July 12, 2011

Look What We Made the Obamacle Do!

Hatched by Dafydd

First it was "Hope and Change," where any kind of change would make things better, any government spending at all would be "stimulative," and hope arose from the mere fact that a man who called himself "post-partisan" and "post-racial" had planted himself in la Casa Blanca. Under his reign, the oceans would subside, the Earth would heal, and like Milo Minderbinder's M&M Enterprises, everybody would have a share.

This idyllic intro-interlude quickly morphed into "gangster government," as Michael Barone put it: a lethal combination of legal bribery from unions and other special-interest groups, followed by wholesale privileges (literally, "private laws") granted to favored constituencies, from auto-worker unions, to teachers, to gays, to federally privileged minorities, to Silicon Valley billionaires, to silicone-mountain Hollywood elites. The president had discovered that democracy is messy, and even those who disagree with Obama are allowed to vote, protest, organize, and voice their opinions.

Faced with such disunity and "chaos" coming from bitter people who cling to their religion and their guns, what was a newly anointed Keeper of the Vision supposed to do? Naturally he had to turn to criminal mobs to appease the liberal mobs who made him -- and who could break him just as easily.

But at last, after years of increasingly dirty (and incompetent) governance coupled with crony "capitalism," the administration of Barack H. Obama slithered into its third and terminal phase: extortion government, in which the President of the United States directly threatens to inflict grievous damage, in a planned and calculating way, upon the most vulnerable of his own people -- unless his political opponents kow-tow to his every demand. (Actually, as Barack Obama considers himself a "fellow citizen of the world," perhaps he doesn't consider them "his people" in the first place.)

In a sense stronger than merely symbolic, Barack Hussein Obama has become Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre, architect of the French Revolution, the bloodiest community-organizing mob action in history.

Witness: France during the Terror had the guillotine, the "national barber;" America, held hostage, has the deficit -- the national credit card. The administration has maxed out the national credit card (even gone over the limit), and the president is beside himself that he cannot continue charging, charging, and charging to pay for his caviar tastes in government largess.

So today, in a fit of pique, Obama threatens that unless Republicans agree immediately to a Brobdingnagian hike in the national credit card's credit limit and to trilliions of dollars in new taxes and spending, he will deliberately, and with malice aforethought, refuse to send out Social Security and Veterans Benefits checks.

From CBS:

"I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," Mr. Obama said in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, according to excerpts released by CBS News.

"Look what you made me do!"

But of course, the administration is responsible for all federal spending. Congress can only appropriate; it's up to the Executive actually to send out the checks. And that means the president has the legal authority and obligation to prioritize spending.

In this case, he has the duty to privilege certain spending -- interest and principal payments to bond holders and "entitlement" payments to seniors and veterans, among others -- over other types of spending, including payments to doctors and hospitals under ObamaCare; block grants to states; foreign aid; funding of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, paying vendors and federal contractors; paying for travel by government employees (including the president, Mrs. President, and their posse/entourage); money to the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Mental Health, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and every other federally funded foundation or institute (no matter how worthy); and even paying federal workers.

Not to mention the hundreds of billions of dollars appropriated by Congress every year for porkbarrel projects in the districts of powerful representatives and senators.

Money comes into the American treasury all the time: quarterly tax payments, corporate taxes, employee withholding, sales of government property, fees, licenses, and so forth. I understand that such continuous income greatly exceeds the bare-bones payment obligations of the United States government -- entitlement payments and debt service. In other words, we have enough revenue to meet those obligations; just not enough to meet them in addition to all the other expensive projects that the Obamunists want to fund at the same time. (What's most galling, of course, is that Barack Obama himself and his cronies in Congress are the very culprits who brought on this terrible financial catastrophe in the first place. "Look what I made you make me do!")

The obvious solution presents itself.

Every large corporation must have a budget; and every such budget must, among other requirements, prioritize the corporation's financial obligations: What gets paid first? What gets paid second, third, nth? I suspect that if a publicly traded corporation was so mismanaged that it didn't even have a contingency plan for what bills to pay if it experienced a sudden revenue shortfall, not only would it be liable for massive lawsuits, but the SEC and the Justice Department might open a criminal investigation of the corporate officers.

Thinking of the federal government as the nation's largest (if not the world's largest) corporation, then mustn't it, too, have a heirarchy of payments to guide the president during a temporary shortfall? Isn't the obvious lack of such an emergency plan, resulting in threats to withhold pledged funds to those who could literally die from such embezzlement -- which is what the president's threat amounts to -- the very definition of financial malfeasance and nonfeasance?

But this sort of hysterical extortion is the liberal's stock in trade. I cannot begin to count how many times a Democratic governor or mayor has responded to reduced revenues by threatening to furlough police and firefighters first, before even considering laying off the thousands of non-essential government workers, from state license form filler-outers and scrutinizers, to inspectors who prowl neighborhoods to make sure nobody has the wrong kind of front lawn or too high a fence, to complicated "diversity" (affirmative action) schemes, to pothole repair, to state highway construction, to light rail, to establishment of new state parks, to city-hall barbers, to spiraling billions to state "education" funding.

It's a vile and shabby trick: Pandering to the liberal mob, Obama attacks the weakest and most vulnerable citizens by directly threatening them with penury and starvation unless Republicans cave. "Nice pension you have there; sure would be a shame if something was to happen to it..." Such intimidation of America's own citizens is so thuggish, so antidemocratic, so unAmerican that it easily rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors in the meaning of Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution.

Any ordinary person would burn with shame to threaten the old, the sick, and wounded vets just to enact his pet policies, against the clearly expressed will of the people. I can only conclude that Obama's narcissism is so advanced that he has become a functional sociopath -- the anti-Clinton -- literally incapable of feeling anybody's pain, responsive only to his own sense of aristocratic entitlement and his outrage at being thwarted.

Obama's "audacity" is positively brazen; it doesn't even occur to him to conceal his real motivation. He nakedly commands this issue to go away until after his presumed re-coronation next year:

Mr. Obama has repeatedly said he wants a deal that would allow the U.S. to avoid confronting the issue again until after the 2012 elections and vowed on Monday that he would "not sign a 30-day or a 60-day or a 90-day extension."

He insists that both sides "put politics aside" -- and simply enact the Democratic minority agenda. There's post-partisanship for you, Chicago style. What's next? Will President B.O. take a page from the National Lampoon? "If Republicans don't raise taxes and jack up the debt ceiling, we'll kill this dog!"

November 2012 cannot come soon enough. I only wonder... if Barack Obama continues on the path he has trodden for the past two and a half years, will he become the first incumbent president to lose all fifty-seven states?

Cross-posted on Hot Air's rogues' gallery...

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, July 12, 2011, at the time of 4:36 PM


The following hissed in response by: snochasr

Very well said and utterly brilliant, were it not also so obvious. And perhaps that will be the Obamacle's undoing. Unlike Clinton, he is NOT an exceptionally good liar, but a bad one, despite constant practice. People are starting to see his blatant lies and threats for exactly what they are, with predictable adverse consequences for him politically. Too bad we cannot make him a HALF term president.

The above hissed in response by: snochasr [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 13, 2011 6:06 AM

The following hissed in response by: MikeR

You made a claim that there is enough money to cover our bare-bones obligations. I have heard otherwise: That in the month of August, we would essentially have to choose between paying our soldiers, Social Security, and debt service. Did you have a source?

The above hissed in response by: MikeR [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 13, 2011 6:42 AM

The following hissed in response by: LarryD

MikeR: MarketWatch and the Bipartisan Policy Center, h/t Mark Tapscott and Betsy Newmark. Here's the breakdown:

  • The federal government receives approximately $200 billion in revenues each month.

  • Interest on the national debt in August will be approximately $29 billion.

  • Social Security will cost about $49. 2 billion.

  • Medicare and Medicaid will cost about $50 billion.

  • Active duty military pay will cost about $2.9 billion.

  • Veterans affairs programs will cost about $2.9 billion.

The above hissed in response by: LarryD [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 13, 2011 8:42 AM

The following hissed in response by: MikeR

Saw this too:

Still, though I think the federal government is grossly overblown, that would be one heck of a government shutdown. You need 44% cuts overall, but looks like, aside from essential defense, Medicare, Social Security, debt service - more like four-fifth cuts.

The above hissed in response by: MikeR [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 13, 2011 9:45 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dishman

I believe that under the 14th Amendment we are constitutionally prohibited from defaulting.

His threat is empty.

The above hissed in response by: Dishman [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 13, 2011 8:15 PM

The following hissed in response by: wtanksleyjr

No, we're not prohibited from defaulting; that's impossible to prohibit (it's like banning falling). It prohibits repudiating federal debt, which means we can't say that we don't actually owe it nor that we won't pay it back.

This is exactly what I predicted; and of course the original post is correct that Obama steered us into this position and is responsible for choosing which way we're going to crash now. BUT, Congress allowed him to steer because the Republicans were showboating and grasping for power when all they had was a weak hand.

What they SHOULD have done was pass a law controlling HOW the Feds shut down in a fiscal emergency like this one. That would leave Obama without any alternative but to perform a responsible reallocation of spending to prevent that shutdown from triggering and taking away his control of the government.

It's not too late for the Repubs, but they'll have to "kick the can" by passing a law that combines the legislation of how the shutdown must occur with an extension of the debt ceiling. The important thing is that servicing the debt (an actual commitment) must be provided for at the expense of otherwise budgeted items when a shutdown is looming (while there's still time to delay the actual unservicability of the debt). The president has the power to do that, but he has no incentive and would take inconceivable heat for doing it.

The above hissed in response by: wtanksleyjr [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 14, 2011 5:50 PM

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