Friday, August 5, 2011

Obama Parties While the Economy Burns

U.S. President Barack Obama didn't let Thursday's disaster in the financial markets disturb his party scheduled for that night. After all, one must keep one's priorities straight, mustn't one? His one concession was keeping the White House party, attended by celebrity supporters and Democrat party leaders, off the official schedule so it wouldn't be quite such an up-front deliberate slap in the country's face. It seems to me that action demonstrates a knowledge of guilt. But that guilt didn't stop the partying, or even slow it down.

The partying for the extended celebration of Obama's birthday continued. One subsequent celebration included former chief of staff (now Chicago mayor) Rahm Emmanuel.

While that was going on, apparently, Standard and Poor's downgraded the U.S. government's credit rating. The reasons given for the downgrade are, in part,

  • The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government's medium-term debt dynamics.
  • More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011.
  • Since then, we have changed our view of the difficulties in bridging the gulf between the political parties over fiscal policy, which makes us pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the Administration to be able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal consolidation plan that stabilizes the government's debt dynamics any time soon.
  • The outlook on the long-term rating is negative. We could lower the long-term rating to 'AA' within the next two years if we see that less reduction in spending than agreed to, higher interest rates, or new fiscal pressures during the period result in a higher general government debt trajectory than we currently assume in our base case.
It sounds like Standard and Poor's is saying the same thing I have been saying: Our problem is that government spending has exploded and is out of control. What we have to do is rein in spending.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama received a birthday greeting for his fiftieth birthday.

Happy 50th Birthday Mr. President! While surprises are for birthdays, it is no surprise to the American people that your failed economic policies — from TARP to your health care bill — have resulted in disaster for our economy. Since taking office, unemployment has remained at or near 9 percent for 28 months, America has added $3.4 trillion in debt in 29 months — the equivalent of about $4 billion per day — we have an anemic housing market with record foreclosures, and an average price of nearly $4 for a gallon of gas. Even your budget did not receive one single vote in the United States Senate — and the icing on the cake — a stock market slide of nearly 800 points in the last 5 days.

While it may be hard to hear the American people’s frustration over the pop of the champagne corks and R&B bands at your $30,000/person birthday party, the citizens of this nation are suffering under your failed leadership. The best present you can give the American people will be for you and your failed economic policies to be defeated in November of 2012.

                  — Allen West (R-FL)

Why is it that what keeps running through my mind is "Nero fiddled while Rome burned"?

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