Wednesday, July 29, 2009

POTUS: Fat People in Deep Holes Should Keep Eating/Digging

The President was in North Carolina today, attempting to stop the ObamaCare freefall by blaming his predecessor and the GOP. Shocking, I know. According to The Hill:
President Barack Obama hit back Wednesday at Republican critics who say he's spending too much, arguing that he's needed to take costly steps to fix the economy.

Obama, speaking before a friendly crowd in Raleigh, N.C., defended the $787 billion stimulus, the auto and Wall Street bank bailouts and his push for healthcare reform from GOP attacks that the measures are too expensive.

"It has cost some money to do all this," Obama said, "although when I hear critics talk about out-of-control spending, I can’t help but remember that those same critics contributed to the $1.3 trillion deficit we inherited when I took office."

The president, seeking to shift some of the blame for record spending to Republicans, noted that the past administration and GOP-led Congress had created a Medicare prescription drug benefit costing nearly $400 billion and didn't pay for it.

Obama said that his moves are helping stop an "economic free-fall" even though they're contributing to the deficit. The expected 2009 deficit is a record $1.8 trillion.

"We dug ourselves a deep hole, and because of the recovery package we put together, that has added to it, so we now have problems," he said. "We're going to have to tighten our belt. We can't do it in the middle of the stimulus, can't do it just as the economy is coming out of the recession."

Obama peppered his speech at the town hall meeting with gibes at those who had attacked his spending.
Mangled metaphors aside, the President's reasons for this move are pretty simplistic, I guess: polls show that a slim majority of people still blame W (and not Obama) for the crappy economy, and it's a good diversion from the debacle that is, you know, the actual substance of the House ObamaCare plan. And "blame Bush" is certainly not a new strategy for the Campaigner-in-Chief: he's constantly defended the Stimulus* by claiming that W got us into this mess, and his $787 billion porkbomb was absolutelypositivelynecessary. (To which we all reply, in unison, "rrrriiiiiiiiiggghhhht.")

But using this tenuous argument to defend ObamaCare is utterly nonsensical. The Stimulus* and the bailouts and the TARP are (theoretically) one-time budget events. Regardless of whether you agree with it, the argument for a stimulus or bailout is (again, theoretically) pretty straightforward: we spend a gazillion once in order to save the economy and prevent spending 5 gazillion next time. Thus, the annual deficit explodes for one year and, except for the extra interest, goes back to "normal" after that (and in the rosiest scenarios, even declines). Think of it like a broke college kid who charges a new suit to his high-interest credit card so he can get a new job.

But ObamaCare is anything but a one-time event. It's a new, perpetual entitlement - a permanent change to the fiscal budget. The cost doesn't go away. And if Medicare has shown us anything, this new entitlement will only get bigger and bigger (and bigger and...).

Second, every reasonable budget estimate outside of the White House has shown that ObamaCare, as currently crafted, perpetually expands the deficit. It never "bends the cost curve," as the Dems love to say. Indeed, it does just opposite, as evidenced by this handy chart, courtesy of Cato and the CBO:

Yikes. So you can't exactly "tighten your belt" and "get out of a hole" when your big "plan" is to keep eating and digging forever, regardless of how fat you are or how deep the hole is. (Hey, don't blame me; he's the one who apparently needed TWO cliches to (not) make his point.)

So, using the President's crayzee logic, I've come up with some other equally sane proposals for people in tough situations:
  • To cure lung cancer, patients should, instead of chemotherapy, smoke a carton of cigarettes a day, every day, until they're magically cured.
  • To pay off an "underwater" mortgage, homeowners should, instead of paying down interest and principal, use that money to go on a lavish vacation every month until the mortgage is magically paid-off.
  • To lose weight, overweight people should, instead of dieting, eat at Golden Corral every night until they're magically thin.
And as long as you blame someone else for the big mess you're in, it's totally fine!

This is easy and fun!

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