Last week, the Center for American Progress, a think tank with close ties to the Obama administration, published an acerbic essay about the difference between true deficit hawks and showy “deficit peacocks.” You can identify deficit peacocks, readers were told, by the way they pretend that our budget problems can be solved with gimmicks like a temporary freeze in nondefense discretionary spending.There's more! Go read the whole article. Find out the sad truth about the fraud and delusion within the US government and the shyster politicians on all sides. Nobody is standing up for the people. All the politicians have been bought to stand up for big corporations and tax breaks for the rich. These fools are partying like there is no tomorrow while the ship of state sinks under the waves taking everything with it. What fools!
One week later, in the State of the Union address, President Obama proposed a temporary freeze in nondefense discretionary spending.
Wait, it gets worse. To justify the freeze, Mr. Obama used language that was almost identical to widely ridiculed remarks early last year by John Boehner, the House minority leader. Boehner then: “American families are tightening their belt, but they don’t see government tightening its belt.” Obama now: “Families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions. The federal government should do the same.”
What’s going on here? The answer, presumably, is that Mr. Obama’s advisers believed he could score some political points by doing the deficit-peacock strut. I think they were wrong, that he did himself more harm than good. Either way, however, the fact that anyone thought such a dumb policy idea was politically smart is bad news because it’s an indication of the extent to which we’re failing to come to grips with our economic and fiscal problems.
As Krugman summarizes the situation:
I’m sorry to say this, but the state of the union — not the speech, but the thing itself — isn’t looking very good.