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Monday, July 20, 2009

Can Barack Obama Even Balance His Own Checkbook?

Reading my way through the news, I hit upon an article that made me ask myself if Barack Obama handled his family's finances and balanced his own checkbook or if Michelle always handled that.

President Obama's budget director on Sunday described a House bill on health care reform as "deficit neutral" even though it includes Medicare payments to doctors that would put the bill $240 billion in the hole over a decade.

Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag insisted that Obama won't sign any health care reform that isn't paid for, but also said the legislation doesn't take into account savings that will be achieved in other bills to come.

Emphasis mine.

The excuse is that the the estimates given are working with the numbers on the books, not "assumed" savings, from "other" bills that may or may not pass the House and Senate, and somehow the American people are supposed to believe that is wrong and isn't clearly reflecting the costs and future deficits?

Lets use a little analogy here ok?

A person writes a check for their rent but doesn't have the money in the bank to cover that check and not enough coming from their next regular paycheck to cover it either, but they do "expect" a side job the following week, which they "assume" they will make enough money on to deposit into the bank to cover the check they already wrote for rent.

This is how Barack Obama is running our country's checkbook.

Scary huh?

The next article I ran across takes that scary thought and raises it up a notch in the frightening thoughts category.

The AP:

The White House is being forced to acknowledge the wide gap between its once-upbeat predictions about the economy and today's bleak landscape.

The administration's annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama's budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care and global-warming proposals through Congress.

Again, emphasis mine.

At least when writing a rent check, one knows, to the penny, how much their rent is and how much of a deficit they put their checking account into, but now, not only is the Obama administration assuming they will be able to cover costs of Obamacare with other bills not on the table or passed yet, but he doesn't even know the amounts that will be needed to cover said deficits.

The White House budget director, Peter Orszag, said on Sunday that the administration believes the "chances are high" of getting a health care bill by then. But new analyses showing runaway costs are jeopardizing Senate passage.

"Instead of a dream, this routine report could be a nightmare," Tony Fratto, a former Treasury Department official and White House spokesman under President George W. Bush, said of the delayed budget update. "There are some things that can't be escaped."

The administration earlier this year predicted that unemployment would peak at about 9 percent without a big stimulus package and 8 percent with one. Congress did pass a $787 billion two-year stimulus measure, yet unemployment soared to 9.5 percent in June and appears headed for double digits.

Obama's current forecast anticipates 3.2 percent growth next year, then 4 percent or higher growth from 2011 to 2013. Private forecasts are less optimistic, especially for next year.

Any downward revision in growth or revenue projections would mean that budget deficits would be far higher than the administration is now suggesting.

What the AP piece isn't showing is the new numbers reflecting the downward spiral Obama's approval ratings are falling to, with economy, deficit and healthcare questions putting him under the 50 percent mark for the first time since he was elected.


Since April, approval of Obama's handling of health care has dropped from 57 percent to 49 percent, with disapproval rising from 29 percent to 44 percent. Obama still maintains a large advantage over congressional Republicans in terms of public trust on the issue, even as the GOP has closed the gap.

The erosion in Obama's overall rating on health care is particularly notable among political independents: While positive in their assessments of his handling of health-care reform at the 100-day mark of his presidency (53 percent approved and 30 percent disapproved), independents now are divided at 44 percent positive and 49 percent negative.

The actual questions and numbers can be found here, please note question #2.- "2. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Obama is handling [ITEM]? Do you approve/disapprove strongly or somewhat?"

Item c. The federal budget deficit:

-------- Approve --------   ------- Disapprove ------     No 
NET Strongly Somewhat NET Somewhat Strongly opinion
7/18/09 43 19 24 49 11 38 8
6/21/09 48 22 26 48 13 35 5
4/24/09 51 NA NA 43 NA NA 7
3/29/09 52 NA NA 43 NA NA 5

There is no doubt that the challenges facing Barack Obama and his administration are hard, but it would help if someone on his staff could add two plus two and actually come up with four.

Is it any wonder that the White House has postponed issuing their annual midsummer budget update from mid-July to until the middle of next month and is it any coincidence that that delay just happens to coincide with Congress going on their August vacation?

Instead of limiting spending, spending less to save more, which any family on a budget understands, the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress and Senate, seem to think they can continue to spend like drunken sailors and just raise taxes on the rich.

Let us take a look at how that is playing out, via Wall Street Journal:

Election gains in some of these affluent regions have helped give Democrats big majorities in the House and Senate. Of the 25 richest districts, 14 are represented by Democrats, according to Congressional Quarterly. In 1995, Democrats represented just five of those districts.

Recently elected Democrats from higher-income areas also have been cautious about legislation that would make it easier for labor unions to organize, and about legislation imposing tough new rules on banks. Republicans have savaged the new Democrats for supporting legislation to stem global warming by capping greenhouse-gas emissions, then forcing polluters to purchase and trade emissions credits -- a "cap and tax," the GOP says.

But planned tax increases are likely the source of the toughest intra-Democratic tensions. The president wants to allow George W. Bush's income-tax cuts to expire in 2011 for families earning at least $250,000 and to stop the estate tax from being repealed next year. Mr. Obama also campaigned on putting an additional payroll tax of two to four percentage points on incomes above $250,000 to help put Social Security back on solid footing. As the president confronts a surging budget deficit and presses his ambitious agenda, all those tax increases may be necessary to make ends meet.

All together, Democratic plans could push the top tax rate to 47%, the highest level since the tax code was rewritten in 1986.

One specific line caught my eye from that one, which shows that at least some Democrats, moderates that were voted into conservative districts "get it."

Boulder's Mr. Polis authored a letter on Friday, signed by 21 freshmen and one sophomore, Rep. Paul Hodes of New Hampshire, opposing the surtaxes. "Especially in a recession, we need to make sure not to kill the goose that will lay the golden eggs of our recovery," they declared.

The rich far outpay everyone else already in federal income taxes, they are the goose laying the eggs. They employ the masses, the offer health coverage to them, they pay out the nose which covers the costs of government programs and by trying to steal the rest of what they have worked for an earned, just to cover massive spending programs Obama and the Democrats are proposing instead of simply realizing the money isn't there, therefore it cannot be spent and limiting government spending and waste, they are jeopardizing their chances of reelection in 2010 and 2012.

In response to those concerns of moderate Democrats, Nancy Pelosi comes up with another brilliant (sarcasm) scheme, don't go after the rich, go after the richest, you know, the ones that employ more than the rest, the ones that pay the highest taxes already, even higher than the original intended victims of the Democrats raise tax agenda.

Trying to sell a historic health bill to a balky caucus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told POLITICO in an interview that she wants to soften a proposed surcharge on the wealthy so that it applies only to families that make $1 million or more.

The change could help mollify the conservative Democrats who expect to have a tough time selling the package back home. Their support is the single biggest key to meeting the speaker’s goal of having health care reform pass the House by the August recess.

In other words, don't go after the geese laying the golden eggs, go after the geese and are laying the biggest golden eggs.

What that is called, simply put, is biting the hand that feeds you and expecting it to continue feeding you.

How backwards are these people?