Archive for the ‘omnibus’ Category

Obama’s Economy Now: Once You Break It, You Own It

March 23, 2009

Now that President Obama has taken the “Harry Truman pledge” about the economy by saying “The buck stops with me,” it also seems appropriate for him to take the “Colin Powell pledge” by acknowledging of himself, “Once you break it, you are going to own it.”

By Jon Kraushar
Fox News

The first quote is a paraphrase of the sign on former President Truman’s desk reading, “The buck stops here” and the second is what former Secretary of State Powell says he told President Bush in 2002 about the danger of invading Iraq. Powell told The Atlantic magazine:

…what I did say was…once you break it, you are going to own it, and we’re going to be responsible for 26 million people standing there looking at us…And it’s going to take all the oxygen out of the political environment …

The real problem with Obama and the sentiments expressed in the two quotes above is that while the president would pay a political price by failing to turn around the economy, the buck actually stops with taxpayers and if the economy becomes even more broken we, the taxpayers, will own the consequences.

The question is, will Obama clean up this mess or add to it? Our fortunes—in every sense of the word—are riding on the outcome of that gamble.

The total tab for taxpayers is already mind-boggling. So far, it includes the $410-billion omnibus spending bill (with more than 8,500 earmarks) that Obama signed on March 11. Then there’s the $787-billion economic stimulus bill which passed with no Republican support in the House and only three Republican votes in the Senate. On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office predicted that the president’s proposed budget would produce a $9.3-trillion deficit during the period from 2010-19. That’s $2.3 trillion worse than the White House predicted in its budget and, if accurate, would make the deficit unsustainable, according to the president’s own budget director!

Further raising the stakes is a new program announced on Monday by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner that would partner the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Treasury Department with private investors to buy from banks at a discount up to $1 trillion in deeply distressed (aka “toxic”) assets—mostly from soured mortgage loans—with the goal of finally properly pricing the assets and then, hopefully, selling them at a profit in the future. Hopefully.

According to The Wall Street Journal this past weekend:

“To encourage investors to buy those assets, the U.S. government will offer lucrative subsidies and shoulder much of the risk.”

That risk and other unknowns in all of this are staggering. Not since the Great Depression have we bet “the house”— “the house” being the economy—to this extent.

Both the danger and the opportunity of the situation take on additional meaning when you look into the origin of Truman’s phrase. “The buck stops here” derives from the expression “pass the buck.” In frontier days, during poker games, a knife with a buckhorn handle was placed in front of the person meant to deal next and if they didn’t want to, they “passed the buck.”

We’ve let Obama do the dealing and the stack of chips he’s gambling with is huge. — After all it’s our money and our nest eggs! The president could bankrupt our country (as New Hampshire Republican Senator Judd Gregg warned recently) or his plans could help it rebound, as Christina Romer, head of the White House Council of Economic Advisors has predicted.

Read the rest:
http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/20
09/03/23/kraushar_obama_economy/

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Obama Rhetoric, Reality Clash, Causing Backpedaling, Messy Messages

March 21, 2009

Barack Obama’s optimistic campaign rhetoric has crashed headlong into the stark reality of governing.

In office two months, he has backpedaled on an array of issues, gingerly shifting positions as circumstances dictate while ducking for political cover to avoid undercutting his credibility and authority. That’s happened on the Iraq troop withdrawal timeline, on lobbyists in his administration and on money for lawmakers’ pet projects.

From the Associated Press

”Change doesn’t happen overnight,” Obama said at a town-hall style event in California on Thursday, seeming to acknowledge the difficulty in translating campaign pledges into actual policy. Asked by a campaign volunteer how his supporters can be most effective in helping him bring the sweeping change he promised, Obama said: ”Patience.”

The event was part of a weeklong media blitz that Obama had hoped would help sell his budget — the foundation of the health care, education and energy changes he promised in the campaign. But his budget message was overshadowed for much of the week by the public furor over $165 million in executive bonuses paid by American International Group Inc. after the insurance giant had received billions in federal bailout funds.

”There was a lot of excitement during the campaign and we were talking about the importance of bringing about change,” Obama told the volunteer. ”We are moving systematically to bring about change. But change is hard.”

It’s the same delicate dance each of his predecessors faced in moving from candidate to president, only to find he couldn’t stick exactly by his word. Each was hamstrung by his responsibility to the entire nation and to individual constituencies, changes in the foreign and domestic landscapes, and the trappings of the federal government and Washington itself.

Once in the White House, presidents quickly learn they are only one part of the political system, not in charge of it. They discover the trade-offs they must make and the parties they must please to get things done. Inevitably, they find out that it’s impossible to follow through completely on their campaign proposals.

For now at least, Obama’s deviations have served only to invite occasional cries of hypocrisy from some Republicans and infrequent grumbles of disappointment from some Democrats. He has popularity on his side, and it seems people mostly are chalking up his moves to much-needed flexibility at a difficult time.

But the shifts could take a toll over time if they become a persistent pattern and the public grows weary. His overall job-performance marks could suffer and jeopardize his likely re-election campaign in 2012. People could perceive him as a say-one-thing-do-another politician and the Democratic-controlled Congress could see him as a weak chief executive.

Obama’s moves and maneuvering for political cover run the gamut.

He spent most of the campaign promising to bring combat troops home from Iraq 16 months after taking office, though he left himself wiggle room.

After directing his commanders to map out a responsible pullout, President Obama adjusted that timeline to 19 months and said 50,000 troops, about one-third of the current force, would remain.

While campaigning, Obama frequently swiped at lobbyists, saying, ”When I am president, they won’t find a job in my White House.”

Then he took office and had to fill thousands of positions. He did allow former lobbyists to join his administration. But he imposed ethics rules barring them from dealing with matters related to their lobbying work or joining agencies that they had lobbied in the previous two years. In several cases, he has made outright exceptions.

Obama the candidate pledged to curb spending directed at lawmakers’ pet projects; they’re known in Washington as ”earmarks.” Obama the president signed an ”imperfect” $410 billion budget measure that included 8,500 earmarks.

He had little choice. The measure, a holdover from last year, was needed to keep government from shutting down. But to blunt the fallout, Obama outlined guidelines to ensure tighter restraints on the spending and made a new promise: Future earmarks won’t become law so easily.

As for politics, Obama campaigned as a new-style leader who chastised partisanship and renounced divisiveness in Washington. But as president, Obama’s White House aides wasted little time pouncing on Republicans and mocking conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh as the GOP’s leader.

On fiscal matters, Obama the candidate urged Americans to tighten their belts. Once in office and saddled with recession, though, he signed a $787 billion stimulus measure and outlined a $3.6 trillion budget plan that will plunge the nation deeper into the red. But again he paired the proposal with a new promise, to cut the deficit by more than half by the end of his first term.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/03/
21/washington/AP-Rhetoric-Reality-Analys
is.html?_r=1

Sun Setting On American Superpower?

March 15, 2009

In February, 1979, when religious extremists overthrew and ousted the Shah of Iran, an immediate search began for “who lost Iran.”

For many Americans living in wealth at home, this may be of little concern.  But some would say, once the Shah was out of Iran we started on the road to today: an Iran on the brink of having a nuclear bomb and Isreal fearing for its very existance — a situation that has involved the U.S. for three or four decades and could ruin our whole day for years to come; unless a nuclear war comes first.

North Korea also has nuclear weapons and long range missiles and is making noise about starting trouble yet again.

Barack Obama needs to look himself in the mirror now and say, “Things are happening on my watch” and get rid of the notion that “We inherited a mess.”

Obama using recession to justify largest expansion of federal authority ever; U.S. less safe

Last week China’s Premier Wen Jiabao wondered aloud and very publically if the U.S. could be trusted to get its economic house in order.  He didn’t say this while George W. Bush was president: he said it two days ago.U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon even called the U.S. a “deadbeat” this last week.

Wen Jiabao wondered about the credibility of the U.S. after Obama failed to respond convincingly to an incident at sea between Chinese ships and an unarmed American naval vessel — and after Obama borrowed over $740 billion for the stimulus and another $410 billion for the omnibus, thus doubling the U..S. debt.

Wen Jiabao and Ban Ki-moon didn’t say, “I don’t have confidence in Bush; I do have confidence in Obama because he inherited this mess.”

When Russia maneuvered to eliminate the U.S. air base at Manas, Kyrgyzstan  recently, did anyone hear from Mr. Medvedev and Putin in Russia, “We did this because of Bush.  We are just peachy with Obama”?

When North Korea thumbed its nose at the United States last week, and threatened war, the White House indicated that it probably would not shoot down the long-range missile North Korea threatens to launch.

Japan had to step in and say, “We’ll take a shot because that North Korean missile is a threat.”

When Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez offered “a whole island with an airdrome, which we can use as a temporary base for strategic bombers,” to Russia yesterday, he didn’t say, “because of Bush.”

And when the Russians failed to say, “That’s a crazy idea,” it wasn’t because of Bush but it was because of Obama.

So we all need to think now that Barack Obama promises a lot of things that might, maybe, possibly could lead to a better America: health care, improved schools, a new energy system, the curing of cancer, the elimination of global warming, and etc. — all great stuff.

But will there be people asking: “Who lost Japan?  Who lost Korea?  Who lost Afghanistan, Pakistan and other nations?”

And will the certain losses matter, juxtaposed to the maybe gains?

And if American debt is so great that China stops buying U.S. Treasuries, or China “calls the shots” with America, will that matter?

And if our border with Mexico becomes overrun with Mexican drug cartels, I mean, just suppose, while we are looking the other way and fixing health care and spending our limited treasury on everything else, will that matter?  I am just dreaming here, I know.

That could never happen.  But just suppose…..

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

PS:  I am starting to hate this “inherited” BS.  Obama ran to get into the White House, along with all the goodies and problems that came with that.

Nobody “inherits” the White House unless death is involved….

Obama, Israel Split On Iran?

Obama Maybe Doesn’t Know: Nice guys get finished first

Related:
Obama Has Failed To Spell Out His Vision

Analysts: Russia outmaneuvered U.S. over air base

 Obama Could Lose Afghanistan, Pakistan

 Obama bans term “enemy combatant,” joins “terrorist” in unusable list

Obama Policy On Gitmo, Taliban, Afghanistan, Intel: As Stupid as It Gets

http://urdunews.wordpress.com/200
9/03/14/zardari-remains-firm-prot
ests-continue/

 Obama Backs Off, Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile

Obama: Troop move to Mexican border under consideration

Obama Could Lose Afghanistan, Pakistan

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

 Barack, Hillary: Moronic “Reset” Idea for Relations With Russia

China:
China’s Love/Hate Relationship With The U.S

Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy
.
Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

 Global Economy Weakness Leading To Social Unrest

Stimulus: China Will Fund U.S. Debt But “We Hate You Guys”

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITIC
S/03/15/cheney.interview/index.html

Behind the U.S. and China At Sea Incident

Pelosi’s Stimulus II? Lawmakers Propose No Cost, High Employment Energy Package

China Buying Oil, Uranium, Gold, Other Products At Bargain Prices

Russia, “Desperate For Cash,” Sells Oil to China In “Very Bad Deal”

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?


American adversaries are thumbing their noses, while this man wanted to run the census and now will supervize the writing of a measure to federalize schools. Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009.(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)

Obama’s Hope, Post-Partisan, Post-Racial Promises Were All BS

March 13, 2009

Many Americans swallowed a big load of BS last autumn and elected Barack Obama President of the United States.  The promise that things would be different in Washington this time — no earmarks, no partisanship, and a spirit of hope — have vaporized.  Or rather, they have been swept away by Team Obama’s arrogance with attacks on Rush Limbaugh and a stimulus, omnibus and future budget so eager to spend that I feel completly hopeless.

And taxes are rising and certain to rise more in the future.

My Children and grandchildren now alreay have a debt of staggering proportions to deal with — that’s their national inheritance.

They may find a socialist America where nobody has the incentive to work — work and pay will only mean more taxation and ugly admonishments: from the White House.

John McCain calls it generational theft: and that is exactly what it is…

Related:
Obama’s mythical mystique of government and science and their inherent moral benevolence

Obama’s Schools Will Have To Follow Federal Rules, Like Socialist, Communist Schools

****************

By Michael Gerson
The Washington Post

In Mark Strand’s pleasingly odd poem “The Tunnel,” the author is tormented by a persistent, moaning man in front of his house. The narrator vainly orders him to leave, makes obscene gestures through the window and destroys the living room furniture “to prove I own nothing of value.” Finally, the author takes refuge in his basement and digs a tunnel to escape — only to emerge moaning outside a house, where “I have been waiting for days.”

Against all my expectations, President Obama is having this effect on me.

Following Obama during the New Hampshire primary, I saw a candidate who — though I disagreed with him on many issues — defended idealism and rhetoric against the supremely cynical Clinton machine, who brought a religious sensibility to matters of social justice, who took care to understand and accommodate the arguments of others, who provided a temperamental contrast to culture-war politics.
After just weeks of governing, that image seems like a brittle, yellowed photograph, buried at the back of a drawer.

Obama’s proposed budget shows all the vision, restraint and grace of a grasping committee chairman, using the cover of a still-unresolved banking crisis to push through a broad liberal wish list before anyone notices its costs and complications. The pledge of “responsibility” has become the massive expansion of debt, the constant allocation of blame to others and the childish cultivation of controversy with conservative media figures to favorably polarize the electorate. The pledge of “honesty” and “sacrifice” has become the deceptive guarantee of apparently limitless public benefits at the expense of a very few. The pledge of “bipartisan” cooperation has become an attempt to shove Republicans until their backs reach some wall of outrage and humiliation.

None of this is new or exceptional — which is the point. It is exactly the way things have always been done.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn
/content/article/2009/03/12/AR2009
031202761.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Related:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03
/12/tea-party-update-revolution-is-brewing/

Economic Abyss could deepen again

March 12, 2009

A deepening pessimism is taking root in the American economy as joblessness rises inexorably toward 9 percent, businesses are failing, U.S. exports have tanked and Wall Street is in a depression.

Obama: Playing not to lose

Billionaire investor Warren Buffet declares the economy has “fallen off a cliff,” and sees recovery further off than ever. Economists talk gloomily of a long recession followed by years of anemic growth as the once-mighty global economy shrinks for the first time since World War II.

Donald Lambro
The Washington Times

The administration’s plans to bail out failing banks, buy worthless toxic assets and “jump start” a listless economy now seem tame in the face of a dawning realization that the fierce financial infection is far more systemic than they had first imagined.

Global economic analysts here now talk of bank failures in the trillions of dollars, dwarfing the rapidly depleting $350 billion in TARP rescue funds that the Treasury has at its disposal. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is raising its premiums on the nation’s banks to replenish its shrinking fund at a time when many banks are too weak to pony up more money.

President Obama‘s honeymoon, if he ever really had one, is being cut short by new criticism from Wall Street, Republicans and Democrats in Congress and, increasingly, the business community.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/ne
ws/2009/mar/12/abyss-could-deepen-again/

Related:
Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy

Obama’s three-pronged economic strategy: delay, delay and delay

China Buying Oil, Uranium, Gold, Other Products At Bargain Prices

Pelosi’s Stimulus II? Lawmakers Propose No Cost, High Employment Energy Package

China Buying Oil, Uranium, Gold, Other Products At Bargain Prices

Russia, “Desperate For Cash,” Sells Oil to China In “Very Bad Deal”
.
Even Democrats Showing Signs Of Economic Despair, Worry at White House Inertia

Pelosi: Congress Needs to ‘Keep the Door Open’ to Second Stimulus Package

Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy

March 12, 2009

While President Obama has spent $1 billion in borrowed money each hour in his first 50 days as president, and more spending is in the offing, what did America gain?

Well: Obanma may have bought himself a second term and there may be some feel good relief to people and businesses, which is real — but what did America gain?

In the time since Barack Obama took the oath of office, Russia and China have strengthened their common interests, which are rarely shared with American interests, Russia has denied America Manas air bas which is key to the War in Afghanistan, China has bought up oil and other commodities at bargain basement prices, China has sent a strong signal of intolerance toward the U.S. in an at sea incident, and North Korea, with China’s undoubted blessing, has rattled its saber….

China has used this period of economic decline to improve its future.  Almost any American will tell you our future is uncertain or certainly worse than before.

Yet the president insists there is a lot of spending yet to be done on education, health care, energy (wind), climate change and other projects.  Yet he saw no need to stop congressional pet projects (earmarks) in the omnibus spending bill he signed in solitude yesterday.

Lets just flush money and America’s future down the toilet…..

Massive debt-spending is called generational theft for a reason….

Related:
Pelosi’s Stimulus II? Lawmakers Propose No Cost, High Employment Energy Package

China Buying Oil, Uranium, Gold, Other Products At Bargain Prices

Russia, “Desperate For Cash,” Sells Oil to China In “Very Bad Deal”
Even Democrats Showing Signs Of Economic Despair, Worry at White House Inertia

Pelosi: Congress Needs to ‘Keep the Door Open’ to Second Stimulus Package

Obama Spending $1 Billion an Hour of Borrowed Money in First 50 Days

March 11, 2009

“In just 50 days, Congress has voted to spend about $1.2 trillion between the Stimulus and the Omnibus,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. “To put that in perspective, that’s about $24 billion a day, or about $1 billion an hour—most of it borrowed. There’s simply no question: government spending has spun out of control.”

And, sadly, the economy has not shown new signs of life…..

On Obama:

“No one wants him to fail,” McConnell, 67, said in an interview. “But saying ‘no’ to bad policy is not saying ‘no’ to everything.”

*****************

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has come up with a vivid new way to express his contention that the nation is spending way too much money it doesn’t have.

McConnell includes the tweaks in his opening remarks on the Senate floor on the 51st day that President Obama has been in office.

“In just 50 days, Congress has voted to spend about $1.2 trillion between the Stimulus and the Omnibus,” McConnell says. “To put that in perspective, that’s about $24 billion a day, or about $1 billion an hour—most of it borrowed. There’s simply no question: government spending has spun out of control.”

From Politico:
http://www.politico.com/new
s/stories/0309/19884.html

and
http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloom
berg/20090311/pl_bloomberg
/a9ygbyjyi4dq

And where has the Bank Bailout (TARP) money gone?
.
Ask Cleveland Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich.

Kucinich staffers questioned the propriety of an $8 billion Citigroup Inc. loan to Dubai, a $7 billion Bank of America investment in China Construction Bank Corp., and a $1 billion investment in India by J.P. Morgan. The three financial institutions got a total of $120 billion in tax dollars through the bailout program.

Although the transactions are not illegal,  Kucinich questioned the wisdom of directing money to foreign governments rather than the domestic economy.

“How does a multibillion financing deal to Dubai ease the liquidity crisis in the United States of America?” Kucinich asked at the subcommittee hearing. “What about other kinds of uses of funds: corporate spending on lavish parties, the continuation of contractual agreements to pay for naming rights on professional sports stadiums, corporate sporting event sponsorships?”

The memo also cited “significant shortcomings” in Treasury Department oversight over money dispersed through TARP, and claimed the department hasn’t questioned any TARP recipient about its use of the money.

Nancy Pelosi is already saying the nation will need another stimulus bill before we get out of this recession….

The $787 billion economic-stimulus plan was followed by today’s omnibus for $410 billion….

The interest payment on the debt from the stimulus and the omnibus will be about $500 billion…..

Elect me after I promised to end earmarks and “business as usual.”  Priceless?  Hardly.  Hypocracy.  Much of the price will be paid by your children and grandchildren.  John McCain calls that “generational theft.”  Not “priceless.”

Related:
President may Ask For “Global Bailout”
Obama, Geithner: recession requires global action 

Even Democrats Showing Signs Of Economic Despair, Worry at White House Inertia

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/1
1/earmark-zilla-futuregen-boondoggle-
grows-even-bigger/

http://giovanniworld.wordpress.com
/2009/03/11/howard-fineman-grows-up/

Hypocracy President Signs Omnibus, 9,000 Earmarks, Claims “Honest Budget”

Even Democrats Showing Signs Of Economic Despair, Worry at White House Inertia

March 11, 2009

The stimulus is not working, the economy is still in deep trouble and the hole seems to be growing and on Capitol Hill concern is growing that they are watching as the recession turns toward depression.

And the president hasn’t done enough and hasn’t put his administration on a readiness footing as if for a war.

It isn’t just old school Republians and Rush Limbaugh saying the president hasn’t done enough: a growing list of Democrats and media commentators are now expressing dire concern in public.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) excoriated the Treasury Department this morning for failing to adequately trace banks’ use of taxpayer bailout money they were awarded last year and called for better oversight by the Obama administration.

“If the new administration is to avoid perpetuating the approach of the past, real change is going to have to be necessary,” said Kucinich, who is chairing a domestic policy subcommittee hearing.

“This will cost the taxpayers $3 trillion before its all over,” Kucinich told Fox News on Wednesday afternoon.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich said the government needs to keep better track of how banks are using their bailout money. Photo: Sabrina Eaton/The Plain Dealer

As CNN reports today, “One New Hampshire congresswoman said … to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Capitol Hill recently, ‘hurry, please hurry, because people are waiting and they are hurting, and they need the help now.'”

That was Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-New Hampshire, who expressed a growing despair as mirrored by voters who have lost jobs, houses, IRA wealth and stock portfolios.

We are in a tsunami and everyione is starting to look at the captain of our ship of state and ask, “Is this all we can do?”

“For the first time in years we produced an honest budget,” President Obama said today before signing the Omnibus spending bill containing some 8,500 earmarks.  The bill totals a stunning  $410 billion — maybe $8 billion in earmarks  accorning to bedget watchdogs.  The bill funds the U.S. government through the end of this fiscal year.

This follows the economic stimulus bill of some $740 billion which will soar to about $1 trillion due to interest payments on the debt.

But the economy has yet to rebound and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has already said maybe we need another stimulus….

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POL
ITICS/03/11/nervous.dems/index.html

Related:
Leadership: It’ll Take More Than Money to Fix This Crisis
.
Obama Doesn’t Understand What Many Americans Are Thinking

 Pelosi: Congress Needs to ‘Keep the Door Open’ to Second Stimulus Package

All The President’s Men: Where’s The Congressional Oversight?

Economic Situation Demads Nation, Politics With War Mindset

Obama Policy On Gitmo, Taliban, Afghanistan, Intel: As Stupid as It Gets

Buffett: Obama not at war; has toxic message machine on economy

Voters’ Obama Folly Coming Home to Roost

Hypocracy President Signs Omnibus, 9,000 Earmarks, Claims “Honest Budget”

March 11, 2009

“For the first time in years we produced an honest budget,” President Obama said today before signing the Omnibus spending bill containing some 8,500 earmarks.  The bill totals a stunning  $410 billion — maybe $8 billion in earmarks and waste accorning to budget watchdogs.

This follows the economic stimulus bill of some $700 billion which will soar to about $1 trillion due to interest payments on the debt.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said if the president was serious about doing away with earmarks, building an honest budget and holding down the debt he would have vetoed the Omnibus.

McCain called this action by Congress and the president “irresponsible,” “generational theft,” and “egregious.”

President Obama explained before he signed the omnibus in secret and out of the glare of media and cameras: “Earmarks might not be our highest priority….”

Well, if you lost your job or your home, that money on a study of pig smell earmark might have saved enough money to, never mind…..

McCain said Obama “either doesn’t get it or chooses not to attack the evil of earmarks…”

McCain was interviewed on Fox News.

White House Budget Chief Says President Obama Will Ignore Earmarks for At Least a Year

Related:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/11/bu
siness-as-usual-obama-ok-now-lets-end-to-
the-old-way-of-doing-business/

o Leadership: It’ll Take More Than Money to Fix This Crisis

The president may not have what it takes

 Obama Doesn’t Understand What Many Americans Are Thinking

All The President’s Men: Where’s The Congressional Oversight?

Economic Situation Demads Nation, Politics With War Mindset

China Provoked Obama; Now Works To Smooth Situation: Why?

Losing Terror War? Al Qaeda, Afghanistan, Iran

Obama Policy On Gitmo, Taliban, Afghanistan, Intel: As Stupid as It Gets

Buffett: Obama not at war; has toxic message machine on economy

Voters’ Obama Folly Coming Home to Roost

****************

By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer

Acknowledging it’s an “imperfect” bill, President Barack Obama said Wednesday he will accept a $410 billion spending package that includes billions in earmarks like those he promised to curb in last year’s campaign. But he insisted the bill must signal an “end to the old way of doing business.”

The massive measure funding federal agencies through the fall contains nearly 8,000 pet projects, known as earmarks and denounced by critics as pork.

Obama defended earmarks when they’re “done right,” allowing lawmakers to direct money to worthy projects in their districts. But he said they’ve been abused, and he promised to work with Congress to curb them.

“I am signing an imperfect omnibus bill because it’s necessary for the ongoing functions of government,” Obama declared. “But I also view this as a departure point for more far-reaching change.”

In a sign of his discomfort with the bill, Obama planned to sign the bill quietly rather than in public. He declined to answer a shouted reporters’ question about why.

Running for president, Obama denounced the many pet projects as wasteful and open to abuse — and vowed to rein them in.

Explaining his decision, Obama said that future earmarks must have a “legitimate and worthy public purpose”, and the any earmark for a private company should be subject to competitive bidding rules. Plus he said he’ll “work with Congress” to eliminate any the administration objects to.

But he acknowledged that earmarks have bred “cynicism”, and he declared, “This piece of legislation must mark an end to the old way of doing business.”

White House officials in recent weeks have dismissed criticism of the earmarks in the bill, saying the legislation was a remnant of last year and that the president planned to turn his attention to future spending instead of looking backward.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama wouldn’t be the first president to sign legislation that he viewed as less than ideal. Asked whether Obama had second thoughts about signing the bill, Gibbs’ reply was curt: “No.”

Obama’s modest set of reforms builds upon changes initiated by Republicans in 2006 and strengthened by Democrats two years ago. Most importantly, every earmark and its sponsor must be made public.

In new steps — outlined in concert with House Democratic leaders Wednesday morning — the House Appropriations Committee will submit every earmark to the appropriate executive branch agency for a review. And any earmark designed to go to for-profit companies would have to be awarded through a competitive bidding process.

But perhaps the most tangible change may be Obama’s promise to resurrect the long-defunct process by which the president proposes to cut spending from bills that he has signed into law.

Under this so-called rescissions process, the White House sends Congress a roster of cuts for its consideration. Congress is free to ignore the cuts, but both Obama and senior members like Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., say they want to use it to clean out bad earmarks that make it through the process.

But Obama declined to endorse a stronger process advocated by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and others, that would have required Congress to vote on a presidential rescission earmark package. Senior Democrats dislike the idea even though many of them backed it in the early-to-mid 1990s.

During his presidential campaign, Obama promised to force Congress to curb its pork-barrel-spending ways. Yet the bill sent from the Democratic-controlled Congress to the White House on Tuesday contained 7,991 earmarks totaling $5.5 billion, according to calculations by the Republican staff of the House Appropriations Committee.

The 1,132-page bill has an extraordinary reach, wrapping together nine spending bills to fund the annual operating budgets of every Cabinet department except Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs. Among the many earmarks are $485,000 for a boarding school for at-risk native students in western Alaska and $1.2 million for Helen Keller International so the nonprofit can provide eyeglasses to students with poor vision.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009
0311/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama_spending

No Leadership: It’ll Take More Than Money to Fix This Crisis

March 11, 2009

Browsing through the Style section of yesterday’s Post, I happened upon an article about new Washington “power couples” that made reference to one Jeremy Bernard, a Los Angeles fundraiser for President Obama who recently landed the plum job as White House liaison to the National Endowment for the Humanities.

By Steven Pearlstein
The Washington Post

White House liaison to the National Endowment for the Humanities?

Let’s get this straight: We’re up to our necks in the worst global economic crisis since the 1930s, the government is putting trillions of dollars of borrowed money on the line to rescue the financial system and stimulate the economy, tens of trillions of dollars in paper wealth has vaporized, millions of Americans are losing their homes and their jobs, nearly all the top jobs at the Treasury Department are vacant, yet somehow the White House has found the time and the money to hire a liaison to the National Endowment for the Humanities!
It’s a small point, I realize, and I mean no disrespect either to Mr. Bernard or the humanities. But it highlights what seems to be a glaring problem: There is still way too much business as usual going on in Washington, on Wall Street and in the media.

Not so on Main Street. All indications are that in response to the crisis, consumers have embraced a new frugality, paring debt and cutting consumption they know had become excessive. Businesses are moving to cut back on dividends and stock buybacks they can no longer afford, trim frills and reduce prices and capacity to post-bubble realities.

Contrast that with the approach to the crisis taken by members of Congress, who as far as I can tell, have changed nothing about how they go about their duties. Same leisurely three-day work week. Same bloated budgets for staff and security. Same unwieldy committees holding the same meaningless hearings. Same partisan posturing and gamesmanship. Same willingness to put narrow special or parochial interests over the national interest.

Can you imagine a better way to undercut public support for fiscal stimulus and deficit spending than to report out an omnibus spending bill with nearly 9,000 earmarks totaling $8 billion? But, of course, that is just what the Democratic Congress has done. Americans don’t need to be lectured by the House speaker and the Senate majority leader on the spending prerogatives of Congress. What they need are leaders who can demonstrate, in ways symbolic as well as substantive, that they know the difference between spending that is crucial to the country in times of crisis and spending that is not.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/
content/article/2009/03/10/AR200903
1003625.html?hpid=topnews

We are told the president signed the omnibus spending bill with nearly 9,000 earmarks totaling $8 billion — in secret….

White House Budget Chief Says President Obama Will Ignore Earmarks for At Least a Year

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China Provoked Obama; Now Works To Smooth Situation: Why?

Losing Terror War? Al Qaeda, Afghanistan, Iran

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