Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Obama: Stupid, Desperate, Both, Or Misreported? - UPDATED 3x

If this really happens as leaked... always a big "if" with people like Rahm and Rove in the world... I see nothing to stop the Democratic Party's slide straight to the bottom of the hill (Hill, if you prefer):

Obama Announcing Three-Year Discretionary Spending Freeze
By: David Dayen Monday January 25, 2010 5:39 pm

Breaking tonight, the President will propose a discretionary, non-security spending freeze for three years starting in FY 2011 as part of his State of the Union address.

The move, intended to blunt the populist backlash against Obama’s $787 billion stimulus and an era of trillion-dollar deficits — and to quell Democratic anxiety over last Tuesday’s Massachusetts Senate election — is projected to save $250 billion, the Democrats said.

The freeze would not apply to defense spending or spending on intelligence, homeland security or veterans.

The proposal is in line with a plan floated by Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), a fiscal hawk, who told Bloomberg’s Al Hunt last week that there was a “fighting chance” Obama would propose a freeze in most discretionary spending by the federal government as part of his address.

I [David Dayen] have to head out the door here in a moment, so more on this tomorrow. But Obama is basically saying that the stimulus fixed the economy, that there will be no further government support measures and that he’ll govern like a hybrid of John McCain and Herbert Hoover for the rest of his term to curry favor with the deficit maniacs.

[Steve again...]

Jesus Christ on a crutch in a crap-heap. They're all nuts. How was I deceived by this man and by this Party for so long? Was it always thus, or is this new behavior (my instinct says the latter, for the party at least)? And is there even the faintest hope that we will not have a repeat of the late 1930s? FDR learned his lesson; is Obama bright enough... no, he is that; the question is, is he sane enough... to learn from history?


Afterthought: Dayen quotes Matt Yglesias saying in essence that the whole thing could be a head-fake by the administration to draw the ire of progressive blogs, and that the real speech and announced policies may not even resemble the leaks. Who knows. We live in interesting times.

UPDATE: Apparently, House Democrats have told Obama uh-uh, no way, fuggedaboutit. So... is Obama intimidated, and how quickly can he rewrite the speech to contain different lies?

UPDATE 2: In the video attached to the above-linked article, Rachel Maddow interviews Jared Bernstein (advisor to VP Biden). Bernstein lists many things in the coming SOTU that the President may freeze if he wishes under the general freeze to be announced; indeed, it sounds as if Obama has in mind a rewrite-after-the-fact of a congressionally passed budget. Forgive me for reminding everyone that in 1996, Congress and President Bill Clinton discovered the hard way that presidential line item vetoes are unconstitutional.

UPDATE 3: I'm not sure this is directly related, but it seems to fit: Congress just defeated the Conrad-Gregg Commission, which would have established in legislation a congressional commission to propose tax cuts and spending reductions that would have required Congress to vote on them up-or-down, with no debate and no amendments. (Can Congress regulate itself that way?) Of course, Obama can still establish such a commission by executive order, but it would not have the up-or-down, no-amendments requirement. This is nuts. Perhaps it is conservative to render government spending not merely difficult but impossible; if so, conservatism is even more crack-brained stupid than I thought.

No comments:

Post a Comment


• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes