Just like on the campaign trail, the Obama we saw tonight was full of rhetorical flourish and lacking on details. One detail is clear from his first 30 days . . . it is all going to cost me a lot of money. But like his campaign promises, expect emptiness.
Let’s start with this vague promise of cutting the deficit in half. He has been seriously saying this after opening the federal spending spigot? The “stimulus” bill added $800 billion to the deficit. Under the Bush administration, the average deficit was $245 in his eight years. Obama is facing a $1.2 trillion deficit before the “stimulus,” mortgage bailout, additional bank bailout, and Democrat spending bill. By the end of the year, the deficit could approach almost $2 trillion dollars. Even if he cuts it in half (doubtful under a Congress led by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi,) it would still be $900 billion or so — or more than three times the amount it averaged under George Bush.
Now for these spending cuts he has identified . . .
“We have already identified $2 trillion in savings over the next decade,” President Barack Obama said.
Well, last time I checked, Obama is only President for four years (and at most, eight, but let’s hope not.) The government may make 10-year projections, but they won’t mean much. It’s a great way to pass on big tax increases or spending cuts until someone else is in the White House. “I’ll save two trillion but most of it is in years 8 through 10 . . .”
Finally, Obama is pushing for implementation of a cap-and-trade system of limits and pollution allowances. The system would be a $300 billion tax increase . . . year, after year. In this economic situation, why would they want to increase the cost of energy?
At least Dr. Chu, the Energy Secretary, might be able to read the economic tea leaves. He told the New York Times that reaching an agreement on climate change legislation will be difficult in the current recession because any scheme would raise energy prices. “The concern about cap-and-trade in today’s economic climate is that a lot of money might flow to developing countries in a way that might not be completely politically sellable,” he said. That’s the mot sense I have head from an Obama administration official yet!