Free Markets, Free People

Fact Checking Obama

Believe it or not, it was AP which undertook this job. And although superficial, it was interesting to see the agency actually attempt some objectivity. That said, the one that really stands out as almost laugh outloud funny was where Obama did a little chiding of the Republicans:

First of all, I suspect that some of those Republican critics have a short memory, because, as I recall, I’m inheriting a $1.3 trillion deficit, annual deficit, from them.

Well, first of all, only Congress can appropriate money and for the last two years, when that 1.3 trillion was pile up, it was appropriated by a Democratic Congress.

Yes, Paulson rolled them and they ran around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off – and that includes Republicans – but trying to lay this deficit solely at the feet of the Republicans is simply laughable.

Laughable point two came when Obama claimed “In this budget, we have made the tough choices necessary to cut our deficit in half by the end of my first term even under the most pessimistic estimates.”

Well, that’s just not true. The “most pessimistic estimates” (in this case the CBO) essentially disagree with his point.

The Congressional Budget Office forecasts that Obama’s spending plan would leave a deficit of $672 billion by the end of 2013. Explaining the differences between his projections and CBO’s, Obama said his administration projects a higher growth rate.

It is also important to understand that “cutting the deficit in half” is a mask for the fact that it means he’ll still be running up a record deficit of over 600 billion a year. That is not progress in deficit reduction or  “fiscally responsible” government. But it sounds good when thrown out there in a sound bite. Here, maybe this will help make the point:


As you can see, both the most “pessimistic” and his own projections see huge deficits projected well into the future – and, as many economists have said, unsustainable deficits.

So let’s get a few facts straight concerning spending and deficits then and now:

-President Bush expanded the federal budget by a historic $700 billion through 2008. President Obama would add another $1 trillion.

-President Bush began a string of expensive financial bailouts. President Obama is accelerating that course.

-President Bush created a Medicare drug entitlement that will cost an estimated $800 billion in its first decade. President Obama has proposed a $634 billion down payment on a new govern ment health care fund.

-President Bush increased federal education spending 58 percent faster than inflation. President Obama would double it.

-President Bush became the first President to spend 3 percent of GDP on federal antipoverty programs. President Obama has already in creased this spending by 20 percent.

-President Bush tilted the income tax burden more toward upper-income taxpayers. President Obama would continue that trend.

-President Bush presided over a $2.5 trillion increase in the public debt through 2008. Setting aside 2009 (for which Presidents Bush and Obama share responsibility for an additional $2.6 trillion in public debt), President Obama’s budget would add $4.9 trillion in public debt from the beginning of 2010 through 2016.

Yes, Bush did contribute to an expanded deficit. But Obama’s plans expand it beyond anything Bush did and it continues the spending well into the future. Obama’s budget is the blueprint for a huge and unsustainable expansion of government over the next decade.  What you see going on now is all Obama.

And don’t let him get away with pretending otherwise.


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58 Responses to Fact Checking Obama

  • Don’t forget your point about Congress — White House budgets are the first part of a negotiation.  Moreover, budget projections to the future are usually meaningless (remember the $16 trillion surplus we were hearing about?)   Still, the numbers the White House projects are, I believe, dangerous.  Right now Obama’s gambling that inflation won’t sink the economy before a recovery can start.    Unlike, say, Germany in the 20s or Russia in the 90s, there is an economic base and a global support system which makes that possible.  But longer term sustained deficits will ultimately lead to a collapse of the dollar — there needs to be serious, real budget cuts by 2011.  My preference on handling this is to use this as a massive shift of power from the federal government to the states.  If a Republican wants my vote in 2012, make that a priority — make that the new conservative approach, get government closer to the people, shift funds and power back to the states, weaken the federal government but strengthen state government.  (I go into that more in my blog today).   That fits with conservative principles, makes it easier to control governmental power, and in a crisis like this may be feasible.   We might even be able to agree on something.

    • Scott,

      “If a Republican wants my vote in 2012, make that a priority — make that the new conservative approach, get government closer to the people, shift funds and power back to the states, weaken the federal government but strengthen state government.”

      So, if the Republican candidate does not do that, what will you do then?  Not vote?  Vote for the Democrat?  Please tell me how either of these two options work.

    • The day the Republican Party actively recruits you and those of your ilk is the day I depart the Republican Party.  I am a former Conservative Democrat and I can become a former Conservative Republican in much the same process.  I don’t disagree with your push for the “shift of power from the federal government to the states”, it is just that I, from these pages, have seen the kind of person you represent and I do not want to align myself with that politically.

      In short, I have said on many occasions “Some of my best friends are liberals.”  You, and the ideas you further within these pages, do not adhere to any proposed by my “friends” and to be honest I don’t even care to call someone with your views an acquaintance.  I do have relatives that share your views but I don’t get to choose blood.  I do have the right to choose my friends – at least so far – and I would like to keep it that way.

      So keep voting Democrat, Erb.  We won’t miss you.

      • Actually, I’ve voted Republican in the last two Senate elections, and for the local state house election.

        You guys really don’t know me.

  • No Republican wants your vote Erb. Sellouts though they may have become, they still know better than to go dumpster diving for someone like you.

    Put your “reasonable” mask back on eh?  Don’t worry, your “capitalism doesn’t work, hooray!” moment is still archived for all to see

    • Yes, the mask is back on. Probably because of the spanking he took on the long thread a couple of days back.

      He’ll probably play nice and pretend not to be a socialist for a while. And maybe scale the Obama gloating back a bit, since Obama is looking like such a train wreck right now.

      But Obama can’t continue to get everything wrong, so I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Erb gloat. He craves it.

      • Markets don’t self adjust…..bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

      • Billy, thanks for offering absolute authoritative proof that you have no clue how I think or who I am.  You literally are insulting and attacking a figment of your own imagination.  (That kind of thing can make you go blind or grow hair on your palms, you know).  I have on my blog nearly a year of daily entries and interactions.  My political philosophy is pretty clear, and it’s certainly no where near socialist.  It is consistent, and it’s honest in how I grapple with issues I find difficult.    I do this very publicly, for friends, students, my employers, and anyone who wants to to read.   Yet you say it’s a mask?   I’m really a socialist who argues against socialism because, well, it’s all a plot to fool Q&O readers?   Do you realize how far off the deep end that kind of attack will be, and how your animosity for this fictionalized character you’ve created in your mind has made you venture into attacks that are really beneath you?   Uh, OK…in my teaching, my blog, my public talks, and life I guess I’ll keep this mask on, all in one huge effort to try to fool the commentators at Q&O.   Sure.

        • Billy, thanks for offering absolute authoritative proof that you have no clue how I think or who I am.

          Hey, I’m happy to leave it to the other readers on this site as to whether I have a clue about you. I certainly don’t give a flying flip what *you* think.

          I’ve read your drivel for over two years, and I know more about you than I want to know. I know from your writing that you are an enemy of freedom. I know you would sell your descendents and mine into socialist slavery for a mess of pottage. I know you glorify leftism and find every possible rationalization and justification for the state to lord over us. I know that you consider yourself one of the enlightened elite, just like your associates in Europe, and you’re all so sure you know what’s best for all of us that you can’t resist coming around and telling us about how smart you are and how our ideas need to be “brushed aside” (as you put it) in favor of our betters.

          What I don’t know is the reason you come here. I believe it is because you are such a pitiful example of inadequacy that you desperately crave validation, and somehow you think you get it by looking down on all of us.

          You think you have the kind of discussion you crave on your blog? Fine, then go over there and have your “debate” with those who think the same way you do.

          But if you come around here, myself and several others are going to point out again and again and again what you are. And all your protestations are not going to avail you, because we all see you for what you are, even if you yourself are completely incapable of it.

          But I must say I think it’s having some effect. You’re sure starting to sound defensive these days, Scott old boy.

          • LOL!  You try too hard, Billy, but I have you figured out.    It’s a fact that much of what I’ve been predicting and saying has been proven accurate.  Commentators in the blog ridiculed me for criticizing the pick of Palin, for thinking Obama can still win despite Rev. Wright, for warning in comments here about the unsustainability of the current accounts deficit and debt — and the likelhood of a real decline.   Don’t forget the heady talk about Iraq as a model and how change would come to the Mideast, or dismissal of claims that the Taliban was gaining strength in Afghanistan.   Turns out I was right on most counts, and a lot of posts on Q&O about the economy, Iraq, the election, etc., have been proven wrong.

            That’s what bugs you.  It’s not just that I was right, but in your eyes I’m like an obnoxious Yankees fan who gloats to the Red Sox fan when the Yanks win.    It irritates you.  You want to lash back.  But you can’t – you end up over the top and looking silly.  And that’s the thing about internet insults — they are utterly impotent.

          • Keep on coming back with your LOLs, Scott. Every time you do, you provide more evidence for my hypothesis, which is that coming here is an obsession for you to prove your own self-worth to yourself by feeling yourself superior to someone, anyone. You crave it. You’re just too chicken$hit to admit that to yourself.

    • No Republican wants my vote?  Well why do they shake my hand and ask for it — or in the case of local elections, stop by my house and chat with me about the issues?    Your insults are getting strange.

  • Since the current year’s deficit includes the (presumably) one-time, non-recurring expense of the various bailouts it should be child’s play to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first, and hopefully last, term.

    • Yes, which is why I’ve believed Obama that he was going to cut the deficit in half.  If he doesn’t, then we’re really risking a dollar decline, especially since the Europeans are not so keen to use this kind of deficit spending.   OPEC could start pricing oil in Euros.

      • “Since the current year’s deficit includes the (presumably) one-time, non-recurring expense of the various bailouts it should be child’s play to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first, and hopefully last, term.”

        Followed by –

        Scott Erb says:
        March 25, 2009 at 09:45
        Yes, which is why I’ve believed Obama that he was going to cut the deficit in half.  If he doesn’t, then we’re really risking a dollar decline, especially since the Europeans are not so keen to use this kind of deficit spending.   OPEC could start pricing oil in Euros.

        So you ‘believe’ Obama will ‘cut the deficit in half, even though if that is ‘true’, it will still be almost double what it is today…  nice.  This is the typical leftist ‘dollar speak’ – they request a 20 % increase in their budget for project X, only a 10% increase gets approved, and they complain about nasty republicans ‘CUTTING’ their budget by 10%.  Only in their world (and Scott’s head) can doubling the size of something be called ‘cutting it in half’.

  • I just saw this video of a British Member of the European Parliament on Drudge. I doubt that Biden will steal this speech, but it is worth listening to anyway.

    • Yeah, I was wondering if we could rent this guy for a couple days, the Republicans could take lessons from him.

  • It must be TEOTWAWKI, the AP saying something negative about TAO!!!

  • And now Geithner – open mouth, insert market drop.
    Like Erb, these guys just don’t know when to shut up.

    • Yeah, the market sure dropped when he announced the toxic asset plan…dropped a whole negative 500 points!

      • Which has, exactly, what, to do with his comment about china’s currency idea, which he could have ignored (at least until he had a f*ing plan pertaining to it, and not just a comment), but didn’t and caused a market drop TODAY on a market that was rising.


        Again, like you, does not know when to shut up.

  • So, looker’s theory of the stock market is that it all depends on Geithner, and when it talks it goes down (except, of course, for the times it goes up).    All those silly news organizations blaming concerns about the economy for the inability of the rally to continue, nah, they should drop that stuff.  Stock traders aren’t concerned with the economy, they’re hanging on Geithner’s every word, and make their decisions based on their reactions to him.   And you call me a “dolt”?  Do you even think about the implications of the things you claim in your comments?   Sheesh.

    • Within 10 minutes of his statement…
      “The dollar slid as much as 1.3 percent against the euro within 10 minutes of news accounts of Geithner’s remarks. The U.S. currency was down 0.6 percent at $1.3553 as of 12:31 p.m. in New York.”

      Now I think my theory that his comment dropped the market, at present, carries a lot more water than yours does, Dr. Dolt.

      It does appear that it’s not just my ‘theory’ it appears to be a readily recognized FACT already.

      Perfect opportunity to admit you were WRONG, let’s see it happen.

    • And finally, no, it doesn’t ‘all’ depend on Geithner, that’s YOUR statement.  My statement was he opened his mouth, and the market reverberated as a result.

      You’re not ALWAYS an idiot, I’m sure there are times you are not.

  • When you’re the Secretary of Treasury of the United States of America, though perhaps they should not, people TAKE YOU SERIOUSLY on financial issues.

    You’re a clown though, first it’s that markets don’t regulate themselves and then it’s the idea that the Secretary of the Treasury and his statements don’t have a direct effect, and I mean DIRECT, effect on the financial markets.

    • Any impact a statement of a Fed Chair, Obama, Geithner has is based on what they believe the policy would be.  That’s why when he made a policy statement they liked, it went up 500 points.  Not because of Geithner talking, but the policy expectations and economic expectations.  You got so bothered when I called you on that, that now you’re lying to try to save face.  Don’t worry, you’re in friendly territory, your ideological comrades will cover for you.

  • You realize, what you’ve done looker:  You’ve completely changed your claim from one about the stock market, to a completely different claim about currency markets, and there your claim must be about very short term reactions.

    The dollar is down today by .0074%.  That isn’t much.    But if you shift your claim to something more narrow to say his words about currency may have had a short term impact on currency trading, that’s defensible.   I can agree with that.   But it is very different from the one you were making before — which was clearly about the stock market (otherwise you’d have corrected me when I brought up a 500 point rise, instead you insisted that’s what  was about).  

    Can you admit you shifted your claim to something quite different?

    • Can you admit you shifted your claim to something quite different?

      HAHAHAHAHAHA…….rich coming from the guy who tried using a “constitutional rights” argument re: Gitmo, and then tried to seamlessly slide into a “human rights” argument, then tried something else…

      • Shark, recall some weeks back when I stated that Bush — whom Erb claimed was terrible at foreign policy — had managed to get some 30 countries allied with us in the war in Afghanistan and a full 40 countries in Iraq.

        Erb responded that I didn’t know what I was talking about, and when I provided the list of countries involved, he said that I was lying.

        He still hasn’t admitted he was wrong about that, when the proof was staring him straight in the face.  From that momen, I’ve refused to take a word from him at face value.  If he told us all the sky was blue, I’d assume he got it right purely by accident.

  • The bond market is in revolt … and the bulk of the borrowing hasn’t even started yet.

  • Is it Spring Break at universities in Maine???

  • Now find the word US market in my original statement, dolt.
    Let me help since you may not be bright enough to scroll back up to read it.
    “And now Geithner – open mouth, insert market drop”
    Can you admit, it was your assumption I was, at that point, talking about the US market, when in fact, by what I provided from the quote, at that point, I was talking about the international exchange?
    Did you think I went out and conveniently ‘found’ evidence to support my contention that he caused the “market” to drop?  That it was serendipity that someone had written a story detailing the time between his statement being made public and the drop and I just happened to find it as I was ‘changing’ my claim?

    “Which is very different from the one you were making before…”
    You tried to interject the US market (which also dropped, a bit after his statement went public, but purportedly for different reasons).  I ignored it and asked what that had to do with the currency market drop.


    • Looker, it’s so obvious you’re lying.  I responded by citing the 500 point rise.  You said "that’s the point" and said that after the rise it started to go down.

      Now, when being called on your silliness, unable to do the honorable thing and admit your error, you change the subject and try to claim that’s what you were talking about.  "I didn’t say stock market," you try to claim.  Yet you responded to my cite of the stock market in a way that not only did not disagree with that as the market, but in fact admitted it was.

      Call "dolt" all you want.  I’m catching you lying your arse off to avoid having to admit you were wrong.

      So my word for you: pathetic.

      • CAN you read?
        My response to your stock market comment was to ask you, precisely, what that had to do with my statement about the dollar dropping on the curreny market, which was the article I had read, which caused me to post the statement about Geithner in the first place. 

        Good lord, I even attached a quote from the article, which was about the foreign currency market.

  • Back to my comparison – Geithner, like you, doesn’t know when to shut up.

  • Erb is in a psychological bell jar mirrored on the inside. He craves “discussion,” he says, but he can’t parse the simplest argument thrown in his direction. He sees only himself talking, and keeps at it. What he apparently learned in his academic training and experience is how not to listen, and how dangerous it is in that world to actually think, so he does as little of both as he possibly can. He is also one of the laziest slobs I’ve ever come across on the internet. and routinely fails to back up his arguments, which he keeps as watery as possible. The proportion of blather to substantial argument is astronomical.

    When he’s called on his rotten manners, his constant gibbering, his reflexive socialism and hard Left anti-Americanism, he claims that he’s being insulted and that he’s here only…for what? “For honest discussion and debate.” Two things he has no inclination, and zero talent, for.

  • Did TAO mentally make it out of grammar school?  Judging by his “defense” of his huge spending proposals, I don’t think so:

    “First of all, I suspect that some of those Republican critics have a short memory, because, as I recall, I’m inheriting a $1.3 trillion deficit, annual deficit, from them.”

    So… He’s saying that huge deficits are bad, but it’s OK for HIM to have them because Republicans did it first???  I seem to recall learning that “other people do it” is NEVER a good excuse when I was about five years old.

    I’m also curious if he understands the concept of “annual”.  He complains that he “inherited” an “annual deficit” of $1.3T from the GOP.  Um… That budget isn’t set in stone (well, aside from the ever-increasing entitlement programs, that is).  If he he doesn’t like such a huge deficit, then he can submit a budget with a much smaller deficit.  Or – and here’s a radical idea – he can submit a budget that is actually BALANCED.  Or even (gasp!) has a surplus.  You know: like the ones that Slick Willie had?

    The sad thing is that people are stupid enough to buy the crap he’s selling.


  • Check out Daniel Hannan, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), representing southeast England, telling UK PM Gordon Brown that he is a failure whose policies have failed.

    We need to have someone in this country tell The Clown™ the same thing.

    Hannan for Prime Minister! We need a Hannan in the United States – now!

  • Crave?  Seriously, Billy, I’d like nothing better than to have a real conversation about these issues without all the emotion.   I’m an academic, and in general I try to see all sides and focus on logic and reason rather than name calling.   I’m fascinated by how blogs get people to shot from the hip via the gut, and cause some to have real personal grudges, and in your case, obvious irritation.   That is fascinating, and I keep hoping I can get you and others to overcome your emotion to actually discuss.  That is what I would crave.  But perhaps you fear that kind of honest interaction, where reason, evidence, and logic determine who is right and wrong — it’s easier to hide behind insults.  So you can say I crave, and I’ll respond that you fear.   You’re afraid.

    • You. Crave. It.

      Look, aren’t you supposed to be writing a book? I’ve got over a million words in print, so I know how hard it is to write a book. I know how much focus and energy it takes.

      Instead, you’ve blown out a few thousand useless words here over the last few days, lecturing to people who think you’re an absolute imbecile.

      There’s got to be a reason for such behavior. I think I know what it is – that you have a strange psychological obsession with proving your own self worth by coming here – and you’ve given no other reason nor any refutation.

      I don’t want to “overcome emotion” for you. You have no capacity I can see to use any “reason, evidence, and logic”, based on two years of posting here. I detest you and I see no reason not to. You’ve certainly never given anyone here any reason not to detest you. You are smug and condescending, you take cheap shots, you argue dishonestly, you are constantly wrong and don’t admit it, and your writing style, to put it politely, sucks toxic waste.

      You’ve been exposed as a poseur and a fraud, again and again, but you’re too incredibly dense to see it. Irritated? Yes, such idiocy would irritate any rational person, and it clearly irritates a lot of people here.

      I do indeed hold a grudge against you because you pollute the threads you participate in, pulling them off on lame irrelevancies, and wasting the time of people trying to refute your obvious nonsense.

      So you can take your “more in sorrow than in anger” routine and shove it up your a$$. We all know what you are, whether you can see it or not. You come around here not to have discussion between equals because (1) you wouldn’t know a rational argument if it kicked you in the face, and (2) you don’t think we’re your equal.

      I’ll keep saying it, because it’s the one thing you have no defense against, nor any explanation of. You come here to feel better about yourself by lecturing to we “dense righties”. You need that so much, you come to a place where you are despised, held in contempt, and constantly ridiculed. There can be no psychologically healthy reason for you to do so. Therefore I conclude that it’s a psychological pathology. In short, you crave it.

      And, good Dr. Erb, since I have graduate level training in psychiatry, by your own “argument from authority” standards, that ought to carry some weight with you. It doesn’t, of course, because you completely lack the ability to do self-assessment.

    • Scott, I do not wish to pile on, but Billy is right about at least one thing.  Your writing style does indeed “sucks toxic waste.”
      I concur not because I wish to insult you, not because I agree or disagree with anything you write, and certainly not because I wish to join in on any chorus sung by your critics here.  No, I must concur because I agree with such a harsh statement and wish for you to better your writing style and thus more ably get your point across.  And again, whether I agree or disagree with anything you write.

      You understand, I enjoy reading QandO.  I enjoy reading the comments section.  Reading your comments is very visually demanding, but I feel I must read them because they typically ignite a firestorm of reaction from the other frequent commenters and how am I supposed to know what their critiques are unless I first read yours.

      For the love of all that is held dear, learn the paragraph break.

      Now I’ll be the first to admit that my own writing style is far from perfect.  And I’m sure there are others here that would bring such harsh criticism on me and suggest that my writing style “sucks toxic waste.”  I’m almost sure that I often incorrectly use punctuation.  And that my syntax is off.  My own pseudo-dictionary.  The unword, so to speak.  Broken, incomplete sentences.  My grammar teacher would be horrified if at least not surprised if she ever read anything I’ve written here.
      But in my defense, I’m often drunk. 
      And I’m Irish.  (And I’ll stave off any accusations of redundancy, if you don’t mind.)  So I’ve convinced myself that the creativity and lyrical nature that I’ve inherited from my forefathers allows me some latitude.  And just FYI, being able to convince oneself of one’s own poetic grandeur… also an Irish trait.

      More advice, you say?  Good. 

      Throw in some criticism of yourself.  That always soften things up a bit.  As well as self-deprecating humor.
      Also, take a stroll down campus and show some of your work here to an English professor, I’m sure they would be able to give you better advice than I could.

      And one last thing.
      For the love of God, man.  Hold a grudge from time to time.  You’ll feel better.


      • Crap. I forgot something I was going to ask you.

        What the hell is up with that photo next to your posts?
        What are you… posing for an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog?

        Get rid of it.

        • I think Martin has it right. Erb is narcissist, and that’s exactly the kind of photo you would expect from a narcissist.

  • I feel like I’m playing a game with you and winning, Billy, because you’re taking my posts responding to you seriously, and I don’t take yours seriously.  So I’ll stop for now and you can hurl a last zinger.  But think about what your need to respond to me — in ever more strident and harsh language — says about you.  You’re wearing anger and frustration on your sleeve, as if you want somehow to get under my skin.  You can’t.  I know what I’ve accomplished and how I’ve proven my ability to show ‘rational thought.’  You know that the charges you make are over the top.  But you can’t help yourself.   You have demonstrated a need to somehow try to lash back.   I also note that you didn’t address at all the substance of my first comment, which shows that I’m not completely sold on Obama’s plans because I have a real concern about inflation (something I’ve been worried about in my blog for quite awhile — inflation based on a falling dollar).  

    But take a deep breath.   Look inside.  Why do you feel a need to respond and insult?   You don’t have to respond to me, respond to yourself, where there is no need to worry about what someone else might think.   Think about the attribution error (if you do something good credit your nature, if your opponent does something good, credit the situation, if you do something bad blame the situation, if your opponent does something bad, blame his nature).   Read your posts again.   Be honest with yourself.

    But at least in this thread, you may have the last word and insult as much as you like.  (Unless you actually want to talk economic policy, in which I’ll engage — I honestly am unable to hold a grudge, I never have been).

  • I feel like I’m playing a game with you and winning, Billy, because you’re taking my posts responding to you seriously, and I don’t take yours seriously.

    Well, there are any number of people around here who think of you pretty much as I do and you have zero defenders. Of course, in your deluded mind, that’s winning.

    What you don’t seem to get is that none of us really care what you feel or think, as long as you do it somewhere else and quit exposing us to your smarmy idiocy.

    Now I’m done insulting you for a while, not just on this thread but any thread. I come out every few weeks or months when you’re sludging things up too much, and do my part to ensure that you understand that your status here is pond scum. I have plenty of help, of course, so I’ll others carry that load for a while.

  • Looker, you can have the last word on our exchange too, which also seems to have turned into a game rather than anything real.  But I would note that the markets closed higher today.   If Geithner had any negative impact, it was very short lived.

  • Erb: “But take a deep breath.   Look inside.”

    That mirror inside your mental bell jar, Scott, that’s a see-through from the outside.

    It does take something of a deep breath to look through that.

  • For my money Erb suckered everyone into exactly the exchange he wanted to have.

    I remain interested in the substance of this topic, “Fact Checking Obama.” Good post, McQ, and great bar chart.  It puts the horrors of the Bush deficit into perspective.

    Here’s a a passage quoted in Powerline that sums up my reaction to Obama’s arguments:

    [Obama] is simply intellectually dishonest. He is the master of the False Choice (pass the stimulus or do nothing & let the economy “tank”; socialize health care or “stand pat” — he said that last night), the Straw Man (the approach of putting moral “dogma” above “science”), the Scapegoat (those at the “commanding heights of our economy” (preface to his Budget) and the sly Non Sequitur (the breathtaking argument that to revive our economy and control spending, the government must take over health care and energy and expand federal spending on education). He deploys them in every argument he makes.

    Many people are hypnotized the sound of his voice and the flow of his arguments. I listen for content and there what Obama’s smooth talk always breaks down as rhetorical tricks.

    • huxleyMany people are hypnotized the sound of his voice and the flow of his arguments. I listen for content and there what Obama’s smooth talk always breaks down as rhetorical tricks.

      Yes and no.  There are two types of people who are convinced by TAO’s “arguments”:

      1.  His fellow lefties (which includes most of the media, aka MiniTru).  They take as a given that anything bad MUST BE Bush’s fault, so they don’t question TAO when he pins his woes on his predecessor and (perversely) uses Bush’s policies as a precedent for his own, even worse policies.

      PREMISE – “Bush (snarl!) ran up huge deficits…”

      Premise accepted by lefties because (A) they hate Bush and therefore anything he did was bad and (B) huge deficits ARE bad.

      CONCLUSION – “… so it’s OK when I run up even larger deficits.”

      Conclusion accepted by lefties because TAO’s larger deficits are in the interests of social programs that they support.

      TAO has demonstrated many times that he is virtually a stammering idiot with his teleprompter, but his supporters cling to the idea that he’s not only a gifted speaker, but a genius.  In short, they hear what they want to hear; they don’t have to be convinced.

      2.  Ignorant people.  The title “President of the United States” carries enormous authority.  We are taught from infancy, both in school and in popular culture, to assume that the president is wise, honest, and surrounded by the best minds in the government.  Further, most people tend to assume that other people are honest until it is proven to them that they aren’t; they aren’t on their guard against “rhetorical tricks”.  Combine these two basic assumptions and you’ve got a powerful tendency on the part of many people to assume that TAO is completely believable: why even begin to question his arguments? 

      O’ course, people who pay a bit more attention to politics tend to be rather cynical; people who’ve paid attention to Barack Hussein Obama tend to be VERY cynical where he is concerned.  Unfortunately, we are in the minority: most people, to the extent that they know ANYTHING about what he’s up to, assume that he really is working very hard to fix the economy and make good on his promises of hopey changitude.  If they are aware of ANY problems, they dismiss them with phrases like, “Give him a chance.”

    • I look a the bar chart and try to figure out how any rational person can justify what’s going on. 

    • Huxley,

      Unfolding Obama as factually-challenged will never be easy. Better than most politicians, his public-utterance self stays within the bounds of media surface tension, where liberals have long floated lies and misdemeanors without being challenged. He’s going for control of that surface tension. And he’ll work it with as many informal logical fallacies as he pleases, and with as many bad facts as he requires to move his program forward.

      It’s not as though the stage for that is not eternally set; one could make a very good argument that informal logical fallacies and and facts are part and parcel of the natural standpoint itself. That’s why we keep the permanent truths stored in the principles of public orthodoxy, as necessary pre-judgments (sometimes called prejudices, but that word is usually only used now to describe unhealthy pre-judgments along with many healthy ones that abut them), or at least we did until the latter part of the last century.

      Obama is a Harvard-trained lawyer overlain with the Alinsky community organizer rap, enmeshed with celebrity culture, forming a cult of personality.

      It’s not going to be long before his supporters will be saying the equivalent of “If only Barack knew.”

      And, not to be contentious, but this…

      “For my money Erb suckered everyone into exactly the exchange he wanted to have.”

      …is what Erb is really looking for, to be credited with being cleverly diabolical. He’s actually just a very dull boy who doesn’t know how to shut his mouth, which runs way long after it has run out of things to say.

      • In my comment just above, the first sentence in the second paragraph that ends, “informal logical fallacies and and facts are part and parcel of the natural standpoint itself”… where I have written “and and facts” it should be “and *bad* facts.”

    • “For my money Erb suckered everyone into exactly the exchange he wanted to have.”

      I think you might be right. But what kind of sicko gets his jollies by intentionally pi$$ing off other people?

      Yeah, I bet Erbie got a little thrill when he read what you said. Which would confirm that he’s as sick as the guys around here claim.

  • He’s actually just a very dull boy who doesn’t know how to shut his mouth, which runs way long after it has run out of things to say.

    So, what you’re saying is he’s just like Obama…

  • for the record & bozo
    here’s an analysis from the Washington Times on Geithner’s comment