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Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Obama and the "spending freeze"

I'll skip over the fact that Obama's spending "freeze" is about as much of a real freeze as is Netanyahu's settlement "freeze." The fact is that, no matter how much of an actual freeze it is, in proposing such a thing, Obama comes out more openly than ever before in embracing and promoting the right-wing "big gummint is the problem, cut gummint spending" philosophy than ever before.

But should this really be a surprise? No. Listen to Obama during the 2008 campaign:

"I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. They felt like with all the excesses of the 60s and the 70s and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think he tapped into what people were already feeling. Which is we want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing."
I called him out on that talk at the time, even moreso for his trashing of Vietnam war protesters than for his embrace, even if indirect, of Reagan, but it was a very telling talk. And now, even while keeping gays in the closet with his continuing refusal to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Obama comes out of his own closet, the one on the right.

By the way, the amount of money to be "saved" by this freeze is interesting. We're told it's $250 billion over ten years, or $25 billion/year. Which is almost exactly what the "surge" in Afghanistan is costing. An expense about which the debate in the media, and in Congress, was close to nil.

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