After opening his eyes a crack and writing in the Times that Obama wasn't the guy he thought he was, David Brooks became a problem for Barack Obama.
On Tuesday, I wrote that the Obama budget is a liberal, big government document that should make moderates nervous. The column generated a large positive response from moderate Obama supporters who are anxious about where the administration is headed. It was not so popular inside the White House. Within a day, I had conversations with four senior members of the administration and in the interest of fairness, I thought I’d share their arguments with you today.
Captain Ed takes him to task for airing Rahm Emmanuel's point of view in his column, but I'm going to disagree with that. When's the last time you saw some lib commentator or columnist give Bush a chance to respond to the tripe they wrote about him?
Of course, the nonsense the admin's flacks handed down was lengendary:
In the first place, they do not see themselves as a group of liberal crusaders. <b>They see themselves as pragmatists who inherited a government and an economy that have been thrown out of whack. They’re not engaged in an ideological project to overturn the Reagan Revolution, a fight that was over long ago. They’re trying to restore balance: nurture an economy so that productivity gains are shared by the middle class and correct the irresponsible habits that developed during the Bush era.
The budget, they continue, isn’t some grand transformation of America. It raises taxes on energy and offsets them with tax cuts for the middle class. It raises taxes on the rich to a level slightly above where they were in the Clinton years and then uses the money as a down payment on health care reform. That’s what the budget does. It’s not the Russian Revolution.
Yeah, irresponsible habits like figuring out ways to direct capital where it's more efficient. What a bunch of whiners. How anybody could type the above with a straight face is beyond me:
Take energy prices and taxes. Obama's got enough spending to double the federal debt in 10 years or so...to pay for this, and remember that the dems are the "pay as you go crowd", they're going to need to raise some revenue. So what do we have here? Their cap and trade system is not only going to first-order raise energy prices, but will have numerous downstream effects as the tax gets passed onto consumers.
Energy is one of the cornerstones of the economy. Increasing its prices at the consumer level means more than just a higher heating and/or electrical bill at home. It means at work your company's operating expenses will be higher, tying up money that could be used somewhere else (and look out for the EPA creating new building regulations forcing companies to spend more to "greenify" their properties).
At the grocery store, it takes some energy in the form of gas to move the food from point A to point B. Higher energy costs, higher food prices. That goes for just about every consumer good in America, for that matter. We'll have higher shipping rates. Higher airfares. And so on.
On to health care:
Third, they say, Republicans should welcome the budget’s health care ideas. The Medicare reform represents a big cut in entitlement spending. It amounts to means-testing the system. It introduces more competition and cuts corporate welfare. These are all Republican ideas.
Now THIS is just Orwellian. The stimulus (spendulus) bill creates a massive health care IT infrastructure and a large bureacracy to oversee health care planning and guide patient care. There are regional sub-committees in place to ensure local "compliance" with the findings of the central panel.
How is this going to lead to more competition, exactly? And how is this corporate welfare, anyway? Okay, now I see where Captain Ed had a point.
But, wait! This op-ed gets even better (or worse):
Fourth, the White House claims the budget will not produce a sea of red ink. Deficits are now at a gargantuan 12 percent of G.D.P., but the White House aims to bring this down to 3.5 percent in 2012. Besides, the long-range debt is what matters, and on this subject President Obama is hawkish.
How the hell does doubling the national debt and then dishonestly claiming that we'll pay for it by not extending the surge to 2019 make Obama hawkish on the debt?
I can't read much more of this. Two more smaller snippets from the Obama people that really stand out as blazingly dishonest:
He is extremely committed to entitlement reform and is plotting politically feasible ways to reduce Social Security as well as health spending. ...
Fifth, the Obama folks feel they spend as much time resisting liberal ideas as enacting them.
Hahahahahahaha! You almost have to admire this level of shameless lying. The sad thing is, nobody will call them on it. David Brooks proves that one out right here.