Free Markets, Free People

Is Obama disconnected from the reality of the nation’s plight?

Michael Goodwin, writing in the NY Post, has some observations about President Obama that strike me as pretty “right on”.  It’s something I’ve noticed too. 

But the debt debate made it clear that Obama’s idea shop is running on fumes. Like a broken record, he’s stuck on the same song — bigger government, higher taxes. No matter the circumstance, he repeats the mantra.

For such a smart guy, he’s proving to be a slow learner about what works, and doesn’t. He, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid had their unfettered way for two years, and they blew a giant hole in the budget without getting much bang for taxpayers’ bucks.

Unemployment is a staggering 9.2 percent and rising, and most economists believe the economy is in serious danger of a double-dip recession. Obama’s answer: Let’s do it all again.

He gives lip service to the pain of the unemployed and underemployed, then trots out the old ideas. Usually he doesn’t even bother to repackage them.

Absolutely on target.   The mantra never changes or deviates. Those old ideas are, as always, anchored in the left’s love for taxes and class warfare.  The premise is that all we suffer today can be put at the feet of a select group of scapegoats:

So we heard again that the evil "oil companies" and "billionaires" and the "wealthy" and "big corporations" need to "pay their fair share." Doesn’t he ever get tired of saying the same things?

I don’t know which is worse: That he really believes such drivel will help America, or that he’s cynically throwing red meat to the Bubbas of his far-left base. Either way, he needs new material.

He seems disconnected from reality.  He seems to think that the same old policies that have actually gotten us into this mess will somehow get us out.   Proof that it isn’t just “red meat” for the “Bubbas of his far left base” can be found in the budget the White House submitted to Congress.  It was a pre-recession budget that gave no hint of understanding where we were economically.  It didn’t garner a single vote in the Senate – not one from either a Republican or a Democrat.  Yet Obama continues to push this message even as the numbers get worse and worse.  It’s all the “corporate jet owners” fault for not paying their “fair share” yet not a single corporate jet owner has ever had the power to put spend a single penny toward the 14 plus trillion dollar debt we’ve piled up.

Maybe he hasn’t noticed or doesn’t care, but the country is giving up on him. The shellacking his party and policies took in the 2010 midterms would be repeated if there were an election today. He’s sinking, and his approval is now a woeful 40 percent — that’s Jimmy Carter territory.

Indeed.   In the meantime, as Jammie Wearing Fool notes, now that he has more money to spend, it’s party time.  Obama will use his executive jet to travel to Chicago to hold an fund raising event.  As usual the spectacle couldn’t be more poorly timed:

Obama’s fund-raising team is using his birthday to plan events across the nation designed to benefit his 2012 re-election bid — both to organize and to raise cash.

† About 1,500 donors are expected at the Aragon Ballroom in Uptown for a concert with Herbie Hancock, Jennifer Hudson and OK Go. The tab runs from $50 a person to $35,800, which includes a private dinner with Obama.

† There will be 1,167 house parties across the nation today, designed to help build the field operation and Obama will speak to them and take questions from backstage at the Aragon via a Web video conference.

† A team of surrogates is being deployed to events in seven cities.

We all know politicians have to fund raise, but a lavish fund raising gala after an increase in the debt ceiling that puts the nation even deeper in debt may not be the best “optics” right now.   But when you’re disconnected, you usually don’t notice things like that.


Twitter: @McQandO

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39 Responses to Is Obama disconnected from the reality of the nation’s plight?

  • He seems to think that the same old policies that have actually gotten us into this mess will somehow get us out.

    No, he thinks that scared and/or unemployed people will tend to vote for somebody who promises them handouts. And he thinks that while he trails an unspecified Republican, he can handily beat any real Republican in a real election. All the real Republicans are laughable tools and/or have staggering negatives. Whoever the GOP nominates, Obama can rely on the media to spew forth a non-stop 24/7 Twelve Months Hate against the poor bastard.

    The one danger Obama faces is that the voters do very, very consistently blame the incumbent for the economy, and he is utterly incapable of doing anything but making the economy worse. The Dems figure they can make 2012 another referendum on George Bush and the Eeevil Capitalists, with the media blasting out the scapegoating so loudly and constantly that nobody can even think anything else.

    FDR got re-elected more than once with a lousy economy and a compliant media. But FDR was a leader. He projected an image of being confident and in charge. Obama projects an image of being a hapless victim of his enemies. He wants your sympathy. Fundamentally, the guy’s a loser. When you take your car to the mechanic, do you want to see him throw a wrench at the hood and swear that the f*****g piece of s**t is unfixable and it’s not his fault somebody else broke it so badly? Does that inspire confidence?

  • Actually, I think Obama is disconnected from reality PERIOD. 🙁

  • … then trots out the old ideas. Usually he doesn’t even bother to repackage them.

    Just take a look back to the 2008 campaign. Even as the MBS market was collapsing, Obama continued to push the same plan he had in 2007. It continues to this day. Obama is probably the most educated idiot that we have had in the White House in a century.

    • Look at his attacks of Bush’s Surge. And the fact that he couldn’t credit it even after it was clear it worked. He did finally adopt a copy of the Surge in A’stan, even using the same general. But it is clear he had no plan of his won, so copying Bush was the only thing he could do.

  • He’s not “disconnected”

    He simply really doesn’t care.  He’s been more interested in golf and parties since day 1 of his administration

    • Bubba has had a relatively good time as ex-President, mostly because of his connections.
      Obama is going to have a long and solitary ex-Presidency, since he has be bad mouthing most of Bubba’s connections.
      I expect him to go the UN route and cause the US endless pain after he leaves in 2013.

  • Here’s another one of those Federal programs we just HAVE to have….
    Can you hear me now?

  • You know, all of this hatred of the rich coming from him kinda makes me feel bad for my boss, who makes over 3 million bucks a year … that’s quite an accomplishment.

  • I don’t think Obama cares. Why would he? He’s got his base locked up (they’ll come back to the plantation in ’12 even if making noises after this debt deal) and he’ll try to scare enough indies to squeak another term out.

    • Oh, yeah.

      Stay The Course ?

    • I think you’ve nailed his plan.  Indeed, I think that’s much of what the “debt crisis” was about: setting things up so that he could blame the GOP / Tea Party for our economic woes.  He’s counting on the ignorance of the average American voter and the help of MiniTru:

      “Let me be perfectly clear that, as I’ve said many times before, I inherited an economy in crisis.  And, um, we took bold action to stimulate it, saving or creating over four million jobs.  Unfortunately, a, um, radical segment of the Republican party did all that it could to block our efforts, leading to the debt crisis.  This so unsettled the markets that it destroyed the recovery, undoing all that I had done over the previous two years, and pushing us back to the brink of an economic disaster such as we had in 2008 before I was elected.  Make no mistake: our economy is teetering on the brink of another recession, and the failed policies of the past combined with unreasonable demands to cut government spending on critical programs will only push us over the brink.”

  • Just wait until dec 2012 (after Obama loses).  Obama has a great big fat present for the republicans called illegal alien blanket amnesty.  And it will be interesteing to see who else he pardson besides that.

    • A “blanket amnesty” can (and hopefully would be) be rescinded by the next occupant of the White House (reverse an EO).

      • It would be too late by that time.  ACLU and every other lib organization would be taking you to court and SCOTUS would probably side with the illegals (now legals).

  • It’s interesting that we still don’t know who Obama is. He remains a blank screen on to which people project their concerns and beliefs.

    Although the “Obama — brightest guy or only adult in the room” shtick has worn thin.

    • Later that day, the four leaders [Boehner, McConnell, Pelosi, Reid] met with Obama at the White House. At one point, GOP officials said, the Democratic and Republican leaders asked Obama and his aides to leave the room to let them negotiate.
      A tentative deal was subsequently struck, but Obama privately threatened to veto it, the sources said.

      Oh poor Barry. Left out of the negotiations.

      • They gave him a chair in the corner of the room when Osama was hit. I guess he promised to be a good boy and keep quiet for the adults for that one.

  • My take is that Obama is skillful actor who can convey an impression of remarkable intelligence and discipline, but there is little behind that facade aside from narcissism, emotional control, and Howard Zinn ideas of how the world should work.

  • The President is not evil evil, he’s ignorant and his ignorance of basic economics results in evil consequences.
    For what it’s worth, this time is different. This economy is probably a new paradigm where none of the old solutions will work. Think about it. All the smart economists are arguing over whether this economy is like the 1930s, or all the recessions since 1945, or the Ford/Carter era stagflation 1970s. My position is that none of the above apply.
    The Fed is out of ammo. You can’t lower rates. (the zero bound problem)
    Keynesian stimulus has failed.
    Government debt is huge and scheduled to grow huger. (is that a word?)
    Government spending rivals WWII and we have nothing to show for it but 9% unemployment.
    Prices of commodities are up. (nascent inflation)
    The price of labor is down. (deflation)
    The value of housing has taken a 40% hit.
    The Euro is on the brink of failure.
    The price of gold has doubled in 4 years.
    It’s clear to me that whatever you call what our government is doing is not working. So maybe it’s time to follow the first rule of holes and stop digging.
    Our exports are rising (good) but our imports are rising as well (not so good)
    My solution: I’m convinced that the only path to follow is for governments at all levels to focus on helping business to reduce costs.
    1. Increase domestic energy production. First, reduced prices act like a tax cut. Second, exported energy products add to our GDP.
    2. Reduce government spending on stupid programs like monkey cocaine studies and farm subsidies. Yes, I know it’s argued that the “real” problems are entitlements, and for the long term I agree with that. But for today, we should stop being wasteful. Every dollar we borrow today to fund stupid programs is waste plus interest.
    3. Cut federal civilian salaries by 5% across the board and no increase in pay or benefits for the next four years. Let the servants share the pain of the owners.
    4. De-regulate, de-regulate, de-regulate!
    5. Pass the trade acts sitting in the Senate.
    6. Pray, every day.

    • Steve

      Under Carter we had stagflation

      Under Obama we have Obamanomics which you described perfectly.

    • Coupleathangs…
      You don’t need to export energy to add to the GDP.
      I suggest we sell off (or just return) almost ALL Federal lands.  The Constitution is very clear on what the Feds may own, and we just blew that off altogether.
      Sun-set all Federal law, now and from henceforth.
      Re-institute the original meaning of the INTERSTATE COMMERCE clause, as it was understood up until it was gutted in 1942 by FDR’s counter-revolution.

        What the clause that says if you THINK about selling your product outside the state your in it’s Interstate commerce even if you sell it to a buyer inside your state?
        The clause that allows them to enforce Federal laws over State laws?
        The clause that lets them declare they have the authority to force all of us to buy healthcare?
        Why would you want to go screwing with THAT?  It’s worked out so well here for the last 70 years.

    • Put the EPA on furlough.

    • I would add freeze spending at 2006 levels for most programs. I looked at Coburn’s proposal there is much in it that would be helpful. CATO has some good ideas as well.

      And mainly, end the stupid Baseline Accounting gimick or scam or whatever it is.

  • A delusional Collectivist…???
    Please.  That is who they are, since that is required to adopt their mind-set (for lack of a better term).

  • My solution is as follows:

    Leave the UN.  Tell them to shove it.
    Cut off all foreign aid to anyone remotely unfriendly to the US.
    Cut every grant to zero.  Across the board.  Let states fund things if they want to.
    freeze defense at current spending levels for the next 10 years.  (no increase in dollars just flat level).
    Raise retirement age 3 months per year for the next 12 years at least.
    Institute a minimum income tax on gross income of 1%.  If you pay more than that no worries.  if you pay less than that you pay the 1% no matter what.  NOONE gets money back via credits or anything else that would make you pay less than 1% of gross.
    Institute flat taxes for anyone over a certain level of income to 4 levles. 5%, 10% or 15% or 20% of gross.   The only thing that comes off gross income for tax purposes is medical expenses and morgages interest (up to $10k)
    Cut business taxes by 10 percent.  Add 10 percent if they hire a certain percentage of their curent payroll through the course of the year and those people stay on for X number of years.
    Build 20 nuclear power plants – Streamline process straight to SCOTUS to bypass the environuts.
    Open ANWAR, and all shores for oil drilling.
    Streamline death penalty cases straight to SCOTUS within 12 months of original sentence and clear off death row.
    Nonviolent crimes are punished by fines to be paid to both the state  and the victim of the crime.
    Unemployment benefits are cut by 10% every month after a certain month.  That gives people an incentive to find work rather than stay at home and collect more in unemployment than they would make at McDonalds.
    ANyone not covered by medical insurance that needs medical coverage has to pay full cost of their medical bills to include garnishment of wages.
    Increase incentives for people to get off welfare, ie let them have medical benefits for X months after going back to work.
    Stop all federal funding for everything but the bare nescesities (arts are out, roads and bridges are in, university studies are out).
    I could go on and on.


    • I’ve seen your kind – you probably don’t think Internet or a local small airports access, or cell phones are rights!  You probably think they’re all privileges determined by a free market not controlled by government!, you terrorist!

    • 20 new plants? Naw, think big – go for twice that. And give NASA a freaking budget that allows the development of newer manned spacecraft with a clear mission – return to the moon by 2019 with the goal of a permanent settlement. I’m really not pleased at being dependent on the Russians for access to the ISS. I think the Falcon 9 will work for resupply but we’re gonna need NASA to go back to the moon.

  • I forgot.  kill Obamacare.

  • THE worst retail growth in half a century and fears of a double-dip recession in the US have fuelled concerns of an economic slowdown and stripped billions from the value of Australian shares.
    Figures released yesterday revealed consumers have embarked on one of their biggest spending strikes in decades, boycotting the shops again in June and forcing economists to predict cuts to growth forecasts.
    Retail sales fell for the second month in a row in June, down 0.1 per cent after May’s 0.6 per cent slump. The annual growth rate of 2.6 per cent was the lowest since 1962 — worse than the recession years of the early 1990s and the global financial crisis of 2008-09. “The Aussie consumer is certainly depressed,” said CommSec economist Savanth Sebastian. “The latest figures show that consumers are still unwilling to spend despite cheaper prices.”

    I highlight the section describing the period that lead to the downfall of Bush 41 and Bush 43.

  • This whole debt battle showed Obambi to the the worst leader ever, a petulant spoiled brat who was abandoned even by his own party.  What a loser.

  • “Dont call my bluff”

    “well I just called it”

    “Well dont call it again”

  • The Tea Party has recklessly diminished the power and reach of the United States.

    Is Cohen so dense to believe that other countries aren’t completely more aware of the current monetary situation than the average American ?   Putin was bashing Americans just the other day as “parasites,” and he isn’t too far off the truth.
    This debt problem isn’t just a domestic problem.  The continued running up of the debt and monetary tricks with the dollar is as bad for foreign relations as any “Ugly American” policy of the past.