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March 2, 2009

Buckley: The Audacity of Nope

Posted: 08:16 AM ET

by Christopher Buckley

One feels almost unpatriotic, entertaining negative thoughts about Obama’s grand plan. But it is far from clear that spending oceanic sums of money is the right corrective.

That was, as Tom Lehrer would say, the week that was. President Barack Obama gave his first State of the Union speech. Governor Bobby Jindal gave his first and possibly last Republican response. The president presented a $3.6 trillion budget, and announced that we are getting out of Iraq but not really. And Rush Limbaugh gave—as he put it, fun intended—his first nationally televised address to the nation.

Hold on—there’s a typo in that paragraph. “$3.6 trillion budget” can’t be right.The entire national debt is—what—about $11 trillion? He can’t actually be proposing to spend nearly one-third of that in one year, surely. Let me check. Hmm. He did. The Wall Street Journal notes that federal outlays in fiscal 2009 will rise to almost 30 percent of the gross national product. In language that even an innumerate English major such as myself can understand: The US government is now spending annually about one-third of what the entire US economy produces. As George Will would say, “Well.”

READ MORE OF Buckley's commentary HERE

Filed under: President Obama


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MEL GOLDFEDER   March 2nd, 2009 9:31 am ET

LARRY...
I RECEIVED WORD THAT COACH HARRY OSTRO CELEBRATED HIS 94TH BIRTHDAY ON FEB. 19TH...

HE WOULD REALLY ENJOY A CALL FROM YOU...HIS NUMBER IS 631-587-4651....

REGARDS

MEL


6o's Survivor   March 2nd, 2009 11:00 am ET

I would like to know exactly what we should do - sit on our hands and scream the sky is falling? Nothing? The same as the past 8 years – "shell game and not including cost of wars in budget"? The most of us voted for change and that is what Obama is delivering on. Bi-partisism is out because GOP is determined to block change preferring instead burying their heads in the sand hoping Obama fails so they can continue to practice their failed policies and not seeing that the world hass changed – we are no longer plowing behind the bck end of a mule.


sean brizendine   March 2nd, 2009 11:07 am ET

larry only time will tell but i am impressed that obama is trying to do something, instead of letting darwins theory of natural selection weed out who survives and who fails.
"sean in santa rosa"


Nathan   March 2nd, 2009 11:22 am ET

Well, we all voted for 'change'. But I guess that is all that will be left after our tax dollars are spent on failing companies... At least leave me 75 cents to buy a soda, thanks Mr. President.


ski   March 2nd, 2009 1:25 pm ET

I THINK ONE WAY TO GAIN MONEY IS TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA,EITHER FOR MEDICAL USE OR MAKE THEM LEGAL TO THE PUBLIC.BY DOING THAT YOU CAN PUT TAX ON IT LIKE YOU PUT ON THE CIGARETTES.THAT IS A GUARANTEED INCOME COMING IN,BECAUSE THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT WILL ALWAYS USE IT,EITHER LEGALLY OR ILLEGALLY.I NEVER HEARD ON SOMEONE DYING FROM SMOKING POT,BUT I SURE DID HEAR PEOPLE OVERDOSING ON ASPIRIN AND DYING FROM ALCOHOL.PUTTING TAX ON MARIJUANA GIVES YOU INCOME.


dan in Tucson   March 2nd, 2009 3:19 pm ET

Hope is all we got left. Isn't that one of the stages of denial?


Pietro Sirianni   March 2nd, 2009 5:05 pm ET

Tax-payer money spent to benefit the tax-payer and not Haliburton; that works for me. Go cry somewhere else. You republicants are the worst losers I have ever seen.


Fred   March 2nd, 2009 9:50 pm ET

The 15%-20% Solution to our Economic Crisis Without Borrowing 800 Billion Dollars!!!

Consumer problems
1. Lack of jobs = lack of spending
2. High taxes = lack of spending
3. High prices = lack of spending
• Lack of spending means small and large businesses can’t hire or maintain employees. Large companies can’t sell big ticket items.
• Corporate Greed and government corruption is the reason!!!

Rapid short term solution (for 2 years)
1. Roll back all profits to 15%-20% (which are a fair profit margins)
• This would take care of the mortgage problem (which charge 300+%)
• This would allow small retailers to drastically lower their prices (less rent).. retail charges fall in the range of 60% -150% markup
• All Government taxes limited to 15% max income tax (constitutions says that government is suppose to make their money from excise taxes NOT INCOME TAXES). Feds get flat 10% state and local 5%
• This would take care of high gas prices.
• This would take care of high medical bills. Companies would make medical equipment and pills at a 15-20% markup.
2. Use Fema to set up emergency shelters and coordinate government assistance to the families that find themselves homeless.

Results
1. Consumers would have more money to spend which would lead to business’ being able to make and stock products, and hire more employees
2. The American people would not have to pay $780 billion dollar bailout.
3. Congress won’t have to fight and accomplish nothing.
4. Employers would be able to high workers.
5. Worker would be able to pay for their own medical needs.

We also need to develop the following new job creation industries:
1. Develop desalinization plants to reduce the fresh water problem
2. Build retirement and group homes for our large aging population
3. Develop power from the wave motion of our oceans
4. Mass produce medical equipment and medicines.
• Use the 15%-20% profit rule

For the Big 3
1. Loan low interest money for creating bridge vehicles using their existing small car bodies. The technology is out there to build cheap cars the run on air (MDI AIR Car $17,000), Electric, etc. If the auto company can’t create their own engines then they should buy them and install them into their cars. Americans will buy fuel efficient cars

Last but not least…. Eliminate deficient spending on all levels of government, and hold people responsible (jail time) for creating financial problems that affect he National Interest.

Pardon me. I just figured this out.


monty kuhstoss   March 2nd, 2009 9:51 pm ET

where is the money?The goverment thinks middle class is holding on to there money. What money? We are just hanging in there. we are not rich, well off, or just not spending money. We don't have any! can't pay bill, foo, rent, or morgage, gas. Where is the money? I must be missing somethinng evertime i look at my bank account!!!!!


ski   March 2nd, 2009 10:18 pm ET

AS I SAID LEGALIZE MARIJUANA AND TAX IT LIKE CIGARETTES.IT WILL BRING MORE CASH AND PEOPLE WILL CALM DOWN...


Mark   March 2nd, 2009 10:38 pm ET

Why does no one look at the actual cause of the crisis. This began several years ago, with the erosion of employment in the United States. The main reason of the jobs leaving the United States was to pad the pockets of upper management an politicions.
The companies have reached a point where they have lost their customer base. Products cannot be sold to the people that have lost their jobs, and the workers in the countries that are producing them cannot afford them. Simple economics!!!!!
I have seen "name brand" on many products, but when you look at the label, none or very few are "Made in America". I can go to a cheap retail store and get the same products without the name brand for a fraction of the cost. Furniture, clothing and automobiles all fall in this catogory.
I'm afraid all we have in Washington now are politicans, but what we need are speakers for the people. Officials who will actually do the job they are paid to do. Not sign bills without reading them, especially the "stimulus" bill. It is so full of pork and the jobs that will be created will only be short term. It should be called the BS bill, because that is the reasoning behind most of the spending in this package.
In summation, the government has lost contact with the middle class, those who are the backbone of this country, and live paycheck to paycheck. There might be the most intellegent people in Washington, but there is a total lack of common sense and wisdom.


Mark   March 2nd, 2009 11:02 pm ET

Forgive the second email, but I did leave out some crucial information.
For every job lost in the United States, there are unemployment benifits paid by the governement, possibly turning into wealfare, food stamps, medicaid, and erosion of the "American Dream". There is depression to the point of suicide, termoil and rising crime rates. Drugs run rampant, a friend of mine just lost her early twenties son to an OD.
I cut back on my spending when I am in financial crisis, not spend more. I cut back on those things I don't need. I examine the reason that I got into the mess, not throw blame on anyone, but instead work on a cure for the problem. Placing blame is living in the past, and takes time away from facing the present and future problems.
There is so much more I could go into, but I will limit this space.
"God Bless America"


Eric   March 3rd, 2009 12:55 am ET

Obama has been in office for less than two months. STOP blaming him for the massive destruction created by Bush and his cronies! Don't you remember the imcompetent Katrina response? The lies about Iraq? Halliburton!? The GOP is nothing but a closet version of the KKK and Nazi party rolled into one spinning lies and fear. They are the true terrorists!


shanely   March 3rd, 2009 7:28 am ET

obama has been president for less then 2 month and its not fare that they blame him for the destorcsion that bush made


Jerry Whitehead   March 3rd, 2009 10:12 am ET

I agree with "ski" about legalization and taxation of marijuana. Imagine the revenue that it would bring. So many people smoke, but a lot of them are "closet smokers" because it is criminalized.

I admire President Obama for making a plan, condsidering what all his advisers have to say, reaching across the aisle, and taking action. How will this hostility from the Republicans help matters? We are a nation in crisis and we have a plan. Let us put away the partisan B.S. for the time being and deal with the serious issue "we the people" are facing.


ski   March 3rd, 2009 3:11 pm ET

Hey thanks Jerry...


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