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November 18, 2009

Obama: My Profligate Spending Could Lead to Double-Dip Recession, and, By the Way, You're Welcome

Unmentioned here in the article: His insistence that the way to get a handle on asymptotic spending curves is to spend more on health care.

Gotta spend to save.

President Barack Obama gave his sternest warning yet about the need to contain rising U.S. deficits, saying on Wednesday that if government debt were to pile up too much, it could lead to a double-dip recession.

...

His administration was considering ways to accelerate economic growth, with tax measures among the options to give companies incentives to hire, Obama said in the interview with Fox conducted in Beijing during his nine-day trip to Asia.

"It is important though to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession," he said.

I read this as a first tentative justification for raising taxes generally. He speaks in terms of a "tax measure," I suppose along the lines of the idea floated months ago by conservatives, to cut the payroll tax temporarily. But of course he refused to do that before. Now, if he does so, it will be presented as part of an initiative that raises taxes generally, with a small proposed cut in withholding taxes.

I enjoy the way this article is framed: Obama is "warning" us that out-of-control spending could lead to a double-dip recession. He's warning us, you see. All along he was the guy fighting to keep spending down and we were insisting on ballooning the deficit to trillions of dollars per year until the time-frame of near-future science fiction -- basically, he wants to run a trillion+ deficit until Neuromancer is less a science-fiction book than a slice-of-life drama of manners -- and now he's going to put a stop to our profligate ways.

What? Who the hell is he warning? Is this some kind of Gollum-like internal struggle we're witnessing?

I Wonder If This Has Anything to do with Anything: Obama's idiotic counterfactual rhetoric -- positioning himself as a deficit-fighter, conveniently on FoxNews, which may be expected to reach the most persuadable independents -- seems in line with Democrats' sudden discovery that independents are moving hard to the conservative side of things.

Mounting evidence that independent voters have soured on the Democrats is prompting a debate among party officials about what rhetorical and substantive changes are needed to halt the damage.

Following serious setbacks with independents in off-year elections earlier this month, White House officials attributed the defeats to local factors and said President Barack Obama sees no need to reposition his own image or the Democratic message.

Since then, however, a flurry of new polls makes clear that Democrats are facing deeper problems with independents—the swing voters who swung dramatically toward the party in 2006 and 2008 but who now are registering deep unease with the amount of spending and debt called for under Obama’s agenda in an era of one-party rule in Washington.

A Gallup Poll released last week offered a disturbing glimpse about the state of play: just 14 percent of independents approve of the job Congress is doing, the lowest figure all year. In just the past few days alone, surveys have shown Democratic incumbents trailing Republicans among independent voters by double-digit margins in competitive statewide contests in places as varied as Connecticut, Ohio and Iowa.

I guess we see the rhetorical adjustments in Obama's interview -- he'll "warn us" about his own ruinous spending, like Ike Turner warning Tina that she has to stop making her hit her.

Baby, you know I love you, don't you? It breaks my heart when you make me punch you in the eye.

Quinippiac finally shows Obama under 50%, at 48%. (Whoops-- 48%, not 49%. I had Rasmussen on the brain. Rasmussen has had Obama at 49% so often it just became my automatic belief, that whenever he's under 50%, he's at 49%. Nope -- one point lower than that.)

I find it interesting that the media chooses to blame this state of affairs on one piece of ambiguous evidence -- that is, they blame it on growing dissatisfaction about the war in Afghanistan. That's ambiguous, because of those expressing a lack of confidence, some will be on the right, urging Obama to stop dithering, and some will be on the left, urging defeat and surrender.

Contrast that with Obama's drooping numbers on the economy, where there is no possibility of ambiguity -- people oppose him because the economy is in the crapper and the most he seems able to do is flush more money away.

So, needing to explain Obama's fading appeal, and given two possibilities, one which tends to neutral or even support the leftist narrative, and the other which tends to clearly refute the leftist narrative, the media of course goes for the former.

You Can't Make a Red Flag Without Red Ink: 12 trillion in debt, and Obama proposes adding to this another nine trillion over, IIRC, the next ten years.

Steven Hayes, I think, had a cutting comment on the Bret Baier show last night: "When even Chinese communists are warning you about the rate of expansion of government, you're doing something wrong."


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posted by Ace at 02:14 PM

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