Budget

Obama's Debt Speech: "A waste of breath."

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I wasn't too impressed by Obama's debt speech yesterday, but I thought he got two things right: First, mounting long-term debt is a serious problem. Second, the debt problem can't be solved simply by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse or unpopular but relatively tiny expenditures like foreign aid. The American public has a lot of fundamental misconceptions about the budget, and they need to hear this sort of thing from the president regularly. 

But the president's proposed solutions weren't up to the size of the problem he described. Indeed, as Clive Crook, who is no fan of Rep. Paul Ryan's GOP budget plan, argues, it's not entirely clear what specific solutions he supports at all. 

My instant unguarded reaction, in fact, was to find it not just weak but pitiful. I honestly wondered why he bothered.

There was no sign of anything worth calling a plan to curb borrowing faster than in the budget. He offered no more than a list of headings under which $4 trillion of deficit reduction (including the $2 trillion already in his budget) might be found—domestic non-security spending, defense, health costs, and tax reform. Fine, sure. But what he said was devoid of detail. He spent more of his time stressing what he would not agree to than describing clear proposals of his own.

His rebuttal of the Ryan plan was all very well—I agree it's no good—but the administration still lacks a rival plan. That, surely, is what this speech had to provide, or at least point to, if it was going to be worth giving in the first place. His criticisms of Ryan and the Republicans need no restating. And did the country need another defense of public investment in clean energy and the American social contract? It wanted to be told how fiscal policy is going to be mended: if not by the Ryan plan, with its many grave defects, then how?

…The speech was more notable for its militant—though ineffectual—hostility to Republican proposals than for any fresh thinking of its own. It was a waste of breath.

Given the nation's debt trajectory, refusing to course correct is not an option.  

My take on the speech here

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  1. Suderman, next time you’re on with Gasparino you need to be sure to interrupt him every three seconds. Tim has the technique figured out.

  2. Can’t I just eat my waffle Clyde?

    1. With all due respect mister president. Back the fuck off the waffles.

      But seriously, the man has no conviction. His wishy-washy pusedo-agreeable, semi-leftist, tripe just leads nowhere. I’m more convinced than ever that he wanted to run for president, just not be president.

      1. I think he wanted, and wants, to BE President, but he has never wanted to DO THE JOB. He’s a product of a culture where image is everything. That, in part, explains his unpopularity here in the interior West. Few people, I think, really “got” what anyone saw in him.

        Trendy urbanites didn’t understand what others DIDN’T see. I think they still don’t.

        1. This. I mean, what’s not to love about the image? He goes from goofy nerd to the Coolest Guy In Town. Rich people are sucking up to him, every woman in town wants to jump his bones and pay him for the privilege, he’s got airplanes, helicopters, limos, servants, etc. all at his instant disposal, and so on.

          But work, man, what a bummer! What’s with that crazy notion that you have to earn your perks? Only a crazy libertarian asshole would think something like that…

        2. It’s the way an 8 year old wants to be president: Wow, wouldn’t it be so cool to live in the White House, be on TV, travel, go to state dinners, etc.?

          And then he goes out and whines about how hard the job is, and how he can’t be anonymous. No shit sherlock. You didn’t think about that before you ran?

  3. Peter, can I borrow your notes?

    1. Oh, please, would you?

  4. In political terms, I think Obama was spot on. The Ryan plan is bullshit, and the President was right to point that out, a lot. As for having no plan of his own, I suspect that the President is correct in his assumption that the American people, by and large, will not accept any meaningful plan if it’s laid out for them.

    Financial markets, if you’ve noticed, are quite healthy. The stock market is up, despite all the recent turmoil, and the yield on 10-year Treasuries is still low. The financial markets don’t need to hear how Obama is going to reduce spending by trillions, and the public doesn’t want to hear it. So why should he start talking before he has to?

    1. Whistling past the graveyard.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A…..ic_crisis_(1999?2002)

    2. My God you are a fucking moron Venneman. The inflation rate is exploding. So, the stock market is not “doing fine” you dumb ass. It is just rising to keep pace with inflation. And the yeild on treasuries will remain low until one day they won’t be low and it will be too late.

      And of course you say the “Ryan plan is bullshit” but you offer no reasons why. The Ryan plan is not perfect but it is better than no plan and better than leaving the country on autopilot. And not liking it is no fucking excuse not to come up with a plan of your own.

      “I suspect that the President is correct in his assumption that the American people, by and large, will not accept any meaningful plan if it’s laid out for them.”

      Yeah because it is not like the President is supposed to lead or anything. Not like his job isn’t to move public opinion and convince people of the right thing to do, especially when there is a crisis as there is now.

      Seriously Venneman, everyone here hates your fucking guts and hopes you die in a fire.

      1. Spot on.

        Except utterly lacking in substance and leadership.

        Spot on.

      2. John, inflation isn’t that bad, I’ve seen the numbers.

        *eats two dollar potato chip whilst perusing three hundred dollar electric bill*

      3. Jesus man. John must be right, because his insults are extra mean.

        1. I am in a bad mood today Tony. And Venneman is the lowest form of life on here.

          1. LOL, ouch.

            1. Parmecium

          2. I miss Lonewhacko…..

          3. Yay!!!

      4. “Yeah because it is not like the President is supposed to lead or anything. Not like his job isn’t to move public opinion and convince people of the right thing to do, especially when there is a crisis as there is now.”

        Correct! The president’s job is to implement the laws passed by Congress. He isn’t supposed to lead or inspire, he is just a highly placed bureaucrat.

        1. +1

          I wish congress would seize this meme and exploit it.

    3. I suspect that the President is correct in his assumption that the American people, by and large, will not accept any meaningful plan if it’s laid out for them.

      I can only hope that’s the stupidest thing I’ll hear this month.

      1. I dunno, sounds about right. Everyone likes cuts generally, but good like finding a majority that likes cuts specifically.

        1. So, since cuts hard to make politically, a good leader should simply not make the cuts and allow the parasite on the neck of the American economy to become lethal.

          This is what passes for leadership these days?

          Incidentally, I’m opposed to anyone here dying in a fire or otherwise.

          1. I am also anti-dying in a fire. Its a horrible way to go. Best a clean headshot.

            1. I say falling from a 100 story building. The impact will be quick, the ride down likely exhilarating. Yeah, an open casket is out of the question and some poor schmuck is gonna have to clean the cement, but it seems like the most fun way to go.

              1. I believe in falling from a 100 story building, but I believe that it is only noble if you fall on an annoying pop star, like Lady Gaga or Ke$ha.

                Go out doing the Lord’s work.

                1. Though terrible, one must give Lady Gaga props for writing all her own music and lyrics. She may suck, but at least she works.

                  It’s the pop stars that do nothing but take a lyric sheet from some middle aged producer, and walk in and out of the studio to cut a track while the audio engineers do all of the hard work who deserve to be fallen on.

              2. Shit, if you’re gonna do that, do it right – bail out of an airplane. That’s a hell of a fun ride.

                I made about 100 sport jumps while I was in college.

                Of course, I suppose the problem with that would be you have plenty of time to think about it on the way down and change your mind…

          2. Leadership? From a politician? You better smile when you type that.

            1. Yes, it’s the system that’s broken. We’re being “led” by our worst and dumbest. As we have been for at least 200 years now.

              Not such a big deal when the power of government was in check; pretty big deal now. It’s like giving a flamethrower to a toddler.

              1. As we have been for at least 200 years now.

                Why are you hating on Chester Arthur? Is it because of the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act?

                1. Yeah, what about Millard Fillmore. He might have done something.

                2. Those guilded age guys are so underrated. Hayes, Cleveland, Arthur, et al. Wish we could have more like that. The only good president in the last 100 years has been Cal, which is also why I root for Cal in NCAA football.

                  1. Rutherford Hayes? Nope. He sold southern blacks into Jim Crow so he could get the presidency.

                    1. Upon leavin office, worked rather tirelessly to gain civil rights for blacks. And he had always wanted to extend civil rights for blacks, but due to a Democratically controlled Congress (Congress then being the most powerful branch of govt), was unable to continue the military occupation of the South necessary to ensure civil rights for blacks. He was constrained by the political situation of the time, but he was nonetheless a supporter of civil rights.

        2. “Everyone likes cuts generally, but good like finding a majority that likes cuts specifically.”

          That is why everyone needs to be reminded, repeatedly: We are going broke. Either we cut now, or the system will make the cuts for us by collapsing. Obama cannot make this argument because it not only contradicts everything he and Team Blue stand for ideologically, but it also undermines their central political tactic: Promise the world to everybody, paid for by taxes on the “rich” and the “corporations,” whild condemning those who oppose you as greedy racists who enjoy watching children die.

        3. The simply solution there is, cut everything. 25% from every budget, except Social Security since it’s paid for from its own tax. Everyone would hate it, but it would be the fairest way to go.

          Of course, they won’t do this, because the idiots in DC aren’t serious about fixing the problem. They think they keep playing hot potato with it not realizing the music is about to stop.

          1. Even simpler and more palatable: just freeze spending until revenues catch up, in 6-7 years.

    4. Re: Alan Vanneman,

      In political terms, I think Obama was spot on.

      In financial or economical terms, well … I would imagine you would think it was spot on, as well.

      As for having no plan of his own, I suspect that the President is correct in his assumption that the American people, by and large, will not accept any meaningful plan if it’s laid out for them.

      Which means that, for you, Obama is spot on when he indulges in backseat driving.

      Financial markets, if you’ve noticed, are quite healthy.

      They are… In City Builder.

      The financial markets don’t need to hear how Obama is going to reduce spending by trillions, and the public doesn’t want to hear it.

      The Nov 2010 election being a never mind to you, I fancy.

    5. ORLY?

      Dow Jones measured in ounces of silver and barrels of oil.

      But you were right about the speech being the best Obama could do from a raw politics standpoint.

        1. Yeah, forget the gold standard. The oil standard is the way to go…or salt.

          1. The Dow has been flat against gold too.

            It’s not like I’m cherry-picking commodities here, NM. Show me a precious metal or in-demand commodity that the Dow has performed better than.

          2. Pepper is the way to go. Far more useful and trades ounce for ounce for gold when the power grid collapses.

            1. I hoard green coffee beans. Keep ’em dry and they’ll last for years. I’ll still be able to get a good buzz on long after the rest of you are laid low by caffeine withdrawal zombification.

            2. Gold and silver don’t rot.

            3. Tulips.

              1. Slips of paper!

            4. And let’s not forget that frankincense and myrrh make great gifts.

      1. How would you figure in all of the silver shorts by JPM and HSBC?

        It’s clear that the PM markets are being manipulated by the big players to make the stock market seem to have more “value”.

    6. “As for having no plan of his own, I suspect that the President is correct in his assumption that the American people, by and large, will not accept any meaningful plan if it’s laid out for them.”

      Without Obama proposing any significant and specific cuts, I suspect he’s gonna find out how reasonable the American people are about not wanting the debt ceiling lifted.

      In the next presidential election? I think he’s gonna find out how reasonable the American people are about associating Barack Obama with ObamaCare and relating it to out of control spending.

    7. In political terms, I think Obama was spot on.

      Shorter Vanneman: “*SLURRRRRRRRRRP!!!*”

    8. “The financial markets don’t need to hear how Obama is going to reduce spending by trillions, and the public doesn’t want to hear it. So why should he start talking before he has to?”
      ————-

      You mean he doesn’t “have to” now? What exactly will it take for you to think he “has to”?

    9. Americans with jobs at lowest level since 1983:
      http://www.usatoday.com/money/…..-force.htm

      STFU, Vanneman, you Obama stooge.

      GTFO 2012

  5. “…unpopular but relatively tiny expenditures like foreign aid.”
    _
    in order to cut israel’s, we’ll have to wait for the rapture, when the “saved” float-off like a fart in the wind. psssssst

  6. Nice coverage, Peter. Thanks! For an additional *scathing* analysis, see Karl’s take.

  7. “I wasn’t too impressed by Obama’s debt speech yesterday, but I thought he got two things right: First, mounting long-term debt is a serious problem. Second, the debt problem can’t be solved simply by cutting waste, fraud, and abuse or unpopular but relatively tiny expenditures like foreign aid.”

    Whoa, that’s some heavy insight from the world’s most smartest Harvard grad. I heard him give a speech on highway traffic and he totally nailed how traffic is caused by lots of cars on the road and simply outlawing SUVs won’t improve bad traffic.

    1. Well he is clean and well spoken.

      1. Racist

    2. This. It is, um, bizarre how Obama et al. state the problem/goal as if it were some sort of solution/plan *in itself*.

      I will now lay out the way forward. We must balance the budget and lower the debt while not hurting seniors or diminishing our standing in the world. Thank you very much.

      1. sort of how students these days answer essay questions primarily by rephrasing the question as a declarative sentence,then repeating it a couple of times using slightly different words. The answer culminates in their adding whatever they can remember about the topic without regard to whether it is (1) related to the question or (2) true. No wonder Obama is so popular among the youth–he’s one of them!

      2. Be careful there, Rich. With clearcut plans like that, you may find yourself getting elected President.

    1. hoho

  8. The Debt Bells are beginning to toll. It’s going to be ugly – I hope everyone has a five-point harness, an excellent sense of humor, and a huge reservoir of patience.

  9. Or baring that, a rifle, excellent marksmanship, and a huge reservoir of ammo.

  10. the administration still lacks a rival plan.

    Nonsense!

    SPEND

    SPENND

    SPEND!

    That’s the plan.

  11. Obama’s Debt Speech: “A waste of breath.”

    Oh, you noticed it, too?

  12. the President is correct in his assumption that the American people, by and large, will not accept any meaningful plan if it’s laid out for them.

    If, like the President, you only see and hear the vast energized concern troll legions, like the loyal Democratic Party voters of AFSCME and SEIU, who want nothing more than to protect their place at the trough this makes perfect sense.

    1. This.

      All he needs is 50% + 1 in enough states to get him to 270 electoral votes. He has obviously determined that it’s going to be easier to get there by pandering to the ignorant and envious than to actually leading the entire country.

      1. Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain’t that a big enough majority in any town?
        – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

  13. It wasn’t a waste of breath if you remember that it was a campaign speech, not a speech meant to inform.

    1. Yes, that’s what we need. More fluff when the government has become a major impediment to the growth (and health) of our economy. We should call this president Fluffy.

      1. But his lies are soooo sooooooooothing!!

      2. Since the Guantanamo and medical MJ debacles were explained away as “transitioning from campaigning to governing”, does that mean now that he’s back to campaigning he can close the Gitmo prison and stop the dispensary raids again?

        1. Only idiot hobgoblins are consistent.

          1. Best re-phrase ever of the dumbest quip ever. Kudos!

            1. To be fair, Emerson’s quote is regularly and–dare I say it?–consistently mangled. Here’s the correct quote:

              A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. ? ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’ ? Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.

              From Emerson’s essay, “Self-Reliance.”

              1. Immanuel Velikovsky was misunderstood.

                He was also nucking futs.

                1. Insane or insanier?

      3. Yes, that’s what we need. More fluff

        The POTUS is the fluffer of the masses.

    2. Obama, the perennial campaigner.

  14. The lefties in the office are praising his leadership this morning. This gutless puke leads from his bunker far behind the front lines.

  15. Why did he invite Paul Ryan to sit in the audience during the speech? Better yet, why did Paul Ryan decide to show up?

    1. I don’t know, did we miss the rebuttal section?

  16. Welcome back,
    His father’s dreams were our ticket back.

    Welcome back,
    To that same old place that we laughed about.

    Well the names have all changed since we hung around,
    But those dreams have remained and they’re turned around.

    Who’d have thought they’d lead ya (Who’d have thought they’d lead ya)
    Here where we need ya (Here where we need ya)

    Yeah we tease him a lot cause we’er all going broke, welcome back,
    Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.

    1. Are you a fan of John Sebastian?

      1. No. Not really. But Obama is the nightmare Carter rerun.

        1. Nice. You could have Barbara Mikulski, Barney Frank and Justice Sotomayor as the Sweat Hogs.

        2. Except without the airline and trucking deregulation, rabbit fighting skillz, and recognition of his own concupiscence. I have a feeling Carter’s engineering career had more substance to it than Obama’s “professorship” that apparently consisted of drawing boxes on a chalkboard.

          1. I said nightmare Carter rerun. And yeah, Carter is smarter than Obama. But most semians are. The inescapable conclusion of the last two years is that he is just one dumb motherfucker.

            1. Sorry, I have a soft spot in my adultery-free heart for ol’ Jimmmy.

          2. Don’t forget the homebrew.

            1. Yeah. Can’t Obama do one decent thing? Just one thing like legalize growing your own weed or making your own bourbon or something? I can’t think of a single positive thing he has done.

              1. I’ve got one. Killing Constellation. Inadvertently good, for reasons his administration couldn’t even conceive, but good.

              2. I got to drive a Volt the other day at a campus demo, so I’ll give him points for saving GM.

                Well, maybe not that far, but the pickup on that little beast was pretty good.

                1. He didn’t save GM. He saved the UAW.

                  1. He certainly fucked GM’s shareholders in the ass.

                    1. They were getting fucked either way. It was only a question of whether or not they would get a reach-around in the process.

                    2. And Chrysler’s bond holders.

                2. The Volt is one of the worst cars designed in decades. It’s a politician’s wet dream, engineered solely to meet political demands, not consumer demands, and can only sell when massively subsidized by taxpayers.

                  Bob Lutz should be pushed off a cliff by GM shareholders in one and buried in it afterwards.

                  1. To be fair, I only drove it for about a mile, so charging wasn’t an issue.

              3. Helped get rid of DADT.

                Can’t think of anything else positive.

              4. Why not something simple.

                Reverse Bush’s nonsense that was extending daylight savings time by 6 weeks per annum.

        3. It only took a couple of months to figure out that Obama was worse than Carter. Now we are just seeing the magnitude of that failure.

          Unfortunately, I don’t see the Ron Reagan (Part Duex) on the horizon.

          1. Unfortunately? The national debt doubled under Reagan.

            1. ^^^ THIS ^^^

            2. Though this time around we could quadruple out “existential threat”‘s defense spending while simultaneously halving our own.

            3. Reagan had a Democrat congress and there was almost zero media outside the super-biased MSM.

              The Dems own most of the spending increases during the Reagan years. Reagan gets credit for some of the defense increases.

          2. Reagan nearly took the nomination away from Ford, then went on to take the presidency away from Carter. Now, we have a big collection of clowns leading the field of “viable” candidates for the Republican nomination.

            What ever the failings of the Reagan presidency may or may not have been; four more years of the Carter presidency would have been a complete fucking disaster.

            Given the utter disfunction of the Republican party now, it appears were going to get to experience what a lame duck Carter presidency might have given us back then.

            1. What were these many failures of President Carter?

              1. Fuck off Tony

              2. Mariel. Boat. Lift.

                Fuck off, dickface.

            2. Tony’s question is a fair one, kinnath. Perhaps Carter wouldn’t have backed up Volcker’s inflation-taming strategy as Reagan did, but beyond that I don’t see what would have been so terrible. Carter really did inherit an economic mess left over from LBJ and Nixon.

              1. After years of wading through Tony’s posts, I see no point in ever responding to anything he posts directly to me.

              2. On of the great headlines of all time was on Time magazine the week after a Carter speech on the economy — “More Mush from the Wimp”. Describes Obama to a T.

                1. Sorry — Boston Globe

              3. I doubt Carter would have fired the air traffic controllers.

            3. Scarily, Sarah Palin is Reagan.

              1. There are actually quite a few superficial parallels, I will agree.

              2. Scarily, Obama makes Palin look competent.

              3. No she’s not

                1. Exactly

  17. So, since cuts hard to make politically, a good leader should simply not make the cuts and allow the parasite on the neck of the American economy to become lethal.

    When you *are* the parasite, it’s hard to let go.

    1. The sad thing is that they have made parasites of us all.

      It’s hard to resist the government cheese.

      1. Yep. Now that everybody has ‘paid in’ with taxes no one wants to give up what is supposedly owed to them, i.e. roads, medicare, ss, etc.

        Some one is going to have to pay the bill. Probably a future generation that doesn’t deserve it, but deserve has got nothing to do with it.

        1. I don’t care about Medifuck or whatever, as long as I get my peanut butter.

          1. You fool, you actually think that your peanut butter is in an account, a lock box as it were, somewhere waiting for you to retire!

            Your peanut butter was spent a long time ago.

            1. Crap. I knew I should have diversified into grape jelly.

  18. Why did he invite Paul Ryan to sit in the audience during the speech?

    I suspect there was a camera locked on Ryan every second, looking for a “usable” reaction shot.

    1. If Ryan had just “coughed” “Bullshit” really loudly a couple times he would have my vote for Presidenty.

      1. If he had that kind of character, we’d be hearing about a proposed trillion dollar cut.

  19. Between the things he does and the things he says, it blows my mind that anyone can actually still take this character seriously. Every other word out of this mouth of this world class horse’s ass is a lie.

    1. +1.

      The saddest part is that the Repub. nominee, whoever it is, will be no better. Gingrinch? Palin? Romney? Huck? I would actually vote R if Johnson got the nomination but he won’t.

      1. Mitch Daniels looks good (though not perfect) to me.

        1. Good point–I didn’t really think of him–but his drug war hypocrisy (in light of his own arrest as a young adult) just leaves a major vomit taste in my mouth.

          1. Eh, nobody gets everything they want in democratic politics.

            1. I’d settle for an even 10% of what I want. Sadly, no one is even close outside of the Ron or Gary Johnson. Even more sadly, they probably are the two most “unelectable” because that’s how the media will portray them.

              1. A governor who privatizes, balances budgets, is good on taxes, decertifies public employee unions, and downplays conservative social concerns doesn’t even hit 10% for you, huh? Tough crowd.

  20. Uh, oh… Now I KNOW we’re up sh*t creek.

    From almost everything I have read, Obama’s speech was a bomb. It crashed and burned.

    The scary part is that speechifying is ALL Obama knows how to do. That’s it: reading a teleprompter and belting out the words with a slight Southern Baptist intonation. That’s the sum total of the man’s abilities. Without that, he’s nothing but a wooden log with ears.

    Apres mois, le deluge. Once the majority of the people realize there’s nobody at the wheel, all hell is going to break loose — panic is going to set in, and there WILL be economic consequences to such a loss of confidence.

    1. You know what’s really scary? All the people who think the deficit can’t be used as a point against Obama any more.

    2. This is why there’s still a good chance he drops his campaign before the end of the year. Even the smart liberals are starting to realize he’s a liability, even though they won’t say so yet.

      1. Greenwald theorized yesterday that Obama was not “failing” to push the liberal agenda, but that he was “succeeding” in capturing the political center to prepare for his next election.

      2. Republicans still have to find a good candidate though, or Mr O will get re-elected.

  21. Personally, I loved the speech. It promised a continuation of the red/blue fight, while nothing gets done. Thus, my lead, gold and seeds program is on pace for an early justification, and my wife can finally shut her trap.

    1. Thus, my lead, gold and seeds program is on pace for an early justification, and my wife can finally shut her trap.

      Does proving your wife wrong work out well for often? 😉

      1. Do you mean, one that she concedes? Oh sure. At least once in the last 34 years that I can remember. But this is a BIG one.

        1. I am learning all these things right now with my fiancee… sadly, she lacks the general understanding of financial markets, crippling debt in Western societies, and the resulting impact on inflation and commodities prices.

          1. Women are wild that way… they’re often terrible at arguing/lying/etc., but they never concede/confess ever. If a woman ever tells a lie or makes a mistake she goes to her grave with that shit.

    2. Lead? Gold? Seeds?

      What useless garbage! As a patriotic American I bought treasury bonds. But seriously, lead? To poison fish. People like you, perpetual doubters, are sucking the life out of this nation. Does it feel good to sabotage the president? Is it worth it?

      1. I’m guessing he means the kind of lead with brass and gunpowder attached.

        1. xacly. And Pancakes, I guess you and the Chinese are the only patriotic people left.

        2. Don’t forget the copper jackets!

  22. Obama is the nightmare Carter rerun.

    I’d say more like the evil bastard spawn of LBJ and Nixon. Carter did *some* things right.

  23. With a name like that, Clive should be working for the government.

  24. All the people who think the deficit can’t be used as a point against Obama any more.

    He INHERITED that deficit!

    1. Just like he inherited Iraq. Just becuase he is turning down the opportunity to declare victory and go home by keeping troops there after this summer doesn’t mean it isn’t Bush’s war.

      1. Just like he inherited Libya and is about to inherit Pakistan from the looks of things.

        1. Do you realize the number of contractors that are getting rich off of Iraq and Afghanistan? They will never end those operations.

          1. I have a friend who is working over in Iraq. When Obama was elected, the company decided that operations were going to wind down. People were laid off… and my friend thought he was going to be next. Two years later – he’s still there, driving trucks.

            1. Many of the contracts that supported missions in Iraq are beginning to wind down.

              I am a big supporter of military contracting. Sure, the contracting process is corrupt, but the alternative would have been to hire the same workers into the public sector, where they would have jobs for life and untold riches in pensions and benefits.

      2. And he inherited GITMO.

    2. THE REPUBLICANS DID IT.

    3. yes! and as our children inherit the debt of their predecessors, I look forward to their actions being rationalized by what they were left.

  25. Anyone catch the clip from the speech of the Commander in Chief, Class Warfare Division, stating that in the past 10 years the wealthiest 1% have seen their incomes rise by $250K – and then pausing for a full 5 seconds to let it sink in. The look on his face should forever be emblazoned on the banner of American left-wing economic collectivism. “How dare they make so much money and not give it back to the people!” It’s the ugliest face in his entire repertoire, and that’s saying something.

    Of course, envious economic collectivism is the ugliest expression of the human soul, so it’s kind of fitting.

    1. “Seen” incomes rise. Like magic.

    2. You think Barack Obama is envious of himself?

      The point is not some cheap psychoanalysis, it’s that all of the prosperity the country has experienced in the last couple decades has gone to the top. This is not because they were the only ones contributing.

      1. On a percentage basis, what is the rise in handouts to the “least fortunate”? What is the rise in the income of everyone in the country on a percentage basis? Everyone in this country, especially those on the government teat, are doing better.

        How will the rich paying more taxes help the working class? It will certainly help your constituency. The lazy fucks who live off the blood of others.

        1. your blood is like syrup to me, give me your lead!

        2. If you want to reduce the amount of government dependency then you need an economy that rewards work and not just wealth. You can’t have policies that stifle middle class prosperity, force more of the middle class into poverty, then bitch that there are too many people in conditions that necessitate the safety net.

          1. Re: Tony,

            If you want to reduce the amount of government dependency then you need an economy that rewards work and not just wealth.

            Wealth IS the reward for work.

            It is your concept of work which is askew. You think work must be toil and moil, but work is whatever is required to transform, and that includes transforming a million into a million and a half.

            1. We make some exceptions to that rule that even you agree with. Such as, we punish, rather than reward, such ingenuity if it takes the form of robbing a bank.

              1. But if it takes the form of us robbing a rich person after we get enough votes, well good on us.

              2. Re: Tony,

                We make some exceptions to that rule that even you agree with. Such as, we punish, rather than reward, such ingenuity if it takes the form of robbing a bank.

                Of course, because robbing a bank is NOT work, it’s NOT value-adding transformation – it’s stealing, you know, like the government does.

          2. “you need an economy that rewards work and not just wealth”

            Tony, our economy does reward work. It’s called a paycheck.

            1. WORK — ?!?”

          3. Did you really just endorse the labor theory of value?

            1. That just went right over his head – he doesn’t even know what he said.

              The nonsense about “work not wealth” is just a talking point and the whole purpose of talking points is to facilitate unthinking.

            2. Uh, yes, he did, and has.

              https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_2224193

              Tony|4.8.11 @ 12:43PM|#

              Define earned. What accounts for a hedge fund manager making hundreds of thousands times the wages of a teacher? Did he work harder? Did he produce more value in society? Did he produce hundreds of thousands times the value?

              According to how I define earning–actually toiling for your money–your average fry cook earns his wages much, much more, dollar for dollar, than your average CEO.

              You just want to claim that however money is acquired, that is earning. Unless it’s acquired by means you don’t approve of, of course.

              I’m all for society actually rewarding “earning” instead of “having” or “making.”

      2. Don’t look too hard.

        http://theeconomiccollapseblog…..rly-enough

        Your slaves are weeping.

      3. “all of the prosperity the country has experienced in the last couple decades has gone to the top”

        Who gives a shit who has accumulated the most wealth? Take a look at the wealthiest individuals in America, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Micheal Bloomberg, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Micheal Dell, Paul Allen, and the list goes on and on. These were just regular people, who created vast amounts of wealth by creating products that enriched the lives of everyone. They earned their wealth, by making you, me, and everyone reading this wealthier.

        Instead of bitching about “duh rich”, who don’t you try stepping up and attempt to make a similar contribution?

      4. Yeah, we don’t have the highest living standards the world has ever seen at all or anything. Only the top 1% live well while the rest of us live in squalor.

        Instead of worrying about the income gap and being envious of what those “at the top” have, why not rejoice that our capitalist system has created the the scenario where more people are living better than we ever have before.

        But I guess that takes NOT having envy as the centerpiece of your political identity.

    3. Obama neglected to mention that his wealth has grown by much more than $250K, over the same time period.

      So please, Mr. President, enlighten us as to all the ways you have given your new found wealth to the people?

      1. The vanguard of the proletariat must have extra power and means to control the forces needed to bring about true socialism.

        1. And get rich in the process.

          1. Their wealth is the blessings of the people.

  26. Obama’s Debt Speech: “A waste of breath.”

    Considering the fact that this President is pretty much a waste of air, this is not surprising.

  27. It is shocking how much damage one single empty suit can accomplish in just over a year in office.

    1. He’s been in office for over two years actually…

      1. It’s a bad sign when engineers can’t do math in their heads any more.

        1. I blame the gummint stupid rays. My tinfoil lined fedora keeps me S-M-R-T.

  28. “Seen” incomes rise. Like magic.

    “You see, I put the TARP over this gigantic pile of shit, and say the Magic Word. PRESTO! A pony!”

  29. The speech was highly reassuring to those of us who had some worry that the Obama people had fallen under the toxic influence of beltway conventional wisdom that says NOW is the time to start slashing government and ushering in the GOP wet dream of Banana Republic Now!

    The Obama administration correctly does not believe that now is the time for draconian, growth-killing spending cuts. They also know that if they ignore the issue the GOP could run away with it.

    What’s amazing to me is that it appears that the tax debate has shifted–it is now the politically advantageous position to be in favor of tax hikes (on the rich), thanks to the GOP’s obsession with debt which has made balancing the books a priority. Let the Republicans squirm while they attempt to defend even more tax cuts for the upper brackets while cutting benefits for poor and old people. I’m sure it will go over well.

    1. Spoken like a true heroin addict.

    2. Re: Tony,

      The speech was highly reassuring to those of us[…]

      … ignorant of basic economics.

    3. “it is now the politically advantageous position to be in favor of tax hikes (on the rich)”

      Yes, it is now politically advantageous to single out a minority of citizens, demonize them and infringe on their property rights.

      So much for equal protection under the law.

      1. Booze,

        The Rich don’t count! See, they’re Rich, OK? And if you understand math: Rich/2=rich. So, after they smilingly and willingly give half of their riches to the government, they’re still Rich.

        What don’t you understand about this?

        1. They only count as 1/2 a person? If Obama raises taxes, maybe they can get upgraded to 3/5’s of a person.

      2. Property rights =/= flat tax.

        Equal protection under the law could mean that two persons with the same income would be taxed at the same rate. Or it could mean that we tax $10 from a poor person and $10 from a rich person. Ir it could mean the physical tax burden is equal for all income groups, meaning highly progressive.

        The point is, being weepy over equality when it’s the most privileged-by-definition you are claiming are being oppressed, is dumb.

        1. “Equal protection under the law could mean that two persons with the same income would be taxed at the same rate.”

          By your definition, we can break society into whatever arbitrary groups we like, then create different rules for each group, as long as we enforce each groups rules equally.

          So, from your perspective of equality, banning gay marriage is OK, because all gays are treated the same. The same goes for DADT. We could pass a law preventing anyone from receiving government assistance from having children, because they law would apply equally to each member of that group.

          Welcome to the United States of Tony.

          1. “We could pass a law preventing anyone from receiving government assistance”

            should read:

            “We could pass a law preventing anyone receiving government assistance”

          2. You’re not getting it. Being wealthy is the definition of being advantaged. Being poor is the definition of being disadvantaged. These are not two equal groups the way that sexual orientation or race are separated into equal groups.

            1. What does the perception of advantage of disadvantage have to do with anything? I can make the argument that blacks are “advantaged” because they make up a majority of the athletes in professional sports. Does that mean we should make laws to promote a “disadvantaged” group? Maybe it has to do with access to coaching in the college ranks. To level the playing field, let’s make it so only non-black, “disadvantaged” athletes can get sports scholarships.

              Do you see where this is going? Once you apply arbitrary standards to justify making different rules for different groups, as long as you can convince enough people of your line of thought, it’s OK to treat that group differently than the rest of society.

            2. Tony, you don’t get it. You want to treat two INDIVIDUALS differently because of how much property they own. I know it may be easier for you to see people as groups, but believe it or not, you are an individual. And if you want to treat two other individuals unequally because of a characteristic of your choosing – whether that be color, wealth, religion, physical ability, or anything else, then quit lying to yourself. You are no better than those you despise.

            3. Being wealthy is the definition of being advantaged. Being poor is the definition of being disadvantaged.

              First, I don’t think I agree with your “definitions.”

              Second, the difference between economic status and race is that you can change your economic status.

              Despite Michael Jackson’s best efforst to prove otherwise, if you’re born black, everyone knows you’re black and so shall you remain for your entire miserable existence on this rock. And the fact that you are black is immediately evident to anyone who interacts with you.

              Being poor is a circumstantial condition and can change. How many rags-to-riches stories do you need to hear before you get that through your mushy skull?

              How many famous, wealthy people started out either solidly middle-class, average or even dirt poor, but worked their way up and became wealthy and famous with NO HELP from the government? Plenty.

              You’re poor and you don’t like it? Good. That’s the first step. Do somethig about it. Change it. Because you can – it’s within your power to change your life. Stop fucking blaming “rich people” or the government or any other external force. Being born of low status doesn’t mean you have to lie down in the gutter and stay there.

          3. By your definition, we can break society into whatever arbitrary groups we like, then create different rules for each group, as long as we enforce each groups rules equally.

            What Tony seems to forget is that we’ve already tried that and can’t do it anymore.

            Hell, I would even argue that “progessive taxation” violates the equal protection clause for that matter.

            1. Yup. The statists always want to talk about shared sacrifice, but fail to mention what sacrifices the “regular folk” will make.

              While I wouldn’t agree with it, they would have more credibility if they argued that “duh rich” should pay compulsory higher tax rates, and the “non-rich” should perform compulsory community service.

              If more money is supposed to make our education system better, why not a free tutor for every child? Unless it’s Tony doing the tutoring, because he would fuck up a childs whole world view.

        2. Funny, I don’t remember anywhere in our constitution that said “groups” needed equal protection. If you are treating people from different “groups” differently than you would if they were just individuals, you are violating any sort of “equal” protection. Damn, you’re a dipshit.

          1. An individual dipshit, of course.

    4. The Obama administration correctly does not believe that now is the time for draconian, growth-killing spending cuts.

      Nope. They’ll just wait until the bond market starts demanding 25% APR on treasuries.

      Then they’ll blame the “greedy speculators.”

      1. You are right on both counts eventually occurring on the current path.

    5. Jeebus H. Christ on a Cracker…Tony you are one BORING little shit.

    6. It’s not that hard to find things that could be cut and could be rightfully demonized as well:

      Agricultural subsidies
      Corporate welfare (GE, I’m looking at you)
      Various military weapons programs
      Unnecessary military bases
      Half of the projects Harry Byrd put into place in WV

      Obama and pretty much every other politician in DC does not have the political will to cut these things. Why not? What is keeping them from selling these changes to the American people?

      Because it takes integrity and principles, both of which are missing from just about every federal politician outside of Ron and Rand Paul. Obama has demonstrated that he has NO integrity and NO principles by breaking just about every campaign promise he made. For the life of me, I cannot see why you’re enamored of him. A principled liberal could see he’s a bullshit artist by now.

      1. Principled Greenwaldian-type liberals seem to think a) the president is magical and b) he is refusing to use his magic in the right way. It’s not that I don’t have principles, it’s just that I understand Congress exists.

    7. “Greece! Greece Is The Word!”

    8. Liberals keeps saying that Ryan’s plan will cut taxes for the rich even more (or sometimes they say preserve the Bush tax cuts), but, from what I understand of his plan, that’s not true. He’s proposes to lower all rates, but broaden the base by eliminating various (unspecified) deductions and credits. That would have the effect of raising taxes on some and lowering them on others, without much regard to income. If you rely on a lot of itemizing and other deductions and credits now (which a lot, but not all, of high income people do), you’ll probably see higher taxes. If you don’t have some many, you’ll probably see lower taxes. The liberal characterization of the Ryan tax plan, that your repeating here, is pretty dishonest. Show me why I’m wrong, with specific references to the Ryan plan.

    9. One of Tony’s (and Obama’s) core errors is to think that “taxing the rich” will solve the deficit/debt problem. It won’t. But it plays well to envious mobs and deluded leftists.

      1. “Taxing duh rich” has nothing to do with the debt or the budget. It is all about “fairness” and “equality”. Tony Obama believe that the rich earned their wealth off the backs “the people”, and are required to share the wealth.

        The deficit/debt argument is all a ruse to make their ideas sound more mainstream to those who don’t speak “collectivist”.

  30. highly reassuring to those of us who had some worry that the Obama people had fallen under the toxic influence of beltway conventional wisdom

    That there is some funny motherfuckin shit.

  31. At this point, I don’t even believe Obama passed a bar exam. At best someone else took the test for him.

  32. Obama once again complained about the rich getting a tax break. Hey Obama, keeping the Bush tax cuts is not giving anyone a tax break. You have to LOWER taxes for them to be called a break.

    NO GUNS FOR NEGROES: THE RACIST HISTORY OF GUN CONTROL
    http://libertarians4freedom.bl…..ry-of.html

    1. What’s really amazing is that no one is calling them on this… They treat tax breaks as spending. In their minds, simply by eliminating tax breaks (or raising taxes), they can reduce spending. That’s unreal! They actually believe that all the money in the US belongs to the government and that people should just be happy with whatever they decide to “give” us.

      You can’t “give” anyone a tax break. You can just stop taking from them as much as you did before. (Well, that was before tax credits for people who don’t pay taxes, I suppose… If you think that’s right, I guess I can see why you see tax breaks as a spending program.)

  33. it’s not entirely clear what specific solutions he supports at all.

    … is this supposed to be news? I thought that was his whole M.O.

  34. I dunno if Obama is just too committed to his worldview to consider thing outside of the standard leftist mold.

    … I dunno if he’s just really that much of a nake political opportunist.

    … I dunno if he really just doesn’t understand finance/economics.

    And honestly I don’t give a fuck anymore. It’s abundantly clear Barack has no interest in doing the legwork and/or possessing the spine necessary for this debate. Which, frankly, is fine- if he wants to hide in the WH and play with his model train set or jet off to Brazil again, then fantastic. Just get out of the way and let the (comparative) grown ups deal with it.

    But there’s something truely, honestly pathetic about this half assing it.

    1. I’d say the odds of him being re-elected are about 75%. Which clown in the GOP race can take him? Sanatorium?
      Palin? Bachmann? Huckleberry?
      Hell, someone could have documented proof he was born in Kenya, skipped 90% of his classes at Columbia, and
      graduated Harvard only because of his ancestry, ghost-wrote the “Rev.” Wright’s sermons, and secretly snuck off to date ex-Sen. Craig – and he’d still win the electoral college due to white guilt and black solidarity.

      1. Remember, it’s just you and the ballot in the voting booth. We’ll see how much people love this guy there. I say he loses, pretty much without regard to the opponent put up against him. That’s how he got into office–running against someone most people disliked/distrusted (and I really mean Bush here, even though he wasn’t running). Most elections, he’d have lost in the primaries.

      2. Creech, you suck almost all the joy out of making fun of these retards. Almost.

      3. The Misery Index, will decide his fate. If it’s over 14%, he will lose in 2012.

  35. It amazes me that Obama’s plan would cut less in more time than Ryan’s yet it is Ryan and the Republicans who are considered “irresponsible.” I am beginning to wonder who actually listens to the president- it seems like a waste of time. Biden sure does not!

    objectivistpolitics.blogspot.com

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