Thursday, February 26, 2009

Speech reaction II

There were a few items that I missed in my review of Obama's speech that deserve attention. I really don't know how I missed this part, which I have broken up:
In other words, we have lived through an era where too often short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity, where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election.
I absolutely agree with Obama here. For too long we have opted for the quick and easy over the long and hard. We have ignored the long-term problems of Social Security and Medicare that threaten to bankrupt the country. We have spent ourselves into oblivion. When confronted with problems we have too often opted for more government intrustion and throwing money around than really thinking matters through. A failing education system has simply attracted more money and rules rather than careful reexamination. In response to surging health care costs we simply throw more money at the problem, with federal health care dollars now constituting at least one-third of all such spending. Earmarks have surged and bridges are funded in Alaska while they crumble elsewhere. The litany is almost endless.

Of course, in response to this, Obama simply offers up more spending and goverment control, the failed policies of the past. Hundreds of billions in "stimulus" and tens of billions more in bailouts for homeowners. When will we break-free of the short-term mentality?
A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future.
This is a clear allusion to the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. However, it defies common sense to think of a tax cut as a wealth transfer. After all, wealth originates with the people, not with the government. This only makes sense if you believe that all money belongs to the government first and that they decide how much you can keep. I thought we lived in a republic where the citizens decide how much the government can keep.
Regulations...were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market.
I literally have no idea what Obama is referring to here, and I suspect that he doesn't either. Which regulations were gutted? Which were scrapped? Regulation under Bush is actually noteworthy for its expansion, particularly with the advent of Sarbanes-Oxley that led to talk of more companies fleeing the New York exchanges for London because of the onerous costs of the regulatory burden.

Bush also called for a sizable increase in the amount of funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Further, as Karl Rove notes:
Mr. Bush spent five years pushing to further regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He was blocked by Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank. Arriving in the Senate in 2005, Mr. Obama backed up Mr. Dodd's threat to filibuster Mr. Bush's needed reforms.
I don't know which is worse, that either Obama believes in such fairy tales or he is just flat out lying.

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