"Of all the claims Rove made, one in particular caught my eye for its sheer audacity and shamelessness -- that congressional Democrats "will run up more debt by October than Bush did in eight years."He then starts in with a revisionist view of recent history that excludes important information (an effect of tunnel vision) and fills it in with his self-serving version.
I saw this opinion piece referenced on the Huffington Post and could not resist calling Mr. Axelrod on his deliberate misuse of the facts and his attempt at rewriting history. The HPost only allows 250 words to be posted by the rabble (me) when they don't delete them altogether. So, I've revised and continued my rant here.
Here is how it went with more...
Dear Mr. Axelrod.
I want to thank you for revealing the true nature of our current government. Orwell’s characters surely have nothing on you and the rest of the White House's leadership. You have taken a modicum of truth and twisted the facts completely out of reality. The way you write them has little relation to the real story.
Let’s try to set the record straight.
So first, from what I've seen so far not many in the White House today know how the US government lawfully operates or even have a fundamental knowledge of the US Constitution. You will have to understand how our government is supposed to work according to the written and agreed to US Constitution. Recall that the government is in place to serve the people with power on loan from them, not to serve any politician or their advisers, cabinet members or anyone holding public office.
Quickly: Congress appropriates, the executive branch spends what the congress allows them (you) to spend. Both branches, along with the third branch, the US Supreme Court, are supposed to "support and Defend the Constitution of the Unites States." Simple, really. You will see how this is important very shortly.
"The day the Bush administration took over from President Bill Clinton in 2001, America enjoyed a $236 billion budget surplus -- with a projected 10-year surplus of $5.6 trillion."Pop quiz, class: Who did the appropriating? (This means gathering up the funds from various sources to be spent in the service all Americans
Answer: The Republican controlled congress.
Bill Clinton didn't spend a dime that was not appropriated by congress, revealing that they, not just the president, are responsible for the surplus.
But President Clinton also left office with the country in a recession. Your party quickly turned it into an Orwellian campaign slogan claiming President Bush "caused" it. No really. During the campaign of 2000, pundits were echoing Democrat strategist talking points, specifically, they claimed Bush was "talking down the economy" when he mentioned that the economy was slowing down.
This makes me wonder if the Democrats haven't been talking down the war and costing lives. Harry Reid on Iraq 2006, "This war is lost". But I digress.
The Bush Administration inherited a recession (Washington Post), followed with the extremist Muslims finally proving that they were at war with us on 9/11/2001. Something they (Islamic extremists) have known since 11/04/1979.
These two big issues, war and recession, along with the US Congress are the major cause of the deficits, not Bush’s economic policies. In fact Bush's tax policies reversed the recession and produced real GDP growth every year after 2001 until the 2008 when the congressional banking/mortgage/securities/illiquid assets crash and burn began its meltdown.
The funny thing is that President Bush, a truly classy individual, did not blame his predecessor for the recession and other problems. And doesn’t call Obama, and you, on your blame game.
Your "fiscal irresponsibility” remark misses the mark.
It was the regulations, or lack there of, produced by the US Congress that was "laissez-faire", with Rep. Barney Frank claiming that Fannie and Freddie were "fundamentally sound" and said Bush's proposals to fix them were "inane". Then after the fall in 2008 he voted for those changes. I would say that no one was watching AIG or the others, but somehow, I know that's not true. It seems the tax and spenders always have on eye on profit makers so they can tax and spend more. In his budget report in April of 2001, Bush asserted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were "too large and over-leveraged" (Rove, WSJ) , but was shut down by Democrats in congress. Recall that the US Senate during President Bush's administration was not filibuster proof and Chris Dodd (D-Con) said the Bush recommendations were "ill advised" successfully filibustered any changes. In 2008 Senator Dodd supported the same changes.
Your next whopper,
"deepest economic catastrophe since the Great Depression",is another fabrication. Unemployment is at 10+%, inflation is 0% (supposedly), and growth is stalled, but slowly coming up in the third quarter of 2009.
The truth is the current Obama/Democrat led congress-owned recession is the worst since the Carter "malaise" of the late 1970's, with double digit unemployment, inflation and mortgage rates. The Great Depression was much worse where FDR kept the unemployment rate at 14-21% throughout most of his 3 administrations (see chart HERE). The financial market "crisis" of 2008 is nowhere near as troublesome as Carter's or FDR's Great Depression.
In more classic subterfuge, you say,
“Economists across the political spectrum agreed that to deal with this crisis and avoid a second Great Depression, the government had to make significant investments to keep our economy going and shore up our financial system.”And that’s where you lose my confidence in government's ability to handle economic issues. The president should see this as a clear learning moment to stop interfering with the free market system. The government had to do something, but it wasn’t obligating $700 Billion to hand over to the former employers of Secretary Paulson (Goldman-Sachs) among other supporters. The money that this country does not have I now refer to as “Hope Dollars”, as everyone hopes that the program will work, and they hope that America’s lenders won’t cut off the spigot and politicians hope they won't get the blame when it doesn't work. I had also thought that federal level politicians hoped that it would also get paid back. But I now know, after the next grotesque abuse of the US Constitution known as “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act“ where you obligated another $787 Billion that you do not have in pork programs, that no one in the White House or the majority in congress are concerned about it at all.
“Obama administration's rigorous stewardship added transparency and accountability…”What!
We know, from watching the US Congress that no one in government knows what the word “stewardship” means (back to laissez-faire attitudes). And as for transparency; I'm afraid that there is a disconnect between the dictionary meaning of the term and the Obama White House definition. The president of "change" has changed nothing except running up the national debt and running down confidence in America.
The textbook examples of Orwellian speech continue under your,
“At the same time, we also recognize that we need to address the long legacy of overspending in Washington.That is why, shortly after taking office, Obama instructed his agency heads to go through the budget page by page, line by line, to eliminate what we don't need to help pay for what we do."What! Again.
Sure, you called for it, but you have no one who is capable of deciphering it even if it were fairly accurate. None of the president’s economists, nor even the president, have any real world experience. None have worked in the private sector in their adult life. Exactly how would anyone in the White House know how to address the economy in a helpful way? (I guess I’m being Orwellian now. You may be able do it in a helpful way, but the only help would go to the Obama administration.)
We know that spending was a problem and the President read his plan to us. Then he followed the speech by obligating another $420 Billion in hope dollars in March. He must have a short memory.
"As a start, the president proposed billions of dollars in cuts, and he'll continue to fight for them and others in the upcoming budget."Yes, Billions in cuts from Medicare, Medicaid and the defense budget. I seem to recall the demonization of Speaker Newt Gingrich when he spoke of, but tried to implement, a program to reduce the overhead in Medicare, characterizing it as "withering on the vine". Democrats grabbed this single phrase and turned it into 'evil Gingrich wants to end Medicare and Medicaid' when no such thing was recommended. Where are these people now that the President wants to cut over $500 Billion from Medicare in actual cuts.
"Obama had been more successful in getting his proposed cuts through Congress than his predecessor was in any of his eight years in office."Of course he did. President Obama had a filibuster proof majority in the US Senate and a majority in the US House of Representatives. President Bush did not have this luxury.
Mr. Axelrod says that the president has insisted that the health care reform not add to the deficit, but their is ample evidence that a smoke and mirror subterfuge is going on here. First the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says it will add a trillion dollars to the deficit, even with Medicare cuts. They cannot have that, so in a show of totalitarian power, the president calls the nonpartisan CBO head into his office and miraculously, the same reform plan will really reduce deficits by $132 billion.
"But the course correction that was so badly needed after the previous administration has begun in earnest."You know, it become so common place for this administration to continuously blame anyone they can (other than themselves) including the previous administration, so-called greedy CEO's and "Wall Street Fat Cats", for those things that go wrong that it is expected. And most all of it as a consequence of government's meddling in areas they know nothing about.
One of the first rules of leadership is to take responsibility for one's actions. This president and his followers absolutely will not accept any responsibility for the state of this union.
As I've noted above, it is the US Congress that spends the money. They are mostly responsible for the deficits and the national debt. This president was a member of the congress that voted to spend all that money on wars, Medicaid, Medicare, the executive departments and on bailing out US and foreign banking and investment institutions, from 2007 to his inaugural. He was part of the majority that did not try reign in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, even though they had the power to do so. Even previous congresses wouldn't take on Fannie and Freddie. All of your blaming Bush and others is nothing more than an attempt at slight of hand, to redirect the voters attention away from the real perpetrators: the US Congress. I have to tell you, it does not work and makes the president look amateurish.
But it is not all bad. I believe the president should have his own agenda and at times it may be at odds with the congress. This is how President Reagan ended up with deficits. He had an agenda and the US Congress had their agenda. The word of the decade was "compromise". Reagan took responsibility for the deficits on his watch, as did Presidents George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton and George W. Bush. None of them blaming their predecessor for the problems that were theirs to solve. They had leadership abilities and did compromise with each other. This president and this congress will not.
Obama is trying make a major shift from our market based economy to a government owned and operated economy and he along with the Democrat controlled congress are spending borrowed money at a breath taking rate.
The bottom line is Karl Rove is correct. The congressional Democrats "will run up more debt by October than Bush did in eight years." Heck, they already have.