Politico's Thrush Cites Obama's SOTU 'Spending Proposals,' Omits His Claim That They Won't Increase Deficit 'By a Single Dime'

Last night in his State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama claimed: "Nothing I'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime." Even considering the inclusion of "should" as a wiggle word, that's a laughable claim.

Politico's Glenn Thrush is one among what will surely turn out to be a legion of pundits and reporters who will ignore Obama's deficit promise while extolling "his new spending proposals" (while describing them as "relatively modest"). It was a speech Thrush said "could have been comfortably delivered by JFK, FDR or LBJ." Sorry, Glenn, but JFK and LBJ, hardened libs that they were, would not have countenanced such a speech in the context of four consecutive annual deficits of over $1 trillion and a national debt that's over 100 percent of the nation's annual economic output. Several paragraphs from Thrush's vain attempt to make Obama's speech some kind of seminal moment follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):


Obama swings left in retro State of the Union

(Note: At some point, Politico changed the headline to "President Obama goes old-time Democrat in State of the Union")

Barack Obama offered a new political product on Tuesday night, a brand with a distinctively retro flavor — “Democrat Classic.”

Four years after his first State of the Union, Obama rolled out a series of vintage proposals from his party’s amply stocked policy cupboard — a $1.75-an-hour hike in the federal minimum wage, an ambitious plan to expand public preschool education to all kids, reintroduction of a $50 billion infrastructure plan, and resurrection of climate change legislation. [1]

Taken as a whole, it marked the latest step in a clear effort by Obama to nudge the nation’s politics to the center-left, a shift from the center-right politics of Ronald Reagan that have dominated American political life for more than three decades. [2]

The scale of his new spending proposals was relatively modest [3], but the new programs targeted improving life on the lowest rungs of America’s working class, delighting liberals and eliciting charges of overreach by Republicans, who are unlikely to pass much of what Obama laid on the table Tuesday night.

... He reiterated his offer to the GOP, made during recent debt talks: $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, $600 billion in new revenues and $900 billion in entitlement and budget cuts [4], a proposal that has already been rejected out of hand by McConnell and Boehner.

Even before he spoke, Obama has already signaled a bolder, more assertive approach on core Democratic issues, unveiling a series of specific new gun control and immigration reform efforts, no-expiration-date items on his party’s perpetual to-do list [5] that have been thrust to prominence by recent events.

Notes:

[1] -- But none of this "should increase our deficit by a single dime." Sure.

[2] -- The problem for more than three decades is that this is a center-right country which has mostly been governed from the center-left and, in Obama's case, from the far-left.

[3] -- No new spending can be properly descried as "modest" in the face of trillion-dollar deficits.

[4] -- The fiscal cliff compromise increased static-analysis taxes by $620 billion over the next ten years (before considering negative supply-side effects, which will cause actual collections to trail that estimate). Obama is acting as if those tax increases never happened. So is Thrush.

[5] -- At last, an acknowledgment that Democrats have never, ever been serious about taking gun control off the "perpetual to-do list."

Thrush also as I expect most of the rest of the establishment press will, conveniently avoided Obama's threat to engage in what the dictionary defines as tyranny ("arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power") if Congress doesn't do what he wants it to do on climate change. Specifically, Obama said:

... if Congress won't act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct... (APPLAUSE) I will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.

That threat renders Obama's invocation of John F. Kennedy in his speech's opening ("the Constitution makes us not rivals for power, but partners for progress") quite hollow.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.