Obama Video Address: February 28, 2009

This weekend, President Obama discusses the budget that he sent to Congress this week. Its goals are ambitious with tons of spending and a promise to cut the deficit by $2 trillion in ten years. To say that this dynamic approach to our economic crisis has generated controversy is putting it mildly. The recent rant of CNBC analyst Rick Santelli represents the views of many in the country. President Obama’s call for citizens to be involved in their government cuts both ways. There is the loyal band of supporters who helped Obama get elected but there is also the loyal opposition. As James Pethokoukis of US News and World Report puts it:

Santelli, though, represents not a call to mere awareness but a call to action for those folks who, as Democrats like to put it, “work hard and play by the rules” — and who now are watching those that didn’t get rewarded. Here is what “Larry from L.A.” emails me:

“I was actually travelling and was watching [the Santelli rant] live from my hotel room while preparing for my day. It struck such a cord with me personally that it has, along with the way the stimulus plan has been handled by Congress and the Obama administration, ignited a fire in me to really get involved in the political process.”

via Rick Santelli: The Man Who Talked Back – Capital Commerce (usnews.com).

Personally, I find Santelli’s approach uncharitable to say the least. The notion that we now lay a blanket label of “losers …. who don’t carry the water” on an entire population, many of whom were not trying to game the system, highlights a disturbing selfish streak in the current American mindset. No one has a crystal ball telling them what will and will not work to get us out of this economic crisis. If someone did, we wouldn’t be here in the first place. Let’s hope that Barack Obama and the skilled economic advisors that surround him have a plan that works.

And now, the President of the United States of America:


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7 thoughts on “Obama Video Address: February 28, 2009

  1. Wrong, Rutherford. Santelli was not saying we should let people starve. Don’t you see we must have the freedom to lose or we don’t have the freedom to win? Why can’t you see this? Since when did the act of foreclosure become a crime against humanity?

    Your sense of entitlement is off the mark. I believe people are entitled to be treated humanly, to be free and respected. Natural rights stuff.

    You, on the other hand, feel people are entitled to enjoy material success, own nice homes and have soft hands.

    I argue that its your priorities that are materialistic, shallow and…selfish.

  2. What happened to the promise to cut the deficit in 4 years? How does Obama’s budget plan, which would raise the deficit 63% in two years, working to cut the deficit?

  3. I charitably call the new Obama plan theft. This really is income redistribution and nothing good of it will come long term. In addition, since the tax plan reduces the benefits of tax exemption for donations, I look for the charitable causes to be hurt dramatically and for government’s hand then forced to intervene, further compounding the problem.

    You might get a brief reprieve for a short time, but we truly are getting dangerously close to real socialism and it never works effectively.

  4. Tex,

    I know. I can’t believe it. I was so wrong about Obama. So wrong. I thought he’d go the pragmatic Clinton route.

    Did you hear is tone when addressing the oil companies the other day? He was angry. He starting to sound like a populist South American dictator when gives speeches.

    The weird thing is, I’m not sure anyone gets the magnitude of this. I’m amongst the sheep here in Michigan. My ass will ultimately probably get laid off because of this.

    No matter anyone’s political views, this is at the very least, the boldest economic move in American history. Money wise, no precedent for this can be found in World History.

  5. Drastic times call for drastic measures. I’ve said before and I’ll repeat that I’m not well enough versed in economics to predict Obama’s success or failure with this. Quite frankly what does worry me is that very smart men and women who are well versed in economics support and condemn Obama’s economic plans. It is a confusing time from which I hope we all emerge better off than we are now.

    DR, in a “normal” economy, I’m all for people who can’t afford their homes losing their homes. I’m all for personal responsibility. This is not a normal time. Do you want 65 – 70% of the neighborhoods in this country to go to pot as we let folks get sucked into the foreclosure abyss? You have to think about it this way, for every home that goes into foreclosure, the homes to the immediate left, right and across the street drop in value. Don’t we want to get in front of that snowball before it mows us all down?

  6. Tex, the charitable tax deduction piece of this is going to get a fight from lots of sides. I predict you may see bipartisan objection to that part of the budget.

    As for wealth redistribution, we currently, without any changes have a progressive tax structure, The rich pay a higher rate than the poor. So we already have wealth redistribution. Why are you suddenly upset about it? I could understand if the planned tax changes turned rich men into poor men and poor men into rich men but you know full well that ain’t going to happen.

    I heard a funny joke a day or so ago that came from either Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert, which said that the Republicans are doing themselves lots of favors by comparing Obama to that terrible villain …. Robin Hood. 🙂

  7. Rutherford, as a stockholder there are two items that concern me most about Obama. The only two forward predicting models that really matter: (1) The Stock Market; (2) Consumer Confidence.

    As I type this, since the January 20th inauguration, the S&P 500 has sunk almost 17%; Consumer confidence is now at historic lows. Since both are predictors and not historical, I think it safe to assume that the unbiased models not caring about party or politic have spoken loud and clear about your Dear Leader’s wants.

    While Obama’s plans have obviously not had sufficient time to filter through the markets, looking at the two predictors of successes, it looks grim. Obama’s plans have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.

    There is now no denying that.

    As a taxpayer, I never did favor a “progressive” tax structure. One, I think everybody should pay some nominal amount of tax if they work – always believed that, even at minimum wage levels, if for no other reason than they can experience some of the cost and affiliated pain.

    Two, I have never thought anybody should receive anything of benefit without some recompense. I believe it creates a dependency and I believe LBJ’s Great Society programs have proven that beyond doubt.

    Personally, I’m no more upset now than I was when I was paying the higher taxes. But obviously, many people are. I will tell you – and this is strictly a guess. There is a groundswell of trouble brewing that I think most liberals, yourself included, are not cognizant.

    I don’t know how many of those being plugged for higher taxes would consider themselves Kings like that from which Robin Hood stole, but I do know it was more palatable to be paying more in taxes when the higher wage earners at least felt their net worth offsetting inflation. That is not happening now.

    And I do think in the months ahead unless things change dramatically, you may not be laughing at the jokes. But that is just a guess. 😉

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