Monday, July 26, 2010

Making Promises You Can't Keep

Yes, I know, this current administration is not the first, nor will it be the last to make promises it can't (or for whatever reason won't) keep. We're told "hey, that's politics" but does it have to be? I mean for once I'd like somebody up there to stay true to their word about something.

Sadly it's just not meant to be.


#1: PAYGO

Obama speech in Nashua, New Hampshire, February 2, 2010

"That’s why I’ve proposed cutting more than 120 government programs – consolidating ones that are duplicative, reducing ones that are wasteful, and eliminating those that just don’t work. That’s why I’ve proposed to cap government spending over the next three years. Spending related to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and our national security will not be affected. But all other discretionary government programs will. And that’s why I’m grateful that both the House and Senate have now voted to reinstate the PAYGO rule that helped create those record surpluses back in the 1990s instead of the record deficits we had when I came into office. The concept here is very simple: you pay as you go. You want to start a new program? Go ahead. But you’ve got to cut another one to pay for it."

Obama and others have been preaching PAYGO since day one. The objective of PAYGO is that Congress must save/cut a dollar for every dollar it plans to spend. Since the campaign Obama and others have talked of utilizing the PAYGO system. Well the problem with PAYGO is it sounds good but doesn't work. Congress passed and Obama signed the unemployment benefits extension with no room to pay for it. Ahh but wait....there is a way to pay for it. There's that thing called pork. Ahhh yes, the other "white meat" which brings me to...



#2: PORK

State of the Union, January 27, 2010

"Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected. But all other discretionary government programs will. Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don't. And if I have to enforce this discipline by veto, I will.

We will continue to go through the budget, line by line, page by page, to eliminate programs that we can't afford and don't work. We've already identified $20 billion in savings for next year. To help working families, we'll extend our middle-class tax cuts. But at a time of record deficits, we will not continue tax cuts for oil companies, for investment fund managers, and for those making over $250,000 a year. We just can't afford it.

Now, even after paying for what we spent on my watch, we'll still face the massive deficit we had when I took office. More importantly, the cost of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will continue to skyrocket. That's why I've called for a bipartisan fiscal commission, modeled on a proposal by Republican Judd Gregg and Democrat Kent Conrad. This can't be one of those Washington gimmicks that lets us pretend we solved a problem. The commission will have to provide a specific set of solutions by a certain deadline.

Now, yesterday, the Senate blocked a bill that would have created this commission. So I'll issue an executive order that will allow us to go forward, because I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans. And when the vote comes tomorrow, the Senate should restore the pay-as-you-go law that was a big reason for why we had record surpluses in the 1990s. "


In April 2009 Obama signed the $636 billion 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill loaded with $4.2 billion in pork projects and as FoxNews.Com reports it goes a little something like this:

1,720 pet projects, including:

∙$5 million for a visitors center in San Francisco
∙$23 million for indigent health care in Hawaii
∙$18 million for the Edward Kennedy Policy Institute in Massachusetts
∙$1.6 million to computerize hospital records in Oakland
∙$47 million for anti-drug training centers around the country
∙$20 million for the World War II Museum in Louisiana
∙$3.9 million grant to develop an energy-efficient solar film for buildings
∙$800,000 for minority prostate cancer research
∙$3.6 million for marijuana eradication in Kentucky
∙$2.4 million for handicap access and a sprinkler system at a community club in New York


Now what in hell do any of these things have to do with DEFENSE? Not a damn thing. But you knew that right?

Personally, I don't know what to do. I'm at my wit's end and and while it should be comforting to know I'm not alone in my feelings, it isn't. Millions of Americans are frustrated because they're not sure what to do. Now why do you suppose the Tea Party and other movements like it are so appealing to so many people? It's because Americans are frustrated and don't know what to do or how to express their anger. They need something to bring them together. Whether you agree with these "other" movements or not doesn't matter, that's not the issue.

The issue is what can we do? What are we going to do?

This is not a Democrat thing, it's not a Republican thing, it's a common sense thing and if you don't get it now, you may never get it. In the meantime, the best thing the "don't get it" crowd could do for the rest of us is to stop voting and making things even worse.

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