Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Obama slides into political imbecility

You may have heard this morning that the President intends to announce a budget "freeze" on discretionary spending -- not counting "security."

The Economist, not exactly a socialist rag, remarks:

If it weren't enough that the proposal treats voters as children and a serious problem as a political football to be kicked around, the president's plan also appears to endanger an economy that hasn't meaningfully raised employment in over a decade and it solidifies defence spending as the untouchable budget category, when in fact it should be anything but.

While administration flunkies try to tell us they'll only make smart cuts to "wasteful" programs, the largest item in the "wasteful" column is untouchable. In fact,

...it's worth noting that 30,000 additional troops in Afghanistan will cost $17 billion in 2011, almost exactly what is being cut from the budget by this maneuver.

Tim Fernholz, TAPPED

It was hard to imagine that any Democrat could govern as badly as the Bush regime, but we are rapidly getting there.

Managing an empire in decline is hard, maybe impossible, but our politicians of both parties are finding an endless supply of ways to make things worse. We the people are in for a very tough ride.


Unknown said...

OMG, now we are an "empire in decline", not at a perilous crossroads. Obama is moving towards a centrist stance, which worked for Bill Clinton and will likely work for him. He is attempting to find the middle ground of his constituency, following the "Massachusetts Miracle." Message from that: Want to be re-elected? Think centrist. No more spending. Forget this kind of healthcare reform.

Losing the war in Afghanistan loses votes and generally demoralizes the nation, leaving "animal spirits" depressed. After VietNam when so many rose in opposition to the war, me among them, the demoralization at the sense of defeat was not overcome until after the bombing of Libya in retaliation for a Libya government terrorist nightclub bombing.

We were whimpering and waiting for the next terrorist event. Our attitudes changed fundamentally. We were proud to be Americans once more, in a different way. The stock market and our economy rose significantly across the next decades, where it had been in stagflation before, in response to military buildups and the largest tax cuts in the history of our country and generally favorable treatment for entrepreneurial undertakings.

We can't just make this stuff up, on the basis of what we imagine would be best in an ideal utopian society. We have to note what works and what doesn't.

All the best,

Jim in Texas

janinsanfran said...

Glad to see someone responding to my assertion, made here often, that this is an empire in decline (on a planet threatened by human-caused climate change, just to make matters worse.) I completely agree with Jim that "we can't just make this stuff up" -- reality is intruding on American fantasies and can only be grappled with, not ignored. Current leadership is clearly inadequate, sadly; head in the sand responses are likely from all our politicians for as long as they can get away with it.

Trouble ahead.