Re-elect Obama!? — by guest blogger Danny Lemieux

Hear me out. Sure, the public is indignant about our current state of affairs, especially the mushrooming deficits that have pretty much sealed our national bankruptcy (in my humble opinion). What worries me, though, is what needs to be done to fix the problem. I personally don’t see any solution except to administer massive haircuts to the very entitlement programs that have become sacrosanct in the minds of our citizenry. Sure, everybody talks the talk about wanting to reduce deficits, as long as you don’t touch their own pet programs: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Pharmaid, Farm Programs, School Aid, Home Mortgage aid etc. ad nauseum. However painful, retrenchment is coming, either through political reform, through inflation, or through simple bankruptcy and a government failure to pay-up. This is made even worse by the fact that more and more beneficiaries of these programs don’t pay for them, so they have no longer have skin in the game.

Now, one of the rules in our politics is that while budgets and policies are often driven by Congress, it is the President that gets the blame or credit for what happens under his/her watch. Recall, that the economy took off when Bill Clinton was forced to answer to a Republican congress. Clinton got the accolades. The economic damage under Bush didn’t begin until the Democrats took over Congress. Bush got blamed! With a Republican in the driver’s seat, the Republicans will take all the blame for the harsh medicine that must be administered and be promptly voted out of office. With a Republican Congress working against a weak Democrat President, I say let the weak Democrat President be the pinata.

So, what do you think? Are we better off with a Republican President and Republican Congress, or a weak Democrat President and strong Republican Congress?

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  • SADIE

    policies are often driven by Congress
    A loaded question, since the policies are driven by drunks in  Tata’s. The damage is done, the car is totaled after driving it  into public spaces for the past 40 years. The only slice of truth I’ve read lately  is coming from CBO.
    Benefit reductions sounds like a diet, everybody hates going on a diet, even if it benefits their overall health and welfare. Gotta get the soda [Entitlement Programs] off the shelf – period. The cure is the cause of the problem.
    I recommend that Social Security and Medicare are not available to anyone entering the work force effective (put in a date here). If you remove the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,  it will force future generations to make decisions and corrections to spending and drum roll please …saving their money and this would, of course apply to those who feel most entitled, the Beltway Bozos, who depend on the taxpayer to enhance their retirement benefits.

  • SADIE

    Republican National Chairman Michael Steele is spending twice as much as his recent predecessors on private planes and paying more for limousines, catering and flowers – expenses that are infuriating the party’s major donors who say Republicans need every penny they can get for the fight to win back Congress.
    Most recently, donors grumbled when Steele hired renowned chef Wolfgang Puck’s local crew to cater the RNC’s Christmas party inside the trendy Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue, and then moved its annual winter meeting from Washington to Hawaii.
    For some major GOP donors, both decisions were symbolic of the kind of wasteful spending habits they claim has become endemic to his tenure at the RNC. When Ken Mehlman served as the committee chairman during the critical 2006 midterm elections, the holiday party was held in a headquarters conference room and Chic-fil-A was the caterer.
    A POLITICO analysis of expenses found that compared with 2005, the last comparable year preceding a midterm election, the committee’s payments for charter flights doubled; the number of sedan contractors tripled, and meal expenses jumped from $306,000 to $599,000.
    Michael Steele is an imperial chairman,” said one longtime Republican fundraiser. “He flies in private aircraft. He drives in private cars. He has private consultants that are paid ridiculous retainers. He fancies himself a presidential candidate and wants all of the trappings and gets them by using other people’s money.”
    Louis M. Pope, who chairs the RNC’s Budget Committee, defends Steele’s expenses, arguing that a bump in costs is unavoidable for a party that lacks control of any of the levers of government. “Michael Steele does travel more, but he’s in far more demand. He’s a huge part of the fundraising apparatus,” said Pope. “Nobody is living it up at the RNC. There are a number of upscale events, but those are all profitable.”
     
    h/t Weasel Zippers
    Btw…If this is how they do business out of office, what does it portend when/if ‘in’ office.

  • Charles Martel

    The left has played generational politics for a long time, scaring old people with the specter of Social Security and Medicare being snatched away by right-wing meanies.

    Maybe we should play along for once by addressing Gen X and Y directly and saying, “Your parents and grandparents have decided that you will turn over half of everything you’ll ever earn to the federal government so that they can continue to live beyond their means. Would you like to help us change it so that you do not spend the rest of your life paying off a debt that other people made in your name?”

    You make sure that the reforms you propose follow along the lines that SADIE suggested, perhaps grandfathering the Boomers so that they can continue to feast on their government slop, thus making them less likely to oppose change.

  • suek

    >>“Michael Steele is an imperial chairman,”>>

    I don’t know if his spending is justified or not, but assuming not…there’s a term for this sort of spending.
     
    Unfortunately, it has been banished out of political correctness.

  • suek

    >>I recommend that Social Security and Medicare are not available to anyone entering the work force effective (put in a date here).>>
     
    This was along the lines of Bush’s proposal – Medicare excluded – and no doubt you remember the warm welcome _that_ got…!

  • SADIE

    There’s going to be a rude wake up call for a generation that gets  I.O.U.’s and U Owe USa in lieu of benefits.
    All the projections I’ve read were prior to TARP and all  the manifestations that have followed. I wonder if they actually understand that the Social Security Trust Fund is as empty as the promises made….
    Wimpy, I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

  • Mike Devx

    I think you might make more progress favoring an incremental phase-out rather than a cold turkey, cut em off completely approach.
     
    But then, to give President Bush (George W.) his kudos (and there are quite a few areas in which he deserves them, despite my other posts blistering him for the half-empty part of his glass), he and his Administration did make a sincere effort to push a small part of Social Security into private retirement funds – was it 1% or 3%? – just to crack that door open a little bit.  The Democrats raised such a blistering hue and cry over it, successfully, that they killed it.  Perhaps after this disastrous experiment of Obamas and the subsequent realization and revolt that is occurring, the American people will be more amenable to such arguments?