Hypocrisy is ripe in Washington these days. In 2006 when the Bush administration ran the country’s debt up to the debt ceiling and congressional Republicans wanted to raise the debt ceiling, here is what then-Senator Barack Obama said
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.
And what his friend Senator Harry Reid said:
If my Republican friends believe that increasing our debt by almost $800 billion today and more than $3 trillion over the last five years is the right thing to do, they should be upfront about it. They should explain why they think more debt is good for the economy. . . . Democrats won’t be making arguments to support this legislation, which will weaken our country.
Today, through his surrogate and economic advisor Austan Goolsbee, President Barack Obama is saying:
This is not a game. The debt ceiling is not something to toy with. If we hit the debt ceiling, that’s . . . essentially defaulting on our obligations, which is totally unprecedented in American history. The impact on the economy would be catastrophic.
The hypocrisy is astonishing. Using the debt ceiling for political gain is unconscionable. The debt ceiling is essentially the credit card limit of the United States. The difference between you and congress is that Congress gets to set its own maximum credit limit, while you’re stuck with what your credit score entitles you to. Every time Congress raises the debt ceiling, it passes more debt on to the next generation.
The president’s two stances are the epitome of hypocrisy. When George Bush was president, then-Senator Barack Obama said raising the debt ceiling was a leadership failure! That the buck should stop with the president. What now? President Obama wants the debt ceiling raised, even if he must make some compromises to do so. So which is the real President Obama? The scolding debt fighter who protected America’s children and grandchildren? Or today’s spender who cares not for anyone beyond 2012?
The President is actively attempting to change his public persona, away from a hypocritical leftist and toward a reasonable, bipartisan, unifying centrists who can get the job done. His hiring of Bill Daley, architect of the Clinton-era-disaster that is NAFTA, is seen by many as a move to the center, even if it is an incompetent move. Daley will be the president’s new Chief of Staff, and attempt to turn the Rham-show into something resembling a normal White House.
The president’s tack to the center, though, is simply more hypocrisy. Like his mock outrage in 2006 about raising the debt ceiling, today his centrism is simply a nod to a difficult election cycle ahead in 2012. It is likely that Daley will be driven mad at a White House filled with blood-oath committed income redistributionists, even as he seeks to provide a bulwark of centrism on Pennsylvania Avenue.
A few hundred miles away there is an executive officer of government that is taking the right path toward setting his government straight. That’s Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, who has asked that his state not receive as much federal aid in the future. So while the President is begging Congress to let him keep spending, Christie is telling Congress to stop.
Congress, before acting on any new spending initiatives, should focus on two very important matters. The first is withdrawing America’s military personnel from around the world in order to improve morale, stop nation building, and save a boatload of money. The second is a complete rewriting of America’s tax code. American will be lucky to get either in the next decade.