How The President Could Elevate Discourse

One way would be to stop lying.

But he can’t, of course — it’s his political stock in trade.

[Update a few minutes later]

This seems related, somehow. Remember when Obama said that he wouldn’t add one dime to the deficit? Well, he was right — the GAO now says that ObamaCare will add sixty-two trillion of them.

40 thoughts on “How The President Could Elevate Discourse

  1. DaveP.

    …Rand, did you jsut suggest that a Democrat stop lying?
    King Canute called, wants you to meet him at the beach.

    1. Larry J

      A trillion dollars is hard to comprehend. Perhaps we need to change the name. I propose (stealing this shameless from someone else) that $1 trillion = 1 Obama. A billion dollars becomes one milli-Obama and a million is one micro-Obama. The national debt is current a bit over 16 Obamas and growing at 1 Obama a year.

  2. Chris Gerrib

    The President proposed a sequester to get out of an artificial crisis inflicted by Republicans when they nearly defaulted on the national debt. He proposed the sequester after the Republicans rejected his 4 to 1 spending to taxes budget proposal.

    If there’s a gun being held to your head, and you suggest to the gunman that he take your car keys, I suppose technically it’s your idea. Does that mean you want to give him your car? That you think it’s a good idea for him to have your car?

    Except in this case, the offer was never “take my car.” The offer was, “if we can’t come to a deal, you take my car and I’ll take your gun.” In short, it was supposed to be a “deal” nobody wanted.

    1. Al

      “Hi, I have a moronic budget, so moronic no one voted for it, and yet opposing it is exactly like holding cute little girls hostage at gunpoint.”

        1. Al

          “Held hostage”, so very violent and colorful.

          Can you even begin to enumerate the list of passed House bills that had any bearing on this?

          “I’m not to blame, because I’m powerless!”

          He accepts credit for every positive thing “-I- averted the debt crisis!”, and delegates the blame for every negative thing.

          But managing to selectively take credit and distribute blame for the same thing … it’s boggling. I am in awe.

        2. IcePilot

          Right. Because our craven politicians have failed to use the debt ceiling to stop the runaway fiscal train, Congress should just throw the ceiling away and remove all constraints. Because spending a lot more will solve our debt problems, as demonstrated by how well adding 6 Trillion to the national debt has worked so far…

          1. Jim

            If Congress wants to cut spending, it should cut spending, rather than threatening default. Obama has offered to accept spending cuts in exchange for closing tax loopholes. It’s the Republicans who refuse to even consider eliminating deductions.

          2. Gregg

            “It’s the Republicans who refuse to even consider eliminating deductions.”

            In what universe? For the fiscal cliff negotiations, Boehner offered loophole closing. Obama refused.

            Please get a grip on the facts. All the rest of the junk you have written, here, about Obamacare and how it doesn’t add to the debt has been recently refuted by the Federal Bean Counters as well as people’s personal experience: From socialist twitterers to Donna Brazille.

    2. Leland

      defaulted on the national debt

      This is just stupid BS. Not raising the debt limit is not the same as defaulting. I realize Gerrib claims to be a banker, but apparently he thinks when someone chooses not take on additional debt, that means they decide not pay their bills. Thinking people think choosing to not increase their debt means they have decided to actually start paying for the things they already have, rather than putting those things on credit to be paid in the future or by future generations.

      The only thing artificial about the crisis is that idiots among us believed the failure to raise the debt meant not paying on the debt.

      1. Chris Gerrib

        No, not raising the debt ceiling is default. We had already spent the money, for everything from jet fuel for the Air Force to Social Security. We needed to borrow money to cover this pre-existing spending.

        It was exactly like charging a meal on your credit card and then refusing to pay the card bill when it came due. That’s what we bankers call default.

        1. wodun

          You are conflating debt with spending. We might have planned to spend money on things that wouldn’t have been funded but that is not the same as defaulting on our debt. Debt is a very narrow definition regarding making interest payments on government issued debt.

          Besides Obama scuttled the debt deal after an agreement had been reached. It was a better deal than he got with the Republican compromise letting the Bush tax cuts on the top brackets expire.

          Obama said raise taxes first and then he would cut spending and the Republicans did their part of the compromise and raised taxes so where are the cuts? Obama wont even go for a 1:1 cut much less 4:1 or anything else.

          1. Larry J

            You are conflating debt with spending.

            When about 40 cents out of every dollar the federal governnment spends is borrowed, it’s easy to conflate debt with spending.

            Obama refuses to even discuss spending reductions and his proposed tax increases don’t come close to covering the spending. He’s an economic moron.

          2. Jim

            Obama refuses to even discuss spending reductions

            You are misinformed. He has discussed chained CPI, Medicare cuts, and a number of other spending reductions.

          3. wodun

            “Discussed” doesn’t cut it. He needs to put forth a proposal not just say he talked about something. Talking isn’t doing.

        2. Leland

          It was exactly like charging a meal on your credit card and then refusing to pay the card bill when it came due.

          That may be default, but that’s not what raising the debt ceiling is. Refusing to raise the debt ceiling is the decision not to purchase the meal on your credit card, and cutting back on other spending to find funds to pay for your over eating habit.

          1. Jim

            Refusing to raise the debt ceiling is the decision not to purchase the meal on your credit card

            That is 100% wrong. Congressional appropriations are decisions to “purchase the meal”, and the executive is bound by law to carry out those decisions. If spending exceeds revenue, it’s financed with borrowing — until the debt ceiling is reached. At that point the executive can either break the law by borrowing beyond the debt ceiling, or break the law by not carrying out duly passed spending laws. There is no legal way forward.

          2. Leland

            That’s why Congressional appropriators proposed spending cuts, which were rejected by the Executive. Once again, the Congressional appropriators have provided spending cuts. Hopefully, they won’t allow the Executive a change to go back on his word.

            Back to Gerrib’s analogy. Raising the debt ceiling is like buying the meal on your credit card, then going home and opening a line of credit in your toddlers name to pay off the credit card.

          3. Jim

            Congressional appropriators proposed spending cuts, which were rejected by the Executive

            And the Executive and the Senate have proposed spending cuts and reductions in tax expenditures, which have been rejected by the House GOP.

            Back to Gerrib’s analogy

            Gerrib’s original analogy is correct. The debt ceiling controls whether we borrow money to pay bills that have already been lawfully incurred. The alternative to raising the debt ceiling is lawlessness and/or default.

          4. Leland

            the Executive and the Senate have proposed

            Really, in what manner do you mean proposed? Do you mean actually passed a legislation, or just told the press they would do something that they actually haven’t done?

            The alternative to raising the debt ceiling is lawlessness and/or default.

            Or cut spending below revenue intake, this is known as eliminating the deficit. If you eliminate the deficit, you can prevent debt growth.

            This is an option you keep pretending doesn’t exist. So does Gerrib. He lives in Illinois, where they continue to spend more than they make, and are starting to default on payments. I live in Texas, we have a $8.8 billion surplus, because we understand the other option exists. And for this limited government, Texas has better schools, better roads, more usage of renewable energy, and a lower murder rate.

        3. Gregg

          “No, not raising the debt ceiling is default.”

          This is just so much egregious nonsense it’s hard to know where to start.

          Look, Gerrib, it’s only default if you don’t pay. Your analogy with charging a meal on the credit card fails because you don’t take it far enough, and you are viewing the act in isolation (kind of like how people swallow the fallacy of the broken window).

          I will show you how it works, though I doubt that you, our Grand Admiral of the Navy High Powered Banker can comprehend:

          You have a guy who makes money and spends more than he makes by charging. He charges the meal on the card. Now the bill comes due.

          If he does not pay the bill he defaults.

          But if he chooses to not buy the cigarettes, he was going to buy with cash, and instead pay the charge card bill he does not default. This is what normal rational people do. And they keep doing it until they live within their means. Note that the guy’s credit card limit (i.e. the debt ceiling) DID NOT have to be raised to solve the problem.

          In other words, Mr. High Powered All Knowing Grand Admiral of the Navy Banker, you can choose to NOT raise the debt ceiling, and pay the debt service bill by de-allocating money they have in hand from tax receipts, for Cowboy Poetry, and the NEA (for example), and re-allocate it to paying the debt service.

          You see, the Feds DO have money in hand. They just choose to blow it on frivolities.

      2. Jim

        when someone chooses not take on additional debt

        Hitting the debt ceiling means that you can’t take on additional debt, but it does nothing to reduce spending or increase revenue. Which is why the debt ceiling is such a stupid instrument — it says you can’t borrow, but doesn’t change the tax and spending policies that control whether and how much you will need to borrow. It’s like giving someone $10, and requiring under penalty of law that they spend $15 without borrowing the $5. The only sure result is that onlookers will conclude that you are crazy, and don’t know how to manage your affairs.

        1. Leland

          it does nothing to reduce spending

          The $1.5 Trillion in spending cuts proposed by the GOP addressed that issue. Obama rejected the cuts, proposed the Sequester as a forcing mechanism for him to make cuts, in the meantime a blue ribbon panel was to suggest targeted cuts. The panel did its job and Obama rejected them too. Now the forcing mechanism is coming into play, after the debt limit was raised. The intent of this mechanism is to prevent a 3rd raising of debt by the Executive, who has spent more money than any previous Executive.

          1. Jim

            The $1.5 Trillion in spending cuts proposed by the GOP addressed that issue.

            Obama proposed even more deficit reduction than that, so if all it takes to “address an issue” is to propose something, Obama addressed it as well.

            But the House GOP went one step further in mid-2011: they threatened to not raise the debt ceiling unless Obama agreed with their proposals. They eventually backed away from the ledge, but they did plenty of damage to the economy in the meantime.

            The panel did its job and Obama rejected them too

            You are confused. The super-committee never agreed to a plan.

            who has spent more money than any previous Executive

            Virtually every US President has spent more money than any previous one, and all of them spend exactly as much as they’re required to by law: no more, no less.

          2. Leland

            Obama proposed even more deficit reduction

            He proposed increasing tax rates in the belief this would increase revenue to reduce the deficit. This despite historical evidence that regardless of tax rate, revenue maxes out about 20% GDP. That’s why spending cuts are necessary.
            Anyway, Obama has gotten tax rate increases, while staving off spending cuts for a year and half. What’s the result? 4Q2012 was a recession in GDP, as predicted by those who want to cut spending.

          3. wodun

            “Virtually every US President has spent more money than any previous one, and all of them spend exactly as much as they’re required to by law: no more, no less.”

            We aren’t low information Obama voters that don’t read or do any research. I know you don’t believe that and you know we don’t believe that so why bother playing that card?

  3. IcePilot

    Off-topic, but maybe someone here knows – Where are the Benghazi survivors? More than 5 months and not a single interview, either paper or print that I’m aware of. Has anyone in the media even asked?

  4. Jim

    Remember when Obama said that he wouldn’t add one dime to the deficit?

    Remember when the CBO repeatedly indicated that Obamacare would reduce the deficit?

      1. Jim

        The most recent CBO scores were for GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare; no Democratic-provided assumptions in sight. The scores showed that repealing Obamacare would increase the deficit.

        1. Leland

          Because the revenue portion of Obamacare had already kicked in, while the cost of it had not. Donna Brazille recently discovered how she is now paying her fair share now.

          1. Jim

            Sigh, not that one again. The big revenue aspects of Obamacare (e.g. the surtax) have not kicked in. The CBO reports project more deficit reduction the longer Obamacare is in force.

          2. Leland

            Are you saying no portion of the revenue aspects kicked in, or you just being relative in how much you plan to raise taxes? Apparently the smaller revenue aspects are already pissing off Obama’s own constituents. I don’t disagree that Obama isn’t done with his taxation efforts.

  5. wodun

    How could Obama elevate the discourse? He would have to be a different person because Obama not only suggested sequestration but after the Republicans agreed to his proposal, ruthlessly attacked them for it. So why should Republicans work with Obama at all if he is going to attack them for doing so?

    Republicans agreed to raise taxes and voted to raise them and now Obama is attacking them as protecting billionaires. And where are the cuts Obama promised in exchange for raising taxes? Nowhere.

    Well, that isn’t exactly true. Sequestration gives the cutting power to Obama. Obama determines where the cuts are made. So when Obama is out there attacking Republicans for 280k cuts in military personnel or cuts to food safety, Obama is the one deciding to make the cuts in those areas.

    The only way these shenanigans can work is with a complaint partner in the media.

  6. Jim

    The definitive take on the GAO report:

    Jeff Sessions Isn’t a Wonk McCarthyite, or a Wonk Anything

    To summarize:

    Let’s be clear about what this report says. It’s a worst-case-scenario. They looked at what would happen to the deficit if (1) we left in all the spending, (2) all of the cost control measures utterly failed, and (3) we removed all of the revenue streams/taxes. If you do that, then the bill raises the deficit $6.2 trillion over 75 years.

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