Tuesday, January 15, 2013

No more hope and change

Here's Michael Gerson in the WashPost: "Politics as usual"
There is one main downside to this approach. It delays any serious action on long-term debt for at least another two (and probably four) years. It is the path of a government that moves from fiscal crisis to crisis, gradually undermining global confidence that it can manage its own affairs. An economy in which uncertainty, slow growth and high unemployment become norms. A federal budget increasingly devoted to entitlements at the expense of other purposes, including defense — eventually undercutting our international influence in the same way that Europe has become depleted, insular and toothless.
Obama’s short-term political calculations are understandable. It is the cost to posterity that is unreasonable.
I understand that "politics ain't beanbag" but I've yet to see any evidence that this President is remotely serious about addressing our debt problem.  Does he even think of it as a problem?  Because Fitch thinks differently:
A major credit-rating firm warned it could downgrade the U.S. if lawmakers prioritize debt payments over other government obligations such as Social Security, or fail to tackle the nation's growing debt burden in the ongoing budget negotiations.
There's the tax increases which will pay for a couple days of government spending, the mystery spending cuts, and repeated, insistent claims that he's willing to tackle entitlement spending which never materialize into actual proposals.

And since I'm in mid-rant, I'm so sick of the White House press corps which insists on asking the same stale questions so that Obama can filibuster his way through the answer.  How about pinning him down on just one of these entitlement reform ideas, which he bravely frames as "going against his own party"?  What about the moral component of piling trillions of new debt onto unborn generations?  Major Garrett was the only correspondent who had the temerity to remind Obama that the then-Senator voted against raising the debt ceiling, calling it a failure of leadership and "a sad state of affairs."  But that was then and there can be no failure of leadership when Obama is the leader.

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