Oh Really, Mr. President?

“Those of you who are watching certain news channels on which I’m not very popular, and you see folks waving tea bags around, let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we are going to stabilize Social Security.”

That was President Obama in St. Louis today. Here’s the video:

Does anybody really think that the President honestly wants a serious conversation about health care and Social Security? Because frankly, nothing in this man’s record before or after his inauguration indicates he has the faintest inclination toward real solutions on either issue. Rather, his statements and actions show very clearly that the contrary is true.

Here’s a quote from the second debate of last year’s presidential campaign on Oct. 7:

Q: How should we fix Social Security and other entitlement programs?
OBAMA: If we get our tax policies right so that they’re good for the middle class, if we reverse the policies of the last eight years that got us into this fix in the first place and that Sen. McCain supported, then we are going to be in a position to deal with Social Security and deal with Medicare, because we will have a health care plan that actually works for you, reduces spending and costs over the long term, and Social Security that is stable and solvent for all Americans and not just some.

Does that sound like a serious discussion to you? To me, it sounds a lot more like all he wants to do is claim that Social Security and Medicare are driving the country into bankruptcy because of something George W. Bush did over the last eight years. That is not a serious discussion; it’s demogoguery.

I’m not here to defend Bush’s record on either one of those two entitlement programs; Bush expanded Medicare into a prescription drug benefit which is estimated to cost somewhere between $400 billion and $600 billion between 2004 and 2014, with costs increasing after that point and he was unable to effect serious change in Social Security – the largest Ponzi scheme in the history of civilization. And Obama would have perfect standing to criticize Bush’s record were it not for the fact that he has yet to present a serious solution to either program.

Want to know how bad this guy is on Social Security? Here are some quotes:

Commitment:As someone who was largely raised by his grandparents, Obama has first-hand knowledge of how hard America’s seniors have worked. He will honor their lifetime of work.
Protect Social Security: Obama will preserve Social Security by stopping any efforts to privatize it and working in a bipartisan way to preserve it for future generations.
Secure Hard-Earned Pensions: Obama will fight to ensure that companies don’t dump their pension obligations.
Help Americans Save More: Obama will make retirement savings automatic.
(Campaign booklet, “Blueprint for Change”, p. 16-19 Feb 2, 2008>

Clinton called Obama’s proposal to raise Social Security taxes on earnings over $97,500 per year, the current upper limit on which any tax is levied, a trillion-dollar increase on “middle class families.” Clinton said, “I do not want to fix the problems of Social Security on the backs of middle class families and seniors. If you lift the cap completely, that is a $1 trillion tax increase. I don’t think we need to do that.”
Taxing all earnings would indeed amount to a $1.3 trillion increase over the next 10 years alone, according to estimates by Cato Institute Social Security experts. A similar estimate comes from Citizens for Tax Justice, which figures the measure would bring in $124 billion per year.

Obama defended his proposal by saying it would fall only on the upper class: “Understand that only 6% of Americans make more than $97,000–so 6% is not the middle class–it’s the upper class.”
Democratic debate, Las Vegas, Nov. 15, 2007

Q: You said earlier this year that everything should be on the table for Social Security, including looking at raising retirement age, indexing benefits, and then suddenly you said, “I’m taking them off the table.”
A: That’s not what I said. I said I will convene a meeting as president where we discuss all of the options that are available. I believe that cutting benefits is not the right answer; and that raising the retirement age is not the best option, particularly when we’ve got people who are still in manufacturing.

Q: But in May you said they would be on the table.

A: Well, I am going to be listening to any ideas that are presented, but I think that the best way to approach this is to adjust the cap on the payroll tax so that people like myself are paying a little bit more and the people who are in need are protected. That is the option that I will be pushing forward.

Q: But the other options would be on the table?

A: Well, I will listen to all arguments and the best options.
(Meet The Press, Nov. 11, 2007)

Social Security is not in crisis; it is a fundamentally sound system, but it does have a problem, long-term. We’ve got 78 million baby boomers, who are going to be retiring over the next couple of decades. That means more retirees, fewer workers to support those retirees. We are going to have to do something about it. The best idea is to lift the cap on the payroll tax, potentially exempting middle-class folks, but making sure that the wealthy are paying more of their fair share, a little bit more.
Democratic debate, Drexel University, Oct. 30, 2007

In other words, this guy thinks that raising taxes on the rich will help cover some $60 trillion in unfunded Social Security and Medicare liabilities, while using a pyramid-scheme redistribution model rather than an investment/savings model which factors interest and return on investment into the funding mix. He says he will fight privatization of Social Security when even the crappiest CD at the bank will generate three to four times the return this current system will.

And he wants a serious discussion? The hell he does. What Obama wants is for people who disagree with him to be demonized by people like Anderson Cooper and Jeanine Garafalo so as to silence them, and he wants to be given plenary power to embed the federal government as a central factor in American life.

And he’s going to get that power. We are about to enter a third wave of government intrusion into the freedoms of the individual, particularly with respect to economic liberty, and we’re doing it at a time when the latest estimate shows that America’s Gross Domestic Product has fallen by 6.1 percent in the first quarter of the year.

I hate to be the harbinger of doom here, but the federal government is on an express train to bankruptcy, and to the extent that the administration even cares it expects to remedy the problem by confiscating the wealth of the productive class in the midst of a disastrous economy. This will not end well. It may well create a massive opportunity for the Republican Party to stage an electoral comeback in next year’s congressional elections and possibly in the presidential election in 2012, but the amount of work that will need to be done to restore any semblance of the American polity which created the greatest nation the world has ever known will be daunting indeed.

I was at a luncheon today in which Louisiana’s state budget issues were discussed – and in that luncheon the fact was mentioned that Louisiana’s budget of $26.7 billion is DOUBLE that of Alabama’s. Alabama and Louisiana are states of similar size, population, per capita income and demographics – and yet Louisiana has 102,000 state employees (14,000 more than the Southern average) and performs generally worse than Alabama in virtually every index of government achievement. Why? Unlike Alabama, which has hardly embraced an enlightened politics, Louisiana fell victim to the kind of cradle-to-grave Longite socialism Obama is attempting to foist on the American people. Our state’s government apparatus needs to be broken down and retooled from the ground up as a result of the unsustainable spending and encroachment of the public sector into the lives of our citizens – and just when that long-overdue effort finally is to begin, the federal government is now going to follow an even more ruinous path.

Now is not the time for moderation. Now is the time to prepare for a political fight for the life and future of our country.



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