Why are you waiting until the last minute, Mr. President?
FROM THE COMMENTS: “Actually”, writes Ted B. (Charging Rhino), correcting me, “he’s waiting for AFTER the last minute. The Sequester starts tomorrow-night at Midnight.”
Why are you waiting until the last minute, Mr. President?
FROM THE COMMENTS: “Actually”, writes Ted B. (Charging Rhino), correcting me, “he’s waiting for AFTER the last minute. The Sequester starts tomorrow-night at Midnight.”
I am again called upon by the voice of my country to execute the functions of its Chief Magistrate. When the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall endeavor to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished honor, and of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the people of united America.
Previous to the execution of any official act of the President the Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence: That if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly or knowingly the injunctions thereof, I may (besides incurring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony.
If only we were so lucky today to hear this from our re-elected leader.
First of all, it would be the shortest thing Barack Obama has ever said in public. 100 points.
Secondly, it would show that Barack Obama has humility and respects We, The People. 300 points.
Alas, the Tyrant Boy-King Barack Hussein Obama will deliver nothing like this speech today. Instead, we will hear the droning on of cliches and platitudes with no meaning and no firm plans to help American’s get back to work.
In short, the 2013 Obama Inaugural is merely Groundhog Day 2009.
“Perhaps”, wrote Michael Barone Tuesday in the Washington Examiner, President Obama’s inability to “stomach listening to views he does not share” . . .
is to be expected of one who has chosen all his adult life to live in university communities and who made his way upward in the one-party politics of Chicago. Thus on the “fiscal cliff” he left the unpleasant business of listening to others’ views and reaching agreement to Joe Biden.
A sad commentary on higher education in America today that university communities are seen not as places open to diverse points of view, but as akin to the one-party politics of Chicago. (Read the whole thing. It’s Barone.)
If the university today were to be the kind of place it should be, then instead of it producing a man like the incumbent president unwilling to negotiate, it would produce a man nearly identical to the one the Obama campaign (with the active assistance of the media) created in 2008, a post-partisan healer able to consider both sides of an issue, able (as well) to offer respectful rebuttals to opposing points of view.
Such a leader would work with his partisan adversaries to compromise and arrive at a consensus, much as Bill Clinton did in working with then-Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republican Congresses of the mid-1990s.
Instead of working with Republicans, however, Obama, Barone observes,
To judge from his surly demeanor and defiant words at his press conference Monday, Barack Obama begins his second term with a strategy to defeat and humiliate Republicans rather than a strategy to govern.
The word ‘austerity’ has been kicking around in political life, these last few years. It conjures images of Greek old people forced to eat cat food as their country’s economy collapses and to burn furniture for heat, because right-wing budget-balancing Nazis have forced cruel cuts to social spending.
I exaggerate, but not much; see this Greek depiction of Germany’s Merkel. Leaving aside the fact the Nazis were socialists who believed in Keynesian deficit-spending on public works and social benefits (much like our Democrat friends believe), the word ‘austerity’ – specifically, the image of cruel spending cuts – is largely a myth, that left-wingers deploy to narrow the range of acceptable thought.
“Look at Europe!”, cry advocates of Big Government and deficit spending, “They’ve tried austerity and it doesn’t work!” And what they mean is: don’t you dare think about government spending cuts.
If you corner them, they may acknowledge that tax hikes also count as ‘austerity’ policies. But they are usually fine with tax hikes; they love tax hikes. So when they hurl ‘austerity’ as a pejorative, they mean, DON’T CUT SPENDING.
But let’s step back a minute. Have European countries actually cut their spending? And if they are suffering, might other factors – another policy, perhaps – explain the suffering? These questions are worth examining. (more…)
Before becoming President:
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills.
Obama said Congress would be “irresponsible” if it does not act quickly to raise the debt ceiling… “To even entertain the idea of this happening, of America not paying its bills, is irresponsible. It’s absurd.”
Which is it? Is crushing our economy and our young with ever-greater debt under an ever-rising ceiling ‘paying our bills’, or not? Obama had it right the first time: It’s not.
Hat tip to Hot Air and the many others who have remarked on this. I just thought it bears repeating.
President Barack Obama demanded Monday that lawmakers raise the nation’s $16.4 trillion federal debt limit quickly, warning that “Social Security benefits and veterans’ checks will be delayed” if they don’t and cautioning Republicans not to insist on cuts to government spending in exchange.
“They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the economy,” he said at the 21st and final news conference of his first term. “The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip. And they better decide quickly because time is running short.”
“We are not a deadbeat nation,” he declared…
Orwellian language – speaking as though the opposite of the situation is somehow the situation – is a hallmark of the Obama presidency, and the statement reported above is typical. So many things wrong with it, it’s tough to know where to start.
First, who is holding hostages and demanding ransoms? Obama is. (more…)
Just caught this on ad on the sidebar of a Weekly Standard article:
And it called to mind something Glenn Reynolds had posted yesterday, a reader e-mail reporting increased business at gun stores in Alabama. “There’s no question“, said correspondent observed
that America is better armed than it was two months ago, all thanks to President Obama! Assuming the Republicans in the House don’t prove spineless (a major assumption), the net effect of the Obama gun control initiatives will be to a massive increase in guns owned by private citizens, record profits for gun stores and manufacturers, and a very alert citizenry. This second term may yet work out better than expected!
Instead of decreasing the number of firearms, including “assault” rifles owned by citizens, Democratic rhetoric has served to increase that number. Seems that politicians’ rhetoric is like government action: the results are quite from those intended.
ALSO RELATED: Dianne Feinstein’s Legacy Might Surprise You
Well, that is what we would be hearing if there were a Republican President with this same war-mongering record of death.
Drone strikes dramatically increased after US President Barack Obama took office in 2009. There were only five drone strikes in 2007, but the number rose to 117 in 2010 before declining to 46 last year. Exact casualty figures are difficult to verify. Most of those killed are militants, but some civilians have also been killed.
More innocent children have been killed by the drones of Tyrant Boy-King Barack Hussein Obama than by the guns of Adam Lanza, Jared Loughner, James Holmes, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris combined. By far.
If politics of taxes have changed in the Democrats favor, as they seem to argue, why aren’t they willing to ask all Americans to pay a little more for the huge increases in spending President Obama has given us? Instead, the Democrat so demagogued the tax issue, making it appear that he favors cutting middle class taxes (having even hinted in his reelection campaign that Republicans wish to increase such levies).
In her post earlier today, attempting to put a positive spin on the fiscal cliff deal, Jennifer Rubin also speculates about the politics of taxes:
Many on the left have seemed convinced lately that the politics of taxes had changed dramatically in their favor, and that the opportunity presented by the cliff could result in the kind of surge in revenue that could put off the coming fiscal crunch for years (until, they seem to think, it will just magically go away at some point) and so could save our entitlement programs from the need for reform. . . .
But that hasn’t happened here. This deal is projected to yield $620 billion in revenue over a decade—increasing projected federal revenue by about 1.7% over that time. And that’s about it. The Democrats have made the Bush tax rates permanent for 98 percent of the public, which Republicans couldn’t even do when they controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency. . . .
[ellipses in original] Read the whole thing. Again this gets to the crucial point of the Democrats’ failure. They want us to believe that we just need raise taxes on the rich in order to pay for all their programs, but the fact remains that they have increased federal spending without paying for it.
Obama’s Democrats are not willing to make the tough choices that, in the past, such increases entailed: ask the American people to pay for them–with higher taxes.
NB: After posting this, wonder if I should have changed the title to read, “The higher spending Obama (& his Democrats are unwilling to pay for).
Had I been a member of Congress, I would have voted against the fiscal cliff deal that passed the House earlier today. Given the current political environment, I could accept the higher taxes on the “wealthiest Americans”, had Democrats finally agreed to real spending cuts.
But, they haven’t; they’ve just kicked the can down the road. Democrats just aren’t willing to face the fiscal crisis facing our country, a fiscal crisis largely of their own creation. (Until the election of a Democratic Congress in 2006, deficits had been declining for three successive years–a fact of which many Americans, including a good number of Republicans, remain ignorant.)
I haven’t been following the debate as closely as I normally follow political issues because, well, I’m on vacation and would rather spend time with my family or read a book on Hawai’ian mythology than follow politics, especially given the media coverage of this issue.
President Barack Obama effectively took us to the cliff and many in the media are giving him a free pass. We are here because he and his Democrats ramped up spending in the first two years of his term when his party had large majorities in both houses of Congress and now are effectively asking Republicans to join them in paying for his spending spree.
And as they ramped up spending, Obama Democrats, to borrow an expression, gave us a vast expansion of the federal government they didn’t pay for.
Their fiscal irresponsibility notwithstanding, thanks in large part to the slanted coverage of the fiscal cliff negotiations — and to Speaker John Boehner’s reluctance to make the Republican case to the public — Democrats won this thing. And not just legislatively.
But, should Republicans play their cards right, it could well prove to be a Pyrrhic victory. In the 2012 election, Obama really only had one big issue which seemed to resonate with voters, that of raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. He no longer has that issue and he hasn’t even begun his second term.
In a great piece on the left and the cliff, Yuval Levin concludes with the crucial questions, “Now they have gotten their tax increase, and what has it gained them but the prospect of an even slower economy? What’s their game plan?”
Exactly. What is their plan? (more…)
Is there anything he doesn’t politicize?
“For the first time in more than three weeks,” reports David Kerley of ABC OTUS news, “President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met face-to-face today at the White House to talk about avoiding the fiscal cliff.” Emphasis added.
It’s about time.
Wonder why the president dilly-dallyed so long, delaying this meeting. This appears to be the first time since the election that the president met alone with the top Republican in Washington.
If he had been more serious about avoiding the fiscal cliff, he would have met more regularly with Boehner and other congressional leaders. And have countered the Republicans’ offer made earlier this month.
The article goes on to note that “some Republicans were showing more flexibility about approving higher tax rates for the wealthy, one of the president’s demands to keep the country from the so-called fiscal cliff — a mixture of across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts that many economists say would send the country back into recession.” Kerley did not indicate what some of the president’s other demand were.
And now that Republicans are showing some flexibility about raising taxes, will Democrats show some sincerity about cutting spending–and not just cuts from increases anticipated by the president’s past budgets, but real cuts.
As one Democrat put it, “spending is the biggest part of this problem, and the biggest part of that problem is the fact that healthcare is growing at a faster rate than GDP.” And this even after Democrats passed (what they called) the Affordable Care Act.
SOMEWHAT RELATED: WH Running Out Clock on Fiscal Cliff Negotiations? FYI, that article was posted before the Boehner/Obama meeting, but I read it only after posting this post.
Democrats and the media may be trying to make Grover Norquist a fall guy in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, but at least that fan of small government gets what’s going on, telling Aaron Task of Yahoo! Finance:
I didn’t think this was case three weeks ago but do now think [President] Obama has decided to drive country over the fiscal cliff and blame the Republicans. . . . I spoke with people today — not are only there no [private] meetings going on, there are none planned . . . .
No meetings planned? But, aren’t meetings one way opposing parties resolve their differences? Well, the president for “the first time in days” did talk with Boehner by phone. And Republican leaders do want to sit down with the president to talk specifics, but no meeting appears forthcoming.
If President Obama and Democrats really wanted to get something done, he would be working on an offer to counter that Speaker Boehner put forward instead of criticizing and taunting Republicans in public fora.
But, I would wager the Democrats will present no counteroffer this week.
And with Obama’s apparent unwillingness to meet with Republicans to work out a compromise, it’s not just Grover Norquist who thinks Obama is trying to blame the GOP. Even an AP reporter gets the president’s game: ”Presidential aides have even encouraged speculation that Obama is willing to let the economy go over the ‘fiscal cliff’ if necessary and gamble that the public blames Republicans for any fallout.”*
LIke Charles Krauthammer said, the president’s stance on these negotiations is all about playing politics and not about governing the country.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Had it not been for an apparent “purge” of conservative Representatives from the House Financial Services and Budget Committees, I would herald House Speaker John Boehner for his delicate balancing act as he faces a most difficult situation, trying to stand up for fiscal responsibility against a White House intent on playing political games, often with the cover of the national news media.
Yesterday, Boehner offered a sensible “counter” to the President’s fiscal cliff proposal, though John Hinderaker thinks it “incorrect” to describe it as such, considering that “Obama hasn’t made an offer concrete or credible enough to be described as a proposal.” Without a proposal, there’s can’t be a counter.
Boehner has given a little bit on the revenue side, earning on the ire of some on the right.
Instead of welcoming the Republican attempt to compromise, Obama and his team have dismissed it out of hand, with the president himself calling the plan “out of balance” (a term which could more accurately be used to describe the president’s plan).
. . .it is not at all clear the White House is going to bother making any counteroffer, making it sticky for all those indignant lefty pundits who hollered that the president deserved a response to his offer. Now that he got one, what is the excuse for him declining to respond?
Wouldn’t a grownup in such negotiations make a counter offer? Or at least respond in a more civil tone to the Republican proposal?
Perhaps, the president’s goal is to take us over the fiscal cliff so he can blame Republicans. He does seem more interested in demagoguing the issue in campaign-style appearances and media interviews than in dialogue with top Republicans.
The election is over and the Democrat is still playing politics. Even the voice of the Beltway establishment, David Gergen, thinks the Obama Democrats would rather humiliate the GOP than resolve the issue. Charles Krauthammer agrees, saying his response is “all about politics“. (more…)
Among the many things to fault about then-presidential candidate Barack Obama’s 2008 then-celebrated* speech on race was his failure to cite the most important speech on race in American history, Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
That great American dreamt that his “four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” With that line, King defined the ideal we should all strive for–to judge an individual not by his skin color, but but his character.
That notion seems to be lost to many Democrats attacking Republicans for raising questions about Ambassador Susan Rice’s public statements on Benghazi. As Victor Davis Hanson put it two days ago:
Susan Rice misleads the country and suddenly her critics are racists and sexists — does not mean that it does not work in deterring critics. A white liberal can all but destroy Condoleezza Rice or Alberto Gonzalez and feel very liberal, but a peep about Barack Obama or Susan Rice from a white male is akin to a KKK slur.
We will have truly realized Dr. King’s dream when defenders of an African-American figure subject to criticism don’t assume that his (or her) critics were motivated by her race. They may well have been calling her character into question — or her actions.
And they will defend her character — or her actions — rather than make assumptions about her critics’ motives.
. . . to pay for Obama’s unpopular health care overhaul and tax hike?
Well, despite those cuts, this Prius-driving Democrat in Oakland was engaging in some “Mediscaring”:
Remind me again about the plan the Obama Democrats have to address the coming insolvency of this popular entitlement?
I’ve been traveling all day and haven’t have had as much time as I would like to check the blogs — or the news. I’m now in Cincinnati with my family and expect to have far less blogging time over the next few days.
I did buy a Wall Street Journal at LAX and have had time to skim the Yahoo! and Huffington Post (AOL) headlines as well as those on Instapundit and other favorite blogs. And as I read about the president insisting on a $1.6 trillion tax hike (on the rich — or so he says), I keep looking for other specific details about his plan to avoid the fiscal cliff.
Then, just before hitting the hay, I caught this on Jennifer Rubin’s blog
The press likes to paint House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) as a prisoner of his base. But in fact he was elected by unanimous vote and boldly put a grand bargaining offer on the table. That is far more than Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has done, and much more than the president has done (at least in public). So where are the stories about the left-wing base blocking progress on a deal? I imagine left-leaning media editors and reporters would be flabbergasted by the notion.
Emphasis added. So, Boehner has put an offer on the table. And it doesn’t seem that either Senate Democrats or the president have followed suit.
Perhaps, Rubin is mistaken and the president has put a plan on the table. If you are aware that he has, please provide a link to a blog post/article which provides the details of that plan.
If he hasn’t, how then can he negotiate in good faith when one party has put its cards on the table — and he has not.
It is Sunday evening and I’ve had a very nice weekend away from the magnifying glass of politics. It has been a normal weekend: chores, laundry, dog walking & mindless television.
Sometime during the day, I started tweeting a series of ideas about where the Republican House of Representatives should go from here. My conclusion: Give Obama everything he wants.
Let’s pretend this is a parliamentary system. Let’s pretend the Democrats won and Obama was re-elected as Prime Minister. In that system, everything Obama wants would pass.
Let them have it. I’m not suggesting that Republicans of principle silence themselves and not warn about the consequences of Obama’s economic plans. Those Republicans would include Sens. Marco Rubio, Jim DeMint, Ted Cruz, Pat Toomey and Govs. Scott Walker, Susanna Martinez and Nikki Haley. Let them put their stakes of opposition forcefully and vocally in the ground.
But let the House GOP and the Senate GOP get out of the way and allow the Democrats what they want on the economy. No obstruction, perhaps a vote of “present”…. but no other sign of getting in the way.
We, as Conservatives, know that these economic policies are disaster. But Obama is right — Americans voted for higher taxes and more regulation — so let them have it.
We will win the long game. We should have allowed the economy to tank harder than it did in 2008 to begin with. And all that’s been happening since is kicking the can down the road.
So I’m in favor of a hard stop. Let the Democrats’ vision of economic “success” play itself out.
The result will be hardship the likes of which no American has faced since the 1930s. But so be it. Americans voted for it — let them have it.
Conservative policies will win in the long game.