Obama Blames 7 Straw Men for America Being 'Out of Money'
Unable to blame Bush directly for current and pending budget deficits, President Obama has taken to blaming Straw Men.
SCULLY: You know the numbers, $1.7 trillion debt, a national deficit of $11 trillion. At what point do we run out of money?
OBAMA: Well, we are out of money now. We are operating in deep deficits, not caused by any decisions we've made on health care so far.
This is a consequence of the crisis that we've seen and in fact our failure to make some good decisions on health care over the last several decades. ...Horse shit ....
(Enter Straw Man #1:
Failure to nationalize health care sometime after Harry Truman first proposed the idea. In other words, it's not Obama's fault that "we are out of money." It's not the fault of the new health care system he wants. It's the fault of those who didn't pass a health care plan earlier.)
So we've got a short-term problem, which is we had to spend a lot of money to salvage our financial system, we had to deal with the auto companies, a huge recession which drains tax revenue at the same time it's putting more pressure on governments to provide unemployment insurance or make sure that food stamps are available for people who have been laid off.
(Invisible Straw Man #2 )
made him do it - The "had to" Straw Man)
(Obama opted to deal with the auto companies by nationalizing two of the "big three." He could have let bankruptcy court deal with them, pursuant to the free market system.)
(This is Straw Man #3.)
(Food stamps represent a small fraction of the deficit spending.)
So we have a short-term problem and we also have a long-term problem. The short-term problem is dwarfed by the long-term problem. And the long-term problem is Medicaid and Medicare. If we don't reduce long-term health care inflation substantially, we can't get control of the deficit.
(He creates Straw Man #4 and #5 - Medicaid and Medicare.)
"The Congress has beem Stealing money from Medicaid and Medicare for years !"
(The deficit today is not due to Medicaid and Medicare, or even Social Security, all failed government programs. It is due, in part, to the explosion in entitlements over decades. By shifting the conversation away from the deficits today onto long-range problems, )
So, one option is just to do nothing. We say, well, it's too expensive for us to make some short-term investments in health care. We can't afford it. We've got this big deficit. Let's just keep the health care system that we've got now.
(This is Straw Man #6.)
(There's nothing "short term" about Obama's proposed "investments" in health care. )
Along that trajectory, we will see health care cost as an overall share of our federal spending grow and grow and grow and grow until essentially it consumes everything...
(So here it is: We're out of money, so let's go more broke to pay for a new national health care program that we can't afford because of all the other entitlements we've accumulated over the decades. Oh, by the way, let's continue to grow the payroll of government employees.)
SCULLY: When you see GM though[t of] as "Government Motors," you're reaction?
OBAMA: Well, you know - look we are trying to help an auto industry that is going through a combination of bad decision making over many years and an unprecedented crisis or at least a crisis we haven't seen since the 1930's. And you know the economy is going to bounce back and we want to get out of the business of helping auto companies as quickly as we can. I have got more enough to do without that. In the same way that I want to get out of the business of helping banks, but we have to make some strategic decisions about strategic industries...
(The implied, unspoken Straw Man #7)
(So the billions spend by the federal government to "help" the auto industry - excluding Ford - is not the government's fault; it was just trying to "help out." ). (Namely, Obama had no option but to throw billions into GM and Chrysler because he inherited the situation from Bush.)
SCULLY: States like California in desperate financial situation, will you be forced to bail out the states?
OBAMA: No. I think that what you're seeing in states is that anytime you got a severe recession like this, as I said before, their demands on services are higher. So, they are sending more money out. At the same time, they're bringing less tax revenue in. And that's a painful adjustment, what we're going end up seeing is lot of states making very difficult choices there...
(States in financial trouble must cut services by making "difficult choices." So, where are difficult choices being made by the federal government to cut services?)
Don't blame me, Obama says. It's those 7 Straw Men who are responsible.