Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Reaction to President Obama's speech

As always, he delivers his speeches well. He sounded forceful and determined and on top of things. I just don't believe his claims that somehow he's going to introduce budgets that cut enough waste, fraud, and abuse while taxing only the very wealthy and be able to do all the things that he's taken on such as bailing out the economy, starting us on the way to a health care policy managed by the government, fund clean energy, and get kids to stay in schools that are really educating them. And cutting the deficit at the same time. It's a pipe dream, a fairy tale.

Every president promises savings from cutting waste, fraud, and abuse. Have we witnessed any vast improvement in government efficiency?

And how will we believe that he's cutting out all wasteful programs when he just signed the biggest bill in government history that was hurriedly put together by House and Senate appropriators and full of pork and government spending that has nothing to do with stimulus? Does he really think that those same congressmen to whom he caved in writing the stimulus are going to take all those wasteful programs out of the budget?

Even the Associated Press isn't buying a lot of Obama's claims.

And he keeps setting up strawmen arguments that his opponents think that our problems will take care of themselves or don't want to do anything to address those problems. And he's still pretending that our problems with the mortgage mess arose because of deregulation rather than by government interference forcefully encouraging banks and mortgage companies to making risky loans premised on a housing bubble.

So on delivery he gets an A+, (whereas Bobby Jindal would get a C-), but on substance I just don't buy it. However, that's nothing new for a State of the Union-type address. Every president promises all sorts of goodies while swearing he'll be cutting the deficit. I don't believe them either. Even the New York Times doubts that he's going to be able to do all this without raising taxes. We'll see if the markets share the faith in him that the American people seem to have in his rhetoric.