American Elephants


Funny money. Funny budget. Public reaction–Not funny! by The Elephant's Child

Is the Obama administration unusually mathematically challenged, as we have seen demonstrated in the remarkable number of nominees who cannot do their taxes? Or do they just think that the public is unusually dumb?

Here we have Representative Paul Ryan questioning Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag about the odd technique of using pretend inflated war costs  and then cutting them back to reality to claim “savings” in the budget.  $1.6 trillion of the “savings” that Obama is expecting are based on the costs of the surge in Iraq continuing for 10 more years, even though Obama has announced that all combat troops will be out of Iraq by 2010, and the Status of Forces Agreement is set for 2011.  Orszag looks like a fool.

Washington standards are unusually low, but this is remarkably dishonest.  I’m sure I remember Barack Obama talking about integrity and transparency.  Words, just words.  We were going to have no more earmarks.  The over $400 billion appropriations bill apparently includes something like 9,500 earmarks.

Interesting change.  Not much hope.  Definitely not transparent.  No integrity.



What Are the Odds? by American Elephant
March 4, 2009, 1:47 am
Filed under: Politics, Pop Culture | Tags:

Luck? Or something more? Ever have something happen where you just knew someone must be looking out for you?



Barack Obama, Equity Analyst. Or something like that. by The Elephant's Child


And here we have President Barack Obama pushing a bright economic future and recommending the stock market that he has pushed down to disastrous levels — in the long term.  Here’s Rich Lowry in the New York Post:

When President Barack Obama wanted to push an $800 billion “stimulus” or “recovery” bill through Congress a few weeks ago; he thought an atmosphere of economic crisis helped his cause.  So he repeatedly warned of “catastrophe,” of “a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.”

Only a week later, Obama moved on to his next priority.  He proposed a vast federal budget that will spend $3,600,000,000,000 next year and $5,300,000,000,000 more in the next 10 years than the Congressional Budget Office was projecting  just last year.

To get the money for this huge explosion of the budget, Obama makes the assumption that the economy will be recovering at a nice clip next year, at a 3.2 percent annual rate.  Rich Lowry asks:

What happened to the looming cataclysm?

The “recovery package” passed, and its passage has suddenly brightened the future of the economy. Isn’t that wonderful?

But how can an extra $220 billion in extra government spending in 2010 make the difference between irreversible catastrophe and comfortable growth in a $14 trillion economy?  Of course, it can’t.  Obama was exaggerating the crisis two weeks ago so he could get more spending, and now he’s exaggerating the upside, so he can get more spending.  The object is a vastly expanded government, and spending is more important to him than either recovery or financial health.

I write these numbers out with all their zeroes just to impress you. I hope that they do.

P.S. Did you notice that our mathematically challenged President referred to the “Profit – Earnings relationship?”  Can we say price-earnings ratio?



Obama/Democrat Agenda Too Liberal For Many Democrats by American Elephant

A tiny ripple of good news in the maelstrom of doom that has thus far marked the reign of Barack Obama and the Democrats. A group of 49 House Democrats has signaled that their party is lurching too far left for even them:

Democratic Reps. Jim Matheson of Utah and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona have joined a quiet revolt in the House that could slow some of President Obama’s fast-moving priorities.

The two are among 49 Democrats from congressional districts that backed Republican Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential race and whose support for the Democratic majority’s progressive agenda is increasingly not assured.

A dozen of them were among 20 House Democrats who voted against the $410 billion discretionary fiscal 2009 spending package (HR 1105) on Feb. 25. Another group later forced House leaders to sideline a contentious bill (HR 1106) to allow bankruptcy judges to modify home loans.

Although only a handful of moderate and conservative Democrats abandoned their leaders during party-line votes on the economic stimulus law (PL 111-5), the group of vulnerable Democrats branded the omnibus spending bill as a budget buster and questioned whether the mortgage bill would raise interest rates on average home-owners and cause some struggling homeowners to rush to bankruptcy.

[read more]

If you are represented by any of these Blue Dog Democrats, you could do a lot of good by making your opinions known to them.




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