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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Obama’s solution to deficit: spending, ObamaCare, and tax hikes

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - We expected Barack Obama to offer little new in his speech on the budget; I’m not sure we expected as much repetition as we got. Bookended by rhetoric on the kind of America in which he wanted to live, Obama gave a four-step plan to confront the massive and crippling deficits ahead of us that entirely relies on the kind of proposals he’s already aired in the past. He gave little in the way of specifics, and made no mention at all of his deficit commission 'again'. Instead of offering specifics on cuts, Obama instead offered specifics on … 'more spending':

The first step in our approach is to keep annual domestic spending low by building on the savings that both parties agreed to last week – a step that will save us about $750 billion over twelve years. We will make the tough cuts necessary to achieve these savings, including in programs I care about, but I will not sacrifice the core investments we need to grow and create jobs. We’ll invest in medical research and clean energy technology. We’ll invest in new roads and airports and broadband access. We will invest in education and job training. We will do what we need to compete and we will win the future.

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Anonymous Kevin D. Williamson said...

(National Review Online) - The president’s deficit-reduction speech was a flop. Either he does not really get the scale of the problem or he has decided to punt.

Even if we took his plan seriously — and it is hard to — $4 trillion in forgone deficits over twelve years does not amount to very much in the absence of a restructuring of the entitlement programs. This is what Paul Ryan gets and Barack Obama does not: The scale of those unfunded entitlement liabilities is shocking, in the neighborhood of $100 trillion. Obama is talking about eliminating some deductions for 2 percent of U.S. households and squeezing some phantom efficiency out of the Pentagon, but he adamantly refuses to address the three things that absolutely must be addressed: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Oh, wait, he’s going to have a committee of experts. Never mind, problem solved!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 3:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael Tanner said...

(National Review Online) - President Obama’s speech today was reminiscent of Stalin’s Order Number 227 to the Russian generals at the Battle of Stalingrad: “Not One Step Backward.”

Essentially, the president declared that he still wants to raise taxes, that he is opposed to any substantive changes to entitlements — oh, and he wants to raise taxes. He did suggest that if somehow he hasn’t been able to cut spending by 2014 (anyone taking bets?), he would appoint a commission to recommend spending cuts and (surprise) tax increases. A commission: Now there’s an original idea.

But the president’s speech does accomplish one thing. As he intended, it draws a clear distinction between his ideas and those of his opponents such as Paul Ryan. The president wants to spend (or as he repeatedly put it “invest”) more and raise taxes to pay for it. As I wrote this morning, he envisions a smaller debt but a much bigger government. Congressman Ryan, in contrast, envisions a smaller debt as part of a smaller government that leaves both more money and more responsibility in the hands of individuals.

Unlike the petty budget squabbling we’ve seen in recent weeks, that is a debate worth having.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 3:54:00 PM  

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