• "God invented war so Americans could learn geography" -- Mark Twain.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Obama's Stunning Hypocrisy

In his Monday night Address to the Nation (July 25) [1], Obama called upon Americans to contact their representatives and rally around his “balanced approach” to reducing the budget. Obama’s speech was littered with fair sounding sound bites but he was in fact asking ordinary Americans to pay for corporate tax breaks with cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

The President has himself stated that Social Security is not a cause of the deficit. (April 2011 White House “Fact Sheet”) [2] If Social Security recipients are not the cause of the either the debt or deficit why should they pay for it at all? How “balanced” is that?

The President’s illogic is stunning. The purely tactical justification for his four trillion dollar “Grand Plan” was that Republican support for “tax increases” on wealthy Americans and corporations could only be teased out by offering matching cuts to entitlements. In other words, unfairness is the price struggling Americans have to pay for getting the richest elements in society to pay their so-called fair share. What kind of logic is that?

Obama’s Oxymoron is tissued over with ambiguous weasel words. In his Monday night address Obama first spoke of “modest adjustments” to entitlements such as Medicare. He then turned around and spoke of the “painful cuts” needed to make sure “the burden is fairly shared.” Which is it?

Although disguised in a morass of legerdemain, the “modest adjustments” are, in Senator Bernie Sanders’ (Ind-Vt) words, “horrendous.”

Worse than the double-talk on the entitlement side is Obama’s outright obfuscation on the revenue side. Not once has Obama ever called for an increase in tax rates for the wealthy. In fact, in his April 2011 Fact Sheet, the President spoke glowingly of his plan’s lowering of the corporate tax to the lowest level in 25 years. [2]

What “revenue increases” really means is asking wealthy speculators and corporations “to give up some their breaks in the tax code and special deductions.” While this may be a step toward fairness, it is basically small beer.

Over the weekend, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (Dem Nev) put forth a 2.7 trillion dollar plan that balanced the budget with somewhat fuzzy cut backs to discretionary spending coupled with an end to the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Tax rates were not raised, but entitlements were not cut. [3]

The White House at first praised the plan, but later in the evening, the President himself took to the air to champion his Grand Slam to the elderly, sick and disabled. Obama argued,

“So the debate right now isn’t about whether we need to make tough choices. ... The debate is about how it should be done. Most Americans, regardless of political party, don’t understand how we can ask a senior citizen to pay more for her Medicare before we ask a corporate jet owner or the oil companies to give up tax breaks that other companies don’t get.”

Actually, most Americans don’t understand why a senior citizen on a meager fixed income and barely getting by should pay at all for a deficit he or she did not cause. (See Fauxbama Strikes Again)

Obama's hypocrisy is stunning. Republican intransigence and the Reid Plan, put forth by Senator Harry Reid (Dem Nev) gives Obama a political out by opting for a more than patch- piece budget that does not penalize entitlements while still being able to shift blame onto the opposition. And yet Obama still pushes for a plan that imposes cuts on Social Security.

In other words, Obama’s tactical justification for offering up Social Security sacrifices was and is simply a ruse. The President wants cuts to entitlements whether or not they are needed to get the Republicans on board.

Obama's Grand Slam is wrong and unfair. Of course, a long term deficit and debt reduction plan is desireable. But desireability is not an alchemy that turns unfairness into justice. Yes, Americans should contact their representatives and tell them: Thou shalt not offer up the aged and the orphaned as sacrifices to Moloch.

©WoodchipGazette, 2011.

[1]http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press office/2011/07/25/address-president-nation

[2]http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press office/2011/04/13/fact-sheet-presidents-framework-shared prosperity-and-shared-fiscal-resp

[3]http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/173445-reid-unveils 27t-debt-cut-plan-dares-the-gop-to-vote-no

[4]http://wcg-features.blogspot.com/2011/07/fauxbama strikes-again.html