The campaign trail is still burning for the President as he uses the media in every way possible (via townhalls, late night comedy shows and press conferences) to cram his unsustainable budget down our throats. Here are excerpts from the press conference with my irreverent commentary in blue:
OBAMA: “The first step we took was to pass a recovery plan to jump-start job creation and put money in people’s pockets. This plan’s already saved the jobs of teachers and police officers. It’s creating construction jobs to rebuild roads and bridges.” Got any numbers there Mr. President? This is all bull. More jobs are lost then “saved”. And as I pointed out in a previous blog post, those twenty something police jobs saved are only set for one year.
OBAMA: “And yesterday I met with a man whose company is reopening a factory outside of Pittsburgh that’s rehiring workers to build some of the most energy-efficient windows in the world.” Again, do we have any numbers here. This guy may have only ten people working in his factory.
Then the President ends his opening statement and goes to his list of reporters – does anyone else wonder if the questions are already prepared and that the answers are in the Teleprompter? Jennifer Loven of the AP gets the first question and asks about the sweeping new powers and over-reach that the Treasury wants over businesses and why the public should support that. Here is a portion of Obama’s response:
REID: “Isn’t that kind of debt exactly what you were talking about when you said passing on our problems to the next generation?”
OBAMA: “First of all, I suspect that some of those Republican critics have a short memory, because, as I recall, I’m inheriting a $1.3 trillion deficit, annual deficit, from them. That would be point number one. (Blame Bush as always. Obama voted for TARP too.) Point number two. Both under our estimates and under the CBO estimates, both — the most conservative estimates out there, we drive down the deficit over the first five years of our budget. The deficit is cut in half. And folks aren’t disputing that. Where the dispute comes in is what happens in a whole bunch of out-years. (Excuse me, but Obama’s promises of cutting $2 trillion in spending out of the budget comes from this same tactic of forecasting ten years down the road.) And the main difference between the budget that we presented and the budget that came out of the Congressional Budget Office is assumptions about growth. They’re assuming a growth rate of 2.2 percent; we’re assuming a growth rate of 2.6 percent. Those small differences end up adding up to a lot of money. Our assumptions are perfectly consistent with what blue chip forecasters out there are saying. Now, none of us knows exactly what’s going to happen 6 or 8 or 10 years from now. Here’s what I do know: If we don’t tackle energy, if we don’t improve our education system, if we don’t drive down the costs of health care, if we’re not making serious investments in science and technology and our infrastructure, then we won’t grow 2.6 percent, we won’t grow 2.2 percent. We won’t grow. (More debt equals more growth, right? We have to make these investments no matter what it does to the children.) And so what we’ve said is, let’s make the investments that ensure that we meet our growth targets that put us on a pathway to growth as opposed to a situation in which we’re not making those investments and we still have trillion-dollar deficits. And there’s an interesting reason why some of these critics haven’t put out their own budget. I mean, we haven’t seen an alternative budget out of them.” (Like any of these Democrats would let it see the light of day.)
LIE OF THE NIGHT – OBAMA: “But I’m — look, I’m not going to lie to you.”
Ed Henry had one of the best questions of the evening I think: “Thank you. Mr. President. You spoke again at the top about your anger about AIG. You’ve been saying that for days now. But why is it that it seems Andrew Cuomo seems to be in New York getting more actual action on it? And when you and Secretary Geithner first learned about this 10 days, two weeks ago, you didn’t go public immediately with that outrage. You waited a few days. And then when — you went public after you realized Secretary Geithner really had no legal avenue to stop it. And, more broadly, I just want to follow up on Chip and Jake. You’ve been very critical of President Bush doubling the national debt. And, to be fair, it’s not just Republicans hitting you. Democrat Kent Conrad, as you know, said, quote, When I look at this budget, I see the debt doubling again. You keep saying that you’ve inherited a big fiscal mess. Do you worry, though, that your daughters, not to mention the next president, will be inheriting an even bigger fiscal mess if the spending goes out of control?” The President focused on health care reform again here. He seems to think that everyone agrees it is our worst problem. Did health care costs cause the housing bubble? Did health care costs cause foreclosures? Have health care costs caused the Stock Market collapse? Give me a break! That was the only answer he gave to this hard hitting question, we have new health care technology, blah, blah, blah… On the AIG, he said he wanted to wait a few days to make sure he knew what he was talking about. What a liar!
Major Garrett asked about China calling for a new currency and wanting to dump the dollar and the upcoming G20 leading the world away from our economy. Obama’s response was a sign he is in denial – OBAMA: “I think it’s fair to say that the response that people have had to our administration and the steps that we’ve taken are ones that are restoring a sense of confidence and the ability of the United States to assert global leadership.” The President better read “The Moscow Times”.
There were some other questions and the President ended with this statement – OBAMA: “What I am confident about is that we’re moving in the right direction and that the decisions we’re making are based on, how are we going to get this economy moving? How are we going to put Americans back to work? How are we going to make sure that our people are safe? And how are we going to create not just prosperity here, but work with other countries for global peace and prosperity? And we are going to stay with it as long as I’m in this office, and I think that — you look back four years from now, I think, hopefully, people will judge that body of work and say, this is a big ocean liner. It’s not a speedboat. It doesn’t turn around immediately. But we’re in a better, better place because of the decisions that we made.”
I believe the big ocean liner’s name is Titanic.