Friday, August 5, 2011

Debt-Ceiling Done. Let's Do Lunch!

Barack Obama was so pleased with the performance of his debt team that he decided to take them all to lunch at Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill. It's a popular Washington hangout for those willing to admit they eat such unhealthy things as hamburgers and fries. I wish some of our locals had been on the team, because they're currently having problems buying hamburger, or any other form of meat.

Before winging off to his $40,000.00 per plate "birthday dinner" in Chicago, Obama felt that he should treat his staff to some good old American food to celebrate saving America from the debt-ceiling crisis. He needed to get out of town fast, because by Tuesday, the federal debt was once again approaching the new debt limit. That day alone, the government spent about $239 billion. That's the largest one-day spending spree in American history (even as a simple percentage of the GDP). I suppose I should add the previous one-day high was on June 30, 2009, and it's going to be hard to blame that one on George W. Bush.

The current "solution" to the debt crisis may be the shortest fix in history as well. Obama stated that the increase in the debt-ceiling gave the government some room to maneuver. He should have added "until the crisis next week." "We have now averted what could have been a disastrous blow to the economy. And we have identified on the front end over a trillion dollars in spending reductions that can be done sensibly and safely without affecting core programs." We "identified" the spending reductions back with the Paul Ryan proposals. The problem is actually rolling up your sleeves and doing something about them.

The one-day increase in debt in fact nearly ate up sixty percent of the $400 billion Congress gave Obama for what was supposed to be the foreseeable future. But he has not yet begun to spend. He was merely holding back a few expenditures until the increase would not exceed the previous ceiling of $14,295,000,000,000.00 (I wrote that out just to see how many zeroes were involved in writing $14.295 trillion). Now all we have to do is wait for the debt commission (yes, an all-new and improved debt commission) to "identify" another $1.5 trillion in reductions by Christmas Eve.

Says Obama: "It's going to be challenging work, and I'm encouraging Congress to take it with the utmost seriousness (while I'm off campaigning)." OK, I added the last part. The President failed to tell us why people who can afford $40,000.00 for a seat at the Presidential birthday celebration don't just write some big checks to the US Treasury. In order to spend that kind of money for cake and ice cream, these people must be rich, and we all know the rich don't pay their fair share.

I'm betting we'll have hit our heads on the new debt ceiling by Thanksgiving at the latest. But not to worry. The debt-ceiling compromise allows for Obama to raise it again by a further $500 billion if the commission so recommends and Congress doesn't act to block the increase. I just hope Obama had a really good hamburger at the eatery to kill the smell and taste of the stinkburger he and Congress just fed us all.

It isn't only people on the right who are questioning the deal struck at the eleventh hour by the House and the Senate and hastily signed by the President. While we complain that the debt monster is growing at an ever-increasing rate because of a failure to make draconian cuts to federal programs across-the-boards, the left is equally unhappy. As a sample, On CNN, anchor Don Lemmon wondered aloud whether Obama should run in 2012 as a conservative because of the drastic cuts he allowed to be made to vitally important federal social welfare programs handouts and giveaways. New York Times Keynesian economics writer Paul Krugman called the deal "an abject surrender to right wing forces."

On NBC's Today, MSNBC's resident money-man Jim Cramer chided the President for allowing the Republicans to push him into a debt-ceiling standoff that caused the price of stocks and bonds on Wall Street to fall. He didn't mention that the biggest fall started occurring at about the same time as the announcement of the deal and the one-day record increase in spending. MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell couldn't get to Obama directly so she did the next best thing. She attacked House Minority Leader San Fran Nan Pelosi for allowing the President to go along with a deal that doesn't include new increased taxes (she slipped and said "taxes" when the current fashion for the left is to say "revenue"). Asked Mitchell: "Is the President a bad negotiator? Did he give away too much?"

Between thee and me, I wasn't aware that the President did any negotiating at all. He waited until the last minute, then called in the offending Congress critters of both parties to tell them to work out a deal. He offered nothing of his own, and refused to soil his hands with petty refereeing. That's not negotiating, that's dictating. That's not a leader, that's a kibbitzer.

10 comments:

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

Isn't this what a dictator does? Tell his people to get money for him to spend then zip off to who knows where to celebrate? Just who does he think he is? Dictator? Owner? WTF? Maybe we should have let the nation default.

StanH said...

It’s amazing to think how screwed we are, until Barry is sent back to Chicago in 2013 (assumptive close, I don’t think this country can survive four more years of this clown). We are literally being led by an economic idiot, who has put our country as I heard last evening into a “Keynesian coma.” As a small businessman for thirty years, I’ve faced these kind of problems, in a much, much smaller scale, the solutions are tough, but simple, as they are self made. 2012 can’t get here fast enough for me…God help us.

rlaWTX said...

it's days like this that secession starts looking mighty fine again...

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: The Roman emperors come closest (although he hasn't developed the blood-lust quite yet). Bread and circuses. And they thought they were divinities, too.

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: I just hope we can keep the economy from collapsing entirely while we work toward the 2012 elections. Keynesian coma is a very apt description of his alleged thinking.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: Although I sympathize with your thought, we're not that far gone yet. There's much to be done between now and November 2012, but Obama has about run out of crises to exploit. Let's not hand him another one.

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

I was going to say something about Praetorian guards and their propensity for killing emperors.

Obama has no concept about being frugal nor is he ashamed of his behavior. He is a thoroughly amoral man. I am tired of the media scrambling around to hide it. Even FOX doesn't rip him apart.

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: The Praetorians are spread too thin, including the ones paying rent to guard the vice-emperor in Wilmington. LOL

I tend to think you're right about him being amoral. I know I've never seen a President in my lifetime with such complete contempt for the American people.

AndrewPrice said...

Let them eat burgers. . .

This all needs to be fixed by the Republicans in 2013 and they're going to have to do it over Democratic bodies because anyone who can't find a single penny to cut in a $3 trillion budget is obviously playing politics.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Why cut? According to Obama we can spend our way out of debt. LOL

I'd like to have a nice juicy burger right now, but I can't justify driving fifty miles on $4.89 per gallon gasoline to get one. I also don't have $40,000 to spare for birthday cake and ice cream. Isn't there a Democratic program for poor, white, rural retired lawyer-types? It's fundamentally unfair that I can't have a hamburger whenever I want one.

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