Sunday, June 28, 2009
Barack the Magnificent
Move over, David Blaine. There's a new illusionist in town and in just over 100 days, he has proven to be the greatest in the world. Barack the Magnificent hypnotizes the press. He attempts to levitate banks and automobiles. He divides America by class. And in perhaps his most popular trick, with the aid of willing abettors in the media, Barack the Magnificent continues to conceal his identity as a tax and spend liberal by taxing and spending right before our very eyes!
How does he do it? Sleight of hand mostly. In every speech he uses the word "spend" instead of "invest". By manipulating the language in such Orwellian fashion, spending simply ceases to exist. We are investors now investing in government. Likewise, I didn't spend money on lunch today, but I invested in a cheeseburger. I also invested in a beer. In fact, every time I pay my bills now I am investing!
Barack the Magnificent is also fond of throwing around the term "save" and talking about our future "savings", even though we are borrowing the savings of our children and grandchildren to stimulate the economy. Of course, nothing Obama proposes has been designed to stimulate anything but government growth, which makes stimulus merely another smokescreen for spending. To which a bureaucrat can answer, "Spending? Nope, not here. Nothing but stimulus dollars."
But sometimes language alone fails to do the trick. No worries. Barack the Magnificent can contort himself into a position that shifts blame to his predecessor without shouldering any burden of his own. This position is laughingly referred to as post-partisan by the mainstream press. As we have now heard ad nausea, Barack didn't create these problems, he inherited them. Sort of like we inherited Joe Biden. While it's true that this year's budget deficit is the worst on record, all of the spending was put in place by a Democratic Congress, and yes, now that you mention it, Senator Obama was a voting member.
As for the $411 billion omnibus bill with $8.8 billion in earmarks, it was never put in front of President Bush, because he threatened to veto it. Instead, the Dems waited until they won the election, and President Obama signed it into law in February of this year, along with the $787 billion stimulus bill. That's $1.2 trillion of spending that Big O and the Democrats certainly can't claim they inherited (though claim they do as surely as Nancy Pelosi claims ignorance over waterboarding). And that doesn't even include the TARP money, which Barack Obama approved as a candidate, and since taking office has overseen the release of $400 billion.
Taking a cue from his Hollywood friends who enjoy playing kick-butt defenders of liberty that they could never aspire to in real life, Obama never tires of acting tough when it comes to fiscal responsibility. Nevermind that he is the biggest spender in the history of the United States. Having proposed more spending in his first four months of office than the previous 43 presidents COMBINED, his administration recently attempted the biggest illusion yet when they announced with much fanfare that Barack Obama was a budget cutter and had found $17 billion worth of cuts.
Pardon me if I don't give a standing ovation. While this would be great if it were of any significance, it's not. Barack the Magnificent already donned his cape and tried to sell this illusion when he proposed cutting $100 million from his cabinet's budget. He hoped the public, having mostly been educated in Chicago style public schools, couldn't do math, but it didn't take a NASA scientist to realize this was the same in scope as reducing the size of Madison Square Garden by a single seat. Here's hoping it's Spike Lee's.
Now it's time for an encore and the White House is presenting the same performance, only this time with bigger numbers. While $17 billion sounds like a lot of money, it is a drop in the bucket when the president is asking for a three and a half trillion dollar budget. Or to put that visually: $3,500,000,000,000. That's a lot of zeros. Especially when it has to be borrowed.
If President Obama is so concerned about waste, why not propose a budget that isn't a poster boy for the film "Supersize Me"? And why not eliminate the $8.8 billion in earmarks from the $411 billion omnibus bill, pure pork inserted on behalf of lobbyists. To do so would have reduced that bill's spending by almost two percent. By cutting $17 billion from the more expensive 2010 budget instead, he will only reduce spending by 0.46%. That's in essence a 70% less effective decision.
The Democratic talking point on this is that 100 million here and 100 million there eventually adds up. True enough. But when entitlement programs are growing exponentially, what really adds up is trillions upon trillions of dollars of debt. Soon the biggest government expenditure will be paying interest on all this borrowed money. And even under the Obama administration's rosiest scenarios, there is no end in sight to the deficits.
But it gets worse. None of these cuts will actually be enacted by Congress, because Obama has already given the green light for a set level of discretionary spending. In other words, if Congress were to take the president's recommendations and cut a few of these programs, the money would just be transferred to other programs, no doubt ones being lobbied the hardest by liberal special interest groups such as unions, trial lawyers, and ACORN. So the actual savings are... drumroll please... zero dollars. As in nada. Ta-da!
It should also be mentioned that President Bush proposed $18 billion in similar cuts last year. But being President Bush, the proposals were met by the mainstream media and tingly-leg types with all the enthusiasm of another Bret Favre comeback. Of course the Democrats rejected the cuts, proving they are the real party of no, at least when it comes to fiscal responsibility.
Now allow me to perform my own trick and think like a progressive. This is very dangerous, kids. I repeat, do not try this at home. Let's put Obama's bogus budget cuts into terms the left can understand. Imagine 100,000 troops stationed in Iraq. An evil, war-mongering, Republican president decides to increase that level to 364,000 troops. But the day before he sends the extra troops, he announces that he will bring home 17,000. Now imagine the White House and GOP spinning it as a troop withdrawal! If I was a peace-loving hippie, I wouldn't be praising the president for his non-escalation and diplomatic efforts. I would be infuriated. Wouldn't you?!
We have a saying in Texas. Fool me once, shame on... you? Fool me twice, shame on, er.... the point is you can't fool somebody twice. Barack the Magnificent has already fooled us twice and now he's working on the ultimate routine. By creating record deficits and running up debt until tax increases are inevitable, he could turn this recession into a depression.
Want to see wealth disappear? Poof. And that's no illusion.