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Three Points about Obama’s FY 2013 Budget

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:06 pm - February 18, 2012.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Obama Hopenchange

President Obama may repeat his mantra about making “tough choices” in his budgeting decisions, but House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan exposed just how specious that claim is when he questioned the Treasury Secretary about the president’s latest budget.

He just doesn’t his “rhetoric matching the results” (at 0:54 below).

Just watch the whole video; it provides an insight in the utter failure of the administration to make the tough choices necessary to keep the president’s campaign pledge and not “go back to our profligate ways.

There are three key points to bear in mind about this budget, two that Geithner himself acknowledged, a third related to a question the Treasury Secretary failed to answer:

  1. The budget fails to address the long-term solvency of Medicare and Medicaid.  As Geithner himself said, “Even if Congress were to enact this budget we would still be left with–in the outer decades as millions of Americans retire–what are still unsustainable commitments in Medicare and Medicaid.
  2. The administration doesn’t like the Ryan plan, but has no plan of its own to deal with the nation’s long-term debt problem.  Geithner again, “We’re not coming before you to say we have a definitive solution to that long-term problem. What we do know is we don’t like yours.
  3. President Obama’s FY 2013 budget does increase federal spending, not only above current levels (from $3.796 trillion in FY 2012 to $5.537 trillion in FY 2021, a 46% increase) but also above the levels approved by current law” (i.e., the August 2011 debt deal).  Geithner could not answer with “Yes” or “No” when asked whether  the budget increased federal spending above those levels set by that deal.

(more…)

Contraception kerfuffle about choice

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:45 pm - February 18, 2012.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Freedom

In Mark Steyn’s column cited in the previous post, that astute commentator reminds that contraception is not at the crux of the current controversy, but choice:

Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, distills the current hysteria thus: “It’s as if we passed a law requiring mosques to sell bacon and then, when people objected, responded by saying ‘What’s wrong with bacon? You’re trying to ban bacon!!!!’”

. . . .

People are free to buy bacon, and free to buy condoms. But the state has no compelling interest to force either down your throat.

Emphasis added.  It’s not just conservatives who get it.  As John McCormack reports in the Weekly Standard, even moderates are on board:

Scott Brown, the moderate Massachusetts Republican senator who is up for reelection this fall, went on the offensive against the mandate in a series of interviews last week. He framed the issue as an assault on religious freedom that was a result of the national takeover of the health care system.

“This latest mandate under government-controlled health care is one reason why I campaigned and voted against Obamacare in the first place,” Brown wrote in an op-ed for the Boston Herald. “It operates by broad dictation from Washington, showing no respect for the judgment, needs, or rights of individual Americans and the states. And it opens the door to endless abuses of power such as this latest mandate.” (more…)

The “Democrats’ Crude Bit of Misdirection”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:36 pm - February 18, 2012.
Filed under: Democratic demagoguery,Media Bias

In his most recent column, Mark Steyn is (as he often is) onto something.  He finds it quite curious that our friends in the overlapping circles of the Democratic leadership and legacy media are clucking about contraception in the same time frame the president releases his budget showing an ever accumulating mountain of public debt:

At such a moment, it may seem odd to find the political class embroiled in a bitter argument about the Obama administration’s determination to force Catholic institutions (and, indeed, my company and your company, if you’re foolish enough still to be in business in the United States) to provide free prophylactics to their employees. The received wisdom among media cynics is that Obama has engaged in an ingenious bit of misdirection by seizing on a pop-culture caricature of Republicans and inviting them to live up to it: Those uptight squares with the hang-ups about fornication have decided to force you to lead the same cheerless sex lives as them. I notice that in their coverage NPR and the evening news shows generally refer to the controversy as being about “contraception,” discreetly avoiding mention of sterilization and pharmacological abortion, as if the GOP have finally jumped the shark in order to prevent you jumping anything at all.

. . . .

The notion that an all-powerful government would distract from its looming bankruptcy by introducing a universal contraceptive mandate would strike most novelists as almost too pat in its symbolism.

Meanwhile, as the Treasury Secretary testifies that the president’s budget is “unsustainable,” our friends in the legacy media so ready to pounce on any Republican hand-wringing on contraception are, as John Hinderaker reports, nowhere to be found: (more…)