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Archive for August, 2010

The most important chart on the Obama budget?

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Oh yes…there are many things worth pointing out in this chart showing the deficit to GDP of the Bush and Obama administrations, based on numbers from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

For example, the worst year before the crash of the Bush administration was 3.5% deficit to GDP. The best year of the Obama administration over two terms would be 4.1%. But that’s NOT the most important thing.

The Bush administration averaged debt that was less than the historical average of past presidents for his entire two terms, only rising above that in the crash year of 2009, (when he obviously was not in office anymore, but was still largely responsible for the budget.) But that’s NOT the most important thing either.

In 2009, the projected Bush budget deficit was 8.3% of GDP, by the time Obama was done with it–it had skyrocketed even further—to 9.9%. But that’s NOT the most important thing either.

Even when you include the entire crash year of 2009, Bush still averaged only a 2.7% debt to GDP ratio—the historical average is 2.6%. Throw in the fact that he had 9-11, corporate scandals that started long before he was in office, and the great recession—that’s pretty amazing. Even as a partial Bush apologist, that surprised me. But that’s NOT the most important thing either.

The average deficit of the Bush years was 2.7%, the average of the theoretical deficit of two terms of Obama is 6.4%. But, that’s not the most important thing either.

What is? The years 2014-2020. Let’s say you blame the entire crash on Bush, and give Obama 6 full years to make up for it. If everything goes according to plan, Obama’s deficit falls to 4.1% of GDP in 2014. Yes, that’s still worse than any full Bush year, and 58% worse than the historical average—but the most vital thing is what happens NEXT. Even after he magically “steadies the economic ship”—the deficit is projected to GET WORSE EVERY YEAR UNTIL 2020, which is when estimates stop.

Even using rosy government estimates—there is no balanced budget under President Obama. There is no year that beats Bush’s worst full year. There is no year that approaches the historical average of past presidents. And, even after the crash passes, Obama continues to make things worse, and worse, and worse.

For once I agree with Obama. He is “bending the curve.” Perhaps we should focus on what way it’s being bent.

Read a very solid analysis of these facts by Keith Hennessey here.

UPDATE: A comment that points out another important observation:

Chris Norman Aug 11

One very important thing is missing from the graph. Senator Barack Obama and the Dems controlled the Senate and the House after the 2006 election. Congress controls the deficit, not the President, except for vetoes. If you consider that, the deficits in the last 4 years up to 2006 were decreasing. Once the Dems took over, the curve bends up dramatically.

For all of you aspiring graph-geeks out there, remove the financial crisis by drawing a line from 2007 to 2014 and see the frightening yet consistent rise…

This is what Media Matters does.

Monday, August 9th, 2010

As first reported by Mediaite: Media Matters Gives Glenn Beck’s Co-Hosts The Shirley Sherrod Edited Audio Treatment.

Of course, Media Matters does this sort of thing all the time. It is their entire business plan. They intentionally take people out of context to try and fire up their very stupid readership in effort to get conservatives off the air. Sure, they’re typically not quite as obvious about it, but their entire existence is based on a modified version of what happened on Friday.

As Mediaite put it:

Let’s end the week with some Shirley Sherrod-ing – editing a clip to make it sound like a person is saying something that is actually the complete opposite of what they’re saying.
In this case, the offender is Media Matters, which tries to prove that Glenn Beck’s radio co-hosts were saying Keith Olbermann was responsible for the deadly Manchester workplace shooting.
Here was Media Matters’ (sic’ed) headline: “Beck sidekicks Gray and Burguiere: Keith Olberman and media responsible for Manchester shooting.”

Why would we say such a thing? Well, here’s an indicator from approximately two sentences after their transcript ended:

Right after the Media Matters edit, Burguiere says:
Obviously we’re making a point here. Let’s move that to the case against the tea party members. They’re constantly convinced that the government is after them, that they are going to come take their guns. Well, who is always talking about that? Glenn Beck. So therefore he’s responsible for every time anyone does anything, even, you know, violent.

Then, after rehashing one of the more recent and pathetic attempts at blaming Glenn for murder, we went a little further:

Later, Gray says, “Just like he can’t blame Keith Olbermann for this dumb racist thing.” And Burguiere reiterates: “Keith Olbermann was not responsible for any shooting. Keith Olbermann is not, it’s not possible for him to sit there and inspire that by talking about a topic.”

The best part about this fiasco is not that Media Matters tried to take us out of context, that’s what they do every day. It’s not even that they were caught in such an embarrassingly public way that they were forced to issue a correction.

The best part is that Media Matters is one of the most guilty parties when it comes to idiotically blaming hosts for violence.  When the target is Glenn Beck they find this “blame the host for violence” line of thinking to be completely sensible truth telling.  But, when the name is switched to Keith Olbermann, it becomes so ridiculous that it warrants some sort of mega-media-alert.

In other words, Media Matters’ arguments are so awful, that when the names change, they issue alerts on themselves.

Here’s the truth. It’s ridiculous for either side to engage in this nonsense. If you want to blame celebrities for the murders committed by people who watch them—why stop there? Blame the magazines they read, the sports teams they are fans of, and the cereal they eat. (Remember: Count Chocula doesn’t kill people. People kill people.)

Did anyone blame Jodie Foster for inspiring John Hinckley to shoot Reagan?  It wasn’t Jodie Fosters fault.  It was Hinckley’s.  If someone blamed Foster, than they were as idiotic as Media Matters is today. Crazy people do crazy things. Unless Keith Olbermann starts advocating for the murder of Tea Party members, it’s probably best that we just keep it simple–blame the murderers for their murders—and leave it at that.

Read more here, here, and here.

VIDEO:  And, don’t miss our Sherrod-esque firing from this morning…

Pandering to Hispanic Voters NOT Working

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

For years, we’ve been told that the only way to attract Hispanic voters is to allow people with their same background to break the law.  “If we’re tough on illegal immigration, we’ll lose the Hispanic vote!”  Really?  Will you?   I find that to be completely insulting to…well…Hispanic voters.

Why would we assume that Hispanics will only vote for those who allow illegal activity?  Both parties are guilty of this, and it’s embarrassing.  Hispanics aren’t the mob.  They’re not a bunch of loan sharks who will only avoid breaking your legs if you look the other way at their blatantly illegal activity.  They are people who want law and order and a civilized society, just like everyone else.  In fact, there are plenty of Hispanic immigrants who are here precisely because their own country couldn’t provide the law and order that they desire.  But, this idea that the American-Hispanic population is filled with hard-core-fans-of-lawlessness persists to this day.

So, how’s that working out?  Clearly, the biggest immigration related issue of the past year has been Arizona’s SB1070, a tough (but sensible) attempt at enforcing our existing immigration laws.

Despite the fact that it specifically prohibits racial profiling, the media has painted it as nothing more than a way for police to exercise their racism and round up Hispanics at will.  The President of the United States characterized it as an attempt to round up Hispanic children on the way to get ice cream with their daddies. The Obama administration has even gone as far as to attack with the DOJ, trying to get the entire law thrown out on the basis of super-duper-meanness.

So, how have Hispanic voters responded to this effort by Obama to pander to them?  Obama’s approval rating has dropped by 20 points since he took office among Hispanics, with about 3/4ths of the drop occurring since the beginning of the year, exactly as this specific debate was raging.

Check out this chart:

Shouldn’t support from Hispanics have skyrocketed during this period?   I don’t understand?  I thought the average Hispanic voter loved lawlessness?  In fact, from the peak, Hispanic support has dropped by 28 points, more than the drop among white voters.  What’s going on???

Here’s a crazy theory for you.  Maybe Hispanic voters are real people.  Maybe they also want the law of the land respected.  Maybe Hispanics are like you and me and everyone else.  Maybe they want the same things.  Maybe they actually care about the rule of law.    I know—I’m crazy.

Conservatives shouldn’t shy away from enforcing the law in attempt to gain votes. It’s not only wrong, it doesn’t work.  As conservatives, we also shouldn’t focus solely on stopping illegal immigration.  We should, in addition to that, focus on outwardly praising and encouraging legal immigration just as publicly and passionately.  Both positions are correct, consistent with the law, and consistent with how this country was built.

Look, if you have the balls to pick up and move from your homeland, along with the diligence to come through the front door, learn a new language, and make it in a culture you aren’t immediately familiar with—I want you here.  I want you here, pushing us to be better.  I want America to continue to be an all-star team, with all of the best people from around the world gathering to achieve more than any nation in world history.

If you love this country and what it stands for as much as I do–I don’t care where you came from—I only know that I want you to end up here.  Please, just come the right way.

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