Obama’s Budget Speech: Ninety Minutes of Nothing

by CJFosdick on April 21, 2011

Sometimes I think if I hear one more time how the “very wealthiest Americans don’t pay their fair share of taxes,” I’ll scream. It was the one reoccurring theme of Obama’s forty minute speech of April 13, 2011, talking about his “plan” to cut four trillion dollars from our budget in the next twelve years. I watched every minute of it, didn’t even doze off as did Joe Biden. I waited eagerly to have Obama get the “nuts and bolts” of his plan; you know how he proposes making these cuts. His plan basically was to tax the wealthiest as “they’ve got plenty; it’s their patriotic duty”; and “everybody has to make sacrifices.”  By everybody, I assume Obama means the “filthy rich”, because he talked a lot also about the dangers of cutting programs for the poor. He was emphatic about not wanting to make any cuts to 80% of the budget: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. I heard an awful lot about the poor in America in this speech, how we couldn’t cut their programs. They depend on these government programs.

Hidden in the lexicon of the speech was the message that Obama wants to keep these folks dependent on his government programs, so they will vote for him again. Also, much of Obama’s speech ran down the Bush presidency, although he didn’t name names, just said how bad things were in the last ten years. Now, of course the last two years of this ten year window was the first two years of Obama’s own presidency. He seemed oblivious to this little fact. Obama likewise ran down the budget proposed by Republican, Paul Ryan, and trashed him, too, this after inviting him to come to the speech and sit in the front row. Didn’t bother Obama any. He seems so wrapped in himself, he often seems totally unaware of anyone else’s existence. Or he is so mean-spirited he does it on purpose?

So the gist of the Obama speech: “I will cut two trillion dollars from discretionary spending, about 12% of the budget — no details, nothing named on how to make these cuts. Then, he said he would save a trillion dollars gained from raising taxes on the wealthy. The third trillion dollars — How??? For the life of me I don’t remember, and I don’t even want to take the time to get online and check it out. It was equally empty of any details as the other two. He did talk about cutting the Defense Budget, but since this budget is less than a trillion dollars, about 700 billion a year* That was his speech, all forty boring minutes that I forced myself to watch so I wouldn’t miss his plan.

The very wealthiest, about 2% of Americans, pay 30% of the income tax collected; 50% are those earning 250,000 or more and they pay over 90% of the taxes.  The remaining 49% of Americans pay only 2.7%. I think the wealthiest are already paying more than fair share. You know what makes me mad? Forty-nine million Americans pay no income tax at all. That one blows my mind. In fact, it kind of eats at me if I let it. But life is short, so instead I stew about the unfairness of having people with more money pay such an overload of the income taxes and, worse, to have them continually bad-mouthed by Obama and the Dems.

The least you can do, Obama, is to take our financial problems seriously, use your leadership to seek real solutions to cut our massive deficit which you yourself inflated by four trillion dollars. Yes, you, Mr. Obama, you and the Democrat Senate and House working together. You cannot blame Bush for these trillions. You own them. So use your energies to seek real solutions. Quit wasting our time making a forty minute campaign speech that was supposed to be a policy speech outlining your budget plan. It had no meat, no specifics, a whole bunch of criticism for the other side, and was just a bunch of hooey for the rest of the speech.  Quit pitting one group of Americans against another. Quit building hate, envy, and resentment between Americans.

And while I’m on subjects I resent, quit gadding all over America campaigning. You have a country to run, a country with massive, massive problems.  Since your speeches are all televised all over the world, you could have just as easily saved the money and made the speech from the Rose Garden or the Oval Office.  (On 4/19/2011, the President is on a campaign swing to three different states.) Stay in Washington and start running the country. That’s what you were elected to do, not go into permanent campaign mode a year and a half before the next election, at the expense of solving America’s problems.

On the other hand, go ahead and become a permanent campaigner. The solutions you dream up to solve America’s problems are usually very bad for our country. You’re safer off campaigning somewhere.

*Facts from: Bernie Goldberg, 4/18/2011

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