Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Watchwords of the coming Obama Presidency

Every now and then a politician slips up and utters the truth. Such episodes are normally called gaffes. Obama committed one yesterday.

The One announced his choice for Education Secretary, one of his basketball-playing buddies from Chicago, and with the announcement tossed in a sweetener, a paltry $10 billion for “early childhood education,” which according to the Noo Yawk Times has educators all “atremble.”

After years of what they call backhanded treatment by the Bush administration, whose focus has been on the testing of older children, many advocates are atremble with anticipation over Mr. Obama’s espousal of early childhood education.

In the presidential debates, he twice described it as among his highest priorities, and his choice for secretary of education, Arne Duncan, the Chicago schools superintendent, is a strong advocate for it.

And the $10 billion Mr. Obama has pledged for early childhood education would amount to the largest new federal initiative for young children since Head Start began in 1965. Now, Head Start is a $7 billion federal program serving about 900,000 preschoolers.

“People are absolutely ecstatic,” said Cornelia Grumman, executive director of the First Five Years Fund, an advocacy group. “Some people seem to think the Great Society is upon us again.”

Despite the recession, Mr. Obama has emphasized his interest in making strategic investments in early childhood education. Asked if the financial troubles might force him to scale back, Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the transition, said, “We simply cannot afford to sideline key priorities like education.”

Uh, hold on a minute there Cornelia. I survived President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” which even liberal historians agree was a dismal failure. LBJ, AKA Lend ‘Em Billions Johnson, spent billions on welfare programs that in the end resulted in more poverty in America, not less.

But the President-elect who is so ignorant of history that he prefaces his biggest whoppers with the Nixonian lie “Let me be perfectly clear” is also apparently ignorant of LBJ’s negative legacy, since he refers to his $10 billion funding promise as “making strategic investments.

In case you’re not educated yet on Obamaspeak, let me be perfectly clear what a “strategic investment” is: A whopping big tax hike. Sorta like spreading Joe the plumber’s wealth around. And now we have a new Obamaspeak uttered in the context of his federal education plans.

Even though federal control and funding of public education is miniscule – with the sole exception of unworkable federal “reforms” such as the infamous “No Child Left Behind” regulations – Obama said he does have a plan for reforming our public schools: “Rhetorical outreach.”

When I heard that term uttered on Fox TV news last night, I realized that here we have the watchwords of the Obama Administration. “Rhetorical outreach” describes exactly what Obama does best, in fact the only thing he has any experience with, the man who will soon be President who has never run nothing but his mouth. Us rednecks have two other words for "rehetorical outreach:" B.S.

“Rhetorical outreach” is how he plans to make the oceans recede and sunshine break through all over our troubled planet. Plus a $1 trillion economic incentive package. Plus a few billion here and a few billion there for any pet program he cares to add to his “Great Society II.”

As the late Sen. Everett Dirksen said, a few billion here and a few billion there and after a while it adds up to some real money. And where will all these billions come from? The Federal Reserve has already lowered the fed bank’s interest rate for loans to our nation’s banks to 0 percent.

Where do we go from here? Negative interest rates? “OK bankers, step right up, the Fed bank will pay you 1 percent to take our free money!”

There ain’t no free lunch. Somebody has to pick up the tab for “strategic investments” by your federal guvmint. It’s called tax increases.

And while I’m on the topic of “strategic investments” by your federal guvmint, Obama also announced yesterday another gov.-given “right.”

The Washington Post breathlessly reports today on “President-elect Barack Obama's call to bring high-speed Internet to all Americans.

So far, Obama has not put a price tag on that “right” but an industry trade group has tossed the figure of $25 billion on the table for discussion.

So in addition to ordering the oceans to recede and the sun to shine all over the world, Obama will also end “the heartbreak of dial-up.”

In case you’re trying to add up all the billions and trillions Obama has already promised, forget it. Uncle Sam is already officially bankrupt.

Here's a short editorial to make you sit up straight, courtesy of the Washington Examiner:

The United States of America is bankrupt. Don’t believe it? Consider this: Federal obligations now exceed the collective net worth of all Americans, according to the New York-based Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Washington politicians and bureaucrats have essentially mortgaged everything We the People own so they can keep spending our tax dollars like there’s no tomorrow.

The foundation’s grim calculations are based on Sept. 30 consolidated federal statements, which showed that Americans’ total household net worth, diminished by falling stock prices and home equity, is $56.5 trillion. But rising costs for unfunded social programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security increased to $56.4 trillion – and that was before the more recent stock market crash, $700 billion bank bailout, and monster federal deficits chalked up in October and November.

“Given more recent developments, it’s clear that America now owes more than its citizens are worth,” said Foundation president David M. Walker, who has been trying to warn Americans of the coming financial tsunami for years, to no avail. So, after Uncle Sam bails out bankers, Wall Street gamblers, carmakers and over-their-head homeowners, who’ll bail out Uncle Sam?

And one more perhaps unrelated news item caught my eye this morning, a story about the mysterious galactic stuff called “dark energy.”

"We've discovered this incredible dark energy; we don't understand what the hell it is," said Lawrence M. Krauss, a physicist at Arizona State University.

Now there’s a Freudian slip of the tongue if I ever heard one. One of these days, the truth about “dark energy” will be revealed and it will not be a physicist who discovers it. The Bible tells us what it is now and where it is: Hell, the place that Jesus Christ described as “outer darkness.”

So that's my God and grits report for today. Can't believe I didn't get in a word about guns.

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