Thursday, April 14, 2011

President Obama's Political Cynicism

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...Image via Wikipedia
Keith Hennessey thinks that President Obama's budget plan is cynical. In The President’s budget strategy, Hennessey writes:
The President's new strategy guarantees two more years of fiscal stalemate and poisons the well on the most important economic policy question facing American policymakers: how to permanently solve the long-term fiscal problem caused by the unsustainable growth of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
That is a more concise summary of Jake Tapper's reaction  a couple of hours after President Obama's speech on Wednesday. Tapper framed the President's position with the title: Throw Grandma From the Train and he compared two of Obama's statements that underscore the cynicism of his latest political maneuvering:
President Obama at the GOP House retreat, January 2010:

“We're not going to be able to do anything about any of these entitlements if what we do is characterize whatever proposals are put out there as, ‘Well, you know, that's -- the other party's being irresponsible. The other party is trying to hurt our senior citizens. That the other party is doing X, Y, Z.”

President Obama today:

“One vision has been championed by Republicans in the House of Representatives and embraced by several of their party’s presidential candidates…This is a vision that says up to 50 million Americans have to lose their health insurance in order for us to reduce the deficit. And who are those 50 million Americans? Many are someone’s grandparents who wouldn’t be able afford nursing home care without Medicaid. Many are poor children. Some are middle-class families who have children with autism or Down’s syndrome. Some are kids with disabilities so severe that they require 24-hour care. These are the Americans we’d be telling to fend for themselves.”

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