Dick blew it

Rick Newman at U.S. News:

How Obama Blew a Big Debt Deal

If there’s one rational man in Washington, it appears to be Barack Obama. The president casts himself as a leader among dilettantes, an executive intent on governing rather than picking political fights or sniping at the competition. He’s getting a lot of help from Republicans like Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Eric Cantor, who are starting to seem like petulant narcissists who crave a crisis because it keeps their names in the news. Foes like them make it easy to seem statesmanlike.

ZOMG, put down the Koolaid and step away from the punchbowl! Obama is the King of Dilettantes – he hasn’t stayed at one job long enough to accomplish anything. And all he does is keep sniping at the GOPers – acting like Congress isn’t a co-equal branch of our government. As for “petulant narcissists.” don’t even go there.

But Obama is at the middle of a crisis over government borrowing and the national debt because he helped create it. Obama, like many Americans, is obviously weary of the partisan bickering that threatens to cut off the government’s borrowing ability and tank the U.S. economy. “The American people do not want to see a bunch of posturing, he huffed at a recent press conference. “What they want is for us to solve problems. He insists it’s time to do “something big to fix the huge mismatch between government spending and revenue, which requires Washington to borrow money to finance about 40 percent of all spending.

40% is a huge mismatch alright. We can’t blame Obama for all of that, but he’s on the hook for a big chunk of it.

Yet Obama has had plenty of chances to do something big about runaway spending and the mushrooming national debt, and he’s taken a pass every time. He clearly didn’t anticipate the showdown that’s developed this summer over raising the debt ceiling, figuring Congress would raise the government’s borrowing limit this year the same as it has done dozens of times before. Instead, Obama is now fighting to prevent an abrupt and highly disruptive cutback in spending, which would be the outcome if Congress refuses to raise the debt ceiling by early August. Even if it is raised, Obama could end up being the first U.S. president to hold office while rating agencies like Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s downgrade the nation’s AAA debt rating. Here’s how Obama got himself into this predicament:

He passed a huge stimulus bill with no plan to pay for it. Investors and economists have no problem with deficit spending by the U.S. government. It’s routine, especially in a crisis, when governments have traditionally spent more to help boost an ailing economy. But the old Keynesian tradition of fiscal stimulus has an important caveat: The government is supposed to pay back what it borrowed later, by cutting spending and boosting taxes when the economy is healthier.

I’m okay with a concept of Keynesian economics, but Dick and the Dickocrats screwed it up. That’s not surprising, they could screw up a one-car parade.

The first fuck up was TARP – they bailed out the lenders but not the borrowers, and didn’t force Wall Street to change it’s profligate ways. Any bank that is “too big to fail” is too big, period. Hell, those assholes even got their bonuses after nearly destroying our economy.

Yes, I realize that TARP was passed before Obama took office, but the Dickocrats controlled Congress and Obama supported it. Some people think that whole crisis was staged to help Dick win the election (depending on the poll you look at he was barely ahead or even trailing McCain until then.)

As for the Stimulus, it was too little and they spent the money wrong. We should have started new versions of the WPA and TVA – putting people to work on public works projects.

As historian J.D. Hicks pointed out in Republican Ascendency,

“. . . money poured in at the top of the economic system tended to stay there, whereas money poured in at the bottom tended to rise through all levels of business and to strengthen the economy as a whole.”

Guess where Dick and the Dickocrats poured the money?

As for Dick not anticipating a showdown, you would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see one coming clear back to last November. What did Dick think the GOP was gonna do, come by the White House for a tea party?

Actually, I suspect Dick not only anticipated this showdown, I think he planned on it as part of his reelection strategy.

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40 Responses to Dick blew it

  1. Mary says:

    Your last sentence? I don’t doubt it for a second.

    It’s part of the Plouffe/Axelrod plan to appear “presidential.”

    They don’t think the American people are smart enough to see through the okey-doke.

  2. yttik says:

    “…figuring Congress would raise the government’s borrowing limit this year the same as it has done dozens of times before.”

    This is such a lie. He was there in 2006 when every Democrat voted to not raise the debt ceiling. He doesn’t just know it’s controversial, he’s participated in the controversy himself.

    I agree, I think he planned this showdown. He may think he’s trying to imitate Clinton, and force the Repubs to shutting down the Gov so he can come out looking like a good guy. But that’s really not how it went down with Clinton, Clinton really had to work hard to bring his approval up. Republicans won a majority that lasted until 2007. People didn’t really hate the GOP for shutting down the Gov, they kind of liked it. Well, the GOP base and independents did, anyway. I don’t really believe Clinton won a second term because the GOP shut down the Gov down, he won because he got the economy rolling, he compromised with Republicans, he showed some leadership.

    • WMCB says:

      The repubs took congress for over a decade after that shutdown. The only one who came out looking bad was Newt himself – more because he was an asshole personally than because of the shutdown itself.

      Clinton got up after that shutdown and made his famous conciliatory speech to the people, and declared “the era of big govt is over.” He spoke openly about smaller, more efficient government being better. He talked about how the federal workforce had shrunk during his term. He spoke of welfare reform. That and the improving economy won him re-election.

      Clinton wasn’t re-elected because he stood firm on the govt shutdown and blamed it on the R’s. Nonsense. He was re-elected because he was contrite afterwards, and realized what the people wanted, shifted gears, and said so publicly. He listened. He put the will of the people and the good of the country above the advancement of his personal ideology. And the far left has hated him for it ever since.

      • WMCB says:


        Read his 1996 speech. THAT is why he won re-election. Not by demagoguing the shutdown. He won AFTER he stopped doing that, not because of it.

      • I wasn’t keeping up with politics then. Fwiw, here’s how it looked from my sideline seat.

        Bill Clinton went in saying ‘our generation would have to sacrifice’ to clean up the Bush I mess. Our generation didn’t like that. So he said ‘I feel your pain’ and thought some more and came up with a really good plan about saving interest payments by paying down the National Debt, which worked great, and we had peace and prosperity.

        He also got a lot of people off generational welfare by giving them MORE benefits, of the right kind: education, childcare, etc. ‘Using our tools (liberal tools) to fix the conservative’s car.’

        I remember him and the Dem Congress of 1992 passing a good budget (with no GOP votes), which he defended by vetoing every GOP budget that tried to overturn it.

        • 1539days says:

          Clinton grew the national debt by about 6.5% each year of his first term. Bush 43 grew it by an average 7.5% per year. The big change occured after Clinton’s reelection when he and the Congress got it down to 4.5%.

  3. WMCB says:

    He planned it. Dragging their feet til the last minute and creating (or at least allowing) a budget/debt ceiling crisis was their chance to have something to demagogue the republicans on.

    Obama cannot function politically without a personally evil foil. He has no substance unless he can reflect off of “look at that other evil thing over there – that’s not me.”

  4. Three Wickets says:

    Barack Obama’s 2008 bundlers flee political ‘machine’ Woah, strong language in this Politico article. Can this be right.

    But the young professionals aren’t the only ones replacing those missing bundlers. They’ve have been replaced in part by one newly motivated and supportive group, gay fundraisers, whose money network has always been key to Democratic politics but who have warmed to Obama’s position on key issues since he’s been in the White House. But the largest new cohort is the permanent Democratic fundraising class, most of whom bet on Clinton in 2008. And their sharp elbows and desire for credit haven’t gone over well with the early, more idealistic donors.

    “I would bet you that 90 something [of former bundlers] are guys like me — we still love the president, but we did it because we believe in the cause,” said another early, large-scale bundler. “But now we’re getting bumped by the old Clinton folks. This is what they do for a living. They’re animals and they’re political whores and they want the access and the credit.”

    • angienc says:

      One of these guys actually described himself as a “fan” of Obama; another speaks about how they all “love the guy.” Jeez what a bunch of asshats.

      Has the LBGT community really gone back to Obama? {shakes head} Fools.

    • Karma says:

      Those Clinton “political whores”…..yet how many times does that article refer to political appointments/”office-seekers”/ambassadors as rewards for bundling? As least those Obots are consistent, whining when they’ve been outworked by others and refusing to see the writing on the wall about their candidate.

      While Obama’s campaign always depended in part on Chicago institutional money, office-seekers, and other traditional fundraising sources, the new campaign will be more machine and less dream, more sweat and less inspiration.

      Weird article….it also tries to float that small donor claim again as if to prove Romney is TPTB’s candidate.

  5. ralphb says:

    Heh, that US News article is one of the most passive-aggressive pieces I’ve ever read,

  6. ralphb says:

    MarketWatch Why we’ll have 10% unemployment soon

    3 key sectors show just how weak job market is and the author is only discussing large corporations.

    • Dario says:

      Borders just went bankrupt and that company has about 7800 employees. The June employment numbers showed 18000 jobs created. State and municipalities downsized and offset most of the jobs that had been created by the private sector. If the private sector goes negative and local governments go negative, we might see unemployment higher than 10 percent.

      The stock market is doing great though. I can’t figure that one out. It almost feels like the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008 when the stock market ignored the housing bubble.

      • ralphb says:

        Yep it does. One reason corps are sitting on cash is to make deals if they come along. Example, before I retired my employer had made 18 acquisitions in the last 2 years. Quite a few of those are not fully integrated yet, as you would imagine. Once they are, some employees will be shed and it could be a lot of them.

  7. ralphb says:

    Love this ad. It’s going on air in Florida, Montana, Nebraska, and Ohio.

  8. WMCB says:

    Raising the debt ceiling is just a temporary problem. We will still get downgraded as a credit risk if we don’t get spending under control. From S&P today:

    If an agreement is reached to raise the debt ceiling but nothing meaningful is done in terms of deficit reduction, the U.S. would likely have its rating cut to the AA category, S&P said.
    “While banks and broker-dealers wouldn’t likely suffer any immediate ratings downgrades, we would downgrade the debt of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the ‘AAA’ rated Federal Home Loan Banks, and the ‘AAA’ rated Federal Farm Credit System Banks to correspond with the U.S. sovereign rating,” S&P said in its report.

    “We would also lower the ratings on ‘AAA’ rated U.S. insurance groups, as per our criteria that correlates insurers’ and sovereigns’ ratings,” the firm said.


  9. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jul/21/barack-obama-social-security-cuts

    The president’s attacks on America’s social safety net are destroying the soul of the Democratic party’s platform

    Glenn Greenwald guardian.co.uk, Thursday 21 July 2011
    But in 2009, clear signs emerged that President Obama was eager to achieve what his right-predecessor could not: cut social security. Before he was even inaugurated, Obama echoed the right’s manipulative rhetorical tactic: that (along with Medicare) the programme was in crisis and producing “red ink as far as the eye can see.” President-elect Obama thus vowed that these crown jewels of his party since the New Deal would be, as Politico reported, a “central part” of his efforts to reduce the deficit.
    Fast forward to 2011: it is now beyond dispute that President Obama not only favours, but is the leading force in Washington pushing for, serious benefit cuts to both social security and Medicare.

    This week, even as GOP leaders offered schemes to raise the debt ceiling with no cuts, the White House expressed support for the Senate’s so-called “gang of six” plan that includes substantial cuts in those programmes.

    The same Democratic president who supported the transfer of $700bn to bail out Wall Street banks, who earlier this year signed an extension of Bush’s massive tax cuts for the wealthy, and who has escalated America’s bankruptcy-inducing posture of Endless War, is now trying to reduce the debt by cutting benefits for America’s most vulnerable – at the exact time that economic insecurity and income inequality are at all-time highs.
    Therein lies one of the most enduring attributes of Obama’s legacy: in many crucial areas, he has done more to subvert and weaken the left’s political agenda than a GOP president could have dreamed of achieving. So potent, so overarching, are tribal loyalties in American politics that partisans will support, or at least tolerate, any and all policies their party’s leader endorses – even if those policies are ones they long claimed to loathe.

    And thus will Obama succeed – yet again – in gutting not only core Democratic policies, but also the identity and power of the American Left.

    • Dario says:

      Good stuff. I’ll read the whole article and find out where Glenn takes his swipe at Bill and Hillary Clinton.

      • I didn’t see one, other than possibly blaming Summers (Bill’s last Sec of Treasury, but the writer didn’t mention Bill) for staffing Obama’s Catfood Commission. And that may have been a grammar ambiguity, as he talked about Obama in the same paragraph:

        The next month, [Obama’s] top economic adviser, the Wall Street-friendly Larry Summers, also vowed specific benefit cuts to Time magazine. He then stacked his “deficit commission” with long-time advocates of social security cuts.

        I think they should cut benefits to Time Mag, too.

    • Dario says:

      The obligatory swipe at the Clintons is not there. I guess Glenn has figured out Hillary is not going to run in 2012.

    • DandyTiger says:

      Love this comment on that article:

      surely part of the problem is that people still regard the Democrat party as somehow left wing. If it was in the UK it would probably be to the right of the Tories – with the Republicans somewhere to the right of UKIP…..

      There is no left-wing right-wing choice – it’s just a choice of how you like your corporate neo-liberalism….. unabashed (Republican) or behind closed doors (Democrat).

      • DandyTiger says:

        And this one:

        … What boggles my mind is that these policies have been tried and have been proved failures, and yet Obama is still carrying a very muddied torch. I admit I wasn’t a fan of him before the election, but I’m starting to have more disregard than I did for President Bush, and that’s saying something.

      • 1539days says:

        This is similar to the situation in Canada. There are 4 parties. The NDP is more liberal than the liberal party and they finally beat the Liberal Party this year. It did, however, lead to a conservative majority. The advantage of multiple parties if that they can mix and match ideas and once in a while one of the parties might be right.

    • DandyTiger says:


      “Therein lies one of the most enduring attributes of Obama’s legacy: in many crucial areas, he has done more to subvert and weaken the left’s political agenda than a GOP president could have dreamed of achieving. So potent, so overarching, are tribal loyalties in American politics that partisans will support, or at least tolerate, any and all policies their party’s leader endorses – even if those policies are ones they long claimed to loathe. ”

      But but, the Obama fanbois and fangirls keep telling us that Obama MUST be supported, because Bachmann / Palin / whichever Repub bogey(wo)man would do all kinds of nasty things (nasty things which their idol Obama is doing).

  10. Dario says:

    If the dick told congress that he would get rid of Obamacare and in exchange, the Republicans would not seek an extension of the Bush tax cuts in 2012, Obama would have a good chance of being reelected. The picture of the deficit would change dramatically.

    It won’t happen.

  11. WMCB says:

    The evil thief dictator Walker seems to be getting some good results with his evil policies.



  12. djmm says:

    Helping the people at the bottom of the economic scale would have helped enormously. I could have gone along with TARP had there been reasonable regulations and conditions in exchange. But no…


    • WMCB says:

      djmm, they not only did not end “too big to fail”, which was bad enough, they enshrined future bailouts in law, via Dodd-Frank.

      • ralphb says:

        And created a small army of regulators to enforce the new regulations which will serve to enshrine crony capitalism from now on. Dodd-Frank should be repealed.

  13. ralphb says:

    Boehner and Obama Nearing Budget Deal, Leaders Told

    Spending cuts now and raising revenue later through a tax code rewrite. Hmmmmm.

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has informed Democratic Congressional leaders that President Obama and Speaker John A. Boehner were starting to close in on a major budget deal that would enact substantial spending cuts and seek future revenues through a tax overhaul, Congressional officials said Thursday.

    This seems like a delusional crock since the SS and Medicare cuts were not proposed by the GOP but by Obama (and Dick Durbin) 😉

    Democratic and Republican leaders in both chambers were resistant to an Obama-Boehner deal for separate political reasons — the Republicans because of party opposition to new taxes and Democrats because many want to campaign in 2012 against Republicans’ proposed deep cuts in Medicare and Medicaid and a compromise, they believe, would make that harder.

    Dishonest louts, people should never believe DIck.

  14. ralphb says:

    Healthcare law could leave families with high insurance costs Duh!

    A major provision of the healthcare reform law designed to prevent businesses from dropping coverage for their workers could inadvertently leave families without access to subsidized health insurance.

    The problem is a huge headache for the Obama administration and congressional Democrats, because it could leave families unable to buy affordable health insurance when the healthcare law requires that everyone be insured starting in 2014.

    Some of the administration’s closest allies on healthcare reform warn this situation could dramatically undercut support for the law, which already is unpopular with many voters and contributed to Democrats losing the House in the 2010 midterm elections.

    “It’s going to be a massive problem if it comes out that families have to buy really expensive employer-based coverage,” said Jocelyn Guyer, deputy executive director at Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families.

    “If they don’t fix this — and by ‘they’ I mean either the administration or Congress — we’re going to have middle-class families extremely unhappy with [healthcare] reform in 2014, because they’ll basically be facing financial penalties for not buying coverage when they don’t have access to any affordable options.”

    These ridiculous little gems just keep popping out all the time. Repeal ObamaCare Now!

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