Posted by MataHarley on 22 January, 2011 at 10:04 pm. 14 comments already!


Tuesday’s the big night. The current POTUS will enter the chambers for another State of The Union address, but this time to a very different crowd than the echo chamber he’s enjoyed since moving into the White House. Already the New York Times writer’s, Jackie Calmes and Jeff Zeleny, are hailing it as a centrist “theme”, and “… geared more broadly toward the political center, to independent voters and business owners and executives alienated by the expansion of government and the partisan legislative fights of the past two years.”

Centrist? Any one that believes Obama will be tracking to the center in any way other than lip service is the perpetual optimist, IMHO. After reading the more detailed WSJ’s preview, I can only ask… more “politically center” than who? Chavez?

In the typical “have your cake, and eat it too” fashion this POTUS enjoys, Obama will attempt to appear to straddle the issues of the day, while continuing to push the same agenda of spending, spending, spending. It’s a feat that begs the traditional warning… “don’t try this at home without adult supervision”.

Mr. Obama will argue that the U.S., even while trying to reduce its budget deficit, must make targeted investments to foster job growth and boost U.S. competitiveness in the world economy. The new spending could include initiatives aimed at building the renewable-energy sector—which received billions of dollars in stimulus funding—and rebuilding roads to improve transportation, people familiar with the matter said. Money to restructure the No Child Left Behind law’s testing mandates and institute more competitive grants also could be included.

While proposing new spending, Mr. Obama also will lay out significant budget cuts elsewhere, people familiar with the plans say, though they will likely fall short of what Republican lawmakers have requested.

What a surprise… we’re back to more spending on green energy that creates few permanent jobs, while guaranteed to further increase the already increasing energy costs. We may be spared an embarrassing reference to Spain and their failed green energy plan as a model for success, considering that nation is on the fiscal edge, along with Portgugal.

But of course, the jobs-to-help-us-love-the-planet bit fits in quite nicely with Obama’s appointment of GE Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt to lead yet another panel, the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. GE is, of course, a manufacturer of solar panels. Conflict of interest much? Considering that Immelt’s new panel is supposed to replace Obama’s old panel… the Economic Recovery Advisory Board headed by Paul Volcker… we can only assume that Obama is just as likely to heed Immelt as surely as he chose to ignore Volcker and ilk. Kindred souls trumps sane fiscal advice any day of Obama’s week.

And speaking of ignored councils and panels, the NYTs article, linked above, also notes that the Obama WH will not be embracing the recommendations of the debt-reduction commission he created either. All of which means we’re left with the token table scraps of cuts he’ll be tossing to the crowd, and hoping the nation will see them as prime rib in their fantasies.

In general, the theme of deficit reduction will be less prominent in the speech as Mr. Obama emphasizes spending “investments” and “responsible” budget cutting at a time when Republicans have proposed spending cuts, unspecified, of 20 percent or more. “We’re also going to have to deal with our deficits and our debt in a responsible way,” Mr. Obama said in the videotaped message. “And we’ve got to reform government so that it’s leaner and smarter for the 21st century.”

There we go again… more new words to take the bite out of realty. Spending is now “investments”, and any attempts to take a long overdue axe to spending now must fit into the WH definition of “responsible”. We’ve also got a pretty good idea that the GOP’s spending cuts aren’t apt to see the light of day… or even the infamous back rooms of the WH in 11th hours. Not to mention, of course, the massive increase in federal agencies and personnel in the past two years makes that “leaner and smarter” government comment the epitome of hypocrisy.

Back to the WSJ’s report, they note:

White House officials have said that spending cuts of the magnitude proposed by Republicans could stall the economic recovery. Still, Mr. Obama is expected to pair his calls for investment with an admonition that the country must embark on targeted spending cuts. Late last year, he called for a two-year wage freeze for all federal civilian employees to save $5 billion. He’s expected to push for spending cuts on Tuesday, particularly in duplicative or dysfunctional federal programs.

All of which means we’re really right back at the place from whence we started… O’healthcare spending? Check. Financial reform and a few more new federal agencies? Check. Stimulus money spent? Check. What’s left? Obama is going to use the SOTU dress up that pig of spending for green energy in shimmering lipstick, while simultaneously muttering rhetoric about compromise and cuts for political posturing. We can expect the cameras to aid in that endeavor, as they pan in for close ups of the Congress members, who’ve announced they will be sitting with a pal from the other side of the aisle, no doubt wildly applauding at each table scrap thrown.

Right…. from my perspective, those table scraps appear more like gauntlets.

And I’m not alone in scratching my head at this proclamation this will be a new “centrist” POTUS and SOTU. Nile Gardiner at the Telegraph isn’t fooled by the showboating planned either.

While the British government has embarked on a large-scale austerity programme to completely eliminate the nation’s structural deficit by 2015, the Obama administration still remains committed to further stimulus spending in the United States, clinging to the naïve and hopeless belief that Big Government solutions are needed to get America’s economy back on its feet. As The Wall Street Journal reports today, President Obama is planning to unveil a series of new spending plans in his State of the Union address on Tuesday in response to Republican calls to cut $2.5 trillion in federal spending over the next decade.

The Obama presidency has been trying this high spending approach for the past two years and has spectacularly failed to advance America’s prosperity. Over $800 billion of stimulus spending has failed to create jobs, and has simply added to America’s ballooning $14 trillion national debt, which the Congressional Budget Office predicts could rise to 87 percent of GDP by 2020, 109 percent by 2025, and 185 percent of GDP by 2035, a massive millstone around the neck of the world’s only superpower.

By adopting this reckless stance, Barack Obama is demonstrating once again how out of touch he is with the views of the American people.

Now the question will be, can the public be fooled, yet one more time, by soaring rhetoric and lofty speeches? Or will they pick up that the spending to cutting ratio this POTUS is offering – cleverly hidden between the lines – is really indicative of just more big government solutions?

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