It Was a Great Speech!

April 14th, 2011

By Dan Miller

President Barack Obama, April 13, 2011It was a masterstroke which should be recorded as the high point of his presidency.

As I read the advance text of President Obama’s thoughtfully smart proposals to reduce the deficit, some options British Prime Minister Hacker (fictitious) considered for a party political — his first after becoming PM in Yes, Prime Minister — came to mind.

During intensive preparation for his address, Hacker was asked “What is the broadcast to be about?” He responded,

I couldn’t think what he meant for a moment. Obviously the broadcast is to be about me. I explained this to him, and he saw the point entirely. However, he wanted further clarification on one small matter of detail: what exactly was I going to say?

I couldn’t see that his mattered much, but he wanted to know which policies I’d be referring to. I explained that it would be the usual: go forward together, a better tomorrow, tighten our belts, all pull together, healing the wounds, that sort of thing.

He was happy with that, but urged me to consider what I’d say specifically. My first thought was that I’d talk about specifically tightening our belts, healing specific wounds in our society.

But Malcom pressured me to consider saying something new. I’d never considered that

So here’s what President Obama wants us to do:

We have to live within our means, reduce our deficit, and get back on a path that will allow us to pay down our debt. And we have to do it in a way that protects the recovery, and protects the investments we need to grow, create jobs, and win the future.

Following these crystal clear objectives, President Obama expressed dislike for the Republican alternative.

[T]his is a vision that says even though America can’t afford to invest in education or clean energy; even though we can’t afford to care for seniors and poor children, we can somehow afford more than $1 trillion in new tax breaks for the wealthy. Think about it. In the last decade, the average income of the bottom 90% of all working Americans actually declined. The top 1% saw their income rise by an average of more than a quarter of a million dollars each. And that’s who needs to pay less taxes? They want to give people like me a two hundred thousand dollar tax cut that’s paid for by asking thirty three seniors to each pay six thousand dollars more in health costs? That’s not right, and it’s not going to happen as long as I’m President.

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4 Responses to “It Was a Great Speech!”

  1. Tom Carter |

    The really sad thing about all this is none of it will get the job done. Not Obama’s proposed 2012 budget, not the speech yesterday that makes you wonder who produced the proposed budget a few months ago, not the zany budget proposed by the progressive caucus, and not the slasher budget produced by Paul Ryan (ghostwritten by Freddy Krueger). These useless politicians aren’t just fiddling while the city burns; they’re playing an off-key skrawnky symphony with an orchestra of cretins.

    But, what the heck; as an opening campaign speech, Obama probably did well last night. That’s what it’s all about, anyway.

  2. Brian |

    Tom, I don’t disagree with the rational idea that we need to raise taxes and cut spending. Where we’re at loggerheads is the idea that the tax increase would be used to pay down the debt, or that it would be temporary.

    It’s like the proverbial mating call of the blond sorority sister: “I’m so drunk!” Only for our legislators, “more tax money” is the mating call for spendthrifts of all political stripes.

    Partner, I think we’ve dug ourselves a hole that we can’t climb out of…worse maybe is that the hole is so deep that we can’t even see light anymore.

    The death knell is going to be a QE3 at some point later in the summer or early this fall, because it’ll have to be followed by a QE4 and so on until our money is worthless.

  3. Tom Carter |

    Brian, I normally prefer to be optimistic about things because if you always assume the worst, you’ll walk around with a black cloud over your head like Joe Btfsplk. And more often than not, when I’ve been pessimistic about something it turned out better than I thought it would. In this case, though, I fear that you may be right. Maybe we’ll muddle through somehow, but it’s looking doubtful.

    I can’t imagine what’s going on the heads of die-hard Democrats and Republicans these days. We ought to vote every incumbent out next year — every single one of them. If we don’t the mess is more our fault than theirs.

  4. Brian |

    I like to be optimistic, too. But there must come a time when we realize that if we touch a hot stove, it’s going to burn. That isn’t pessimism, it’s a recognition of reality.

    What’s the tried and true definition of insanity? Something about “doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results” or some such.

    For 80 years now, we’ve been soaking the rich, playing fast and loose with our currency, and expanding government; and we are, perhaps, more perilously close to collapse than we have ever been. I think we’re in more danger today than we were in 1929, and probably in about as much danger as we were in 1860.

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