American Democracy With Checks and Balances is Broken; Media, Congress Failing

Budgets make policy.  Budgets are policy.

Politics has become, “Listen to what I say, but if you really want to know the truth, dig into where the money goes.”

President Obama is a perfect example of that.  Ignore the speeches: research the budgets.

In the era of sound bites and videos and You Tube, nobody seems to want to do any tough work any more.  So it is easy to lap up the cool aid of political talk and then ignore the budget.

But your money is being spent in the budget.  That is where words turn into actions.

And the Obama budgets so far are full of waste and mistakes and bad policy: that is why congress was told to rush through the stimulus which ultimately created the AIG bonus flap.

Now that’s an outrage.

If $165 million cause that “outrage”, think what a careful review of the other $170 some BILLION may have found?

And because of media acquiessence which had given Obama carte blanche, and a free ride most of the time, our Democrocy is just about broken.

Two legs of our system of checks and balances are paralyzed: Congress and the media.  The AIG snafu should be all the proof anyone needs.

Geithner and everyone who had their hands on the stimulus should be fired because rapid fire legislation and budgeting is almost always bad legislation and budgeting.

You ever do a 5 hour term paper in 20 minutes?

Obama already enjoys a huge Democrat majority in the congress and can get anything he wants: why add rushed legislation and other tricks to the supposedly “deliberative process”?

Because the budgets are hiding many serious problems that, when they see the light of day, can be fixed.

“Inside budgets you’ll find a lot of bad political judgment,” a friend and senior policy advisor told me. “Budget guys aren’t policy guys and political guys rarely have time to read the budget.  When the stimulus raced through the congress without hearings, you had no checks and balances.  Congress gave that role up.  So there were bound to be problems.”

The End of America As We Knew It?


By Philip Rucker
The Washington Post

It was a diverse group of veterans that showed up Monday morning at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Two retired generals, a blind man, three men with prosthetic legs and one in a wheelchair.

They gathered in the historic Roosevelt Room, where Teddy Roosevelt’s Medal of Honor is displayed in a corner. For some veterans leaders, it was their first visit to the West Wing. When President Obama came into the room, he shook their hands, thanked them for their service and asked each for his opinion.

“He kind of blew me away,” said Randy L. Pleva Sr., president of Paralyzed Veterans of America.

They thanked Obama for proposing an 11 percent increase in the budget of the Department of Veterans Affairs and expanding health care to more veterans. But the leaders of veterans service organizations warned the president that their goodwill would vanish if he pursued a budget proposal to bill veterans’ private insurance companies for treatment of amputations, post-traumatic stress disorder and other combat-related injuries.

One Vietnam veteran summoned his deep voice to address Obama, calling the change “a dumb move.” An Iraq veteran said the move would be “a deal-breaker” because it would represent an abrogation of the government’s responsibility to care for the wounded and could jeopardize veterans’ insurance benefits.

After 45 minutes, the veterans posed with Obama for photographs in the Oval Office but left with no resolution. Within hours they set a media campaign in motion. A headline on Drudge Report said Obama was betraying veterans. A top Democratic senator called the proposal “dead on arrival.” An American Legion spokesman railed against it in 42 interviews with conservative talk radio hosts.

On Wednesday, trying to gain control of the situation, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel summoned the same group of veterans back to the White House. “We said, ‘Look, don’t give [Republicans] an opportunity to slam you,’ ” said one veteran, who detailed the conversation only on the condition of anonymity. “I really don’t think there was malicious intent there. I think it was more a matter of a bad political judgment.”

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