Friday, January 30, 2009

Fauxbama's Outrage

I'm suffering from cognitive dissonancesomebody please help me sort out a few questions.
  • Obama says he's going to rescue the economy with big spending (to the tune of $1 trillion).  If spending money on everything from Amtrak and Rural Broadband Deployment to dentist training and special projects at the Smithsonian Museum is supposed to help the economy, why is Obama looking to cut military spending by 10-15%?  Doesn't military spending help the economy at least as much as any other form of spending?
  • The amount of money that Wall Street investment banks and other financial firms doled out in bonuses last year was down by 44%.  As far as Obama is concerned, the bonuses are still too big. Obama thinks Wall Street bonuses exemplify the "outrageous and shameful" excesses of capitalist greed.  Yes, some of the bonuses go to highly paid executives...but to thousands of bank employees who don't sit in corner offices, including human resources representatives and secretaries, that money helps to pay the bills.  I know Obama has a highly sophisticated and nuanced understanding of morality, but how can he lecture people on the need for restraint and discipline as he celebrates congressional spending binges with cocktails and wagyu steak? Am I supposed to have forgotten his $170 million inaugural party already?
  • Obama wants to get the economy back on track as soon as possible, but he says now is not the time for profits.  How can the economy recover without profits?  Where will tax dollars come from if nobody's making money?  
  • VP Biden says he wants to take corporate executives and "throw these guys in the brig."  Who will run the economy if corporate executives are incarcerated?


Mr. President, I think it's more than a little bit selfish to try to solve our economic problems which we created by burdening future generations.

Vote for the Best Definition of Bipartisanship!

Monumental Resentment in Hussein's Hometown

U.S. Bled for the Muslim World

Obama's Defense Cuts Breathtakingly Naive

Bonuses no luxury for some Wall Street workers, Obama calls shameful

Republicans push for cut-rate home loans

As president, Obama takes home $400,000 per year, not including perks.  Shameful?  Outrageous?


Clay said...

Come on. You know military spending helps the free markets. Who runs the free markets--those evil CEOs with their outrageous bonuses that Claire Mama Caskill loves to complain about.

Jean said...

I got a big chuckle when I read about Obama's cocktail party to smooze up his political buds serving snacks of martinis and his special Wagyu $100 a serving steak. Holy Cow! Quite a stretch from pigs in a blanket and beer. Don't do as I do, do as I say, me thinks is Obama's ruling mentality. He certainly has nothing in common with the common man or our soldiers who will be served Beer and Pizza for the Super Bowl.

Grace Explosion said...

I think if we'd just throw our DC politicians in the brig, that would be the greatest stimulus to our economy EVER!!!

I think if we'd start with Obama and Biden... oh how we'd prosper.

Pen of Jen said...

All of the above was my vote...I am so fed up.

Sigh it is going to be a long few years.

Z said...

"Fauxbama" perfect...

We're in debt, so we spend BILLIONS more.

I get it. (HELP!)

RightKlik said...

Clay: Yes, the evil CEOs. Those capitalist pigs.

Jean: Obama is so out of touch, he apparently doesn't even see it.

GE: We'd be so much better off.

Jennifer: Good choice

Z: Standing in a bucket trying to pull ourselves up.

Dan Trabue said...

RE: the military budget and the notion that cutting it is naive...

We currently have the world's and history's largest/most expensive/expansive military. With a budget of nearly $1 trillion/year - which is nearly how much the whole rest of the world spends, combined! I'm wondering two things:

1. Why are "conservatives" who are theoretically opposed to big gov't alright with such a massive military? If it is true that BIG GOV'T can't do anything well, why would you trust so much money to the military?

(Keeping in mind G. Washington's warning:

Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.)

2. How much would you LIKE to see spent on the military? If $1 trillion isn't enough, how much is?

RightKlik said...

DT: We have no choice but to depend on the Federal Government for national defense.

Obama's interest in cutting defense spending is a grave concern for me because he has a keen interest in eliminating spending on missile defense systems.

Missile defense is an issue that the overwhelming majority of Americans ought to be able to agree on (even pacifists). We're talking about technology that would allow us to protect people by shooting down missiles. How could anyone have a problem with that?

I don't know exactly how much we should be spending on the military; I sure that even experts who actually care about this country would have varying opinions. But Obama's approach (cutting spending just for the sake of cutting spending) is clearly irresponsible. Instead of asking "what can we get by with" he should be asking "what do we need".

If we don't take this issue seriously, we won't be around to enjoy the luxury of debating. I don't know that Obama is taking the issue seriously.

Dan Trabue said...

But Obama's approach (cutting spending just for the sake of cutting spending) is clearly irresponsible.

What I'm not understanding is WHY is it wrong to cut for the sake of cutting when we're talking about our HUGE military budget, but it's not wrong in infrastructure or other areas of gov't?

If I proposed a 15% cut on the Military AND on TANF (welfare) as a matter of belt-tightening in hard economic times, could we agree on that? Do you know which effort would save more money? (Military budget ~$700 billion, TANF ~$25 billion).

I agree with your point, though: We ought not make knee jerk cuts in the budget in any area, but we ought to be looking at smart ways to save money in every area. And sometimes, the SMART way to save money is by spending money.

As I've noted before: If a prisoner education program costs $1 million but it saves $2 million by cutting recidivism, then the smart thing to do is SPEND that $1 million. I'd think if we approached our budget like this, we should all be able to agree. Yes?

RightKlik said...

DT: Of course I agree with sensible cuts in non-essential areas. Of course I agree with spending $1 to save $2. But this isn't how Obama and Congress are thinking. They're thinking about buying votes and paying off special interest groups.

"By their fruits ye shall know them."

Dan Trabue said...

I agree with spending $1 to save $2. But this isn't how Obama and Congress are thinking. They're thinking about buying votes and paying off special interest groups.

You'd have to show me some evidence to support that statement. Of course, we ought always be watchful of our representatives - Dem, GOP or other - because of the potential for corruption. For instance, when Bush appointed coal company flaks to be the watchdog for coal company misbehavior, that should have sent red flags a-flying!

But what evidence do you have that such is happening already in Obama's administration?

RightKlik said...

Examples are numerous:

A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.

$1 million to upgrade the Los Angeles County Convention Center elevated "catwalk" for cameras and lighting.

$80,000 for a tennis facility in Santa Barbara, CA.

$5.7 million to improve a cruise ship terminal.

$50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts

Less than 5% of the spending in the bill, is for fixing bridges or other highway projects.

About 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus.

Google "stimulus pork" and you can make your own list. Contact your Senator and Representative and tell them to kill this bill and try again.

Dan Trabue said...

Well, the problem is I'd need to be informed about each of these projects - what's the reasoning behind it? Certainly, they sound superficial on the surface, but I'm not a surface kind of guy. My guess is that there probably is some pork in this massive spending bill and it could be cleaned up, I would not disagree with that notion.

It's just that I, like apparently even the representatives voting on this, don't have time to wade through each little item and get the info on why it's being included and weighing if that is a good reason or not.

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