Friday, July 1, 2011

The Two Faces of Obama

I have to admit it; I can no longer listen to or watch Obama speeches or press conferences. It is like the commercial where the audience is watching an egg fry with the narrator saying “this is your brain on drugs”. Well, I think my brain gets fried listening to the multitude of contradictions, hypocrisies, explanations, and excuses of the Obama White House. I run speech transcripts through a word / phrase counting program I created. I use this tool to analyze books, speeches, and movies. In Obama’s latest press conference, here is a breakdown of the insanity.

Obama wants Congress to work through recess to hash out a budget deal, but Obama himself has been too busy playing golf and attending fund raisers (31 in the past 3 months) to not only get involved in the budget talks, but to meet with his own economic advisors. What’s worse, the President snubbed a Mitch McConnell invite to work on the budget; Obama said “It is not a discussion worth having”. It simply appears Obama does not have the time to do his job properly.

In the press conference, Obama claims he only wants to raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires. This is not true; Obama’s proposed plan will raise taxes on families that earn more than 250,000 dollars per year (or individuals that make over 200,000 dollars per year) by eliminating their itemized deductions.

Obama blamed Republicans, oil companies, and the wealthy for all American problems. In fact, he stated multiple times how he wants to eliminate private jet tax breaks as well as oil company tax breaks. These two examples equate to a mere 0.1% of our budget deficit this year alone. Thus, the Obama solution to the budget deficit is lacking significant substance. And let’s remember that the Republican plan proposed by Paul Ryan would eliminate these tax breaks and secondly, it was the Obama stimulus which created the jet tax breaks in the first place. In fact, Obama is talking about two separate issues because, as a nation, we need both comprehensive budget and tax reform legislation. Finally, Obama compared the jet tax breaks to food safety and student financial aid cuts proposed by Republicans. These budget items are not even comparable; the jet tax break equate to 3 billion dollars over 10 years whereas student financial aid and food safety programs amount to nearly 60 billion dollars this year alone.

Obama made this dumb statement, during the press conference, about the consequences if the U.S. hits its debt ceiling limit: “So are we really going to start paying interest to Chinese who hold Treasury Securities and we're not going to pay folks their Social Security checks?”. As President, Obama should clearly understand that Social Security payments are always appropriated, even in a government shutdown. And as President he should also understand there is a big difference between a government shutdown and hitting the debt ceiling. Obama continually talks as if they are one in the same.

Obama continues to push Republicans to raise the debt ceiling and says in failing to do so it would be an economic calamity. He called Congress “selfish” and said they should “do their job” and raise the debt ceiling, and finally, he warned “this is urgent”. Remember, this is the same Obama who voted against raising the debt ceiling when he was in the Senate. He insisted Bush’s spending was an irresponsible burden being placed on future generations.

In the same speech Obama claimed it would be up to a judge to decide the case between the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Boeing. Hence, he sat on the fence on this issue. The NLRB is blocking Boeing from expanding its operations and opening a plant in the non-union state of South Carolina. But when Obama was asked about Gay Marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Obama acted as if he was a Supreme Court Justice by claiming DOMA was unconstitutional. Let’s face it; Obama has routinely played judge (when it is convenient to him) and has used demagoguery when discussing Supreme Court decisions such as Citizens United.

On Libya, Obama used words such as “fuss” and “politics” to naysayers about his policies. Remember, this is the same Obama that used Iraq war to get elected into office. But the facts are clear; Libya was removed off the “states that sponsor terrorism list” four years ago. In 2009, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, met with Gaddafi’s son and said “we are looking forward to doing business with you”. What changed? Gaddafi was “threatening to massacre his own people”. How is this any different than Saddam Husain, who routinely massacred his own people? And let’s not forget that Obama went to war without Congressional approval, a clear violation of the Constitution.

My Book: Is America Dying? (, Barnes and Noble)

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