Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The more things change, the more they stay the same

On the President's proposed budget:

The White House is focusing on re-election themes such as jobs and public works projects in President Barack Obama's new budget blueprint while relying on familiar but never enacted tax increases on the wealthy and corporations to reduce future deficits after four years of trillion dollar-plus shortfalls.

Obama's 2013 budget, set for release Monday, is the official start to an election-year budget battle with Republicans. It's unlikely to result in a genuine effort to address the $15 trillion national debt or the entrenched deficits that keep piling on to it. But it will serve as the Democrats' party-defining template on this year's election stakes.

The president's plan is laden with stimulus-style initiatives: sharp increases for highway construction and school modernization, and a new tax credit for businesses that add jobs. But it avoids sacrifice with only minimal curbs on the unsustainable growth of Medicare even as it proposes a 10-year, $61 billion "financial crisis responsibility fee" on big banks to recoup the 2008 Wall Street bailout.
(italics, ours)

Sound familiar? And how has that all been working out?

And closer to home, here in San Diego:

Democratic leaders this weekend implored attendees at the state party convention in San Diego to harness the energy and enthusiasm of 2008, casting the upcoming elections as pivotal moments that will determine the trajectory of the country for decades to come.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Saturday that the only way to maintain the firewall against Republican and tea party “extremism” is to re-elect President Barack Obama, return her to the U.S. Senate for another term and marshal the resources to regain control of the House of Representatives.

She was among dozens of speakers — including Gov. Jerry Brown, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. — to paint an unfavorable picture of the alternative.

“Just think of the damage a Gingrich or a Romney or a Santorum would do if they reach the White House or if the tea party takes over Congress,” Feinstein said in a speech at the San Diego Convention Center.

“It would be no health care reform,” she added. “It would be no job program. No financial regulation. No effort to deal with climate change. No stem cell research. No reform of a broken immigration system. ... No woman’s right to choose. And a meat ax to Medicare and Social Security.”

Ask yourselves: does any/all of the above sound very "progressive" to you?

We are facing a very real debt crisis in this country, yet we have an entrenched political class of statists who simply refuse to acknowledge the math. Far from being the self-proclaimed reformers and progressives, they are fully vested in and will fight tooth and nail for the status quo.

Whether it's the $120 billion train-to-and-from-nowhere high speed rail system here in California or yet another unsustainable entitlement program in ObamaCare to be stacked on top of Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, there is no change, yet only more of the same.

A President perfectly positioned to address this sovereign crisis cynically turns in a budget designed only to get himself re-elected... to do what exactly?

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