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[Ben]:Thank goodness! Fiscal Responsibility Discuss This [1 comment so far] View Comments
Who would have guessed that our nation's latest sweaty, greasy, incestuous orgy of spending was in the spirit of fiscal responsibility?

Below are some selected remarks from Obama's opening speech at the Fiscal Responsibility [sic] Summit.

I also laid out my housing plan -- to break the cycle of falling home values and rising foreclosures that's devastated so many communities. And we put forth a financial stability plan to start shoring up our banks, so we can free up credit and jumpstart lending and restore confidence in our financial system.

I hate when my home goes down in value as much as the next guy, but the thumb-fingered government stepping in to try to prop up value of homes is preposterous. By now everyone knows we have been riding a housing bubble. Values of homes skyrocketed for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, the values kept increasing to the point that the value was unhinged from the intrinsic value of homes and land. Like all bubbles in the past, it eventually burst. To try to hold prices at a given level negates the ability of a free market to adjust to new conditions. In short, it's a bad thing.

I'm saying that as a current homeowner who purchased near the top of the bubble, mind you.

This administration has inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit -- the largest in our nation's history and our investments to rescue our economy will add to that deficit in the short-term.

In the short term, eh? Anyone who looks at $790,000,000,000.00 on top of a $1,300,000,000,000.00 deficit as a short-term payoff isn't very good with numbers. Especially when they're still advocating increased spending.

Contrary to the prevailing wisdom in Washington these past few years, we cannot simply spend as we please and defer the consequences to the next budget, the next administration or the next generation.

THEN WHAT THE HECK DID YOU JUST DO WITH THE "STIMULUS PACKAGE"!?!?!?

We are paying the price for these deficits right now. In 2008 alone, we paid $250 billion in interest on our debt: One in every 10 taxpayer dollars. That is more than three times what we spend on education that year; more than seven times what we spent on V.A. health care.

Wait ... 1 in every 10 taxpayers dollars goes to our current debt interest. So you just spent ANOTHER 3 in every 10 taxpayer dollars on some new stuff on top of our existing spending and obligations?

So if we confront this crisis without also confronting the deficits that helped cause it, we risk sinking into another crisis down the road. As our interest payments rise, our obligations come due, confidence in our economy erodes and our children and our grandchildren are unable to pursue their dreams because they're saddled with our debts.

He's absolutely right. Totally correct. And utterly hypocritical.

That's why today, I'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office. Now, this will not be easy. It will require us to make difficult decisions and face challenges we've long neglected. But I refuse to leave our children with a debt that they cannot repay, and that means taken responsibility right now, in this administration, for getting our spending under control.

That's an interesting way of phrasing it. He increased the deficit to 160% of what it was when he stepped into office, now he wants to cut it back by 50%? Check my math here, but doesn't that still mean he's increasing the deficit by 10%?

Let's step through this.
  $1,300,000,000,000.00 deficit
+   $790,000,000,000.00 new spending
-   $650,000,000,000.00 deficit reduction
= $1,440,000,000,000.00 deficit

Yep, that's an increase, all right.

We'll start by being honest with ourselves about the magnitude of our deficits.

By making them bigger.

For too long, our budget process in Washington has been an exercise in deception;

Not just the budget processes, Barack.

a series of accounting tricks to hide the expense of our spending and the shortfalls in our revenue and hope that the American people won't notice.

True. What's a good example?

Budgeting certain expenditures for just one year, when we know we'll incur them every year for five or 10;

Great point. But wait, that sounds exactly like the "stimulus package" ... you know, the parts where you create new programs and fund them for one or two years, but don't provide for the dissolution of the program? Indeed, some of those changes must be funded at the state level in perpetuity. Hypocrite. Again.

Take one example: The Department of Agriculture has moved some of its training programs online, saving an estimated $1.3 million a year. They're modernizing their financial management system, saving an estimated $17.5 million. They're saving tens of thousands of dollars by cutting back on conferences and travel and other small expenses that add up over time.

Hooray! We're saving a few million dollars! If we can do that another 42,021 times we can offset the initial costs the stimulus bill. (Yes, 42 THOUSAND more times).

And we will reinstate the pay-as-you-go rule that we followed during the 1990s, the rules that helped us start this new century with a $236 billion surplus.

I support pay-as-you-go rules for most of government (except for ongoing obligations like medicare, social security and so on ... those shouldn't be funded at all, but if they must be funded they shouldn't Ponzi schemes). Like the rest of Obama's "rules", I doubt he'll keep his word.

The PAYGO approach is based on a very simple concept: You don't spend what you don't have. So if we want to spend, we'll need to find somewhere else to cut.

... anyone want to guess how I'm going to respond to this? Apparently he didn't understand the PAYGO concept a few weeks ago.

In the end, however, if we want to rebuild our economy, and restore discipline and honesty to our budget, we will need to change the way we do business here in Washington. We're not going to be able to fall back into the same old habits, and make the same inexcusable mistakes, the repeated failure to act as our economy spiraled deeper into crisis.

Sorry, but the government can't rebuild an economy, except by stepping out of the way. And Obama will not do that. I'm all for increased government accountability, trimming waste and cutting spending, but I don't believe for a single second that Obama is planning on doing that. Oh sure, he'll make cuts, but only to fund his own pet projects.

This whole thing makes me sick.
  2009-02-24
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Thank goodness! Fiscal Responsibility
 
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