Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Blame Game



This quote from Obama in the New York Times caught my attention:

“With the fiscal mess we’ve inherited and the cost of this financial crisis, I’ve proposed a budget that cuts our deficit in half by the end of my first term,” Mr. Obama said. “That’s why we are scouring every corner of the budget and have proposed $2 trillion in deficit reductions over the next decade.”

I wonder how long will this "we've inherited" line actually play? Does Mr. Obama truly hold previous administrations 100% responsible for our current situation? Didn't he say the other day that "I'm responsible, the buck stops with me"? He was referring to the AIG bonuses, but isn't that part of the "fiscal mess" in which we find ourselves? Geithner is in no way responsible for that fiasco?

The point is, it's time for Obama to quit blaming the previous administration for everything, accept the responsibility for the economy, and fix it. He wanted the job, he wanted the responsibility, he campaigned for it, so stop blaming everyone else and take care of it.

Most of us learned in elementary school that blaming someone else does not solve the problem or make it any less your responsibility. You own it now, Mr. Obama. You won it.

Which brings us to the budget, speaking of a financial mess, and the proposals Obama can't blame on Bush. Obama has proposed a $3.6 trillion dollar budget, historically huge by all accounts. Yesterday the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released a frightening assessment of the Obama budget proposal. They expect another $1 trillion dollar increase over the already predicted $3.6 trillion dollar proposal.

Some Democrats on Capitol Hill are already demanding changes in the proposal and some think, gasp!, that he's over reaching. Trying to do too much.

There are many things in this budget that are troubling, one of which is the cap and trade proposal. This policy will inevitably make energy costs soar to frightening levels. The anticipated revenue to the government from energy providers is expected to exceed $645 billion over 8 years. Do we think those costs won't get passed on to the consumer?
And don't forget that higher energy costs don't just appear in your electric and fuel bills, but also at the grocery store, among other places.

In September 2008, Obama said “And I can make a firm pledge: under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase – not your income taxes, not your payroll taxes, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes" [emphasis mine].

Yet in November 2008, Obama signed the SCHIP expansion bill which incresed the federal excise tax on tobacco by 156 percent.

It's all just "words," right?

With his words, is Obama laying the groundwork for an excuse when this administration spreads too thin and fails to achieve its glorious promises and utopia for all? "What a great president he could have been if only he hadn't inherited that pesky economic crisis! It's all George Bush's fault!"

Drop the blame game and the finger-pointing, Mr. Obama, and get to work.

Update: Ed points out that Cap 'n Trade will probably get pushed back to 2011 and that the focus this time will be on health care.

5 comments:

G.R. said...

This morning I was reading my local rag, and there was an article concerning the fact that Obama may not be able to do what he wants right now, because of the deficit he is creating. Then it went into the usual "it George Bush's fault" that Obama may not be able to do what he wants.
Ok, I concede that Obama did inherit a messed up economy. But just how is it G.W.'s fault when it's Obama's agendas that are too expensive and can't be sustained?

yukio ngaby said...

Pat: "The point is, it's time for Obama to quit blaming the previous administration for everything, accept the responsibility for the economy, and fix it. He wanted the job, he wanted the responsibility, he campaigned for it, so stop blaming everyone else and take care of it.

"Most of us learned in elementary school that blaming someone else does not solve the problem or make it any less your responsibility. You own it now, Mr. Obama. You won it."

Not to be too critical, but you seem to be under the impression that Obama is out to solve problems or accept responsibility. He is interested in neither. He has agendas to push and problems to exploit to that end. The only responsibilty he wants is credit-- credit for catching Osama Bin Ladin (probably high on the list of reasons he hasn't announced plans to withdraw from Afghanistan), credit for the inevitable market rebound, and pretty much anything else to increase his popularity and allow him to push his agendas.

In the mean time, he needs someone to blame, especially when his agendas causes financial hardship. Remember FDR was blaming
Hoover for the ongoing Great Depression EIGHT years after Hoover was gone.

I am tired of Obama's blame game, as well. But I'm predicting that it's not going away until Obama goes away.

NeNe said...

he's been in office two months. i think it's fair he gets to still put the accountability for a lot of the current situation on the past 8 years. i also truly believe if everything were wonderful and he dared take one iota of credit - you'd blast him to death and ask how dare he.

Pat said...

No - he does not get to blame George Bush for the Porkulus bill or the Omnibus bill, OR his own proposed budget for 2010 which is projected to increase our deficit far beyond anything GWB ever considered doing.

No. He asked for the job. He signed these spending bills without vetoing any of the ridiculous earmarks and he now owns it.

Period.

Anonymous said...

What an elementary argument. "You won it, you own it, quit pointing fingers and fix it"?

I'm sure most conservatives would like for Obama's first 60 days in office to eradicate Bush's damage, but we could only be so lucky. Now, if we're in the same spot this time next year, then you've got a beef, but until then, be serious.

And your argument somehow suggests that the "Porkulus, Omnibus, and 2010 Budget" are contributing to our current crisis? The "Porkulus" was passed a month ago, the Omnibus a few weeks after that, and the Budget is not even close to being passed yet! But somehow these bills are contributing to this financial crisis which began over a year ago!

YOU are really trying hard to pass blame. Maybe you should stop pointing fingers and accept the fact that this mess has NOTHING to do with Obama right now.