Wednesday, 03 March 2010

Barack Obama, Deficit Peacock

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I’m a deficit hawk. I hope you’re one as well.

If you are it means you want to see our gargantuan government put on a strict diet. You want to force it to live within its means, rather than borrow trillions of dollars to spend on programs we don’t want or need.

(As one crazy example, we just agreed to borrow a billion dollars from China so we can send it to Brazil to bribe them stop cutting down trees. That’s just one of the Administration’s new “ecology” programs.)

Deficit hawks are sick and tired of the way deals are done in our nation’s capitol (and far too many state capitols). We get angry knowing that our representatives use our money to bribe other voters so they can play “Big Spender” in Washington. We’re seriously afraid that our leaders will destroy our currency and bankrupt our country.

That’s what the phrase “deficit hawk” means. What does that make our president? I know President Barack Obama, and I can assure you he’s no deficit hawk. Despite all of his talk about cutting spending, trimming needless programs and being as frugal as possible with our money, he’s more like a deficit peacock.

By that I mean he’s much more concerned about how he looks and sounds than believing what he says. I’m sorry to have to say this, but our president is living proof of the old cliché about how you know a politician is lying (answer: his lips move).

I’m beginning to believe that the narcissistic egomaniac who occupies the Oval Office actually believes his own rhetoric. How else could our Teleprompter in Chief sound so sincere and convincing when he gets in front of a microphone to ‘splain things to us?

Here’s the Straight Talk rule for deciphering a politician’s rhetoric: Forget about what he says. Instead, watch what he does. What Barrack Obama has done is promote a spending spree that would make a drunken sailor jealous.

Obama has taken federal spending to a whole new level. If you thought George Bush, with his “guns and butter” social conservatism was irresponsible, W was a miserly skinflint compared to the smooth-talking sugar daddy who replaced him.

Immediately after taking office Obama increased discretionary domestic spending by 8 percent. That was for the second half of fiscal 2009. In fiscal 2010, he and his staff increased it by another 12 percent. Taken together, that’s a 24 percent increase in federal spending since George Bush’s last full year in office. And that total doesn’t even include Obama’s $787 billion “stimulus” package—or the new one he wants.

Now our Dissembler in Chief has promised to cut discretionary spending by 1 percent. As my grandkids would say, “Big whoop.” Let me tell you what’s not included in this so-called spending freeze:

• Various government entitlement programs, such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

• The half-trillion in “stimulus” money that hasn’t been spent.

• Foreign aid.

• Pet federal education programs.

• All of the various “greening” programs.

Bottom line? The anticipated savings from Obama’s so-called “freeze” amount to less than 1 percent of this year’s deficit—and that’s if Congress doesn’t add any pork or earmarks to the plan. Want to bet on that?

In his speech, Obama said, “I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans.” I can only admire the restraint of everyone in the audience; not a single person blurted out, “You lie!”

Last Sunday President Obama released the Federal Budget for fiscal 2011. It projects that federal spending will rise to $3.72 trillion in fiscal 2010, then climb to $3.83 trillion in fiscal 2011.

The projections include a deficit of $1.56 trillion this fiscal year and an additional $1.27 trillion next year. Then the numbers are supposed to start coming down.

Don’t believe for a second that they will. One of the key assumptions in the Obama budget is that inflation will be half the average rate it has been for the past 100 years. Does anyone anywhere really believe that?

Since they took over Congress the Democrats have increased non-defense spending by an astronomical $1.4 trillion. Under the new budget the national debt will triple by 2020.

During the past 15 months, our profligate government has amassed $1.8 trillion of new indebtedness. Believe it or not, Obama’s boys ran a deficit each and every month, including the tax-collection month of April. (While no one likes to mention it, the government normally enjoys a surplus in April. In fact, it has done so each and every April for the past 26 years. Then Mr. Obama took over.)

To help put that $1.8 trillion in new debt in perspective, consider this: That is more than double the total debt that this country accumulated during the first 200 years of its existence. Our debt load did not crack the $1 trillion mark until 1980.

To put it another way, today our dangerously profligate government racks up as much debt in six months as we did in our first 200 years.

And that’s why I say Barrack Obama and his cohorts in Congress are deficit peacocks.

They strut around Washington pretending to care about deficits… pretending they want to balance the budget… pretending they’ll help freeze spending.

Their strategy is simple and their audacity is amazing: Promise spending cuts in the future while going on a spending spree today. And this with money stolen from us in taxes or, even worse, stolen from our unborn heirs in the form of inflation.

That’s what deficit peacocks do. Nearly 50 years ago one of Lyndon Johnson’s cronies bragged about the strategy: “Tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect—the public is too damn dumb to understand.” The big-spending liberals haven’t changed a thing since then. Frankly, they haven’t needed to.

I wish I could claim credit for that marvelous descriptor, “deficit peacocks.” But I first heard it from the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning policy group in Washington. I may not like your recommendations, fellows. But I love your phrase.

There is an epic battle going on in this country between the people who earn the money and the people who want to spend it—or even worse, want it spent on themselves. The pendulum is currently at the half-way point. Fifty percent of the population pays more than 97 percent of the taxes. We’re the ones who fill the trough. The other 50 percent get to eat there.

Is there any way to beat them? Yes. All we have to do is work harder to get decent people elected to office.

Hey, we already work a lot harder than they do in our jobs, our lives, our charities, our churches. Why can’t we work harder to defeat them at the polls?

As the voters in Massachusetts just proved, we can. So let’s do it.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

Chip Wood was the first news editor of The Review of the News and also wrote for American Opinion, our two predessor publications. He is now the geopolitical editor of Personal Liberty Digest, where his Straight Talk column appears twice a month. This article first appeared in and has been reprinted with permission.

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