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February 13, 2013

"At No Time Did My Fingers Leave My Hands"

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, serves up the best summary of the SOTU address:

“Our government shouldn’t make promises we cannot keep — but we must keep the promises we’ve already made.” That’s a beautiful phrase, until you realize that it is precisely the promises “we’ve already made” that are the ones that we cannot keep.

Like the President's much touted 2011 budget cuts, his claims don't stand up to inspection:

... the bill also turned out to be an epic kind of Washington illusion. It was stuffed with gimmicks that made the cuts seem far bigger — and the politicians far bolder — than they actually were.

In the real world, in fact, many of their “cuts” cut nothing at all. The Transportation Department got credit for “cutting” a $280 million tunnel that had been canceled six months earlier. It also “cut” a $375,000 road project that had been created by a legislative typo, on a road that did not exist.

At the Census Bureau, officials got credit for a whopping $6 billion cut, simply for obeying the calendar. They promised not to hold the expensive 2010 census again in 2011.

Today, an examination of 12 of the largest cuts shows that, thanks in part to these gimmicks, federal agencies absorbed $23 billion in reductions without losing a single employee.

“Many of the cuts we put in were smoke and mirrors,” said Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), a hard-line conservative now in his second term. “That’s the lesson from April 2011: that when Washington says it cuts spending, it doesn’t mean the same thing that normal people mean.”

In a way, you've got to admire the President's lawyerly style. When he's not taking credit for "historic" budget cuts that weren't, he's taking credit for saving or creating hundreds of thousands of jobs:

“After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three.”

Obama again is cherry-picking a jobs number. The low point for manufacturing jobs was reached in January 2010, and so there has been a gain of 500,000 jobs since then. But Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that the number of manufacturing jobs is still 600,000 fewer than when Obama took office in the depths of the recession — and 1.8 million fewer than when the recession began in December 2007.

Sometimes, his carefully crafted bloviation manages to sound downright straightforward:

If, like the Editorial Staff, you're oppressed by a vague a sense that you've heard this all before, take heart. We hear tell that at any moment now, the President will make jobs and the economy his latest #1 priority:

That is, after he gets done raising money for fellow Democrats, passing yet another law that will finally! do what Obama already took credit for doing with the Lily Ledbetter Act, and improving the election day experience. Who knows? Eventually, he may even find the time to pass a budget!

Priorities, people.

Posted by Cassandra at February 13, 2013 07:49 AM

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So...the new jobs would only be an increase IF there had not been a huge loss in the first place.

What was it he was telling Mitt about math?


Posted by: Bush Kool-Aid Drinker at February 14, 2013 06:37 AM

We're over the rainbow here. What difference does it really make what is truth anymore?

Our so-called News Media will say just about anything to convince us that things are getting better everyday.

I heard some group of talking heads on CNN prior to the election discussing various aspects of the campaign, and one alleged "commentator" asserted that Obama had "Created 4 million new jobs! Full Stop!" as if that could never be disputed.

This is the Orwellian world we now live in, where Truth is Lies, Ignorance is Strength, and Andrew Sullivan is an expert in Gynecology.

Forward! Into the past!

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at February 14, 2013 08:58 PM

By their reasoning it like when I say to my husband: Oh, I saved $100.00 today by not buying a dress I wasn't going to buy in the first place.

I can not believe the dumbest and worst of our population are running our country.

The glove is turned inside out. What is spending is saving, what is right is wrong, what is evil is good. How did we let these sicko get so far ahead???

Posted by: mag at February 15, 2013 08:58 AM