Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 26, 2010

THE BIG FREEZE.... I don't doubt that spending freezes poll well. A lot of Americans, perhaps even a healthy majority, are convinced that "big government spends too much money." There's a perception, fed by the media and Republicans, that things -- the deficit, the size of the budget -- have gotten "out of control." For all I know, President Obama's intention to call for a three-year freeze will make independents and centrists swoon.

But that doesn't make this a good idea.

President Obama will call for a three-year freeze in spending on many domestic programs, and for increases no greater than inflation after that, an initiative intended to signal his seriousness about cutting the budget deficit, administration officials said Monday. [...]

The freeze would cover the agencies and programs for which Congress allocates specific budgets each year, including air traffic control, farm subsidies, education, nutrition and national parks.

But it would exempt security-related budgets for the Pentagon, foreign aid, the Veterans Administration and homeland security, as well as the entitlement programs that make up the biggest and fastest-growing part of the federal budget: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

The freeze intends to save $250 billion over 10 years.

Now, talk of spending freezes is not new. During the 2008 presidential campaign, it was one of the centerpieces of John McCain's campaign. A year later, it was the official Republican plan to deal with the financial crisis. Now, at least rhetorically, it's President Obama -- you know, the "radical socialist" -- who's waving the banner.

Though, in fairness, it's not quite the same thing. GOP freezes were across-the-board hatchet jobs, while administration officials are insisting the White House is eyeing a "surgical" freeze. Indeed, as part of the proposed freeze, the administration intends to increase some budgets while cutting others, which raises the question of whether this is really a "freeze" at all.

It's a cliche, but "the devil is in the details" certainly applies here. We've been told that the freeze would not only exclude defense and national security, but also economic recovery investment and health care reform (should it happen). The new jobs bill is still moving forward, too.

Indeed, while we wait for additional details -- an administration official said the cuts would target "duplicative," "ineffective," and "inefficient" spending -- I'm tempted to call the freeze idea symbolic, at best. In President Obama's first budget proposed cutting $11.5 billion in spending, and most of the cuts were approved by Congress. This next budget, including the freeze, is eyeing reductions between $10 billion to $15 billion.

So, if the proposal isn't really going to change much, why is this disappointing? Because it fully embraces the conservative narrative, instead of using the power of the bully pulpit to explain why conservatives have it wrong.

It may be even worse as a policy matter -- we just don't have enough details to say -- but that's distressing enough.

Steve Benen 8:10 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (51)

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Comments

Jesus Fucking Christ!

With an administration like Barack Herbert Hoover Obama, who needs the God damn Supreme Court to give it all over to the corporations? He's destroying us on his own...

Posted by: neill on January 26, 2010 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

Disappointing would be an understatement. Worse, this paints the admin into a corner if a second stimulus package is needed.
What is he thinking?

Posted by: Gridlock on January 26, 2010 at 8:20 AM | PERMALINK

I don't understand how a 3-year freeze that saves $15 billion per year can amount to anything more than $45 billion, whether over 10 years or a million.

Posted by: Grumpy on January 26, 2010 at 8:20 AM | PERMALINK

There's a perception, fed by the media and Republicans

There's a difference?

Posted by: Gregory on January 26, 2010 at 8:20 AM | PERMALINK

I'll repeat what I've said before:

Out here in the real world, if the roof of your house is leaking you don't let the leak continue while you try to save up the money to have it fixed. You take out a loan and fix the problem before it causes damage that will cost even more to fix. In other words, you go into debt because that's cheaper than doing nothing.

When Obama came into office, not only did was the country's roof leaking, but there were also big holes in the walls, termites in the woodwork and the basement was flooded.

It's time for Democrats to quit trying to be "bipartisan", grow a pair and tell Americans that things suck because of eight years of Republican policies and that things will suck even more if we go back to those policies.


Posted by: SteveT on January 26, 2010 at 8:24 AM | PERMALINK

Very, very disappointing. The parallels to Bill Clinton are growing everyday. Hey, it's 2010, planet and country in a world of hurt. Fire Sommers, fire Giethner, fire Rahm. Soon he'll look great compared to the nuts running Congress (in two years). Please, please give up the corporatist mentality. When you lose me (he hasn't yet)your really screwed.

Posted by: JM on January 26, 2010 at 8:24 AM | PERMALINK

It sure would be nice if our representatives in government, particularly the WH, would treat us like adults.

I wonder what would result if there were a concerted effort to educate Americans as to why spending freezes are not important right now, and how increased spending would benefit the economy and job creation. Why the stimulus bill was too small, and why another, larger one is needed. And why spending freezes are not the prescription.

I suppose I'll keep wondering.

Damn this is maddening.

Posted by: terraformer on January 26, 2010 at 8:24 AM | PERMALINK

Why wouldn’t Obama start by asking the “moderate” democrats to volunteer cuts in their pet projects
(farm subsidies, etc.). Let’s them walk the walk first and the rest will follow…

Posted by: Yoni on January 26, 2010 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

Quick, everyone run around waving your arms in the air! I'm amazed over the collective freak-out in the liberal blogs over this. Yes, he IS just like Herbert Hoover for proposing a microscopic freeze that has no chance making it through Congress. This is a purely political move and I have to disagree here with Steve that it's somehow embracing the GOP narrative. The fact is that the deficit and debt are freaking huge and a lot of folks in this country, liberals included, are worried about the long term fiscal health of this country. So Obama proposes this freeze, with the idea being that it provides cover to allow him (and most importantly worried Dems in purple districts) some cover to continue pursuing at least part of his agenda. Will it work? Beats me? I just find it silly that people are having a cow over this. Is he kowtowing to the GOP narrative or is he co opting it for his own advantage. Weak leaders do the first, brilliant ones the second. Which one is Obama? Beats me, but we'll soon find out.

Posted by: NHCt on January 26, 2010 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

Yglasias has a good run down.

And while there is nothing wrong with stopping wasteful spending, to exclude DOD is beyond idiotic. Oh, and how is that Virtual Fence project on our southern border panning out?

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on January 26, 2010 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

This is maddening because it just isn't serious. It's the Republican gimmick of attacking social spending while leaving the real waste of military procurement and Health Care fraud off the table. Any serious attempt at attacking the deficit must start where we spend. These programs are simply not where we spend our money. Sad.

Posted by: Russell Aboard M/V Sunshine on January 26, 2010 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

This is great: Obama does the head fake thing with this freeze in spending hoping the American people will go for it. This isn't about actually fixing the deficit problem - it is just a ruse in order to continue the failed progressive policies which tripled the debt in the last year.

Because when my debt is huge and I can't find a job the best way to get out of the jam is to spend more money. Of course, why didn't I think of that?

Posted by: Orwell on January 26, 2010 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

Orwell, you are mron. Take econ 101, please.

Posted by: JM on January 26, 2010 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

NHCT: Word!

No wonder the Dems pols are freaking out. With everything I'm reading in the "progressive" blogs, you'd think Obama had personally gone out and spit on every progressive out there. Again goes to show why Dems so often snatch defeat from victory.

This is smart politics on Obama's part. He was talking about it way back in the summer, and the Dems SHOULD embrace the "fiscally responsible" narrative. It reminds people just how irresponsible the Repugs were for 8 years. It reminds people that the stimulus was a Democratic stimulus. ...And you get all this for something that is in reality so EASY to implement.

But no, be bitter. Run around with the holier-than-thou attitudes. Snatch defeat from victory. It's what we Dems are apparently most comfortable doing.

Posted by: Noogs on January 26, 2010 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

You are right. After eight years of propagandistic double talk and lies, we should be able to expect an administration that speaks honestly and forthrightly to us. If this administration feels the only way to succeed is through deception, slight of hand, and tricks with mirrors, they are no better than their predecessors.

Posted by: candideinnc on January 26, 2010 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

By all means, talk about deficit spending and leave Homeland Security out of the mix.

"As his analysis uncovered unacceptable delays ... I ordered a departmentwide reassessment of the program to consider options that may more efficiently, effectively and economically meet our border security needs," Napolitano said in the statement. "Americans need border security now — not 10 years down the road. I am committed to ensuring that our border security programs are timely and cost-effective."

From 2006 through July 2009, Customs and Border Protection paid Boeing $1.1 billion to create and build a border-long network of camera, sensor and radar towers, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported in September.

To date, only a flawed test system in Arizona is being used by the Border Patrol.

Virtual fences along the entire Southwest border were supposed to be completed by October 2009. Now they are expected to be finished by 2016, the GAO reported.

Certainly there are not HUGE gobs of waste in our Security infrastructure.

How's that Future Combat System project going?

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on January 26, 2010 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

Also, the exemptions are disgustingly similar to what the Thugs want exempted. God forbid we touch the bloated War Department budget! We need more crap to blow things up with and kill and maim women and children.

Posted by: candideinnc on January 26, 2010 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

If Yglesias's post this morning is accurate, the proposed spending freeze should kick in in FY 2012. By then, the recession should be over, and from a Keynesian perspective that will be the right time to cut spending and raise more revenue. And if the recession isn't over we have bigger problems to worry about, viz. "President Palin". (I shudder just typing those two words together.)

Posted by: Brock on January 26, 2010 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

I love it when the staffers come in and tell us we're so fucking shrill and we just dont get it.

I mean look at all the accomplishments we got to show for a year of open, hope/change, and doing things differently in Washington:

• universal health care
• the end of two abhorrent and unnecessary wars
• dismantled the torture and surveillance illegalities
• a strong transparent regulation of wall street, banks and financial institutions
• DADT repealed
• NAFTA deep-sixed
• a fine foreclosure assistance program assisting millions of home owners
• a double barrel stimulus (spring and fall) that has cut unemployment figures in half since January '09

i mean the list goes on and on...
in the Obama administration on some alternative Earth... in some alternative universe.

Posted by: neill on January 26, 2010 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

It's not the substance that matters- there is none here- but the dangerous spectacle of the supposed leader of the Democratic Party reinforcing bullshit Republican framing (and crazy public misperceptions about the budget), and in the process pulling the rug out from under his own Congressional party in an election year. It's selfish, dumb and irresponsible triangulation. At least Clinton had the decency to leave that for AFTER the Republicans retook Congress.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on January 26, 2010 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

So it's basically a sell-out anti-progressive measure destined to cause more harm than good.

Kinda like the Senate Bill?

Pass. The. Damn. Freeze?

Posted by: squiggleslash on January 26, 2010 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Next up: Obama announces bold tax cuts will strengthen the economy, asks Democratic caucus to "get on board."

Sorry, Madam Speaker. We don't blame you if you quit in disgust. Mr. Senate Majority Leader, no, no one's asking for your opinion.

Posted by: shortstop on January 26, 2010 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

I completely agree with NHCt. Everybody needs to chill the f**k out and see how this plays out. Do you not even realize that these knee-jerk reactions are part of the problem rather than the solution? I actually have a bit of confidence in the Obama/Biden/et al, and this is their proposal, not Congress's.

Posted by: sgdc on January 26, 2010 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

Do you not even realize that these knee-jerk reactions are part of the problem rather than the solution?

This sentence could equally apply to the president's freeze. How does one fairly characterize a knee-jerk reaction to his knee-jerk reaction?

Damn, I think I've been the voice of reason and wait-and-seeism, to the point that our more volatile and control-oriented community members regular accuse me of 'botting, fruity drink-sipping, etc. But there ain't no positive way to spin this, sgdc. The dude is flat-out pandering to the most ignorant and angry segments of the electorate and not only will it do significant damage to economic recovery, it also makes it politically impossible to reverse course and do the grownup thing.

And he went down totally without a fight. Neither he nor most of the Democratic caucus ever took the fucking time to try to explain the difference between macro- and microeconomics, never did the bit: "When your family's budget is tight, you cut back on spending. But here's why this doesn't work on a national level during a recession..." I'm not saying that most or perhaps even many of the fools would've gotten it. But "our guys" didn't even try.

Posted by: shortstop on January 26, 2010 at 9:14 AM | PERMALINK

Running the Bill Clinton playbook, except this time a hot job creating economy is not likely to pull Obama's butt (ours) out of the fire.

Posted by: lou on January 26, 2010 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

Of course BHO shouldn't be doing this, but it's really too much to expect him to "explain why conservatives have it wrong" about the deficit.

With so many people are math-anxious and/or barely able to manage their own finances, it's difficult going on impossible to overcome the metaphorical appeal of the-federal-budget-is-just-like-your-family-budget.

Just like? Sure, that's the ticket. And that shotgun in your closet is just like the Air Force. But people buy the line anyway . . .

Posted by: penalcolony on January 26, 2010 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

@ sgdc on January 26, 2010 at 9:02 AM,

This is not a proposal, it is an ill conceived silly talking point to address the question "How do we get conservatives on board for bipartisan kumbaya?"

First, wtf would one out prioritize HCR at this point? Financial Reform? Climate Change?

Second, if one wants to reduce fiscal and structural deficits, discretion is the better part of valor. Start with DOD and the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

cripes.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on January 26, 2010 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

Reason #17 that we should always elect democrats to the presidency:

- When we elect a republican as president, the working people of the United States know that they are going to get screwed.
- When we elect a democrat as president, we can pretend to be surprised that we are getting screwed!

The Obomination continues to disappoint and frustrate. He is proving to be another Clintonesque DLC/DINO/Rethug-Lite!

Added to everything else is this 'independent deficit reduction commission'! Code words for going after social security, medicare, and medicaid. Everything except raising taxes on the rich.

For change you can actually believe in, change yourself out of the United Corporations of Amerika!

Posted by: AngryOldVet on January 26, 2010 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

Of course BHO shouldn't be doing this, but it's really too much to expect him to "explain why conservatives have it wrong" about the deficit.

It's not too much to expect the team to have a fucking basic message plan and stick to it with the assumption that it won't fully solve the public's math challenge, but it won't make things worse, either.

The answer is not to dive into crap economic policy and hope it saves your ass. It's not going to save his ass, because the policy isn't going to improve the economy. He goes down with neither success nor principles.

Posted by: shortstop on January 26, 2010 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

"This sentence could equally apply to the president's freeze. How does one fairly characterize a knee-jerk reaction to his knee-jerk reaction?"

Stupid, considering Peter Orszag's office was drawing up plans for this months ago. Unless somehow Obama has a crystal ball and saw into the future, planning to have a knee-jerk reaction to something months in advance.

Oh wait, that's even MORE stupid.

Posted by: John S. on January 26, 2010 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Angry Old Vet: We have a long tradition in the US of screwing over veterans after they have served.
(The GI Bill after WWII the possible exception.)
Why is Obama breaking with our treasured traditions by exempting Veterans programs from cuts or freezes?

Posted by: catclub on January 26, 2010 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

Stupid, considering Peter Orszag's office was drawing up plans for this months ago.

Not to this extent, no. And frankly, I consider Orzsag working on this in November a knee-jerk reaction, too, and said so then. Are you defending the rightness of the policy or just the fact that they've been planning it in some form for a while?

Posted by: shortstop on January 26, 2010 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

I guess a $1.3 trillion yearly deficit just isn't anything to worry about anymore!

Posted by: Red on January 26, 2010 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

In re the roof analogy, the Times excerpt Benen posted reads, in part, "the freeze would ... exclude ... economic recovery investment," so they will fix the "roof" regardless of budget.

This is instead a system of reprioritizing.

I suspect the Obama administration will shift funding to programs it supports and away from those it does not, with an eye toward winning some and losing some but forcing Republicans to oppose openly.

He could threaten to veto a budget that doesn't meet his plan and call out senators who fillibuster (withhold their cloture vote), regardless of party, painting himself as "taking on Washington."

And any victories, even if piecemeal, will represent course corrections and curve-bending.

Posted by: xian on January 26, 2010 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Please stop hyperventilating.

Not all government spending is good and stimulates the economy. That being said, this move is more about politics than economics and that is disappointing. Audacity is gone.

Posted by: tomb on January 26, 2010 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Of course BHO shouldn't be doing this, but it's really too much to expect him to "explain why conservatives have it wrong" about the deficit.

Absolutely, completely, 100% wrong. The Villagers may blanch at being reminded that the Bush Administration they cheerled for was disastrously wrong, but the Republicans, who stink at governance, nevertheless have a well-oiled message machine. They still run against Carter, for Ford's sake.

Yes, conservatives have been repeating "four legs good, two legs bad" -- er, "government isn't the colution, it's the problem" for decades (along with other lies, like "liberal media"), so yeah, the Democrats are way behind in the message race. But that isn't a reason to concede; it's a reason to fix the damn problem.

The Democrats absolutely must repeat simple, factual messages, like "cutting government spending in a recession hurts ordinary people -- and better yet, point to a couple of low-tax, low-service Republican states as examples.

Posted by: Gregory on January 26, 2010 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

I'm with Steve Labonne and Shortstop. He's bitten on to the GOP framing, hook line and sinker.

It's not so much the amount of the freeze or when it goes into effect, it's that he's validating the notion of a freeze at all, and that "education, nutrition and national parks" have to bite the bullet while "security-related budgets for the Pentagon" remain untouched.

This move will make enacting any future progressive policy in this area extremely difficult, but my guess is that he's not too concerned about doing that.

We need a viable progressive candidate in 2012, and I'll give him my full support, regardless of party affiliation.

Posted by: bdop4 on January 26, 2010 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK


Rahm Emmanuel must go. That is all.

Posted by: Farsider on January 26, 2010 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Hey everyone. Take a deep breath. Think about it. There are many many many billions of dollars of absolutely crapping federal spending. Let's start with my state, shall we? Instead of a freeze, lets talk CUTS; go to various appropriations bills, look for your republican senator's name [esp. if they are on an appropriations committee] and look for the "congressionally directed" spending, and then drill down further, and voila! one finally finds a PDF that reveals hundreds of millions in various key states aross this great pork laden land of ours ...

After all the shit the r's have been throwing, maybe its time to call their bluff. You want restrained spending? Fine. Here it is. You have two r senators ? Fine. 0 pork baby. Cut all the bullshit spending in ME, for exa., and how about SC ? Then listen to the piglets squeal....

Posted by: bigutah on January 26, 2010 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

I'll repeat:

Repugs: 8 years of irresponsible, deficit-exploding, great-recession causing spending.

Democrats: 1 year of responsible, deficit-AWARE, investment-oriented spending.

That's the message folks. It's one that terrifies the Repugs, unless we let them grab a' hold of it first.

Posted by: Noogs on January 26, 2010 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

One other thing. About military cuts... F-22.

Again, go back to the summer and give Obama-Biden some credit for taking on military spending and re-orienting it to actually taking care of men and women in the armed forces. Attack them on the banks, absolutely, but with spending, they're playing smart in a mine field.

Posted by: Noogs on January 26, 2010 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

It's the Republican gimmick of attacking social spending while leaving the real waste of military procurement and Health Care fraud off the table. Any serious attempt at attacking the deficit must start where we spend. These programs are simply not where we spend our money. Sad.-Russell Aboard M/V Sunshine


The 2010 department of defense budget is $664 billion. On top of that, in 2010, we will also be spending $30-123 billion just for the interest on debt incurred in past wars. Add in "homeland" security and other defense related expenditures and the U.S. will spend a grand total of $880-1025 billion this year.

In 2009, the DOD requested $9.4 billion for "missile defense" and another $2.3 billion for "infrared space-based systems" which itself is glossed over missile defense spending (Between 2002-2009, $63 billion was spent on missile defense. The system still can not reliably shoot down missiles, can easily be defeated with decoy missiles, encourages nuclear proliferation to counter interceptors and is ineffective against non-missile {i.e. ground delivery} systems. In addition to missile defense:

DOD for 2009
1.$4.1 billion for the cold war era F-22 Raptor.
2. $3.9 billion to replace aging cold war era submarines.
3.$2.7 billion for the "is it a plane, is it a helicopter" Osprey project (As of 2008, $27 billion has been spent on the Osprey program and another $27.2 billion will be required before the program is completed). The list of war toys is long and numerous, and considered off limits by both parties in Congress.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States

Posted by: oh my on January 26, 2010 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

I'll tell you what DOES poll well - among Republicans - and that's doing what Republicans want. A spending freeze combined with, yes, even more tax cuts was the Republican idea for getting the U.S. out of recession. Saying it wouldn't have worked is like saying Singapore is humid. Now that the U.S. is slowly dragging itself out of recession, how exactly would a spending freeze attack the next-biggest problem - high unemployment?

Something I used to really despise about Bush was the way he would pretend to consider Democratic suggestions or ideas, but had in reality already made up his mind as soon as he knew where the idea came from not to do it. I really hope that's what Obama is doing here.

Posted by: Mark on January 26, 2010 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

I'm with Steve Labonne and Shortstop.

Oh, dear god. Please let me never hear that sentence again.

I think this is a bone-stupid move because of the optics -- and the way it ties Democrats' hands going forward -- regardless of what the actual content turns out to be. That is the extent of my agreement with LaBonne on just about anything. And your notion of primarying a sitting president is, if I may say so, ridiculously adolescent.

Posted by: shortstop on January 26, 2010 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

For anyone paying attention during the campaign and Obama's notions of "fixing Social Security" during the Iowa portion of the campaign, this should be no surprise.

I think that a lot of people, especially on the FDL side of the fence, are all bent out of shape because Obama just isn't progressive enough or thought that he would turn into Dennis Kucinich once in office.

Obama constantly took a lot of economic wind out of the conservative's side by talking up tax cuts during the campaign as well - the GOP could do nothing whatsoever about that other than silly meritless attacks by fake plumbers.

This does not mean that "progressives" should not continue to push back against memes such as these. After mentioning "fixing Social Security" in Iowa and being called on it from the left of the party, he completely stopped doing it after New Hampshire. The Maddow-Bernstein interview is instructive as the Obama White House is willing to listen to reason, unlike the ideologues and outcome based people we had there previously.

Posted by: DBaker on January 26, 2010 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK
I think this is a bone-stupid move because of the optics

Actually, I think the optics are the best part. No one besides the Krugman/liberal econ-leaning blogosphere is going to see this as counterproductive. With everyone else, Obama picks up fiscal cred, redeemable on other issues (you know what they are).

It is important that it doesn't kick in until '12, and the details (i.e., this isn't a true across-board "freeze") are yet unknown. However, ultimately, this is like attacking pork - a lot of smoke, but little fire in the end. So although I'm defending the call, I'm not exactly applauding it either.

Posted by: anselm on January 26, 2010 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

I'm reminded of Nixon's attempt to unilaterally imposed a line item veto in his announced impoundments and recissions -- ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court. It was Nixon's announcement of his plan for recisions that caused me to buy my first "Impeach the President" bumpersticker.

Posted by: SquareState on January 26, 2010 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

He's just told his base to fuck off, and the best defense anyone can provide for him is that he doesn't mean it. Well, it doesn't matter if he doesn't mean it. He said it.

Posted by: Bloix on January 26, 2010 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

I count myself as part of that "base," and I don't see it that way at all. Your stance seems to be that the Dem base is all about fiscal irrepsonsibility. Last I heard, that was the Republican base.

Dems: the party of fiscal responsibility both on the investment side and the debt awareness side.

Posted by: Noogs on January 26, 2010 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

"• universal health care
• the end of two abhorrent and unnecessary wars
• dismantled the torture and surveillance illegalities
• a strong transparent regulation of wall street, banks and financial institutions
• DADT repealed
• NAFTA deep-sixed
• a fine foreclosure assistance program assisting millions of home owners
• a double barrel stimulus (spring and fall) that has cut unemployment figures in half since January '09

i mean the list goes on"


Look I'm disappointed with some admin decisions as well, but judging from your list you seem to have bought into the Bush model for the presidency- you know that the executive can do whatever he/she wants- when in reality the whole usage of congress thing that's killing and slowing many of your changes (or at least the ones that Obama actually ran on- here's a hint he said he'd double down in Afghanistan, and he's doing exactly what he promised in the face of Command resistance in Iraq)- is one of the things Obama promised to do- you know scale back the "imperial presidency".

Posted by: socraticsilence on January 26, 2010 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Let's just turn up the heater and call it a "freeze." That's what ReThuglicans do all the time. If that's what the BigO is doing, good for him.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 26, 2010 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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