Not Serious

After posting a piece this morning, immediately below, about why the “bipartisan budget commission” is a bogus idea that reflects badly on the capabilities of the President and the Congress, hours later I read this piece about how the President would announce today, in Nevada, $1.5 billion in new spending to “help spur local solutions” to the housing foreclosure problem in five states:  Nevada, Arizona, California, Michigan, and Florida.  What could be a clearer indication of why the “bipartisan budget commission” is a joke?

We’ve now seen how things will work.  The President will fly around the country, campaigning for Democratic Senators and Representatives and announcing new spending in their states and districts.  In the meantime, the “heavy lifting” of deficit reduction will be left for out-of-office political has-beens like former Senator Alan Simpson, who will be powerless to do anything other than recommend methods to reduce the deficit.  We all know how this will play out — the new spending will occur, while any proposed spending cuts won’t ever be enacted.

I sympathize with people who have lost their homes because they lost their jobs.  But how many of the people in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida who are experiencing foreclosure problems fall into that category?  How many of them stretched too far in buying their homes, or hoped to “flip” the houses when they bought in what used to be super-heated housing markets, or misrepresented their assets and income when they applied for their home loans?  How many of the banks involved just made bad loans?  Why should taxpayers in Ohio bail such people out, particularly when we have to borrow even more money to do it?

I think President Obama has shown his true stripes.  He doesn’t care about budget deficits or the federal debt, he cares about politics.  He doesn’t have the stomach to make the tough choices  because he cannot stand to suffer the political consequences that inevitably will result.  In that regard, note the sentence in the fourth paragraph of the linked article:  “He will be back in town-hall mode, a venue that aides say allows him to connect with people and distance himself from the messy process of Washington governing.” What could be a clearer indication that President Obama is taking the easy way out?

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