VDH on Obama and our debt

St. Obama and the Debt Dragon

“Reckless Fiscal Policies”

Why did Obama only enumerate George W. Bush’s big spending as responsible for the out-of-control $14 trillion-plus debt, while not mentioning his own contribution of $5 trillion? Why is there a debt limit standoff now, rather than, say, in 2009 or 2010? Why did this latest $1.6 trillion Obama budget prompt the current crisis? Why did not Obama earlier start debt limit talks the moment that his own hand-picked Simpson-Bowles commission presented their findings? Why did Obama just recently submit, and have rejected, a budget that would have scheduled even larger deficits of the sort he is now warning against (“Armageddon”)?

Why is voting against the debt limit reckless now, but in 2006 Obama lectured us thusly:

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

[….]

Why is Obama talking of new tax increases when he ruled that out in December 2010: taxes then bad, now seven months later good? Why does the president claim 80% of the people want taxes when polls prove no such thing?

[….]

The architects of his economic policies — Austan Goolsbee, Peter Orszag, Christina Romer, Larry Summers — did not even last three years. All now are either back in tenured academia, making millions in the revolving door that Obama once blasted, or writing op-eds why following their former advice is leading to insolvency, or all three combined. None are making the argument any more that we need more of their stimuli or ObamaCare will save us billions and create “400,000 new jobs.”

Their borrowing did not stop unemployment from plateauing at 9.1% or prevent the housing market from getting worse, or growth from stalling, or gas from soaring, or the beginnings of a new inflation. In the meantime, the model of Obamism (e.g., Greece, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Ireland) in Europe of high taxes, redistributive government, astronomical debt, and unsustainable pensions has crashed. So Obamism did not work, and now is the politically opportune time, before the 2012 election, to follow the famed Obama reinvention stratagem: Cite straw men and extremists on both sides, and put St. Obama plop in the middle as the sober, great dragon slayer, who blames both his contemporaries and his predecessor. Hard to do, I know, when you wasted $5 trillion, but do it nonetheless he has. In the word of Obama, wasted borrowed money is “stimulus,” not so shovel ready jobs are “investments,” and hiking taxes on someone else is “revenue enhancement.”

[….]

Again, today everything borrowed since 2009 is considered wise “investment,” and thus pruning back any of the unnecessarily added spending is deemed heartless. Remember the logic of the debtor (I knew it well during the dark years of farming in the early 1980s when I saw the indebted everywhere): the debtor always asks himself why he should have to pay anything back, since his lenders still have more money than he. A Greece shrugs that even without their $180 billion paid back, Germans are still wealthier than Greeks; an Obama shrugs that even with higher taxes, the “wealthy” still have more than the recipients of federal largess.

If anyone thought that past Obama lamentations about the Supreme Court’s failure to force “redistributive change,” about the need to spread the wealth, about the notion that at some point we have made enough money were aberrant, then examine the most recent Obama toss off that he has hundreds of thousands in income “he doesn’t need” and thus doesn’t mind paying higher taxes on it (so should we all if we just had a government-paid-for house, car, plane, food, and expenses).

There Is a Pattern Here

Note well this pattern of suddenly turning to the neglected debt: Obama lectured for most of 2008 that “drill, baby, drill” was silly, given his belief that increased supply would only marginally affect then climbing prices, and his religion that high gas prices are good in that they make wind/solar subsidized energy more attractive, encourage less energy use and thus cool the planet, while favoring government mass transit rather than the mindless individual’s use of a private car. Then as reelection neared, he tapped the strategic petroleum reserve on the logic that while drilling more new oil does not lower prices, pumping previously drilled oil most surely does.

Note well that suddenly Obama called for withdrawal in Afghanistan, on the logic that, while a few months ago a surge, a new commander, and a sustainable commitment were vital to winning the “good war,” now, with reelection looming, it is time to start packing it in.

There is more, some I have left out is important to read.

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