Thursday, August 18, 2011

Obama will gladly have deficit reduction later for more stimulus today

In his political tour of the Midwest that isn't suppose to be a political, Obama and his aides are giving hints of the secret plan that he's planning to unveil in September when he once again pivots to focusing on jobs and the economy.

See if any of this sounds familiar to you?
The president is thinking about proposing tax cuts for companies that hire workers, new spending for roads and construction, and other measures that target the long-term unemployed, according to administration officials and other people familiar with the matter. Some ideas, such as providing mortgage relief for troubled homeowners, could come through executive action.
Gee, haven't we already tried a lot of that? It didn't work before. Oh, and by the way, why can a president unilaterally provide "mortgage relief"? Just wondering.

But just in case you thought that that was all that there was to his secret plan, he's promising to once and for all address deficit reduction.
Obama also plans to announce a major push for new deficit reduction — urging the special congressional committee formed in the debt-ceiling deal this month to identify even more savings than the $1.5 trillion it has been tasked with finding.

In packaging the two, he will make the case that short-term spending can lead to long-term savings.
Talk about having your spending cake and eating it too! He's going to get savings by spending. Amazing how that works. Or rather hasn't worked yet from his previous stimulus efforts.

This all brings to mind Wimpy's famous offer, "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." That's about Obama's approach to cutting spending. That's why we've never heard from him about any spending cuts he'd approve. It's all generalities and gauzy promises. But when he had an opportunity to deliver a budget earlier this year, he presented one that just increased spending. And got voted down unanimously in the Senate. Then he gave a speech that was such a nothingburger that the CBO head had to slap him down by saying disparagingly, "We don't score speeches." Don't expect to see any spending cuts from Obama that the CBO will be able to score. But I'm sure we'll get a lot of nice talk about how, if we just spend more now, the economy will recover and we'll be able to cut spending on something some Tuesday way in the future.