The pork laden omnibus spending package is slated for a vote tomorrow in the Senate. Majority Leader Reid pulled it Thursday upon realization that the votes were not there for passage. The embarrassed Leader will bring it back tomorrow, as the government's current funding ends Wednesday. Two Democrat Senators were publicly opposing the bill and gets lots of publicity for it, so the ever growing opposition to the Obama plan to grow the government to even larger proportions continues.
Some Democrats didn't appreciate the public opposition of Senator Bayh, in particular, as he was the sham face of "moderate" support for team Obama as a Midwesterner from Indiana, and some of his colleagues discussed whether or not Bayh should lose some of his earmarks for pet projects as punishment "for betraying the party", as written in The Hill, by writer Alexander Bolton. Betraying the party. Not betraying the country, betraying the party.
While President Obama and his First Lady Michelle party on at the White House between campaign stops around the country and the District of Columbia, some are noticing the unfocused pursuance of agenda. It's a bit much for the President who lectures the successful business people about using corporate jets and luxury trappings while he does the same, with enthusiasm. Even David Gergen, Obama supporter on CNN, said recently, "There is no doubt that his ambition for reforms in other areas do not allow him to give the economy his full attention."
While some supporters claim the 2008 election was proof that liberalism is back and here to stay, the stirrings of opposition claim otherwise. The moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives, the Blue Dog Democrats, are finding their voice. Eleven of them voted with all the Republicans in the House to oppose the spending/stimulus bill. As they continue to go home and listen to the voters they will rely upon to re-elect them, they realize the American public is recovering from the Obama drunken blind support. A large percentage of those who voted for Obama are on record that they were clueless as to his agenda. They just wanted "change" and they wanted to vote for the bi-racial candidate, too. This is hardly a strong mandate for full blown liberalism and a bend to socialism. At this point in the new administration, Obama's popularity rating is only average compared to recent presidents - he is lower than Jimmy Carter, Clinton and both Bushes.
Obama's speeches are beginning to show up as fact-checked. Recently this was looked at from a speech on the spending bill and job creation: "Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs." According to Fact Check: "This is a recurrent Obama formulation. But job creation projections are uncertain even in stable times, and some of the economists relied on by Obama in making his forecast acknowledge a great deal of uncertainty in their numbers. The president's own economists, in a report prepared last month, stated, "It should be understood that all of the estimates presented in this memo are subject to significant margins of error." Beyond that, it's unlikely the nation will ever know how many jobs are saved as a result of the stimulus. While it's clear when jobs are abolished, there's no economic gauge that tracks job preservation. The estimates are based on economic assumptions of ow many jobs would be lost without the stimulus." Not so reassuring.
The name of President Obama, then Senator Obama, has been erased from the list of earmark cosponsors in the omnibus spending bill. Transparency, anyone?
One Blue Dog Democrat, Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS) is vocally criticizing the budget for the cut in defense spending. All other areas of the budget receive increases, except the defense department. He remarks "I don't like ti...change is not running up even bigger deficits that George Bush did", as it pertained to the spending bill.
As Mike Allen wrote on Politico.com last week, "Some of Obama's 53 percent of the popular vote was no doubt a rejection of John McCain rather than an embrace of his own ideas. But by treating his victory, combined with Democratic gains in Congress, as an unambiguous ideological mandate, he is betting that others will see it the same way." This is sounded out by the most loyal Obama supporters - those that claim the election was proof that liberalism reigns now.
Instead of jetting around the country in search of future votes during his re-election campaign in 2011, fawning over those living in swing states, it is in the best interests of the country to remain in Washington and show true concern of the economy. Wall Street and the banks are not feeling the sincerity. The stock market has lost ground consistently since the inauguration. No one, other than those making the policies - and even they admit it is all a crap shoot - seems to have a grip on the economic recovery situation. The Treasury Secretary has yet to present his big plan, so highly touted by President Obama that we were told Geithner, tax cheat in residence, was the only person to handle the job.
Rep. Kevin Brady(R-TX), told Geithner, "It looks like somebody's cooking the books." And, budget chief, Peter Orszag while continuing on with the dishonest argument that the omnibus is just business from the previous year and the Bush administration that must be pushed through, admits that including expenditures for the Iraq war as it winds down props up the claims of all the deficit reductions down the line. If it were not so sad, it would almost be amusing at the predictability of hanging the expense of the war on terror with our economic distress. Couldn't have been all the other spending on growing the government and not using the power of the spending veto throughout the previous eight years, could it?
As Charles Krauthammer writes, "Clever politics, but intellectually dishonest to the core. Health, education and energy -- worthy and weighty as they may be -- are not the cause of our financial collapse. And they are not the cure. The fraudulent claim that they are both cause and cure is the rhetorical device by which an ambitious president intends to enact the most radical agenda of social transformation seen in our lifetime."
Economist Robert Samuelson, one of several liberal economists now coming out criticizing the Obama policies, writes, "The gap between Obama rhetoric and Obama reality transcends the budget, as do the consequences. In 2009, the stock market has declined 23.78% (through March 5) says Wilshire Associates. The Wall Street Journal's editorial page blames Obama's policies for all the fall. That's unfair; the economy's deterioration was a big cause. Still, Obama isn't blameless. Confidence (too little) and uncertainty (too much) define this crisis. Obama's double talk reduces the first and raises the second." "Obama is the great pretender. He repeatedly says he's doing things that he isn't trusting his powerful rhetoric to obscure the difference. He has made "responsibility" a personal theme; the budget's cover line is "A New Era of Responsibility". He says the budget begins "making the tough choices necessary to restore fiscal discipline." It doesn't."
Continuing to blame the mess he "inherited" is wearing thin. He has to stop the making of excuses and get on with it. Leadership is needed and we have yet to see it. President Bush is not blameless but he is not the problem now. Democrats allowed the real estate market to crash due to refusal to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - even the New York Times called his idea, "the most significant regulatory overhaul in housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago., as recently quoted in IBDeditorials.com. Obama allows corrupt politicians like Barney Frank to speak out about prosecuting bankers now without any response. Were those complaining that the loyal opposition won't now go along with the socialism agenda of our country the same ones who were hell bent for the previous administration to fail on its desired reforms?
It is well past time for the president to stay in Washington and deal with the continued lack of confidence in his economic recovery plans.