Or, as Stephen Colbert puts it in his satiric SuperPac slogan: "A Better Tomorrow Tomorrow."
The White House is ham-handedly attempting to ease the purist ideologues of the left into accepting the bullshit. First of all is today's leak that "the base" is not going to like his proposed budget, to be outlined at next week's SOTU speech. Reading between the lines in a report in The Hill this morning, it appears that the President will practice the fine art of doublespeak by attempting to translate spending cuts into jobs, jobs, jobs and economic growth. Anybody who reads Paul Krugman on a regular basis knows that you don't cut back government spending in an economic recession or depression. Obama will use the usual ploy of claiming his hands are tied because of that deal with the devil he made last summer during the debt ceiling negotiations, in which agreement was reached for a $1.047 trillion spending cap. The Hill's Alexander Bolton writes:
Obama staffers sought to present their budget plan as a glass half full. According to sources familiar with the briefings, they promised that the president will focus on jobs and the economy, instead of deficit-cutting, which dominated last year’s debate on Capitol Hill. Obama has signaled in recent weeks that he plans to run a populist reelection campaign. He will need to keep liberal activist and labor groups — important parts of the Democratic base — energized for his strategy to work.Bolton reports that even though Obama has made vague suggestions for taxing financial institutions to increase revenue and reduce the deficit, the Administration is still adamantly opposed to a transaction tax on speculative trades. The reason? "Administration officials worry Republicans could frame the proposal as a tax on 401(k) retirement funds, a potentially damaging election-year charge".
Wow. Re-election trumps the public good. Who knew? So much for talking the populist talk. He is still walking the same old craven political walk. The curtain rises on Act II of Osawatomie Kabuki theatre.
The excuse about agreed-upon spending caps tying the hands of nouveau-populist Barack is pure malarkey. Ranking Democrat of the House Appropriations Committee Norm Dicks tells The Seattle Times that the automatic spending cuts due to take effect in the wake of the SuperCommittee fail are bad policy -- and that Republicans and Democrats may be close to reaching a deal to avoid them."Austerity isn't going to get people back to work," said Dicks, who ranks 10th in seniority among the 435 House members. "It's going to increase unemployment, and it's just so obvious."
Since Obama has vowed to veto any end-run around the triggers, it will be interesting to see if he succeeds in fiscal can-kicking until after the election. In the meantime, make sure you have fresh batteries in your bullshit detection meters in time for The Speech this Tuesday.