February 07, 2009
A Bitter Pill
Because of the tireless and unending Bush Bashing of the last eight years I was hoping that we could have at least a month or two where the president wasn't a primary source of the nation's ire. A honeymoon would have been nice, a respite from the ever present trashing of the commander in chief.
But the way Barack Obama has been acting the last couple of days is making that impossible.
And I was someone willing to give Obama a chance. Like an arranged marriage, I was willing to try to make the best of it. I had hoped that Obama's pragmatism and penchant for political expediency would win out over his left leaning ideology.
If Obama turned out to be a Ronald Reagan, great. Unfortunately, at this point he's looking more like a cross between LBJ and Jimmy Carter.
Hope and change?
More like fear and same. Within a week or so of the inaugural address the hopeful tone has all but evaporated into the frosty Washington DC air. In its place arguably the same kind of fear mongering that the Left endlessly accused the Bush administration of perpetrating to get things done. The difference of course being that the threat of terrorism is very real and the need for a pork laden spending bill to beat back "The worst financial crisis since the great depression", much less evident. (The stagflation of Jimmy Carter's early eighties was worse).
If Bush had done what Obama is trying to do he would have shoe-horned every Republican pet project into the Patriot Act. That is the equivalent. It's using an emergency to reward the special interests of your political party! With this so-called stimulus bill, the Democrats are doing an end run around the normal budget appropriation process in order to foist upon us their usual political agenda. They are using a financial crisis to lavish their supporters with billions of dollars of federal cash. They can't stuff the bales of cash out the door fast enough, it seems. We're told that it's such an emergency that we don't even have time to think it through really, just sign it. Hurry, hurry, hurry, it doesn't matter what we do, we have to do something, anything! This stimulus bill debacle is madness.
And it could be Obama's political death. He's been trying to scare us that "we will never recover" if we don't pass this bill. I'm afraid that Obama's political career will never recover if this thing passes and then fails to deliver as it will inevitably do according to any economist who understands the basic principle that we will have to raise taxes down the road to pay this thing off. And we'll have to pay this off right around the time that the inflation caused by this will be kicking in according to every economist who's name isn't Paul Krugman.
In one of Obama's recent partisan fear mongering speeches he proclaimed that, "somewhere a business is closing its doors". He has yet to explain how rewarding Democratic special interest groups and simply stuffing cash out of the doors will have a tangible effect on the businesses in danger of closing. A temporary payroll tax suspension will have a tangible effect on businesses and employees, irreversibly increasing the size of government and causing inflation down the road can only harm, not help the private sector economy Obama claims to be interested in helping.
A now we're told by Obama that tax cuts are "the failed policies of the past".
Really? That's interesting considering that Obama actually campaigned on tax cuts. How many times were we told that there would be tax cuts for 95% of Americans? Yet in place of tax cuts were getting the largest increase in the size of government since the New Deal.
Obama promised over and over in the campaign to go through the federal budget "line by line" and eliminate wasteful programs. Well, here's his chance to live up to one of his hollow promises. Don't hold your breath. Like the promise that he wouldn't appoint lobbyists and the promise that he would bring a new tone to Washington. So much for the new tone, in Washington DC it's business as usual as Obama is now digging in his heels in a one-sided partisan defense of Nancy Pelosi's Democratic spending extravaganza.
For Barack Obama the more things change, the more things stay the same.
I really am fairly surprised that Obama is behaving with such a tin ear. The people are starting to turn against this bill, so to entrench yourself in defense of it in its current form strikes me as politically tone deaf. And I've always known Obama to do what is politically expedient, just ask Reverend Wright.
I have been avoiding directly criticizing the President for about as long as I can on this blog. The issues are too important and Obama is acting far too partisan for me to keep that up anymore. For Barack Obama the honeymoon is over and the bloom is off the rose. Any notion of Obama as a transformational or transformative leader has been swept aside.
And unless a serious overhaul takes place, this bill that is being stuffed down our throat will be a bitter pill indeed.