The Prez vs The Strawman: Round 4

He used this strategy to argue for the passage of: the stimulus, health care deform, the pending financial over-regulation and now for his pledge to address our record budget deficits. President Obama has declared war on the strawman. You see, in our president’s mind, if you don’t support his vision for what’s good for our nation, you don’t support doing anything at all and you best just “get out of the way”.

Over the weekend in Toronto:

President Obama on controlling the debt: “Somehow people say, why are you doing that, I’m not sure that’s good politics. I’m doing it because I said I was going to do it and I think it’s the right thing to do. People should learn that lesson about me because next year when I start presenting some very difficult choices to the country, I hope some of these folks who are hollering about deficits and debt step-up because I’m calling their bluff. We’ll see how much of that, how much of the political arguments that they’re making right now are real and how much of it was just politics.”

Forget for a moment that President Obama was actually pushing the other G20 members to increase deficit spending, not pledge to actually cut budgets. The Wall Street Journal recaps the action:

The meeting’s concluding statement, a compromise between two competing visions of the international economy, masked divisions between the U.S. and Europe evident in the run-up to the summit. The U.S. has warned that moving too fast to cut deficits and reduce stimulus spending could risk another global recession. European nations, especially Germany, have cautioned that moving too slowly could produce unsustainable debt loads, higher interest rates and even defaults.


Germany, which has held itself out as the champion of austerity, took some potshots. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble used an interview in the French newspaper Le Monde to throw a jab at the U.S., saying Mr. Obama’s giant stimulus spending has had little impact on the country’s jobless rate, which remains well above 9%.

It was Angela Merkel’s vision that carried the day, not President Obama’s. After being bested by Iron Angie our president picked a fight with a much easier opponent: the strawman. If you watched professional wrestling in the early 80’s you will no doubt remember the personification of our president’s dream villian. My brother and I never knew his name, to us he was simply the “albino in the powder blue trunks”. Unlike your typical wresting match which was designed to be a back and forth affair with the hero usually emerging triumphant; the albino never seemed to land a punch, he was expected to take his “beating” and be pinned. The same thing goes for Obama’s strawman. In the world of political theatre, he’s created by the president’s political shop and receives his beatdown via the bully pulpit. Because he’s a fictional creation, the strawman can never win.

The only problem is that even a president isn’t entitled to his own facts.

Heritage fellow Brian Riedl details:

Washington will spend $30,543 per household in 2010—$5,000 per household more than just two years ago. While some of this spending is a temporary result of the recession, President Obama’s latest budget would replace this temporary spending with permanent new programs. Consequently, by 2020—a time of assumed peace and prosperity—Washington would still spend nearly $36,000 per household, compared to $25,000 per household before this recession (adjusted for inflation).

There is a way out of this deficit nightmare: stop spending. If the federal government managed to return to the per-household spending level of the Reagan administration, the budget would be balanced by 2012 without any tax hikes. Too ambitious? Just returning to the per-household spending levels that existed before the current recession would balance the budget by 2019. There is a way to stop this spending nightmare. We just need the will.

The U.S. budget for the year 2000 was $2 trillion, for 2010 it’s $4 trillion. Now, they haven’t finished the census yet, but I’d be willing to wager that the population of our country didn’t double. In short, the federal government doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. The good news is that there’s an intervention scheduled for Nov. 2.

America simply can’t afford a government as big as President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid envision. Don’t believe the president when he tells you that he’s cut government to the bone and he simply has no choice but to raise taxes. Ignore the strawman that the president creates to confuse and confound you and look at the numbers, unlike our president they don’t lie.