Government Spending

Obama Belly-Flops Into Political Silly Season with Bold Plan For "leaner, smarter and more consumer-friendly" Govt


If you thought Gov. Rick Perry's Iowa ad about what a shame it is that gays and lesbians can openly die in combat while kids have to secretly meet in abandoned fallout shelters to merely discuss Christmas during school was the low point of the 2012 Election season so far, get a load of this:

Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama plans to ask Congress for the power to shrink the federal government, a White House official said Friday.

Obama plans to speak at 11:20 a.m. about his plans to make the federal government "leaner, smarter and more consumer-friendly," the official said.

The president's proposal includes plans to combine several agencies that focus on commerce and trade.

Link here.

This transformational vision courtesy of the guy who voted for TARP as a senator, pushed an $800 billion stimulus that did squat (never forget that the stimulus failed by its proponents' own yardstick), passed a health-care bill that has managed to increase public and private sector spending even before going operational, and jacked the debt like nobody's business.

And then there's the one statement that he's made about where he wants to see federal spending go in a decade: The budget plan that he released in 2011, which envisions annual spending growing from its current $3.8 trillion or so to $5.7 trillion a year in 2021.

Puh-lease. Obama's late-breaking interest in shrinking the federal government or making it "leaner, smarter" carries about as much credibility as Kim Jong-il's treatises on opera. Which at least had dancing.

Not that there's anything wrong combining or killing certain agencies altogether. In fact, according to the latest Reason-Rupe Poll, 45 percent of us want to abolish or consolidatae the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 41 percent want the same for Energy, and 40 percent for the EPA. Check it out:

When a president who has shown no restraint in spending and growing the government rolls out a plan for a half-dozen bureaucrats to squeeze into a shared office, it's tough not to be cynical. This sort of election-year, phoney-baloney hand wave is precisely the sort of gesture that heardens the hearts and the ears of voters. Who, not surprisingly, are going independent in historic numbers.

NEXT: Chip Bok on Mitt's Status as Public Enemy Number 1

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    1. Yeah, I’m a little surprised Nick didn’t use this gif.

  1. more consumer-friendly government

    I suppose this involves making TSA-gropers more like GAP-store-greeters: “HI! Welcome to the airport! would you like an espresso while I probe your colon?”

    1. Yeah, but they still wouldn’t have the common courtesy to give you a reach-around while in your ass.

  2. So Obama can detect which way the wind is blowing.

    1. My thought, too. Clintonesque triangulation.

  3. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  4. I knew Matt was gay. Just knew it!

    1. Wow, I didn’t see that picture initially. I think living in New Jersey has made me immune to advertisements.

  5. The same Obama that stops deporting illegals (in record numbers) in an election year so he can pander to Latinos?

    The same Obama that punts the XL Pipeline decision down the road till 2013 to keep the greens in his corner through the election?

    The same Obama that bangs the war drum over Iran in an election year?

    Well, that last one may be a little unfair. He’s been banging the war drum since his inauguration day in 2009.

    1. turn ur radio down please. now, say again…

    2. The same Obama that punts the XL Pipeline decision down the road till 2013 to keep the greens in his corner through the election?

      Also interesting is how someone who usually panders to unions is willing to cut one loose when it’s not big enough.

  6. plans to make the federal government “leaner”

    Let me be clear.

    This is the kickoff of mandating Her Maj, uh, the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” program.

  7. President Barack Obama plans to ask Congress for the power to shrink the federal government, a White House official said Friday.

    Is it April, already?

  8. I cannot stand this racism against the President! This article’s tone is only disrespectful because the author is a KOCHTOPUS agent, white privileged, minority hater that probably smothers kittens with an American flag.

  9. In defense of Kim Jong Il’s opera cred, The Flower Girl isnt that bad. It’s deus ex machina ending is a bit lame, but overall ive seen worse.

    1. how can one NOT be impressed by the [DEAR LEADERZ] NINE holes-in-one the first time golfing?

  10. In the mutual fund investment world, there is a practice known as “window dressing”. At the end of the quarter or year, fund managers buy stocks of companies that have already done well to make shareholders think that they are making smart picks.

    Obama is engaging in political window dressing. The substance is exactly the opposite of what he’s trying to portray.

  11. The president’s proposal includes plans to combine several agencies that focus on commerce and trade.

    Why do I read that as “Federalize law enforcement”?

    1. Thanks, Brooksie. Now I can’t help but read the same thing.

    2. Wait, there are federal agencies that don’t focuson commerce and trade? I thought the COMMERCE CLAUSE, BITCHEZ authorized most of the federal government outside the military and the postoffice.

      1. The federal government has the power to do anything necessary and proper for the purpose of regulating commerce and promoting the general welfare.

        1. Sieg heil, mother-fuckers.

    3. If that happens and there ISN’T wholesale rebellion, we’re all fucking doomed.

      1. False premise. You assume we’re not doomed already. Department of education guaranteed that a loooong time ago.

  12. an $800 billion stimulus that did squat

    AFSCME begs to differ.

    1. Hear Hear comrade! Of course a quasi-government entity that depends on political money and rent seeking behavior to maintain status quo thinks the stimulus worked!

      Why, in fact, production is up in every sector! Injuries and poverty are down! Happiness is up! Productivity is up! Cows give more milk! Babies are walking sooner than ever! Rainbows and Unicorns!

      1. I think he was being sarcastic.

  13. C’mon, Nick. No mention of the auto bailouts?

    1. Including Cash for Clunkers.

  14. So he is finally going to merge the FBI, CIA, and DHS to increase communication and decrease redundancy?! Just kidding, that would be a positive move.

  15. The Bush administration was the worst at reason. 9/11 happened partially because of poor communication between agencies, so what did they do? Merge foreign and domestic intel/law enforcement agencies? Nope. Create a redundant agency to confuse matters? Yep.

    1. translation: Everything bad=bush, everything good=obama. Don’t worry about the obvious logical fallacy, keep bleating this mantra until people start believing it

      1. translation: They are/were both bad for the country (Bush/Obama).
        I don’t support a CIA style organization in the US, but having a foreign and domestic wing in one organization would make more sense than a third organization to do redundant tasks.
        Note: I voted for Bush in 2004, and Bob Barr in 2008.

    2. Congress was a bit gun shy at merging those because we are only 30 years removed from the Church Commission. You merge those you end up with the CIA running ops in the US.

      That being said, the people who were responsible for 9-11 were the NSA, who thanks to Jamie Gorlich’s memo, didn’t tell anyone and the FBI who didn’t listen to any of their lower people. But the NSA and FBI have lots of friends in Congress. So they got the whole thing blamed on the INS.

      1. Got to love the ability to pass the blame until everyone forgets why the blame game started.

    3. All of those intel failures happened in the less than 8 months Bush was in the WH? None of it was under Clinton?

      Administrations of both parties failed miserably in that regard. (Just like they both failed to get our troops out of the middle east so those crazy fucks would leave us alone)

  16. so the ~40% of the stimulus that was the payroll tax cut “did squat”?

    >great election meme!…for the 1%

    1. Yes it did squat. You might as well have been throwing money out of helicopters. Tax cuts help when you cut marginal rates. And I seriously doubt 40% of the stimulus was the payroll tax cut. That smells like it came out of your ass.

      1. Actually. if they wanted to stimulate employment what they’d do is cut the *employer’s* portion of the payroll tax.

        But it never occurs to these fucks that the cost of employing labor has anything to do with the amount of labor that’s employed.

        1. Actually, forget cutting the *employer’s* portion of the payroll tax, eliminate.

          While they’re at it, start means testing.

      2. boy are you disconnected from the 99%. good luck w the meme that middle class taxcuts dont “work”

        1. What’s your evidence that they “worked?” Because everything the administration said the stimulus would do, it hasn’t done. Other than that I’m sure it was a rousing success.

          1. he just KNOWS they worked man. He feels it. We all know how discrete of a value feelings are in politics! Leave the man alone, he probably has a toilet paper roll calling his name he has to go play with!

          2. In mens sinistrorum, esse est percipi.

        2. We’re talking about stimulus not “helps the middle class.” In theory the thing was supposed to increase GDP and with it employment.

          If the middle class saves the money or pays down debt with the extra money on net, it has no demand stimulus effect. It just removed private debt and replaced it with government debt.

          And if it doesnt change the marginal tax rate to working, it has no supply side effect. So any increase in economic output is minimal.

          1. On top of that when the Fed buys T-bills to cover the federal debit it devalues currency over time, you know inflation, so it actually has a net negative effect in the long run. It’s why “we” harp on spending as the culprit as the really problem, not that taxation isn’t theft.

        3. How much money did you get as a result of the “middle class tax cut”?

  17. plans to ask Congress for the power to shrink the federal government

    “I need more powers to help me get rid of some of these powers, hook a brotha up!”

  18. Obama to his inner circle: If they strike this program down, it will become stronger than they can ever imagine.

  19. Riggs used to do the morning links on time, but then
    …wait for it…
    he took 12 shots of Jager and didn’t wake up on time.

  20. Obama plans to merge them all into 4 departments – minitrue, minipax, miniluv and miniplenty

  21. OK, I must say I don’t get this latest thing of Obama’s, on any level. It appears he’s talking about moving all the trade-related agencies into the Dept of Commerce, purportedly to eliminate overlapping expenditures.

    But I mean, seriously? The deficit is $1.5T. Every little bit helps but if this is the biggest cut you’re making (and keep in mind he’s not getting rid of any agencies, just moving them around), which is probably less than $10M, you’re doing it wrong. So the deficit angle is totally fallacious.

    Now, lying and misrepresentation are certainly not unexpected from this administration, but I don’t see the political gain here either. This issue is far too wonkish to play to the average voter; BO apparently is going to highlight the fact that US exports have increased the past couple of years, but that’s pretty thin political gruel too.

    So I’m thinking there has to be some obscure power grab behind this, or some enhanced opportunity to loot the treasury. Or maybe BO is just that stupid, I dunno.

    1. It’s totally about being able to say “look i cut government” and the media, as this linked article happily did was run a headline “obama wants to cut government” hoping everyone forgets the last 4 years of his government expanding crusade.

    2. Any initial savings would be lost in the move.

    3. It’s probably about centralizing control by having multiple agencies answer to a single bureaucracy.
      Kinda like the TSA.

      No money will be saved because no one will lose their job. If anything this will end up costing money as new positions are created to oversee the consolidated agencies.

    4. NPR said $3B over 10 years. I laughed.

      On another note, I’ve heard that the TSA is looking into arming its agents.

      Good times, good times.

  22. That poll might generate different results if it had the number of federal employees next to each Department.

    HUD: Who the hell knows how many?
    Energy: 16,000 federal / 93.000 contractors (2008)
    EPA: 17,400 (2010)
    Interior: 71,500
    Commerce: 44,000
    Transportation: 59,000
    Homeland: 216,000

    Put the money in the survey and the results would change even more. Knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    1. That is fucking staggering.

      1. Doesn’t count others like:

        Treasury: 116,000 (2007)
        Agriculture: 110,000
        Labor: 17,500
        Justice: 113,000
        Defense: 700,000 civilians

        Pretty sweet

    2. how many employees do you think it takes to run a country of 300,000,000 people? The size of the federal workforce compared to the overall U.S. population has dropped steadily since the 1960s. Federal Government Employment Levels Through the Years (including the U.S. Postal Service)
      Executive Branch civilians Total U.S. population Executive Branch employees per 1,000 population
      1962 (Kennedy) 2.48 million 186.5 million 13.3
      1964 (Johnson) 2.47 million 191.8 million 12.9
      1970 (Nixon) 2.94 million* 205 million 14.4
      1975 (Ford) 2.84 million 215.9 million 13.2
      1978 (Carter) 2.87 million 222.5 million 12.9
      1982 (Reagan) 2.77 million 232.1 million 11.9
      1990 (Bush) 3.06 million* 249.6 million 12.3
      1994 (Clinton) 2.9 million 263.1 million 11.1
      2002 (Bush) 2.63 million 287.8 million 9.1
      2010 (Obama) 2.65 million+ 310.3 million+ 8.4+

      SOURCE: Office of Management and Budget. *= Figure includes temporary Census Bureau workers. += Estimates by OMB and U.S. Census Bureau.

      1. OMG say it aint so! Using that “logic”, having higher productivity in factories or less personnel for organizations is bad. Let’s hire people to dig ditches with teaspoons and set the minimum wage at 1000 dollars an hour!

        Then we’d all be rich comrade!

      2. the chart was distorted. In 1962 we had 13.3 employees per 1000 and in 2010 we have 8.4. since 2010 thousands more gov. jobs have been cut. “Knowledge is a dangerous thing”… IF YOU DON’T LOOK AT FACTS.

        1. says the person distorting things on the internet. Which federal agency do you work for, my Alpha?

      3. Define “run” please.
        How many civilians does it take to:
        Defend the country
        Administer the Federal Courts
        Register Patents
        Maintain some buildings and Parks?

        I bet less than 2 million.

      4. how many employees do you think it takes to run a country of 300,000,000 people?

        Bzzt. False premise. The federal government doesn’t run the country. Recalibrate your obfuscator, and try again.

  23. Not that there’s anything wrong combining or killing certain agencies altogether. In fact, according to the latest Reason-Rupe Poll, 45 percent of us want to abolish or consolidatae the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 41 percent want the same for Energy, and 40 percent for the EPA.

    This is the derpiest poll-spinning I have ever seen. Yeah 45, 41, and 40 percent of respondents want to abolish/consolidate these departments, but 46, 50, and 54 don’t.

    1. Should we really be spending billions of dollars on things that only half of us want?

  24. Looks like republicans aren’t the only ones who are jumping onto Ron Paul’s platform!

  25. The depressing thing about that chart is: In every case, a plurality favors keeping the government agency intact or expanding it.

  26. I’ll wait for Ron paul to truly assist cleaning up government.

  27. I thought I was on Wonkette there for a minute.

  28. “leaner, smarter and more consumer-friendly”

    I call bullshit.

  29. Even with your distorted facts you still can’t get even half of your own readers to agree to abolish or consolidate any of the various the Departments. the President never said that our Govt. didn’t need to be streamlined, only that it should be done at the right time and with a scalpel not an axe. Reason can’t even sell it’s bullshit to it’s own readers, ha, ha

    1. And the right time to pretend you are going to do something is in the election season, right? 3 years of expanding everything but the economy, now it’s really time to buckle down and streamline.

      1. Whatever, “john”. Keep believing Team Blue would ever actually *do* what Obama claimed he’d do.

        Liberals AND so-cons love love love big government. Without it, they can’t control us as they see fit.

        But you’re okay with that.

    2. nothing bad is the fault of Obama or democrats and every good is beacause they are so awesome, right?

      Silly evangelical government worshiper, acting like 7th day adventists towards government makes you look silly!

    3. And the right time just happens to be at the beginning of his reelection year after 3 years of government gorging itself.

  30. We either have another outsider-style trolltard, or one of our own is doing a bang-up job with this new “john” character.

  31. Wow, the DHS appears to be the most popular federal agency? If these stats are true…I give up.

  32. Want to thank all of you, for your Powerfull stand against Oboma & His Corrupted political partners.

    But there is so much more we can do. Being aggressive and focusing on the facts and truth is only the first step.

    We musT follow Up with more details standing by our convictions and dont back down.

    Oboma has NOT brought CHANGE, In fact ~! ~ THE ONLY real THING needing CHANGE !….Was Barack Hussein Obama II.

    Barack Hussein Obama II ( Who hates American Values ) who is A ” SELF
    PROCLAIMED Enemy” ~of responsible, Morally Conscious HARD WORKING Americans.

    oBOMAS Irresponsible & DRUG MAFIA and reckless supporters KNOW~ that Barack Hussein Obama II,WILL FORCE

    YOU to paY THEM, out of your PockeT

    .{ FOR all of their UNCHECKED Vices and THRILLS/ { All on YOU | /

    At your COST & Sacrifice

    …This UN~CHANGABLE fraud, has done His VERY BEST to Inspire VIOLENCE.

    THESE ARE OBAMAS OWN WORDS.. saying ………To his supporters.

    Saying “Get ready for hand-to-hand

    combat with your Fellow Americans”

    ? Obama has ALSO DECLARED to his Supporters

    “I want all Americans to get in each others faces!? Obama demands !

    “You bring a knife to a fight pal, we’ll bring a gun” ?

    ANGER VIOLENCE and more taxes….. THIS IS OBAMAS Change for america

    /”Hit Back Twice As Hard”. He commands !

    *Obama on the private sector: ~~ “We talk to these folks?~ / so I know whose a*$ to KICK.” OBOMA wants to KICK your a*$ /

    Shouting THAT Republican victory would mean ~ “hand to hand combat”

    HE IS EXPECTING people to be on Edge and BORDERLINE killing MODE, VIOLENT / and STAND up for their immoral CAUSES


    * Obama Tells democrats: ” I’m itching for a fight.” !

    ….PLEASE…. go to reXe NEW WebsiTe ~ ! Oboma *( Just like Adolf Hitler~~\oBOMA~~~ Demands ! — [ THE FINAL SOLUTION – forUn~Wanted Children

    Barak Obama is A MURDERER .~

    Torturing UNWANTED babys on DEATH ROE


    OBAMA TAKES a little NEW BORN innocent child.

    BORN. ALIVE sTabS it iN the head SUCKs ITS BRAINS OUT.

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