

                1. Yes. I would. Clinton wanted to invade Iraq in 98. His foreign policy wouldn’t have looked, post 9-11 that much different than Bush’s. And as far as domestic policy goes, Congress determines that. And the Gingrich Congress was a lot better than the Frist one.

                  1. OK, you’re off the hook…THIS TIME…

          2. They’re too busy fucking pages and choking their mistress to worry about money for at least a few months.

            1. The dems manage to do both. Max Bachus manages to be both a disgusting tub of goo stalking women and nominating g/fs to high position and also destroy the healthcare system. It is an amazing twofer

              1. Max Baucus is a piece of shit. Agreed. But at least when democrats cheat, they don’t have to face up to a record of endless moralizing about family values.

                1. HAve you ever listened to BAchus? He is a family values moralizing piece of shit.

                2. But at least when democrats cheat, they don’t have to face up to a record of endless moralizing about family values.

                  No, just a record of endless moralizing about sexual harassment and about how all workplace affairs are sexual harassment. It was, after all, President Clinton who signed a law allowing those accused of sexual harassment of having their entire histories delved into on the stand, while protecting the accusers of the same.

              2. Maybe he’s just attracted to women who happen to be highly qualified for jobs he’s in charge of nominating.

                1. Couldn’t’ve happened to a nicer guy.

    2. The GOP wasn’t nearly as bad as Obama on deficits/spending.

      For instance, at no point does Obama project that his administration will have a deficit lower than the highest GOP deficit. EVEN IF HE GETS TWO TERMS.

      1. A Democrat could have used this argument to show that Democrats would be better since deficits were worse under Bush than under Clinton.

      2. Wrong. The difference is that at least Obama PRETENDS to try and pay for some of his spending. Bush didn’t even include the cost of the Iraq war in the budget. Also, Medicare Part D anyone? $1 trillion, completely unfunded. I guess it was worth it to not have ever had a President Kerry, but still.

        http://www.forbes.com/2009/11/…..tlett.html

        1. I guess it was worth it to not have ever had a President Kerry

          That is sooooooooo true!

        2. The difference is that at least Obama PRETENDS to try and pay for some of his spending.

          The difference is that President Obama admits in his budget proposals how much things cost. He doesn’t actually try to pay for it. Bush also tried to pretend that it didn’t need to be paid for or was being paid for, so there’s no difference there.

          Honest budgeting is nice, but not nice enough that I’d prefer a President who honestly admits that the deficit is going to be $500 billion to a President who pretends that a $300 billion deficit is really going to be $100 billion.

    3. Obama quadrupled Bush’s deficit. In my book, that makes him 4x as bad as Bush.

      Anyone that voted for this FUCK is 4x worse than anyone who voted for Bush.

    4. Tulpa, He and His minions are spending more than they should. IMO, they’re just as guilt of raping the treasury as the Repubs were.

  9. In other news, the public option looks dead for the moment. Not sure what this monstrosity taking its place is though:

    In place of a government-run plan, originally designed as a way of forcing competition on private industry, officials said the Democrats had tentatively settled on a private insurance arrangement to be supervised by the federal agency that oversees the system through which lawmakers purchase coverage. Additionally, the tentative deal calls for Medicare to be opened to uninsured Americans beginning at age 55, a significant expansion of the large government health care program that currently serves the 65-and-over population.

    1. Between the liberals being angry about that and the abortion issue, I don’t see how they get 60 votes.

      1. Between the liberals being angry about that and the abortion issue, I don’t see how they get 60 votes.

        They’re upset about not getting a fully socialized system, but I certainly don’t see why they would refuse taking half a loaf.

        1. They’ll be back for more.

  10. As someone who once financially supported Obama’s campaign (yes, yes, bring the pain) before I started looking under the hood, I’m continually astonished by what a profligate liar he is. I’m not sure whether he actually believes any of the things he says or if he has just ceded integrity and independence to the sorts of manipulative power players he campaigned to avoid.

    1. You take the pain, bitch. You get what you deserve.

      1. Mmm, no bait there. I didn’t vote for him…I came to my senses thanks to reasonable gay libertarians like yourself.

        1. Warty isn’t gay; he’s omnisexual. Like Frank Booth, he’ll fuck anything that moves.

          1. I think of myself as more like Hedonism Bot. Djambi! The chocolate icing!

            1. And let me tell you, if Warty gets a hold of you, you won’t be able to walk for a week.

          2. So no tube worms?

          3. Since was movement a requirement?

          4. Or not moves. I think I saw him recently on an older episode of Nip/Tuck and he was fucking a couch.

        2. Donating money to his campaign is worse than voting for him.

    2. You actually thought Obama had a mind of his own?

      1. His supporters don’t.

  11. I don’t think anyone believes what Obama says anymore — except sycophants who have their entire worldview vested in his worship. He says whatever is convenient to today’s mission with no apparent regard for yesterday’s statements. The man is a weathervane. Whichever way he’s pointed, public opinion is moving the other way. Not, I would think, a good quality in an elected official.

    On a related note, Rahm Emanuel is a terrible Chief of Staff. Its Emanuel’s job to pick the fights, and Rahm keeps picking long, drawn-out fights that cost a ton of political capital and return none. I guess that’s a good thing since I oppose pretty much every position Obama’s taken, but I can’t stand watching supposed professionals crap the bed regularly.

    1. Sometimes long drawn-out political fights and other irrelevancies can provide useful distractions. eg, the leading headline on AP right now about the White House crashers threatening to take the Fifth, while I still haven’t seen Climategate stories creep up that high.

      1. Don’t you have to win one at some point?

  12. In other news, Obama is a truly shitty president.

  13. Care to source that chart, big boy?

    1. Chart from WaPo, evidently.

  14. I’m still committed to halving the deficit we inherited by the end of my first term — cutting it in half.

    This line shows that at least Obama is thinking as he reads the TelePrompTer, clarifying that he meant “halving”, not “having” (though unfortunately the truth is worse than either).

  15. Now, there are those who claim…

    I believe you’re supposed to take a drink at this point.

    1. Let’s be clear: there are those who claim that hope cannot triumph, that change will be for the worse. Folks, we must not let this attitude, based on the politics of the past, dishearten us from the task ahead.

  16. This line shows that at least Obama is thinking as he reads the TelePrompTer, clarifying that he meant “halving”, not “having”

    I haven’t seen His TPT stream, because there’s a media blackout on what a douchetard He is, but if His is filled with text in the same style that every other one I’ve ever seen is, He was clarifying to Himself that the phonetically rendered “having” He read ten or so words ago meant “cutting in half.”

    I suppose that’s “thinking,” in some attenuated sense.

    1. You mean cutting into halves.

      1. Oh, maybe he meant he was taking one half of the deficit and giving it to UAW, and the other half to ACORN.

    2. Well if he weren’t thinking he would have just kept on going. I really doubt both “halving” and “cutting in half” were from the Teleprompter. Admittedly, I’m grading on a slurve.

      1. I bet both were there: it’s called repetition for emphasis. While I haven’t heard the speech, I bet that there was a distinct pause followed by his voice raising and getting a bit louder as he said “cutting it in half”. While there is plenty to criticize, this borders on the absurd that would prove to Obamaphiles that his enemies have to snatch at straws to argue against him. They can latch on little points like that and ignore the actual substantive criticisms. Sort of like Al Gore talking at Lomborg and trying to seem like he’s responding to a direct request when all he does is fumble around the edges of it.

  17. You should stop using that chart. Though it tells a story, the story is now terribly out of date. The updated numbers are much worse.

    1. Yeah, the Iraq War and all the other “emergency spending” appropriations don’t get included in the Bush era deficits.

      1. According to a heritage foundation post I found, the chart above and the numbers for the Bush years do include the Iraq war spending. Also, this Bartlett column I came across on Big Picture seems germane:

        http://capitalgainsandgames.co…..t-tax-cuts

      2. Yes they are.

        They were normally just left out of any projections

      3. Yeah, the Iraq War and all the other “emergency spending” appropriations don’t get included in the Bush era deficits.

        They get included after the fact. They didn’t get included in the President’s budget submitted to Congress in his projections, no, (because they’re part of “emergency” spending bills, not the normal budget bills) but after the money is spent and the debt raised, they absolutely show up in those numbers.

  18. Does Obama Believe What He Says?

    Wouldn’t he have to, you know, say something first?

    1. Now don’t go getting all technical on him. He believes whatever *you*, poor American soul, *need* him to believe. Because he’s a True Man of the People.

      And everybody knows that Obama is WAY fucking more intelligent, plus vastly better qualified to be POTUS, than Palin will ever be.

      [personally i think this is a gross misconception on the part of the American people. i’d rather see palin in the oval office right about now than this dick]

  19. Obama = lying CUNT.

    I take dumps that have more integrity and brain cells.

  20. Btw, this is more or less true:

    Despite what some have claimed, the cost of the Recovery Act is only a very small part of our current budget imbalance.

    The dramatic increase in the deficit is mostly (but not entirely) from the implosion in tax receipts from economic downturn (first the stockmarket dive, then the dramatic employment participation rate decline -the later which affected both SS and general fund receipts)

    In reality, the deficit had been building dramatically over the previous eight years

    This however, as the graph shows, is not true.

  21. Alternate history moment: suppose Palin had run against Obama and won. Does anybody here really think we’d be worse off for it right now?

    I don’t. Sure she’d be doing something stupid. But nobody ever expected her to have a clue about Iraq or Afghanistan (as opposed to Obama, who has no clue about Iraq or Afghanistan).

    And I predict we wouldn’t be staring down the double barrels of a government health care industry take over, and cap and trade.

    1. Iraq and Afghanistan may be expensive, but wars eventually end and can be paid off.

      “Free” government health care entitlements are forever.

    2. Well, don’t tell my mother I said this, but — given only your hypothetical and no other changes in the composition of government — Palin would be less dangerous. She and Pelosi would not accomplish much together.

      1. Ha! Somebody gets it!

        I would love nothing more than watching those two square off. Mind you I’d only watch for about the first 60 seconds before I went and found something better to do. But I’d sleep in peace just knowing they were at it.

  22. btw, what news reporters never tell you is that they, their very own selves, are a major part of why politicians feel the urge to “do something, anything”. Because they can’t go 1/10 of a step without a reporter shoving a microphone up their ass.

    It would be a lot easier for politicians to just disappear for a comfortable back-room screw with an intern, if The Press Corps was reduced by roughly 90%.

  23. woah, ES, are you saying we should pay less attention to them?

    That would require them having less power, first.

  24. Well, I’m not really saying we should ignore them more. But I do think all that media attention feeds the “do something, anything!” mentality.

    Not sure how we can pay sufficient attention to them, without all that attention inadvertently feeding their giant-child egos.

    Ideas, anyone?

    1. Yes, I have an idea. Elected officials should do their jobs and stop acting as if they’re important enough to warrant the attention of the press.

      It’s a lot like dog training. Bad dogs are usually attached to well-meaning but weak owners. If the owner takes responsibility for training a dog, then the dog will just roll over.

      Ok, so it’s not like dog training, but officials who are beholden to their voters (only) won’t be very interesting to the press.

      1. Now, if we could only train these dogs to hump the leg of every reporter they come near, we’d be getting somewhere.

        1. Maybe they already are.

          The training you suggest would explain the “thrill going up my leg” that Chris Matthews said he felt during the campaign.

  25. I am a concerned citizen in favor of politicians screwing their interns, plus any and all other willing assistants. The world would be such a better place.

    Wanted: hedonists to run for public office. No BAES need apply (Beyond the Age of massively Enjoying Sex).

    btw, every elected member of congress should be given a Safe Room. No reporters or anyone else may enter uninvited. No one is allowed to report who goes in or out.

    1. We could save money by just walling them up Edgar Allen Poe style.

  26. I think he probably does believe what he says, which is even more pathetic.

    -jcr

  27. This may have all of the Obamatastic cliches in one short speech.

    Start with the unsourced “those who say” and rebut it as a false choice? check.

    Blame former administration? check.

    Promise everyone they can have their cake AND eat it too? check.

    1. Nice observations, Abdul — but please don’t forget “let me just be clear”.

      “It’s a sight to see” may be a new [removed]for him). Bet it becomes a cliche, though.

      1. Wow, the spam filter is weirder than usual this morning.

  28. ” budget promises ‘fiscal responsibility’?and delivers the opposite.””

    insert any GOP prez hier, too. Somehow it just depends on if yer red or bloo how much you believe [prez name] who sez that.

    (stares at you, “GOP = small govt party” believer)

  29. Does Obama believe what he says?

    NO. It was a truly cringeworthy speech.

    Consider his bemoaning of partisan politics at its conclusion: “It was also the result of weaknesses in our political system, because for decades, too many in Washington put off the hard decisions. For decades, we’ve watched as efforts to solve tough problems have fallen prey to the bitterness of partisanship, to prosaic concerns of politics … to endless campaigns focused on scoring points …”

    Obama … complaining about the “endless campaign”? Wasn’t Howard Dean just bragging about how effective that innovation has been for the Democrats?

    Obama bitches about “scoring points” after multiple snipes at Bush and Republicans in the same speech:
    – economy comparable to Great Depression
    – ” years — even decades — of growing strains on middle class families”
    – “we are hearing as many voices as possible” at the “jobs forum” (except, of course, Republican leaning groups like the National Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, American Petroleum Institute)
    – “under the last administration, the TARP program was flawed, and we have worked hard to correct those flaws”; “because of our stewardship of this program”
    – “We can’t go back to an economy that yielded cycle after cycle of speculative booms and painful busts. We can’t continue to accept an education system in which our students trail their peers in other countries, and a health care system in which exploding costs put our businesses at a competitive disadvantage. And we cannot continue to ignore blah, blah, blah…”
    – “Now, there are those who claim …”
    – “So let me just be clear here. Despite what some have claimed …”
    – ” the deficit had been building dramatically over the previous eight years”
    – “Folks passed tax cuts and expansive entitlement programs without paying for any of it” [Isn’t that what Obama is proposing in this speech?]
    – “These budget-busting tax cuts and spending programs were approved by many of the same people who are now waxing political about fiscal responsibility …”

    Personally, I don’t care much one way or another whether Republicans and Democrats are collegial or acrimonious … just so long as they don’t actually do anything. When they harmonize together in common cause, the result is usually something perfectly dreadful like the Iraq War.

    But, after taking ten shots against his political opposition in a 25 minute speech (and scoring almost as many points), it’s pretty ridiculous and hypocritical that he criticizes partisanship and “the endless campaign focused on scoring points” as a “weakness in our political system”.

    1. Don’t you know, silly rabbit, partisanship is for Republicans…

      Seriously though, most of his supporters would listen to this speech and see it as magnanimous and open-minded, not partisan. Which just shows the problem.

  30. Funny that you of all people should ask that question….

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