House Republicans are staking themselves out as considerably more conservative than their duplicitous invertebrate counterparts in the Senate. The GOP in the Senate recently passed a “compromise” bill that would see Americans chuck out another trillion for left-wing goodies, including increases or only slight cuts in numerous federal programs. But the House has since denied the Senators their holiday stocking stuffers.
Those who thought electing Barack Obama would usher in a new era of hope and change and a redirection from George Bush’s militarism and spending on overseas wars might want to look away. We wouldn’t want you to lose the pleasant illusion that the Nobel Peace Prize-winning warmonger in the White House celebrating the assassination of a foreign head of state he didn’t even kill is something other than what he claims.
Below is a graph of U.S. defense spending from 2000, the year that Bush “stole” his election, projected to the end of Obama’s term. Those on the left who are bad at math have pretty colors to illustrate that both the DOD Budget Increase and Overseas Contingency (Wars) segments have gotten fatter, meaning that we are spending more under Barack Obama, who had a Democrat-controlled House and filibuster-proof Senate for his first two years, than at any time under fellow “war criminal” George W. Bush.
For those numbers guys in the audience, below are National Defense Outlays since 1960, as grabbed from a U.S. Census Bureau report.
As one can see from the chart, National Defense Outlays in dollar figures and as a percentage of GDP have gone up under Obama. Unless right-wingers are conspiring with the OMB and the Census Bureau, Barack Obama owns these numbers.
So fine, we’re spending more money overseas. Perhaps President Obama is putting less troops in harm’s way? Wrong again. In 2010, President Obama sent and kept more American troops overseas than at any point under George W. Bush.
Another right-wing conspiracy? These numbers are from the Department of Defense, which is not likely to be influenced by “teabagger” money.
Maybe President Obama is spending more money on national defense, and is sending more of our troops overseas, but he has slashed Homeland Security funding? Not the case.
Even when one accounts for Department of Defense funding, President Obama’s administration is spending far and away what George W. Bush did in any year of his presidency.
The popular perception that George W. Bush was a warmonger, while Barack Obama is a peace-loving president who is simply trying to successfully end the wars he inherited from Bush, just doesn’t fly. President Obama is every bit the “warmonger” George W. Bush was, and then some.
Reading an E.J. Dionne column is to me what Jersey Shore is to the lumpenproletariat: a sweeping but ultimately barren vista strewn with indiscernible trash, probably involving drugs, giving rise to an orgy of brazen idiocy whose incomprehensibility never fails to stroke one’s ego. In the nirvana of the Obama economy, one takes what little action one can get.
The recent offering by the infamously stupid Washington Post columnist asks the rhetorical rhetorical question, “Is it really time to cut spending?” I suppose I will be the Judas goat to carry Beelzebub into the desolate regions of Mr. Dionne’s thought and proffer a rebuttal.
As our esteemed unveiler of enlightened thought regales us:
“Take another five steps back and you realize how successful the tea party has been. No matter how much liberals may poke fun at them, tea party partisans can claim victory in fundamentally altering the country’s dialogue.”
If only dialogue were the ultimate determiner of our national fate! Surely there are more important things than “dialogue,” which I recount in the following order: ponies, chocolate ice cream, economic reality, lollipops, and puppy dog tails. Could we only get America to concentrate on all but economic reality, our problems would be solved!
Mr. Dionne continues, in professorial majesty:
“Consider all the things Washington and the media are mostly ignoring. You haven’t heard much lately on how Wall Street shenanigans tanked the economy in the first place — and in the process made a small number of people very rich. ”
Now how could evil Wall Street have devised a scam by which robber barons could invest their money in ballooning real estate assets guaranteed not to fail? Not sure how they could ever come up with such a scheme, but however they did it, we should have the government look into it immediately.
More airtight reasoning from our imagined interlocutor:
“Yet any discussion of the problems caused by concentrated wealth (a vital mainstream issue in the America of Andrew Jackson and both Roosevelts) is confined to the academic or left-wing sidelines.”
Perhaps the author would like to deviate from his echo chamber mannerisms and expand on this? What problem does it cause me if someone is rich if politicians are honest? Maybe America should strive to emulate a state with more equananimous living conditions – like North Korea? If we could only get a perfect Gini (pronounced “Genie”) coefficient, then our problems are over!
The author laments:
“You haven’t seen a lot of news stories describing the impact of long-term unemployment on people’s lives or the difficulty working-class kids are encountering if they want to go to college.”
Perhaps those narratives would contrast too much with life under a relatively free economy, making our current inhabitant of the Oval Office appear – less than competent?
“Thanks to the tea party, we are now told that all our problems will be solved by cutting government programs. Thus the House Republicans foresee nirvana if we simply reduce our spending on Head Start, Pell grants for college access, teen pregnancy prevention, clean water programs, K-12 education and a host of other areas.”
The tea party appreciates your commendation, though I am sure this was unintended verbal slippage on your part. But I would be remiss to point out that those goods and services you presume would cease to exist if it were not for the good graces of government are predicated on removing money from the private sector and redirecting it to the so-called “public sector” – at the escalating price of bureaucratic overhead and diminishing returns. This is not to mention that most self-respecting people have no problem working to fund their children’s education. Five percent unemployment when this country maintains a semblance of laissez-faire capitalism is not exactly Darfur.
But let us compare apples and kumquats. Government-funded workers now make twice what a similarly trained and educated counterpart does in the private sector when factoring in benefits. Are public employees twice as productive as private sector workers? Try half as productive and spoiled by perquisites the private sector workers only dream about. When overpaid government-funded workers spend their money in the economy, they consume, yes, consume resources they didn’t help produce, leading to a black hole in the economy. But let us not cast stones at your Keynesian gods, let’s wrap this exegesis up.
“Only a body dominated by millionaires could define ‘shared sacrifice’ as telling nurses’ aides and coal miners they have to work until age 69 while sharply cutting tax rates on wealthy people. I see why conservative Republicans like this. I honestly don’t get why Democrats — ‘the party of the people,’ I’ve heard — would come near such an idea.
So many shibboleths, so little time. One gets the feeling Mr. Dionne truly believes that if a millionaire has a million bucks, that it’s a million bucks that could be someone else’s. But if our economy is predicated on production, on earning, then the question becomes – what is that million dollars doing? Is it being used to consume resources or to produce them?
And as for the Democrats being the “party of the people,” that is exactly what it is: a never-ending party for greedy fat cat bankers (if we can borrow the left’s language when appropriate), power-hungry politicians, and unwilling-to-work welfare recipients. The wreckage of the Democrats’ policies dot the landscape, kind of like that Jersey Shore to rehash an old reference. While Mr. Dionne attributes the cause of our national economic malaise to a failure of government action, he apparently is unable to trace the failures of government action and attribute them to our economic malaise. The author thus demonstrates the left’s logic is Gordian in nature: the solution to all of our problems begins and ends with government.