Obama’s Budget Policy Speech at GWU: Eat the Rich
President Obama delivered a wide-ranging but largely unsurprising speech at George Washington University this afternoon, responding to the Republican House budget proposal and delivering his own vision of how to cure America’s fiscal woes. While Obama delivered his vision with his usual reserved grandeur, the content followed now-familiar outlines from the Democratic side of the aisle, and yielded ample kindling for Republicans and right-wing ideologues to attack him (yet again) as a socialist baby-killing nazi zombie.
The speech warmed up with a brief history lesson from Professor Obama, explaining why it is that the most powerful country in the world also has the most ass-clownish economy. The focus was on the good work done under Bush I and Clinton, with only a gentle allusion to the fact that in 2000 our budget was totally freakin’ sweet and mysteriously by 2009 someone had replaced it with a muddy boot and three ounces of used chewing tobacco. The good professor left it to the audience to decide just who might have been responsible for that.
Pastor Obama then launched into what makes us as Americans totally awesome. Fierce libertarians would have been curious to hear that they are apparently not part of that. The focus here was on how we help one another, have helped one another throughout our history, and should continue to help one another because otherwise the Prez is going to veto the shit out of your bill. Republicans.
Things got a little more exciting as the next transformation unveiled Obamus Prime, all shiny metal and teeth. The Republican bill was held up and set on fire (metaphorically), with its favoritism to the rich and intention to cut back on Medicaid coverage the primary focus. Obamus Prime is also apparently from the future because the world he described the Republican bill creating was some Terminator shit. Bridges collapsed! Children uneducated! Feral bands of tax attorneys roaming the wastes, hungry for middle-class blood!
President Obama made a return to deliver his own plan. The emphasis was on two issues, familiar as old friends: ending the Bush-era tax cuts (which he rather ballsily swore to never extend again), and cutting the cost of health care, rather than the coverage provided (which he claims is the Republican approach). The projected numbers from these two approaches alone were impressive, but we’ll have to wait for the fact-checking on those.
Taxes sat front and center throughout. The House Republicans have staunchly opposed any increase in taxes, with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) declaring that “Washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem,” earlier this morning. Obama, on the other hand, has long been an opponent of the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy elite, and is attempting to wrangle the current budget crisis into a fiscal sledgehammer with which they can finally be crushed.
While that may seem like plenty of fuel for the Fox News “He’s a Dirty Commie!” fire, Obama couldn’t seem to resist tossing them a few more cans of gasoline. He stated twice that millionaires and billionaires “can afford to pay a bit more,” and that in fact they would be eager to do so, something that at least one millionaire I know would beg to differ with. He also advocated cutting “tax code spending,” something I didn’t understand until I realized that this rested on the, shall we say, “unique” understanding that by giving you a tax break for, e.g., squeezing out a baby, the government is effectively “spending” money on you. Expect that one to go over like a lead bomb with everyone even slightly right of the Leftern Steppes.
Although Rep. Boehner has never been the sharpest or straightest tool in the drawer, he may have hit the nail on the head with his comment this morning. Having drawn the battle lines, it only remains for the two sides to get into the melee and see just which issues rise to the top. One of them will definitely be the balance between increasing revenue and cutting spending, two very different approaches to the budget crisis.
Another will be Medicaid. Everyone wants the old people votes—they vote more and aren’t around long enough to complain about abandoning campaign promises—and what they care about is who’s paying for their hip surgery next month. Obama made a compelling argument today for his side of the Medicaid issue, at least from the perspective of the patient. It might even be enough to balance out the Tea Party anti-taxation hit he’ll take for his stance on the Bush cuts. We’ll have to see.
Follow us on twitter@thefastertimes
- 1 First Openly Straight Figure Skater Comes Forward
- 2 Brooklyn Man Now Living Entirely Off Own Beard Garden
- 3 “Cra Cra” Now Official Diagnosis in New DSM (DSM-5)
- 4 OfficeMax Marketing Director Struggling to Make Staplers ‘Sexy’ and ‘Conversational’
- 5 Homeless Guy Woos Silicon Valley VCs with Low-Tech Crowdfunding Startup
- 6 Area Man Tailors Life To Be More Relevant To His Hulu Advertisements
- 7 Fan Banging Furiously on Glass Could Be the Difference in Hockey Playoffs
- 8 Survey: 88% of Eagles Fans Too Drunk To Spell Nnamdi Asomugha Last Season
- 9 Attorney Actually Starting to Believe Own Bullshit
- 10 Local Mom Won’t Stop Being First Person to Like Every Goddamn Thing Son Posts to Facebook