Last night, President Obama addressed the nation for the 5th time in 3 weeks. I decided to take some notes this time, and found myself growing angry. I was angered by his complete ignorance on how an economy works, by his half truths and partial fabrications, by his misleading statements and by some bald faced lies that he told. As the video is above, I have given some partial time indexing to his speech so that you might be able to follow along, but be careful, I wouldn’t want any of you to lose control of your blood pressure as you listen to the Snake Oil Salesman in Chief spin his web of deceit.
The first minute: We start off by referencing the budget surplus of 2000. The concept of a supposed budget surplus has been discredited so many times by myself and others that quite frankly it is becoming more than tedious. Yet, no matter how many times the President and Democrat leaders are busted pitching this meme, it is repeated over and over again. His very next statement is that we spent this money on, “risky tax cuts for the rich.” There are a couple of points I wish to make here. First off, tax cuts of any kind are not the same as spending. Those tax rate cuts actually produced higher revenues for the government to use. The concept also assumes that the Clinton tax rates are somehow a default position for the level of taxation our nation is supposed to be maintaining. Since Clinton actually increased the rates of taxation over those set up during the Reagan Administration, wouldn’t that be considered a Clinton tax rate increase, and then what happened under Bush 43 was just a partial reversal of the Clinton rate hike? This statement also assumes that whatever Americans earn is as a matter of principle property of the Federal Government, and any amount of money not taxed is money Washington has graciously allowed us to keep. Barack Obama then told us how the man he succeeded in office had involved us in frivolous wars. Well, that we will never forget stuff only took a decade to see us forget. We were viciously attacked on September 11, 2001. Afghanistan was a necessary war to be waged against those who sought to destroy America. In fact, Barack Obama himself campaigned on the idea that the war in Afghanistan was our, “just and necessary war.” Calling it frivolous at this point is dishonest. The war in Iraq, I will admit is more controversial. I will state here that I agree with our use of force there, and still believe this war to be something which needed to happen. It also happens that a vast majority of the people in this country agreed with me at the time, and most especially those political leaders who are now claiming that they were against it the whole time. Before anyone gets on their high horse and starts in with the Bush lied crap again, let me remind you that President William Jefferson Clinton stated claims about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction in no fewer than 5 of his State of The Union Addresses. The Congressional Authorization for the war in Iraq was actually delayed for the express purpose of allowing the Democrat lawmakers time to get themselves on the record in support of the war. Just as an aside, when will President Obama obey United States Law and ask Congress for the authorization to use force in Libya? Next Barack went on to say that the deficit he inherited was on track to top $1 Trillion. This is simply a bald faced lie, as Bush’s most egregious deficit was $450 Billion. Granted, that is way beyond reasonable, also remember it included the Tarp Bailout of $757 Billion which Senator Obama voted in favor of. (Just for fun, go back to your recorded Obama speeches from 2007 and 2008 to get an idea of what Candidate Obama said about budget deficits.) Then we got to hear about the Keynesian Theory of how a recession required more spending to spur economic growth. It is important to note that Maynard Keynes always considered his explanation of his economic theory to FDR to be his greatest mistake. His belief that it allowed politicians to become irresponsible under the guise of doing economic good turned out to be prophetic words indeed. Keynes advocated a very limited deficit spending in the private sector only and not the public works ripoffs we see today. The, “infrastructure investment,” inflicted upon us by President Obama and his minions have had the exact same effect that they have had each and every time they have been tried, zero positive effect on the economy. In fact, they have only ever served to make things worse. Our limited resources are used to subsidize goods and services which are not needed or wanted by most citizens, and the result is that only the few chosen recipients of the government contracts turn out to be benefited in any way. Then the President told us how the stimulus saved jobs. Well, how fitting for this President, he needed to create his own class of measure to give the illusion of success. Never before had the concept of a saved job been used in the American Lexicon. Just a brief reminder here, the unemployment skyrocketed after Obama’s stimulus debacle.
The Second Minute: Then the President gave us this little gem, a little bit of demagoguery. He told us that failure to raise the debt ceiling would cause a default, which is not at all true. Not making our interest payments would cause a default, which actually happened once before during the Carter Presidency by the way, and we are all still here. If the debt ceiling is not raised, Congress and the Executive Branch will still be able to meet our debt obligations with the $2.5 Trillion in revenue which we currently send to Washington every year. Any default on our debt at that point would be expressly the decision of the Executive Branch, meaning the President himself. He also further asserted that this would cause our interest rates to, “skyrocket,” and for runaway inflation to occur. The simple truth is that the Quantitative Easing program being instituted by Obama, Geitner, and Bernanke is already going to have this effect. In fact, the beginnings of this are already creeping into our view. Remember the Carter years? Well shockingly, the replay of Jimmy Carter’s policies will have the exact same effect on our economy as they did the last time. President Obama’s printing of currency will have the disastrous effects on the economy as he claims failure to take on increased debt would have. This is just the Huckster in Chief’s way of pinning the blame for his horrid economic record on something other than his horrid economic policies. Next he told us of the importance of further infrastructure to somehow create more jobs. I must at this point ask a question. When, in our nation’s history has this ever worked? Can you name a single time when public works projects has actually served to increase overall employment? Why on Earth are we still listening to anyone who speaks of, “investment in infrastructure,” as a means to spur economic growth with any seriousness at all?
Third minute, but tied for first as most egregious minute: He started this minute off by telling us how the Republican politicians have been unreasonable and unwilling to go along with any of his plans, but I would like to point out here that in his entire Presidency, Barack Obama has not offered anything resembling a budget nor a plan to attack our debt. I have not seen a President so intent on avoiding any sort of a role in leadership at any point in my lifetime. All this President does is to give speeches, and this is all he wishes to do. His leading by following philosophy is perplexing, and also not really all that good for the country. As it happens, we actually do need an administrative leader to attend to the nation’s business. He is claiming that he is proposing serious cuts in spending, which would actually make me laugh if it did not anger me so. Try to follow me here. First off, he has proposed nothing at all, let alone serious cuts in spending. Secondly, just about 3 months ago, he claimed on T.V. once again that we needed to take a scalpel to our spending problem and not a machete. So, President Obama, which is it, serious cuts or a scalpel? Thirdly, after increasing discretionary spending by a whopping 83% over 2 years time, anything short of a 50% decrease in discretionary spending is nothing more than a sick joke on the American People. Then we get to it, the only actual spending cuts advocated by liberals ever, the cuts of, “hundreds of billions of dollars from defense.” We’re going to put this next statement in bold face, just to emphasize the point. Defense spending is the only spending specifically mentioned in the Constitution of the United States as being necessary for the protection of her citizens. Then we get to our old friends, waste and fraud. We apparently are going to save money by eliminating waste and fraud. Just a simple question here, why would we not already be saving this money? Are you actually telling me Mr. President that waste and fraud were O.K. prior to the debt debate? Didn’t you already campaign on stopping waste and fraud during your Presidential bid to become our Chief Executive? Then the President told us that his nonexistent plan was designed to save Medicare and Medicaid, and that the Cut, Cap, and Balance plan would destroy those programs, when in fact the opposite is true. Were you ready for more demagoguery? Well too bad, because it was time to mention those loopholes and special deductions for the greedy corporate fat cats again. Rounding out minute number three was our old friend the corporate jets, a special tax credit actually put into place by a Democrat majority as an effort to get Americans flying again. Doing the math on this little baby, we find that closing this tax credit down, and charging a back tax on frequent flyers dating back to the birth of Jesus, (pretending that they were flying with the same regularity for the last 2011 years of course, you know, since the Obama plan depends on magic anyhow,) we would be able to cover about 12 hours worth of deficit spending by the President. You liberals might be a lot shocked to know that we conservatives are against tax credits and special deductions. It is a game being played to pick favorites based on certain government approved behaviors and an affront to the free market system. We want a simple to understand tax rate, to be paid by everyone with the same rules to be applied to everyone. This would mean that GE. a company who did not pay a dime in income taxes for fiscal year 2010 would not have been given huge credits for producing the cfl light bulbs we do not want and then forcing us to purchase in place of the incandescent bulbs we do want. They also would not have received those credits for producing those subsidized windmills which produce more expensive and far less reliable energy, which by the way is far more dangerous than nuclear power. (Over the last decade, there have been 47 deaths caused by the GE windmills, and zero deaths caused by nuclear power.) By the way, who is President Obama to determine how much each individual citizen should sacrifice, and where is Obama’s sacrifice? He told us all in March of 2009 that we should save on gas by taking staycations rather than vacations, and his family is flying family and friends to Spain for their children’s birthday parties. All in all, he claims his plan, which actually does not exist yet, will give us $4 Trillion in deficit reductions over the next decade. The problem is that the CBO can not even score his statement as by their own words, “we don’t score speeches.” I’ve seen this movie before. Even if he were to offer specifics, we are well past the time where accounting tricks and gimmicks would be helpful, even in the slightest sense of the word.
Minute number four: He started this minute off by telling us that spending cuts would be a drag on the economy. The opposite is true. How many times must we prove it? When the government spends money, it is money confiscated by the private sector. The people who had their money taken will have less to spend on what they need and want. This is nothing more than our old friend the broken window fallacy disguised as pretty rhetoric and grown fat beyond recognition. He claimed that spending cuts would be a burden to small businesses. That’s a real laugher, since it is the onerous regulation and red tape implemented by President Obama and his Administration which have been assaulting the small business owners in this country. Not a week passes by that I do not see an op-ed written by a small business owner absolutely ripping President Obama for his disastrous policies. His claim that he enjoys bi-partisan support is just plain silliness. first of all, as stated previously, he has made not one proposal at all to even achieve bi-partisan support, and in fact, the Cut, Cap, and Balance plan actually had more than a couple of Democrat defectors voting for it in the House. Every Republican Senator voted for it in the Senate, where President Obama claims to have his bi-partisan support. As it turns out, Politico reported that the Boehner plan actually had Harry Reid’s support prior to Obama nixing the deal. Later of course, Reid gave a speech calling it the worst piece of legislation he had ever seen. That is what I would call political grandstanding. To round out minute number 4, Barack Obama asserted that a lack of willingness to capitulate to his demands was equal to his being the only reasonable person left in the room. Just as a suggestion to the President, maybe his cause would be helped if he actually ever proposed a budget or submitted anything with specificity.
Fifth Minute: As a personal note here, thank goodness the GOP politicians, after years of lacking, are showing an actual backbone. My message to them, don’t give in, not one inch on this. It is time for this nonsense to end. Barack Obama picked this point in his speech to tell us that corporations and our top wage earners are in fact not contributing anything to our revenues. A little fun fact here. The top 1% of wage earners pay 40% of our total tax revenues. Half of our country, pays nothing. Corporations pay taxes as well, and in fact, much of that money is double taxed. This double taxation occurs when a company pays taxes on its profit, and then when a dividend is paid to shareholders, they are taxed on the income. I agree that the gimmicky tax credits used to promote a governmentally approved behavior, but a fairer and flatter, and vastly simplified tax structure is anther discussion entirely. His assertion that spending cuts would create undue burden on our economy is just plain silliness. The burden is created by increased confiscation of our government and increased intrusion into the free market system. Next, little Barry Obama felt is necessary to tell us all how we were incapable of understanding all of this debt limit discussion anyway. We should just let the smarter folks who completely screwed things up deal with it and not worry so much about the details. to round up minute number 5, he harped once again on private jet owners, and added a new group for us to be jealous of and hate, the reviled hedge fund managers, (most of whom by the way live outside of the jurisdiction of the U.S. and are therefore conveniently beyond the socialist reach of B. Hussein Obama.)
Sixth minute: There was some more whining about tax credits and such, which of course the bulk of that silliness came from his side of the aisle anyway. He then said the single most dishonest thing of the entire speech. He gave a litany of things which we all feel the government is justified in spending. Why is it that it is always the vital services which the left threatens to cut when confronted with a tightening of the belt? Soldiers pay, fire, police, veterans benefits, social security, our debt. Realize, that if the ceiling is reached, and the credit card turned off, our government will still have $2.5 Trillion to spend. This is ample to cover those expenditures. In fact, we could keep the entire shebang of the vital services, if we were only to give up the Social Welfare State. There is the rub, once this happens, it is up to the Executive Branch to set the spending priority. If those things are cut, it will be because Barack Obama decided to do it. His claim that 98% of Americans would see no tax increase under his nonexistent plan is as much a lie today as when he first posited this in 2008. Since that time, the middle class has been saddled with the single largest tax increase in history.
Seventh minute: The statement that the wealthy have pitched in every time they have been asked is beyond dishonest, it is evil. (Not all wealthy people are evil, nor even any of them, but just follow me on this.) Wealth in this country is not taxed, income is taxed. The Warren Buffets and Steven Jobs of the world have teams of accountants showing them how to shelter their wealth and incomes derived from wealth from tax consideration. Warren Buffet in fact has no taxable wage for running his company beyond $1. His income is derived from a qualified dividend on Berkshire Hathaway Stock which dividends at about $20,000 per share. He uses the most complex system of tax loss harvesting, trusts, foundations, etc. known to man kind in order to shield him from whatever changes are made for the rest of us. There should be a special tax levied on those who have benefited from the very best the free market system had to offer and then decide to advocate that the rest of us be robbed of the opportunities which worked so well for them. Besides, all empirical evidence of the last hundred years or so show that increases in the top marginal rates of taxation actually result in the top brackets paying a lower percentage of the overall tax revenue collected. Thomas Sowell has done an excellent job in documenting this. He invoked Reagan here, and I almost threw a table through the T.V. Beyond the fact that he flat out lied about his Reagan quote, and stated that Reagan advocated tax increases, there is not a single point anywhere on the political spectrum where Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama meet. The continued attempt of Obama to portray himself as Reagan is simply the single most transparent piece of political dishonesty ever to have occurred outside of the Soviet Union.
Minute number 8, also tied for the most egregious minute of the speech: Our problems are not tied to the debt ceiling, they are tied to the debt. The ratings agencies by the way, for anyone bothering to read their statements made it very clear, they don’t care at all where we determine our arbitrary debt ceiling, but rather whether or not we will be able to meet our obligations. This entire minute was a huge lie, and worse, it assumes we are all stupid people. He stated that raising the debt ceiling would not allow Congress to spend any more money, but rather simply allow them to meet our current obligations. This lie is in fact so bold, I find it difficult to even address it. Yes, increasing the debt ceiling would allow congress to borrow more money in our name, and continue the ridiculous amount of spending beyond our means. They would be able to meet our obligations if that ceiling were not raised, and it would be the President’s sole decision as to whether our obligations were met after that or not. He made the statement that in the past, raising the debt ceiling was routine. I feel a quote from little Barry Obama, as a U.S. Senator during a similar discussion in 2006 is in order.
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. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
Something else to consider here. Since the Eisenhower Administration, our total debt, while it has grown over the years, and while I would not consider this to be good, has been maintained at around 30% to 35% of our GDP. It has remained somewhat reasonable. Under Barack Obama’s stewardship, the total debt has doubled as a percentage of our GDP. It now stands at a staggering 70% of our annual economic output. This one fact alone does make this years debt debate a far different thing than previous debates. Once again, he mentioned that we won’t be able to pay our bills, which is a complete lie. Once again, Barack Obama would have the power of executive decision making to determine how the $2.5 Trillion would be spent. Any decision to default or cut off Social Security or anything else would be President Obama’s alone.
The ninth minute: This gave us another round of threats to discontinue our vital services and more threats to seniors. He then used the credit rating agencies, and something struck me odd about the whole thing. Something beyond the little reported on fact the the agencies have in fact already downgraded us, and in fact Pimco, one of our creditors, has already cut us off. A couple of years ago, every Democrat and his uncle were screaming about these same ratings firms and their complete whiffs on Enron, Worldcom, Lehman Bros. Bear Stearns. All of these examples maintained triple A ratings 1 week prior to their collapses. All of the deleterious effects rattled off by the President during this minute are the result of mounting debt and not any arbitrary limit we impose upon that debt. I do agree with the President that default would be reckless, but that decision would rest squarely with Obama, and he is using his possible decision as a well placed threat upon our conscious. This is far from helpful or even adult like.
Minute number ten: Now we get down to the real reason for his political grandstanding. He is accusing the Republicans of kicking the can 6 months down the road rather than the 15 months he wishes to kick the can down the road. In his 15 month scenario, he would be able to avoid this issue until after his reelection bid in November of next year. It is all about Barack Obama after all. The Republicans are kicking the can down the road until the regularly scheduled due date for the next fiscal budget. What probably has the President confused about this is the fact that the Democrats were not really vigilant in Constitutional requirement to produce an annual budget. In fact, during their entire 4 years in control of the House, they failed to produce a single budget. The fiscal 2011 budget proposed and denied was the first proposed budget in 4 years. It is not the Republican House members fault that the President and the Democrat controlled Senate refused to even consider the budget. I’m just spitballing here, but perhaps today’s problems are somehow related to the refusal to impose any sort of budgetary process. The President decried the stubbornness of the Republican controlled House, and I say thank goodness that they are standing fast.
Minute number eleven: This can be summed up by the memory of the old Popeye cartoons. “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” What it comes down to is this, if we give up on our campaign pledge to not increase taxes on Americans, (on top of the already massive increases imposed by the Obamacare Law,) President Obama promises to give us unspecified spending cuts about a decade down the road. Just like Lucy and the Football, those cuts will never materialize. We know this of course because we have all seen this before, and we are still waiting on the spending cuts Tip O’Neal promised Ronald Reagan in 1982.
Minute number twelve: President Obama completely punted on his role as the leader of our nation. He told the folks in Congress to go back and work out a deal that he could take credit for after signing. He has yet to propose anything, ever during his Presidency. He also said something else of interest here. He was speaking directly to the 87 Republican Freshmen. He claimed that the same national anger swept both he and them into office. I must state here, Obama could not have missed the historical perspective in a more grotesque fashion. Obama was swept into office with talk of Hope and Change during a time of deep discontent with the GOP as a result of their failure to live up to any of their campaign promises. The 87 GOP Freshmen were swept into office as a national restraining order served against Barack Obama and his core policy agenda. The only demands made of the Republican House members was that they stick to their guns, not capitulate and show some backbone.
Minute number thirteen: The old compromise theme raises its ugly head again. To the Democrats, this means for the Conservatives to just give up on their core beliefs and accede to the demands of the Democrats. Not this time, this is not going to happen. We have deep philosophical differences in this country, and this fight needs to happen. We must stand up for our principles and not give in to a course of action which is guaranteed to destroy our country. I believe the politicians who are getting themselves elected by the conservative base finally have a grasp on what we expect of them.
Minute number fourteen: Economic justice for those of you who do not know, is the watchword of the Socialist Party. I get a laugh out of people who declare anyone racist for pointing out the fact that Barack Obama is a Socialist, and then ignoring cute little gems like this.
Enjoy the speechifying of someone sane and honest.