Rick Newman at U.S. News:
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.