Skip to comments.Responsibility -- If Only
Posted on 02/06/2009 4:22:08 AM PST by Kaslin
In his inaugural address, President Obama promised to initiate a "new era of responsibility." These heights were to be scaled following a successful campaign to transcend the "old politics" of Washington, D.C. Two weeks is a short period of time on which to judge an era, so let's just say it hasn't gotten off to a roaring start.
The hallmark of this new era is apparently the cap on executive compensation for banks taking bailout money from Uncle Sam. This makes Democrats giddy, as they despise high salaries for executives, except when those executives are Democratic former members of Congress, former Democratic presidents, and trial lawyers. Some of us find the whole notion of government caps on income obnoxious, but will shed no tears for executives who will have to make do with $500,000. If they had run their companies more competently, they wouldn't be dancing to Uncle Sam's tune. (Here is an under-reported story: the failure of boards of directors to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders by curbing unwarranted executive compensation. Where were the corporate raiders when we needed them?)
If responsibility means anything, it means being accountable for one's behavior. Tom Daschle, Nancy Killefer, Bill Richardson, and Timothy Geithner -- that's a pretty significant percentage of appointees to show up with ethical clouds. Richardson, the abortive Secretary of Commerce, apparently was caught up in a Blagojevich style "pay to play" scheme in his home state of New Mexico. Exit Richardson. Nancy Killefer, tapped by Obama as the administration's "performance czar," reportedly failed to pay unemployment taxes for her household help and had a tax lien imposed on her home by the District of Columbia. Tom Daschle failed, among other things, to pay taxes on a limousine and driver provided by a "good friend." He didn't know, the former majority leader of the U.S. senate explained, that the IRS considered the limo income. Until the evening before Daschle's withdrawal, President Responsibility had stood behind him. Asked at a Monday night meeting if he still supported Daschle, Obama said "Absolutely." But the next day, the president acknowledged that he had "screwed up," and that there cannot be two different standards, "one for prominent people" and another "for ordinary folks who have to pay their taxes."
Good TV. Very good TV. Except for one thing: Survey the cabinet table and there in a place of honor sits Tim Geithner at the Treasury Department. This "prominent person," whose department oversees the IRS, failed to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for four years running. A number of observers believe that if Daschle had been named first, he would be holding his post and Geithner would have been the one to bow out rather than the reverse. There certainly doesn't seem to be any principled difference between the two. Which kind of tax avoidance is more culpable -- failing to report income or simply failing to file? Hmm.
Everywhere you look in American life today you see a desperate need for more responsibility. But the stimulus bill the Obama Administration has taken ownership of actually encourages irresponsibility rather than the reverse.
Certainly governors and state legislatures are not being held accountable for their reckless spending sprees. As Stephen Spruiell has reported in National Review, $79 billion of the "stimulus" bill is devoted to the "State Fiscal Stabilization Fund." What's that? It's a system by which those states that have not hugely overspent their available tax revenues, like Indiana, North Dakota, and Virginia, will pay for those states, like California and New Jersey, that have. Another $89 billion is slated to help states meet their obligations to Medicaid -- a program that is everywhere in deficit. But rather than reform the bottomless pit that is health care spending by government, the Democrats propose to expand the government's role with SCHIP. Government, as Milton Friedman taught, has vastly increased the percentage of national wealth spent on health care through tax exemption and Medicare/Medicaid. Friedman estimated that 60 percent of the total increase in costs between 1946 and 1997 was attributable to those two things.
We're bailing out the car companies and the banks and the states and let's not forget ACORN (they can apply for some of the $4.19 billion in "neighborhood stabilization activities"). We don't ask how you used the money we gave you last year or whether you got results. Remember (oh, how quaint it seems now!) when Obama promised to go through the budget line by line and zero out those programs that weren't working? Good or bad, effective or not, straight or crooked, everyone is being bailed out now. It's a new era all right, but responsibility is only dimly visible in the rearview mirror.
If the Obamoron actually succeeds in getting Porkzilla rammed down America's throats, the backlash will be stunning when the Obamanites awake from their stupor to realize that, years later, the One still hasn't walked on water, the economy wasn't "stimulated", they still don't have jobs, their mortgages or rent still aren't being paid by the One, he isn't putting gas in their cars and they have bankrupted their children's, grandchildren's, and great grandchildren's future before any of them have so much as drawn their first breath of air.
The midterms are starting to look as though they will be a massive repudiation of the Obamoron's "change we can believe in" from an unapologetic marxist and his corrupt cabinet of tax cheats and scofflaws. Americans may have bought into the whole "change" hype but, after 2 weeks, the more they see of this guy, the more they are beginning to realize that all they got is an inexperienced, immature, amateur politician and President-in-Training who is NOT ready to lead!!
.....the One still hasn’t walked on water, the economy wasn’t “stimulated”......
There is another possible course. What if all the pork and moonbat wet dreams pass and then in July or August there is evidence of a recovery, the recovery already under way?
Perhaps they know that it is happening now and they really need to do nothing. The crisis bill is to satisfy the desires for pork.
“The new era of responsibility”
was a HUGE laugher.
Those who voted for him did so specificially
TO AVOID RESPONSIBILITY.
They fell for the promise that he’d give them everything they needed so that they wouldn’t have to provide for themselves.
His first nuclear blast will be to silence the opposition in every way possible. He is childish, as most dictators are.
Enter Fairness Doctrine. He will slap a new name on it and get it passed.
He will not care if it destroys to radio industry, trample free speech and angers the populace.
Thats why he has those new little places to hold those who revolt.
Krauthammer and Charen are moderates; I don’t always agree with them.
But they are sane in a country rapidly going mad; and in the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
Since he made it clear that he “won”, he will define the word responsibility, among other things. He’s simply moving pop culture along folks.
There won't be. Even the CBO characterizes Porkzilla as not having any valuable impact. As things currently stand, by July or August we will be in a much worse economic situation than we already are. Ask yourself this question - where is the money coming from to finance Porkzilla? China has closed its checkbook to us and we are broke.
Last night my wife and I were discussing different ways that Obama might prematurely end his term. One option I suggested is that he might fail so miserably that he RESIGNS before the end of his first term. We can always hope.
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