Patterico's Pontifications


Entitlement reform is not a compromise; it’s what Obama promised America

Filed under: General — Karl @ 11:01 am

[Posted by Karl]

Ace raises another great point his morning on Twitter and at AoSHQ: While Pres. Obama pretends that entitlement reform would be part of his “bargain” on the debt ceiling, it’s not a compromise at all. Rather, candidate Obama promised Americans entitlement reform.

In fact, during his second nationally televised debate with John McCain, Obama said he’d like to act within two years, but certainly by the end of his term. And he did not drop the subject immediately after the election. Here he is in January 2009:

President-elect Barack Obama pledged yesterday to shape a new Social Security and Medicare “bargain” with the American people, saying that the nation’s long-term economic recovery cannot be attained unless the government finally gets control over its most costly entitlement programs.

That discussion will begin next month, Obama said, when he convenes a “fiscal responsibility summit” before delivering his first budget to Congress. He said his administration will begin confronting the issues of entitlement reform and long-term budget deficits soon after it jump-starts job growth and the stock market.

“What we have done is kicked this can down the road. We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further,” he said. “We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else’s.”

Ah, yes… the “fiscal responsibility summit.” Here’s what Pres. Obama said on that historic occasion:

We cannot and will not sustain deficits like these without end.

Contrary to the prevailing wisdom in Washington these past few years, we cannot simply spend as we please and defer the consequences to the next budget, the next administration or the next generation.

We are paying the price for these deficits right now. In 2008 alone, we paid $250 billion in interest on our debt: One in every 10 taxpayer dollars. That is more than three times what we spend on education that year; more than seven times what we spent on V.A. health care.

So if we confront this crisis without also confronting the deficits that helped cause it, we risk sinking into another crisis down the road. As our interest payments rise, our obligations come due, confidence in our economy erodes and our children and our grandchildren are unable to pursue their dreams because their saddled with our debts.

That’s why today, I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office. Now, this will not be easy. It will require us to make difficult decisions and face challenges we’ve long neglected. But I refuse to leave our children with a debt that they cannot repay, and that means taken responsibility right now, in this administration, for getting our spending under control.

Accordingly, Pres. Obama should not be allowed to pretend as though he is giving anything up in the debt ceiling negotiations. Congressional Republicans are simply giving the president the chance to fulfill his campaign promise to the American people — one he has thus far failed to keep (this year’s deficit may exceed last year’s). You’re welcome, Mr. President.


46 Responses to “Entitlement reform is not a compromise; it’s what Obama promised America”

  1. Karl – the depths of his dishonesty in the pressed this morning were astounding, no?

    JD (f1e4eb)

  2. JD: That, sir, was an extremely racist comment. Might I applaud you, sir?

    reff (e4090e)

  3. I am completely flagger-gasted at the attention that Teh Won is paying to this issue.
    What will this do to his golf game?

    AD-RtR/OS! (7d3578)

  4. I was for Barack Obama v2009, before I upgraded to Barack Obama v2011.

    In other words, “SUCKERS!”

    Barack Obama v2011 (de5998)

  5. I am completely flagger-gasted at the attention that Teh Won is paying to this issue.
    What will this do to his golf game?

    Comment by AD-RtR/OS!

    I’ve noticed that too. He’s going out of his way to make sure everyone knows he’s doing something. The outbursts seem stupid to me, but they are memorable. Voters will recall he had that ‘don’t call my bluff’ outburst.

    So if the focus groups were saying he’s playing too many golf games during the depression, perhaps this is their way of changing that impression.

    In this culture, it’s better to be incompetent than lazy.

    That’s why today, I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office.

    It’s clear he ran as all things to all people. I don’t know many conservatives who thought he meant any of this, but it probably sounded very responsible and novel to moderates to hear a guy promise tons of benefits and tons of spending cuts. Because he’s so vague, some voters just assume he’s going to cut all the stuff they don’t care about.

    Can he hope to be reelected, though? He’s promised so many things, and he’s failed so thoroughly. The deficit has exploded. Obama hasn’t even tried to get anywhere near Bush’s average.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  6. “Living within our means” does not mean the same thing to people such as Obama, Pelosi and Reid as it does to most Americans, but they don’t want to tell you that.

    Obama has no intention of cutting spending, otherwise he would not have submitted such a ridiculous budget at the beginning of the year. He just wants to confiscate more of other peoples’ money to maintain his drunken sailor spending. The only problem is that his spending has gotten so large that there is not enough money to confiscate to balance the budget without raising taxes on the middle class or simultaneously cutting spending.

    Funny how the Democrat media complex will not report that fact.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  7. Any deal that assumes revenue of more than 19% GDP is wishful thinking at best. That would mean spending of about $2.75T the current fiscal year, or a cut of about $825B. Dems aren’t proposing anything close to that number.

    Chuck Bartowski (4c6c0c)

  8. Excellent post and I’m sending a link to my Congressman and Senators.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  9. “What will this do to his golf game?”

    Indeed. But fear not. It’s not interfering with his (taxpayer funded sojourns/campaigning/fund raising) motivating/Republic saving “speeches”. Even the Wed nite (snort and chug parties)gatherings of intellectuals have not been affected.


    Daniel Irvin Rather, Jr.

    MDr (fd1f4b)

  10. What really disturbs me about Karl’s quotes and those other ones about the debt ceiling Obama refused to raise in 2007 is that only a sociopath could be that clear and convincing about an issue before doing the exact opposite.

    Granted, the real explanation is that Obama probably didn’t process what he’s saying at all. He just reads the prompter with great faux sincerity.

    But someone on his staff wrote this stuff, and understands just how selfish it is to kick the can down the road today.

    At some point you have to wonder why these people went through the hell of politics at all. Naturally, I assume because they wanted to do some good. They play politics to win power, they compromise more than they’d like, but eventually, they try to do some good.

    Other than the Cloward Piven radicals, what good is there in Obama’s stubbornness against effective levels of spending cuts today? Or tax hikes in a recession? Or posing as though a small debt ceiling increase is unacceptable?

    It’s like there is nothing in these people’s hearts but politics. It’s not a means.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  11. That’s why today, I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office.

    By his own words, his budget should have about $1,300,000,000,000 less in deficits.

    JD (318f81)

  12. The Republican Party has often been claimed to be the party of the rich.
    I say .. let’s make that true … let’s tax rich Democrats into Republicans today.

    I support taxing the living hell out of Democrats

    Besides, being part of the party of the “greatest President evah” should mean that you kick in another half of your paycheck, don’t you think ?
    Should five per cent appear too small, Be thankful I don’t take it all. ‘Cause I’m the taxman, Yeah, I’m the taxman.

    A. Weiner (d1c681)

  13. He flip-flops on things.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  14. Funny how the Democrat media complex will not report that fact.

    Comment by daleyrocks

    They will not report it, because they are as intent as he is to destroy this once great country.

    peedoffamerican (a84bdc)

  15. But he did reform them! He added a brandy-new one!

    And he will reform his views to whatever expansion of government and spending is necessary to ‘spread the wealth around’.

    The only way to stop him is to stop feeding the beast and stop the spending.

    ajacksonian (d51162)

  16. “What I’ve proposed is a net spending cut.”

    Hold him to his word!!!

    SaveFarris (b6a46d)

  17. “That’s why today, I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office”

    This is where you should add that he tripled or quadrupled the deficit…. which in his mind is probaly half as he wanted to inrease 6x or 8x.

    John B. (0d2f97)

  18. Czech is no longer communist.

    We are heading to a communist 3rd world state.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  19. “Obama promised…”

    If I had a buck for every promise he’s broken, I could retire to Florida.

    Typical lefty…pathological liar.

    Dave Surls (959254)

  20. By living within our means, Barky is telling us to live on what the government, i.e., he and his cronies deem appropriate for us to keep. And that’s a damn sight less than what most of us deem as acceptable.

    Dirty Old Man (daf1dc)

  21. I know all this entitlement reform get you all excited in a goo-goo way. But here’s the thing, the core Republican voter is an older, white American who paid into Social Security and now expects to get their benefits. That’s why so many joined the ‘Tea Party’ — not really for less government, but to keep their benefits which they ‘earned’ under the rules of the game. And to keep BHO from transferring those benefits to his core voters, younger and fecund blacks and Hispanics.

    stari_momak (d5f987)

  22. But here’s the thing, the core Republican voter is an older, white American

    Really? Cause when I’m at a Tea Party it’s easily the most diverse political group I’ve ever seen. Sure, this country has a lot of white people, so there are many whites there, but compared to a environmentalist rally or coffee party? It’s diverse.

    To be honest, I could care less. I think people who judge others based on their skin color (you) are screwed up upstairs. There’s no reason to think a white person is afraid Obama will transfer their entitlements to hispanic youth. That’s pretty stupid.

    And frankly, the GOP isn’t stupid. Entitlement reform generally phases in over time. Even those who ‘lose’ benefits actually are better off, because the alternative, the democrat plan, is to cancel social security and medicare entirely. Sure, they pretend that’s not the plan, but it obviously is. They just want to push off the inevitable complete collapse until after they are out of office. You still lose your benefits. They just hope it’s the GOP left cleaning up the mess.

    Hell, read up on Cloward Piven. I think most seniors would prefer the Path to Prosperty over a planned collapse of our economy from kicking the can down the road with games as we see from the democrats today.

    The single tool the GOP has right now is the truth. They can’t out spin the left, and they can’t out promise short term goodies. They can simply explain what is actually happening and will happen.

    Dustin (b7410e)

  23. Promising to give things up, and then carrying through on that promise to give things up is still giving up. Same with compromise — promising to compromise and then going ahead and compromising is still a compromise.

    The president’s tactics are certainly wrong in the face of GOP intransigence. And this post clarifies why.

    stone (e9ef3a)

  24. “That’s why so many joined the ‘Tea Party’ — not really for less government”

    stasi – I did not know this. I did not know so many joined the “Tea Party” because they were afraid Obama was going to give away their benefits to young and brown people. Do you actually get out much?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  25. young brown people are the future!

    love them love them love them love them

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  26. stone needs to add a “d” to the end of his name.

    stari is — SHOCKA! — still a racist douchenozzle.

    Icy Texan (0db5b1)

  27. Teh One does flip-flop,
    “Hands off entitlements!” Let’s
    kick HIM down the road!!!

    ColdHardHaiku (0db5b1)

  28. Just out of curiosity, if expecting a global stumble thanks to all the chicanery…where DO you park investments to wait it out?

    Leaving it in “cash” accounts means you lose whatever the dollar’s standing loses, right? Investing in bond market I guess means you’re invested in securities with an already-declared interest and maturity rate, but that might have their risk declared higher. Stock market might stumble hard (both from no QE3 and end of QE2, plus if any ‘deal’ must include “revenue enhancement”.

    So….where? Serious question here, from one who has been assuming all his life that his SS payments are just money flushed down the toilet in terms of any return when I’m old enough to draw down (and since today was the 45 yr mark, that’s not as far away as it used to seem), so I’ve been doing my damndest to build up a good 401k and IRA portfolio. But those took a nice reset at 2008 (since recovered, but the time was still lost) and I’d rather not experience another if I can be smart about sidestepping it. I’m willing to risk missing out some ‘gains’ if I’m wrong and everything is hunky-dory, in exchange for not taking another 30-40% haircut for a few years…

    Happy freaking birthday to me… sigh.

    rtrski (2b7b4d)

  29. Now just wait a minute all you ignorant chillun’s.
    Baracky promised to start working on the deficit just “as soon as his administration had jump started job growth and the stock market”.

    That hasn’t happened yet, so Barack’s promise to cut the deficit is “no longer operative”.

    What a BS’n Bozo!

    Mike Myers (0e06a9)

  30. From the Daily Caller (h/t Protein Wisdom)

    Biden, despite his reputation as Washington’s premier windbag, had restrained himself. The president hasn’t. He’s talked incessantly and for so long that others often gave up trying to get a word in. Obama dominated one session so completely that only one of the four Republicans spoke and then only in short spurts.
    The state of things after two months of negotiations suggests Republicans made three mistakes. One, their leverage in a fight over a debt limit increase turns out to be far less than McConnell, among others, had figured. Two, by agreeing to secret talks, they let Obama and Democrats pretend to support deep spending cuts without offering any public evidence, like a budget. And three, they played into Obama’s hands by walking out of the Biden talks and calling on the president to take over.
    The president has been less genial away from the prying eyes of the press and the public. In the private talks, he’s dominated the discussion with the eight most senior members of Congress in an overbearing way not likely to lead to compromise. He’s been argumentative. He’s come across as President Blowhard.
    Republicans believe Obama isn’t used to being challenged. “Any time you take a policy difference from him and stick to it, he doesn’t like it,” House majority leader Eric Cantor says.
    The pillorying of Cantor could have been spontaneous, but Republicans doubt it. Obama grew up in the politics of Chicago, an Illinois Republican noted. “The president views Eric as a greater threat to him than Boehner,” the Republican told me. The treatment of Cantor is “Chicago-style politics​—​destroy him.

    ian cormac (d380ce)

  31. _____________________________________________

    Funny how the Democrat media complex will not report that fact.

    Beyond that, I noticed the way much of the MSM — referring in particular to the major TV networks and CNN — were highlighting not this story but the one on News Corp and the scandal involving hacked cell phones. I’m quite sure a lot of the talking heads were licking their chops at the thought of both the corporate and symbolic figurehead of Fox News (ie Rupert Murdoch) being in a bind and uproar. One of the hosts of Good Morning America put on her somber face and spoke about the story like it was a growing disaster. I didn’t notice as much solemnity directed at the debacle of the Obama White House.

    Mark (411533)

  32. “One, their leverage in a fight over a debt limit increase turns out to be far less than McConnell, among others, had figured.”

    The hell you say. They can stop all appropriations, if they can enforce party discipline. They have leverage all right. The question is: do they have the stones to use it?

    Dave Surls (f3aff3)

  33. ___________________________________________

    That’s why today, I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office.

    Let’s be honest here. Ultra-liberals like Obama love the notion that a huge deficit will force the government to ratchet up the taxes on upper-income Americans, if not people in general. Meanwhile, conservatives love the thought that the huge deficit finally will force the hand of an overgrown, punch-drunk government bureaucracy.

    As for the public at large, if opinion polls indicate that a good portion of it is giving the benefit of the doubt to the guy now in the White House instead of the Republicans/conservatives — and more idiotically, heaping most of the blame for the current mess on Obama’s predecessor — then we as a nation truly deserve to go the way of Greece/Spain/Venezuela/Mexico/France. Moreover, the Americans who are expressing such soft-hearted sentiments about leftism had better shut their mouths when they start wailing about the US becoming subservient to China. Then again, since they apparently excuse Obama for his background of “goddamn America,” they must secretly embrace the ongoing stagnation and decline of this society.

    Mark (411533)

  34. That’s why today, I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office.

    It’s easy to make these kinds of promises, but ultimately it depended on two things–an actual cutback in government spending, which has only been up, up, and away for decades; and growth in unemployment for BOTH the people who lost their jobs and those just entering the job market.

    Instead, the employment-to-population ratio is the worst it’s been in 25-30 years, and hasn’t even gotten back up to the troughs of the 2001-2003 recession. $1.5 trillion deficits are now baked into the cake, with entitlements alone taking up every penny of federal revenues. Going back to the Clinton tax rates across the board (not just on “the rich”) would theoretically reduce that by about half, assuming no tax avoidance, of course.

    The problem is that Obama would still be running annual deficits of $700-800 billion a year, possibly more, and with the increased tax rates, some small business owners may decide to simply cut employees. Clinton got away with his rates because he caught lightening in a bottle with the internet bubble–there isn’t any equivalent economic miracle to pull Obama’s ass out of the fire this time.

    Another Chris (c983db)

  35. growth in unemployment for BOTH the people who lost their jobs and those just entering the job market

    Sorry, that should have been “growth in employment.”

    Another Chris (c983db)

  36. substance and style are
    winning combination Surls
    colonel take hat off

    ColonelHaiku (cc5c75)

  37. “He just wants to confiscate more of other peoples’ money to maintain his drunken sailor spending.”
    Comment by daleyrocks — 7/15/2011 @ 12:14 pm

    How offensive, how utterly offensive. Don’t you realize that drunken sailors spend their own money? And when that money is gone, they sober up!

    A (formerly) drunken Soldier

    A (formerly) Drunken Soldier (d58b94)

  38. If you inherited the deficit you imbecile you wouldn’t make it worse.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  39. Rtrski – happy birthday! As to your question…I look for undervalued assets among commodities, stocks, real estate…the typical mix of investments available to the typical investor. Right now I’m buying investment real estate, as it’s the latest bubble to burst and now makes sense most importantly as a cash flow investment, but is also attractive for potential gains over a 5 or 10 year period, tax advantages, leverage potential (great rates if you can get a loan), and a historically great hedge against inflation (which I believe is the inevitable end of all our printing of $$$ and deficit spending). Real estate is a bigger commitment than a commodity or stock, so you have to figure all that in….it’s not for everyone. However, I feel gold and many other commodities, while also traditional good inflation hedges, are where “the herd” has parked $$$ for a long time and are therefore high. Stocks have me wary due to demographics (darn baby boomers starting to draw down the 401k). I bought real estate mid-late 90s after the late 80s crash, stopped buying in 2000 when prices no longer allowed for strong cash flows, and sold in 2005 when everyone else was buying at the top frenzy of the bubble….did VERY well. This Monday I used some of that 2005 $$ to buy a great little property from a foreclosure wholesaler for 65K, which sold for $203,500 in 2006. Already have people lined up to rent for $1050/mo. Paid cash, and conservative cash flow will be $650/mo…a good return on my $65K investment. Buying cash wholesale allowed me to buy low (comps are over $100,000), it’s in a great location well below replacement cost, and has great potential to appreciate next 5-10 yrs, which is the investment term I like to look at. If I choose to finance, my return on investment will jump. On top of all this, the property has tax advantages which will offset some of my family’s traditional wage income.

    If real estate isn’t your thing, but you agree inflation is here or in our near future, look at TIPS (treasury inflation protected securities) though they won’t make you a millionaire….just protect you from losing value.

    Hope that helped!

    MostlyRight (2fb4d9)

  40. The great thing about being a liberal is that you can wake up to a brand new world. You are not accountable, as is the case of President Butt-head, for ignoring the deficit for six months. And you can say, “Congress is responsible for the mess,” when you presided over record spending programs.

    And the mendacious media eats it up. I like that earlier comment describing Butt-head as a poser that keeps getting the benefit of the doubt.

    The mendacious media is the real evil in this disaster.

    Arizona Bob (aa856e)

  41. I just had a conversation with my octogenarian mother. I said that it would have been better if Social Security was never created. She said that I don’t understand – old people used to end up in the poor house. I said that that’s what is in store for me – even though a big chunk of my income has been put aside (plus my employer’s match) my entire life, but the Government squandered it – and borrowed so much beyond that that my grandchildren will probably be Chinese slaves.

    I said that I would be lucky to get into a poor house, later generations won’t even have that option.

    Amphipolis (e01538)

  42. Thanks for the answer, MostlyRight, but…did you see the part about “401k/IRA”? Kinda hard to go out and try to buy property with them. 😉

    Will look up the other tip on TIPS.

    rtrski (2b7b4d)

  43. A TSA agent was groped.

    Too bad your not keeping us Abreast of this situation Patterico.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  44. Sorry for the O/T

    I fell Obama is groping us all economically.

    DohBiden (15aa57)

  45. Aside from pointing and laughing, pointing out Obama’s inability to stick to any point or mean anything he says has become hopelessly redundant.

    Dianna (f12db5)

  46. Rtrski – you actually can use funds in an IRA to purchase investment real estate…Google it. With an IRA or 401k you should be able to invest in a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust). I know some very rich retirees who have done very well using self directed IRAs to invest in real estate. Also Google 1031 exchange as a way to kick the tax man down the road, or if you stay in real estate till death do you part, avoid him altogether.

    MostlyRight (2fb4d9)

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