Saturday, January 11, 2014

Jedi Mind-Trick

So I just listened to Obama's budget Spiel. I had two thoughts on it. The first was "My ears are bleeding!" The second was "Damn he's good." The fascinating question I always ponder when listening to his speeches and watching him is "Does he really believe the words that are coming out of his mouth?" I mean really, does he actually believe what he's saying or is he so committed ideologically or politically to his position that facts really just don't matter? As the late great Tony Snow would oft muse: "He's living in a fact free universe!" It really is amazing; He will state his position or intentions repeatedly on camera, and then he will unequivocally reverse his position, again on camera. When Fox News puts the two videotapes side by side to highlight the competing Obama's he simply goes on TV again and does his amazing Jedi mind trick. He stares directly in the camera without flinching and say's most emphatically In that Obi Wan Kenobi voice: "I did not say what you just heard me say. So I sit in front of the screen, probably like millions of others across the land staring blankly at the screen. The words come dully from my lips: "You did not say what I just heard you say." I get up and shuffle blankly to the fridge to pour myself a glass of milk while muttering the words Hope... Change... I sit here pondering the half empty glass of milk, my breathing becoming tight an wheezy as I remember that I am allergic to milk. There's something I was supposed to remember. Something important, but I can't remember what it was. All is well... hope...change...

So, on to what this rant was supposed to be about. Deficits. There are two camps of progressives today. One calls themselves "Democrats", and the other likes to call themselves "Republicans." The divide between their ideologies is mostly in their preferences for a huge federal government or a massive one. The Republicans have shown their recklessness of a teenager with their first credit card. Spending is Good! Yet they have no understanding what that envelope is that they get at the end of each month from their credit card company. This leaves them indefensibly open to ridicule from the left due to the bloated debts and deficits. And the left has the cure! They are going to pay off the maxxed out $1000 credit card with a shiny new $5000 credit card which they will soon max out as well. Not to worry though: An envelope with a "pre-approved $10,000 credit card offer just appeared in their mailbox. Life is good.

So Obama gets up there at the podium, by all appearances channeling Ronald Reagan. "Tax Cuts... Fiscal responsibility... Tighten our belts... wasteful spending..." He is going to get these Bush created deficits under control. Well there are only two ways in the known universe to reduce deficits, and if you know of a third please, please, educate me in the comments section. These are: spend less, and/or tax more. Now Obama in true old fashioned grandma and grandpa fiscal conservative fashion has promised not to waste a dime on frivolous stuff. After all peanut butter and jelly are just fine for lunch every day, and quite nutritious! Meanwhile he is installing a huge new 70 inch flat screen TV on the living room wall. He shows us a few examples of glaring redundancies and waste in government spending that he will excise from the budget with the gleeful and industrious efficiency of a French Revolutionary with a shiny new guillotine. There’s a 22¢ saving here, and an 83¢, savings there. These will surely offset the additional million dollars of indispensable new expenditures. After all it’s really just a matter of prioritizing. And remember his priorities are your priorities; and if not you’re probably just a Teabagger.

Definitions are the key. When Obama and his ideological kin speak “Deficit Reduction,” and "investments in our future" they mean one thing and one thing only. Taxes; Lots and lots of new taxes. They will drag out the old saw “We will only tax the rich,” to the vacuous cheers of their lemming worshippers.  They will spread them around with myriad Orwellian titles of marvelous creativity. All the while we will hardly notice as the mega-wealthy stand beside us thrusting their fists in the air chanting heartily with us: “Tax the Rich, Tax the Rich.” We will be assured that these taxes will only effect the other guy, and the other guy in his philanthropic zeal would never consider passing on this additional burden to you. Just remember one thing if nothing else. [And I will plagiarize here unabashedly from Fred Thompson] …They will only take water from the other side of the bucket.

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