Obama, Fuzzy Numbers, and Electioneering

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

These CBO projections have been going about some. They show that Barack Obama’s reference, in his speech last night, to a trillion dollar deficit projection was dishonest.

Currently we’re suffering from the consequences of perpetual electioneering. The narrative John Boehner is pushing is no better than Obama’s. The theme of spending and the contributions of SS and Medicare to the deficit are pure bunk and serve only to advance election agendas. I’m sure John Boehner’s aware of the housing crash and the cost of our so-called wars. He could simply come out and say: I disagree with Social Security and Medicare as government run programs. They’re cost may be worth it. But I disagree with them. At least this would be honest. However, such a position is not good for getting elected. This is the equivalent of a dealership that decides to put the real cost of an automobile on the window of showroom vehicles.

Anybody who has any gifts of strategy could have advised Republicans about how to manage their affairs after 2008. Simple: allow no Obama policy to see the light of day so that come 2012 they could argue his ineffectiveness. This is classic. The idea is that if Republicans supported an Obama initiative and it showed any evidence of success, then this would make success in future elections impossible, thus the irony of resistance. Strategically this makes perfect sense. But what’s good for elections is not good for voters, as even those who disagree with Medicare benefit from it, and even those who might have disagreed with a larger stimulus, most likely would have benefitted from projected employment opportunities.

Which makes Obama’s factual error stand out even more. He’s fully aware of the CBO numbers but chose to make a willful gaffe, revealing the insidious nature of electioneering. I think he’s been wrong all along to be lost following the scent red herrings. To promote them himself is yet more disappointment to this voter.


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