Frozen in irrelevance

Obama focusing more on re-election than solving U.S. debt crisis

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One thing seemed foremost in Barack Obama's mind during his speech to the nation Monday night: How can I work this whole crisis to my electoral advantage?

As others have noted, he used the term "balanced approach" seven times. It was clearly a re-election speech aimed at winning back wayward independents who are abandoning this president in droves for his failed policies.

"Obviously," The Washington Post's Andrew Malcolm writes about the transparent "balanced approach" refrain, the president's handlers "have been polling phrases for use in this ongoing debt duel, which is more about 2012 now than 2011."

For those of us concerned about the direction and future of this nation, it was sickening.

For Washington politics, it was either irrelevant or counterproductive: Well before the president spent nearly 20 minutes waging class warfare and pressing for higher taxes on national television Monday night, Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill had pretty much agreed to raise the federal debt limit without raising taxes.

The message seemed to be "You can't do this without me and my vespers to higher taxes!"

It seems punishing "millionaires and billionaires" -- oddly enough, starting with those earning $250,000 or more -- is more important to this president than averting a debt crisis or stabilizing and then growing the economy. Why would anyone be surprised? He said as a candidate that he'd raise tax rates even if they brought in less money.

Ironically, in desperately seeking relevance Monday night, the president helped set his own feet in quick-dry irrelevance.

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harley_52
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harley_52 07/27/11 - 12:36 pm
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I don't think history will

I don't think history will consider Mr. Obama "irrelevant."

Not really wanting to be the bearer of bad news, but I think we need to look at the situation as it really exists and consider the possibility that we've already missed the boat. That whether or not we raise the debt ceiling and whether we agree to cut on trillion or four trilllion in annual spending over the next five, ten, or twenty years we're just fooling ourselves.

The interest on existing debt is going to balloon because interest rates are going to rise. Regardless the rosy assumptions being made as the various plans are written, scored, debated, and maybe even signed we are so deeply in debt we won't be able to recover. As we borrow more money or attempt to renew our existing obligations as they mature, we will find that all of our assumptions were incorrect and the interest on new (and existing) debt will outpace any "spending cuts" we may have agreed to. We will simply become overwhelmed by the national debt and its associated interest requirements. When it's all said and done, I think the straw that broke the camel's back will be the trillion dollar "stimulus bill" and the multi-trillion dollar bill called "Obamacare."

All the sound and fury from the White House and Congress is nothing more than a political sideshow and even when we agree to some sort of "balanced compromise" we will soon find out that we're just whistling past the graveyard.

The real test isn't how we can keep ourselves from falling into bankruptcy, but rather how we deal with the tragedy.

And the reason Obama is not "irrelevant" is that history will forever record that it was him and his policies that brought us down.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 07/27/11 - 12:58 pm
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0
We might go a long way toward

We might go a long way toward balancing the budget by voluntary targeted spending cuts. Have all adult Americans register their opinion on Social Security and Medicare. Those that are opposed to these programs can then sign a legally bidding contract wherein they agree to forgo all these monies. In exchange, if they are currently not receiving any of these benefits their FICA taxes would terminate and they and their still existing employers would receive a refund. If they are currently retired, their benefits would terminate immediately and the balance of money remaining from what they paid in during their working lifetime would be refunded to them and their still existing employers. Since most Social Security and Medicare beneficiary’s receive more money than they paid in during their lifetime, many will already have a zero balance and receive nothing. The money refunded to employers would be a windfall, providing immediate money for expansion. Given all the support the Tea Party has among older Americans that should add up to a tidy sum.

harley_52
22064
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harley_52 07/27/11 - 01:30 pm
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TARP will be viewed by

TARP will be viewed by historians as George W. Bush's biggest mistake. He should never have signed it. Of course he also should never have allowed democrats to overinflate and then pop the so called "mortgage bubble." Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd will get most of the credit for that one.

George W. Bush will suffer his own place in the history books for having been a contributor to the bankruptcy. He earned it with TARP. But it won't be because he purposely destroyed the economy like Obama. His will be an ill-advised concession to his Treasury Secretary and his FED Chairman, both of whom were in on the game all along.

Riverman1
79032
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Riverman1 07/27/11 - 01:30 pm
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Someone help me out here.

Someone help me out here. What's the purpose of a debt ceiling?

Riverman1
79032
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Riverman1 07/27/11 - 01:38 pm
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Heck, I made lots in the

Heck, I made lots in the stock market one year. I had to pay $75 thousand more in addition to my regular taxes from work that I paid during the year. That was under the old 38% for short term capital gains rules. I lost that back and more over the next few years, yet could only take a very small loss. It's very possible for the average Joe to make a lot one year and be in the red the next year. He gets no tax break when he loses. That's not fair.

Then there's the bigger picture, the guy who makes 250 thousand a year is already paying lots more in actual taxes than most. He pays tens of thousands in taxes for the same privileges of driving on the highways and breathing the American air.

smartasugarsugar
139
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smartasugarsugar 07/27/11 - 01:42 pm
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hey hey hey please don't get

hey hey hey please don't get confused, look at the big picture. the government has been taking care of themselves for years and years and now that that bank is going dry (er) they start pointing fingers. remember The golden rule people.

harley_52
22064
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harley_52 07/27/11 - 01:43 pm
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***Someone help me out here.

***Someone help me out here. What's the purpose of a debt ceiling?***

Depends who you ask.

Most folks think it's a spending LIMIT.

Politicians consider it can to be kicked as far down the road as possible with all the accompanying misinformation necessary to totally confuse as much of the audience as possible.

harley_52
22064
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harley_52 07/27/11 - 01:48 pm
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Conure says...."You are

Conure says...."You are telling us that your income is over $250,000 and you're wasting your time writing in the Comments section of the Chronicle? Not likely unless you are a professional lobbyist and employed as a political troll? "

Conure...I must say that while I would have guessed far less, I'll take your word for it. You seem to know a lot about it.

Chillen
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Chillen 07/27/11 - 02:38 pm
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conure. I think you'd be

conure. I think you'd be surprised to learn that there are many business owners who post online when they get a break from their established business. Yes, even some *gasp* so-called "wealthy" ones.

Let the envy begin. Oh wait. It already has.

BTW. I love all your cut & paste facts. We could all do the same thing. No one is saying there wasn't debt & overspending before the community organizer blessed us with his presence. What everyone is saying is that HE is spending too much - especially considering economic conditions. He is a miserable failure on all fronts. Economic policy. Foreign policy. War policy. Environmental policy. Growth policy. You name it, he's failed at it. At least he's an expert at something! LOL!

Chillen
17
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Chillen 07/27/11 - 02:50 pm
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Perhaps some of the blame

Perhaps some of the blame here needs to go to Princess Pelosi who graced us with her presence as Spender of the House from 2007 - 2011 - you know, when spending took a sharp upwards turn.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 07/27/11 - 03:20 pm
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Here's another fun fact.

Here's another fun fact.

From 2004 to 2008, wealth of US Congressmen went up dramatically. Insider trading information, bribes, special deals, etc. All part of the plan. While your net worth went down during that time frame due to inflation & depreciating home values, they make out like the bandits that they are.

39 Republicans increased their wealth by 168%
41 Democrats increased their wealth by 756%. Wow!!

All are playing the system but who is the leader here? Hmmmm....Well, for those who have trouble with statistics I'll give you the answer. The Democrats.

Nice 3 minute video about the whole thing here:

http://pronlinenews.com/?p=11018

BTW The community organizer is one of the highest wealth earners on the list. But he just cares about poor people. Right?

rmwhitley
5526
Points
rmwhitley 07/27/11 - 03:52 pm
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democrats are about as
Unpublished

democrats are about as serious at debt control as the north Koreans are at a lasting peace with South Korea.

madgerman
236
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madgerman 07/27/11 - 05:31 pm
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For people to equate the
Unpublished

For people to equate the United States as a business is just a sure sign of the sure collapse of this fine nation. I don't know of a business that maintains highways, insures companys don't polute the nerxt river, maintain the airways and airports, ensure that worker safety is job one, and insure the security of the nation. Now if there is a company out there doing those functions at no cost please advise.

onlysane1left
216
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onlysane1left 07/27/11 - 05:25 pm
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On the cover page of the

On the cover page of the newspaper today, makes the writer of this opinion piece look like a 4 year old crying over spilled milk. How many times has the ceiling been raised over the last 10 years and, now, today, it must not be because a spend happy Democrat is president. The Republican are making their stand. Bah! Where was this stand every time they voted to raise the ceiliing? But, no, let's, once again, blame the easiest target.......

Now, people are aruging about class warfare here. Do you want to see a real reason of a possible class warfare, click and read this interesting piece and then decide if a flat tax would be in your best interest:
http://pewsocialtrends.org/2011/07/26/wealth-gaps-rise-to-record-highs-b...

madgerman
236
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madgerman 07/27/11 - 05:35 pm
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I almost forgot. Is it
Unpublished

I almost forgot. Is it wealth envy to expect everyone to pay the same percentage of their TOTAL income to Medicare? Right now I pay 3.2 percent, as does everyone in the neighborhood I live in, and yet some neighborhoods in Augusta have residents that pay 1.8 percent or less of their TOTAL income. Why is this dilution of wealth allowed? Why am I forced to pay extra for people making over 250K a year?

hounddog
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hounddog 07/27/11 - 05:59 pm
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hounddog
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hounddog 07/27/11 - 06:17 pm
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President Obama spoke to the
Unpublished

President Obama spoke to the Latino group La Raza this week and there was quite a telling exchange during the speech. Obama said it's 'tempting' to just take over and do things himself - in other words, be a dictator like Hugo Chavez. Even more disturbing than Obama testing the waters with his dictatorial fantasies was the reaction of the crowd - thunderous applause.

rmwhitley
5526
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rmwhitley 07/27/11 - 06:32 pm
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obamacare: a fine piece of
Unpublished

obamacare: a fine piece of "constitutionality" constructed behind closed doors by those "fine, upstanding, constitutionally driven" democrats.

burninater
8847
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burninater 07/27/11 - 06:34 pm
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Chillen, your Tacoma housing

Chillen, your Tacoma housing project video would have been more interesting if the narrator wasn't lying the whole way through.

Here's the link for its funding:

http://www.tacomahousing.org/Salishan/salishan_financing.html

$225 million in SSI funds taken to build this? BULL. $35 million federal funds in 2001, under someone else's MANDATE, $9.5 million current federal funds. The rest is state or PRIVATE.

Argue your point. Don't lie to make it. We don't need any more Michael Moores in the world.

madgerman
236
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madgerman 07/27/11 - 08:06 pm
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Is it true about the latest
Unpublished

Is it true about the latest darling of the tea party/conservatives?
1. She has never had a job outside of government.
2. She was a prosecutor for the IRS.
3. Her husband derives all his income from a Medicaid business which is non-profit but, pays him a handsome salary every year.
4. Her investments are all in Fannie Mae/ Freddie Mac.

And I thought all servatives abhored people associated with the above.

As for the list of people who have gotten rich. Data is meaningless unless you look at the actual figures. In that light if I invested 10 dollars and it appreciated to a thousand in four years, that is a whopping 10,000 percent increase. But if I invest 1 million and have 4 million at the end of the same period I have only made 400 percent in profit. Look at the list and see who the big winner was, and it wasn't a democrat.

madgerman
236
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madgerman 07/27/11 - 08:14 pm
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I still haven't heard who
Unpublished

I still haven't heard who will do the Federal Highway system, air traffic control, regulate interstate commerce, collect taxes and defend the country if we don't downsize and get rid of the government. Of course we counl tutn the roads over to the states anbd nake them toll roads to pay their upkeep. Local countys could do the same with smaller two lane roads. Air traffic could be the responsibility of airports and communities and they could levy traxes to operate such. We could set up inspection stations at all state entrances and collect tarifs on goods being brought in, of course we could allow people to be honest about paying their taxes, and states would be responsible for their own protection and establishing self defense pacts with other states/foreign governments. Thats only a start but it sure will reduce the federal government and put the power back to the people, for a short while.

harley_52
22064
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harley_52 07/27/11 - 08:29 pm
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My goodness. Somebody

My goodness. Somebody mentions "professional lobbyist(s)" who are "employed as political troll(s)" and the place fills up.

It's like somebody rang the dinner bell.

Say, Burninater....what are you talking about when you say Chillen "lied?" Did he post something about the Tacoma housing project? What, specifically, was the "lie" he told?

harley_52
22064
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harley_52 07/27/11 - 08:46 pm
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Say, madgerman, I'm trying to

Say, madgerman, I'm trying to follow your discussion. Haven't seen you in here before, but maybe it's just a timing thing. Anyway.....I'm having a little trouble getting the gist of what you're saying.

What the hay does "...counl tutn the roads over to the states anbd nake them ..." mean?

If you're trying to make the point that we can't possibly reduce the size and scope of the federal goverment and survive you've a long way to go and it would be helpful if what you said made a little sense.

Maybe if you slowed down a little.....

burninater
8847
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burninater 07/27/11 - 08:48 pm
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Harley, my post was in

Harley, my post was in reference to the video, and its false claims, that Chillen linked in his 10:54 am post.

burninater
8847
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burninater 07/27/11 - 08:57 pm
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I'm totally on board with

I'm totally on board with being against stuff. Let's just try to make sure the stuff we're against is real. That's all I'm asking. If we're going to parrot other people, let's do a quick check that they're not lying to our faces. Not too hard; took me about 2 minutes in the case of that video.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 07/27/11 - 09:17 pm
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burninator. The point is,

burninator. The point is, look at the way the welfare recipients live!!!! I didn't fact check 100% of it, nor did I write it. How about addressing their shiny new cars instead of nitpicking small details.

I am disgusted that one single CENT of my money went into this total injustice. America the Great has turned into America the Moochers.

How in the world can any sane living soul defend the entitlement state we live in?

Chillen
17
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Chillen 07/27/11 - 09:26 pm
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madgerman Assuming your

madgerman Assuming your percentages are correct. Let me explain to you how it works.

If your income is $50,000 and you pay 3.2%, you pay $1600 per year for medicare.

If your income is $500,000 and you pay 1.8%, you pay $9000 per year for medicare.

Who is paying more? Each scenario is an individual who likely uses equal medicare benefits. In fact, the wealthy individual probably keeps a private policy also & uses even less medicare than the other person.

The real injustice here is that one person has to pay $9000 & another person only has to pay $1600. For the EXACT SAME THING.

American the Entitlement.

burninater
8847
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burninater 07/27/11 - 10:13 pm
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Chillen. If you HAD bothered

Chillen. If you HAD bothered to check, you'd have found out it's a mixed income community, and that it has a large amount of private financing, INCLUDING BY THE TENANTS/ OWNERS.

I would expect to see shiny cars where people in a mixed income community, i.e. NOT ALL WELFARE, lived, wouldn't you?

Read the Welfare Reform Act of 1995 to see what types of requirements go with Federal welfare payments, and how these payments are distributed.

You are being fed a line of bull, and won't even recognize it when it blatantly ignores the facts.

Do you have any idea how much "private enterprise" makes its money from Federal contracts? THAT'S THE SPENDING THAT IS BEING DEFENDED. THATS THE REAL WASTE Meanwhile, you believe blatant lies about where the money is going, even when someone shows you exactly how you're being lied to. Unreal.

burninater
8847
Points
burninater 07/27/11 - 10:15 pm
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I use a simple technique to

I use a simple technique to see how valid someone's claims are: when they have the opportunity to substantiate those claims, what is the outcome?

The narrative of Republicans and Tea Partiers has pounded home the point that there is obvious, wasteful spending by the Democrats, ESPECIALLY welfare.

When given an opportunity to substantiate that claim, Boehner's budget identified LESS spending cuts than Reid's plan, even after war financing cuts were removed. Think about that. If this excessive welfare state suckling off the Federal dole was the real source of our spending woes, why on Earth was Boehner unable to find it to cut?

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 07/28/11 - 07:05 am
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Chillen. Why are they being
Unpublished

Chillen. Why are they being taxed at different percentages for their TOTAL incomes? The way the system works is even if you have a golden insurance policy, Medicare is the first payer for insurance claims regardless of what kind of policy you have. I gather you believe that some americans should be singled out for preferential treatment of taxes based obn their stations in life. And here I thought all you tea-partyiers were for paying your fair share. P.S. are you also for deductions for all the Daniel Field traffic once a year which is a write off for selected individuals?

What is strange is that no one has an opinion as to who will pay for operating Daniel Field if the government if subsidies are taken away, of course the rich jet owners can't possibly be held responsible for operating a facility that only they use.

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