The President’s Non Plan

15 Apr

Well, well. Did you watch Obama’s speech this week? You know, the one where he was supposed to lay out his budget plan for next year? Hope you didn’t get your hopes up. Instead our president pitched himself a good ‘ol hissy-fit. Geez, I fully expected at any moment he would poke out his bottom lip and stomp his foot like a 2-year old.

First, he continues his “Blame Bush” mantra. According to him, our current fiscal challenge was created in the 2000’s due to the cost of two wars, an expensive prescription drug program, and tax cuts for the rich. 
Blah, blah… You’ve been president how long now and you’re still blaming Bush? And actually, the debt increased about 4 Trillion during Bush’s 8 years, but has increased by 3.6 Trillion in your measly 2 years in office.

Then he went into this long derision of Paul Ryan’s budget plan, The Path to Prosperity. I mean it was nasty. To hear Obama, Ryan’s plan will see old folks kicked out of nursing homes, college campuses emptied due to lack of student loans, puppies drowned, kittens strangled, etc. To top it off, he had invited Ryan to his speech, giving him a front row seat, and then proceeded to vilify him in front of our nation. Can you believe that audacity?!

Obama’s speech was a little over 43 minutes long, but he didn’t start on his budget points until 25 minutes in and laid them out in about 10 minutes.  The final 10 minutes he basically  stomped his feet some more.

Here’s a short recap of his points:

1. We will keep annual domestic spending low by building on the savings of the recently passed FY2011 budget; buuuuut, we will not cut X, we will not cut Y, we will do this, we will do that, etc.
Blah, blah, blah. Same ol’ crap.

2. I’m telling Defense Secretary Gates to “find” additional savings in the defense budget (and when you find it, come talk to me and I’ll decide what to do about it.)
Duuuh, ok. Don’t mind me; I just fell off the turnip truck and stumbled in here by mistake.

3. Reduce health care costs by “reducing the costs of health care itself.”
Oh, you sly devil. Where’s that magic wand you’ve been hiding all this time?  Oh, no wand available; so, how then?

  • Through the upcoming savings from the passed health care law. Oh my gosh, he’s referring to that dreaded Obamacare!
  • By eliminating wasteful spending. Well, why are we not doing that already?!
  • “……..” Some babbling about Medicare efficiency and prescription prices.
  • Demand that states are efficient and accountable with Medicaid funds. Um-hum 
  • Change how we pay for health care through incentives to doctors and hospitals to prevent injuries and improve results.  Is that some sort of threat? 
  • Strengthen an independent commission which will recommend best ways to reduce spending. Great, another commission. 
  • Here comes the kicker: If costs don’t go down a certain amount, then the commission gets more power!

4. Reduce tax expenditures (his cute way of saying “raise taxes”), particularly on those nasty millionaires and billionaires by limiting their itemized deductions. Oh, heck, just change the whole tax code while you’re at it.
 
Second kicker alert!  The debt “fail-safe” clause:  If we don’t hit certain savings targets by 2014, then his plan requires us to find more cuts.  Whaaat?  How does that work?  If it’s that easy, why don’t we just skip to that step now?!

Gotta share this Obama quote in support of raising taxes on the rich, ” [Wealthy Americans] want to give back to their country–a country that’s done so much for them.  It’s just that Washington hasn’t asked them to.”  I kid you not.  He actually said that.

The reaction to Obama’s speech has been, um, strong.  Many people saw him in full campaign mode–choosing politics over serious budget debate, and I agree.  See the Wall Street Journal  and the following videos.

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