Zuckerman: Obama WH most fiscally irresponsible evah

posted at 1:45 pm on August 26, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Mort Zuckerman, who once endorsed Barack Obama for the presidency and allegedly helped write one of his speeches, uses his perch at US News today to blast the White House as “the most fiscally irresponsible government in US history.”  Zuckerman includes Congress in this indictment as well, blaming Democrats for driving the US towards an unprecedented debt crisis, and Republicans for only coming to fiscal responsibility out of midterm politics:

There are two warning signs of a budget crisis: rising debt and the loss of confidence that the government will deal with it. This administration is on the verge of fulfilling both conditions. In fairness, there is no majority coalition in Congress for deficit reduction today. It is also true that the growth of public debt has been driven by a dramatic diminution of tax receipts due to the recession, the extra spending to avoid sinking into a self-perpetuating depression, and all those billions we invested to save the financial sectors from their sins. Voters see the politicians most vociferous about reining in the federal budget as those who are out of power and want to use it against the majority party. Too many politicians claim they are all for balanced budgets—but only by reducing the other party’s priorities. Republicans want to reduce social spending. Democrats want to reduce military spending. It is Washington as usual.

Amid the clamor and counterpromises, the historic record is worth keeping in mind. We paid for World War II through growth. The national debt, as a percentage of gross domestic product, fell sharply through the postwar presidencies of Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson (despite the Vietnam War) and continued edging down through most of Nixon’s, rising a little with Ford’s. We marked time in the stagflation of the Carter years, and then the debt percentage increased dramatically during the Reagan-Bush presidencies. It shot up again to the present dangerous levels under George W. Bush and Obama. The only good years were Clinton’s.

It’s worth remembering that the good years of the Clinton administration came only after Republicans took control of Congress, and only after Clinton’s attempt to restructure the health-care sector angered the population.  Sound familiar?  In 1994, Republicans won on a limited-government, fiscal-responsibility platform and made it work with a Democratic President.  In most of the other terms, Republican Presidents had to deal with Democratic Congresses, when the Democratic Party was much less about the 1960s New Left  than it is today.  Unfortunately, many of those Republicans got co-opted by the Beltway mentality and lost all sense of responsibility and accountability in the 2001-6 period, for which voters rightly rebuked them.

Zuckerman scolds Republicans for wanting to reduce “social spending,” but without sharp cuts to entitlements, how would Zuckerman proceed to fiscal responsibility and debt reduction?  That is where most of the money is going, after all, and where Democrats have vastly expanded spending and government jurisdiction over the last four years while they controlled Congress.  He even notes the need to reduce spending on Medicare and Social Security — not exactly a difficult conclusion — as a condition of fixing the problem.  Shouldn’t Zuckerman point out that Republicans have it correct, while the Democratic focus on defense spending is ignoring the elephant in favor of the mouse?

It’s also worth pointing out that the consequences of the Democratic agenda were patently obvious in 2008.  Higher spending was going to create more debt, and actually had already started piling up deficits from the Democratic Congress before the 2008 election.  Annual federal spending went up by 38% in just three years, an increase of over a trillion dollars in the budget, all of which was deficit spending.  This also wasn’t a difficult calculus to make, and yet Zuckerman endorsed and campaigned for Barack Obama and the Democratic agenda that has led us to the brink of a Greece-like crisis.

I agree with what Zuckerman has to say here, but let’s not forget how we got here or who led us to it, and who apparently still doesn’t want to recognize which party at least comprehends the problem and has the tough but necessary solutions at the ready for it.


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“the most fiscally irresponsible government in US history.”

Poor Mort must have looked at his wealth portfolio.

Getting robbed blind by the government will do that to a person.

Welcome to Serfdom Mort. You get a front row seat. You paid for it.

portlandon on August 26, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Marxism doesn’t pay.

faraway on August 26, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Obama WH most fiscally irresponsible evah, and I helped create it

~M. Zuckerman

BobMbx on August 26, 2010 at 1:52 PM

Irresponsible – or on track to making America bankrupt and the citizens debt peons to the progressive socialist agenda?

Rebar on August 26, 2010 at 1:55 PM

There will be a lot of these “I was on the winning side” pundits as the elections get closer. It’s a race to say “I was with who won in November, wasn’t I smart?”

In 2008 he saw Obama headed for a win, so jumped on the bandwagon. Now he sees conservatives headed for a win and on he jumps.

These people have no fixed positions, except to prostitute themselves to be able to brag it up at beltway parties, “I was right on with this conservative swell! I saw it coming! Aren’t I smart!”

PastorJon on August 26, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Count it!

lorien1973 on August 26, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Republicans want to reduce social spending. Democrats want to reduce military spending.

Considering defense of our nation is the only required spending in the Constitution, I think I’ll go with the Republicans on this.

ButterflyDragon on August 26, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Why hasn’t anyone tied the problems to 2007 when the Dems took Congress?

Cindy Munford on August 26, 2010 at 1:57 PM

lorien1973 on August 26, 2010 at 1:56 PM

You’re just showing off.

Cindy Munford on August 26, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Tell Zeroman he has NO CREDIBILITY and to go back to sleep.

GarandFan on August 26, 2010 at 1:58 PM

“I slipped out of Obama’s pants and the sunshine was gone” –Zuckerman

He’s been writing one objective article after the other, lately. The left must hate his innerds.

Schadenfreude on August 26, 2010 at 1:59 PM

That Mort Zuckerman couldn’t see the train wreck an Obama administration would be from two years out suggests that he should be given no more intellectual responsibility than cleaning the toilets in the US News office. Mort Zuckerman got Obama elected, and Obama told him precisely what he had in store for this country. Mort Zuckerman can go to hell.

Rational Thought on August 26, 2010 at 2:01 PM

the extra spending to avoid sinking into a self-perpetuating depression,

*head-to-desk*
*head-to-desk*
*head-to-desk*

Count to 10 on August 26, 2010 at 2:02 PM

It sorta sounds like mort and others who have funds won’t be giving to d’s or rino’s in 2010 and 2012! It could really help us if they don’t give to the rnc, but to people who would help them undo what has happened since this bho was elected.
L

letget on August 26, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Did or did this guy not cheerlead Obama WH / Congress gang pulling this stunt in the past 19 months?

Somebody should dig up ‘old history’ of Zuckerman rallying for teh WON.

Sir Napsalot on August 26, 2010 at 2:03 PM

to blast the White House as “the most fiscally irresponsible government in US history.”

Really? That’s about as obvious as that bus, right before it runs over you.

kam582 on August 26, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Guess this means Mort The Z is officially off Daily Kos’ Christmas card list for all time,

pilamaye on August 26, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Count it!

lorien1973 on August 26, 2010 at 1:56 PM

I was offline for two weeks and must have missed something. Did you give a most righteous spanking to crr6? :-)

Mary in LA on August 26, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Let’s not forget also, that before 2007, we were in pretty good shape in this country, despite the debt. Not that the debt didn’t need to be dealt with. It did. However, voting overall for Democrats was not going to solve it. It was going to make it worse….and it is.

capejasmine on August 26, 2010 at 2:06 PM

During the Clinton years the money rolled in from the capital gains taxes from all the buying and selling of stock during the rising bubble stock market.
Once that stock market bubble burst, tax revenues fell dramatically.

albill on August 26, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Yes, well, when you have never truly earned money through hard work, these things happen.

reaganaut on August 26, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Mary in LA on August 26, 2010 at 2:04 PM

While you missed a pretty funny comment I made to it (and I’m pretty surprised I didn’t get banned to be honest LOL), I’m just coopting it’s favorite comment (count it!) which it uses to celebrate the cause of our current situation.

It posts “count it!” when the democrats do something.

So I’m just posting “count it!” when the inevitable results.

lorien1973 on August 26, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Let’s not forget also, that before 2007, we were in pretty good shape in this country, despite the debt. Not that the debt didn’t need to be dealt with. It did. However, voting overall for Democrats was not going to solve it. It was going to make it worse….and it is.

capejasmine on August 26, 2010 at 2:06 PM

I beg to differ. We were not in good shape. True the defecit was lower, but we still had not addressed the 800 pound gorrilas in the room, Social Secuirty and Medicares unfunded liabilities. They were and still are huge ticking time bobms waiting to go off.

Johnnyreb on August 26, 2010 at 2:11 PM

So what part of “spread the wealth” didn’t Mort understand.

rbj on August 26, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Meanwhile, on Drudge

Obama Heads Out for Golf Round #48…

Schadenfreude on August 26, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Zuckerman has looked out upon the electorate and this is what he sees:

…unlike other recessions, this will not be followed by the kind of economic boom when people who had sat on their money during the lean years unleash pent-up demand for all sorts of goods and services.
There is no sign of that happening this time around.

Mort, that’s because this isn’t a recession. It never was a recession.

A few actual economists are starting to realize that.

dogsoldier on August 26, 2010 at 2:13 PM

While you missed a pretty funny comment I made to it (and I’m pretty surprised I didn’t get banned to be honest LOL) …

lorien1973 on August 26, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Aw, man!!!
/Bart Simpson voice

Got link? ;-)

Mary in LA on August 26, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Schadenfreude on August 26, 2010 at 2:12 PM

He did phone Timmy and Larry this morning, though, to be fair.

I read Boehners’s plan to fix things. Meh.

I don’t think it’s enough of the right stuff. We need serious R&D tax incentives and the country needs a prgamatic and friendly Industrial Policy. Presently we lack both.

When I say Industrial Policy I do not refer to the nonsense spewing from Zero.

I’m thinking y’know, formal and omg, coherrent!

dogsoldier on August 26, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Wait…Obama’s not the one? EJECT EJECT EJECT

Osis on August 26, 2010 at 2:23 PM

What did this idiot expect from Obama?

Zuckerman and guys like him seem to be a strange mix of really smart stupid people. It’s almost as if they are are smart enough to convince themselves of the most idiotic ideas imaginable. A less intelligent could never be that stupid.

sharrukin on August 26, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Zuck – relax. Biden has the solution – lets spend another trillion on BS projects!

iam7545 on August 26, 2010 at 2:34 PM

No politician will ever slash entitlements! It’s very unfortunate, but they must be cut! Welfare must be reorganized it’s like it’s own little anchor baby heaven just keep having babies and collecting 8 babies x 1200 ea child = 9600 per mth x 12 = 115,200 annual sounds like a good deal too me, this doesn’t include food stamps, Medicaid, WIC etc. We must cut it to 2 children anything over 2 children it is mandatory for parent(s) to work. Food Stamps should ONLY cover necessity foods, milk, bread, meat, veggies NO potate chips, soda, ice cream, specialty lunch meats, cheese/meat platters (I actually saw someone pay for a holiday cheese platter w/food stamps). NO cell phone plans it is a luxury to have a cell phone not a right. These are just a few that need to be cut. NO meals given in schools to children this is insane all these children get free meals. If their on welfare then you can afford to send them to scholl with lunch!!!!!!!!! Ok nuff said.

xler8bmw on August 26, 2010 at 2:39 PM

xler8bmw on August 26, 2010 at 2:39 PM

I did some research and found that in Florida there are over 15,300 government employees who work for the welfare system. Gone are the days of shame where you had to show up at the welfare office, be interviewed to collect your check, and show proof that you were seeking employment. All you have to do is sign up for it online and that’s it. Illegal? No problem. Single male? No problem

The entitlement class and all entitlement programs need to be audited. This will create jobs in the private sector, elimate the 15k on the taxpayer payroll and eject moochers and swindlers from the rolls.

If Rick Scott is elected, I’ll bet this happens.

Key West Reader on August 26, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Key West Reader on August 26, 2010 at 2:52 PM

You’re absolutely correct it was a shame upon the family to be on gov assistance now it’s a badge of honor! My Dad lives in FL trying to take care of stuff is a nightmare down there.

xler8bmw on August 26, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Next time Mort, when someone says to you have you seen those Rev Wright tapes, you owe it to yourself to watch.

tarpon on August 26, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Zuckerman’s refusal to admit that entitlments are the main problem facing getting the federal budget under control shows the problems the Republicans will face next year if they win the House and/or Senate and then try to be fiscally responsible.

Mort’s probably the closest thing to a ‘swing voter’ in the big media — his New York Daily News did endorse Bush in 2000 and 2004 — but like many swing voters, he expects the people he supports to solve the problems with magic fairy dust, and gets angry when they don’t. His wrath at Obama over the past six months will be flipped to wrath at the Republicans by this time next year if they try to follow through with spending cuts, because Zuckerman’s only thinking about the bottom line number, and not all the other lines that have to be cut to get there.

jon1979 on August 26, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Hopefully, with the addition of some tea party people, the Republicans won’t get tempted to out-Democrat the Democrats this time. What’s going to be interesting is how the Obama Administration handles all of this. As the Republicans try to pull back on the massive spending increases, Obama is going to play the Clinton veto game. Will the voters let him get away with it? It’s going to boil down to the P.R. battle. When Clinton played his game, he had the LSM behind him. It appears the LSM is beginning to lose it’s power, judging from the polls on all this legislation Obama and the LSM have been trumpeting, so it could be a long haul for him.

I would hope that Obama and company take the results of this election seriously and that the voters take their responsibilities seriously for this election. This election has the capability of sending a serious message to both parties but only if the Democrats understand they lost because they didn’t do the right thing and just didn’t get their message out.

bflat879 on August 26, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Should change his name to Suckerman.

edshepp on August 26, 2010 at 3:07 PM

When can we say I told you so?

Azackly. I like Mort Zuckerman. I have no problem with Mort Zuckerman. But he was a fool not to see that Obama is liar and a fraud. He’s a media mogul, for cripes sakes. I’m a sales schmuck and I saw right through this jerkoff.

His Jewish liberal demons made him blind to Obama, he so desperately wanted him to be The One.

Jaibones on August 26, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Zuckerman should get together with Peggy Noonan for a joint stupidity struggle session.

Cicero43 on August 26, 2010 at 3:16 PM

In 2046 when the Dems win both congress and the White House for the first time in decades, they will spend recklessly and try to nationalize health care.

Akzed on August 26, 2010 at 3:17 PM

The 2006 democrat congress IS TO BLAME for the excessive spending and our massive national debt.

http://static.open.salon.com/files/cbo1252592974.gif

dthorny on August 26, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Scale of US debt:

With the debt at $14T, how long will it take to pay off just the principal amount? These numbers assume some fairly unfair conditions, like no interest (Savings Bonds and T-Bills) nor additional debt (deficit spending).

To pay off $14T in debt at:

$500B per year = 28 years (unrealistic)
$100B per year = 140 years (painful, but possible)
$50B per year = 280 years (realistic)
$10B per year = 1400 years (why bother)

So if we started now, and paid off our national debt at a rate of $50B per year, we would be debt free by the year 2290. Of course, this date would be extended by the amount of interest we’d end up paying on a 280 year mortgage, and absolutely no new debt. For 300 years. Anyone believe that’s possible?

Yeah, we’re bankrupt. Imagine telling your mortgage holder that your repayment plan extends for 280 years.

BobMbx on August 26, 2010 at 3:40 PM

There’s a Zucker born every minute.

Del Dolemonte on August 26, 2010 at 3:52 PM

BobMbx on August 26, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Well, that’s assuming a lot of stasis. If we did away with Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Dept of Labor, Dept of Education, HHS, Commerce Dept, Dept of Energy, Dept of Agriculture, pulled out of the UN, IMF and Export Import Bank, shut down Fanny & Freddie, ended all federal aid to universities, ended earmarks, ended capital gains taxes, all corporate taxes, the death tax, all taxes on exported goods, and everyone paid a federal tax of 10% on income (wages exempted), we’d be able to pay it down in oh, maybe 15 years.

Akzed on August 26, 2010 at 4:23 PM

I’ve got a deal for Mort. I’ll support cutting defense spending down to $100 Billion if he’ll support cutting social welfare spending down to $100 Billion.

Or, we can cut 20% of defense spending and 20% of pre-2009 social welfare spending.

But what normally happens is that Defense gets gutted, social spending gets cuts to the RATE OF GROWTH, and people say it’s an even distribution of belt-tightening.

hawksruleva on August 26, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Akzed on August 26, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Wow, all we’d be left with then is a military and a lean, efficient federal government.

Racist. Clearly you hate America.

BobMbx on August 26, 2010 at 4:46 PM

But what normally happens is that Defense gets gutted, social spending gets cuts to the RATE OF GROWTH, and people say it’s an even distribution of belt-tightening.

hawksruleva on August 26, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Whatever happened to those haircuts everyone was going to get? It looks like instead of a trim, the federal government grew dreadlocks.

BobMbx on August 26, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Zuckerman: Obama WH most fiscally irresponsible evah

Don’t forget, folks, that Zuckerman is a lefty, so his idea of “fiscal responsibility” has nothing to do with cutting spending. He just wants us to be taxed more.

UltimateBob on August 26, 2010 at 5:02 PM

If Mort is such a smart guy, how is it he didn’t see this fiscal train wreck coming. It was plain as day – but he voted for candidate train wreck, and used his influence to help manifest the mess we have today. So thanks for yelling “Fire” Mort long after the homestead’s already burnt down.

Mark30339 on August 26, 2010 at 5:23 PM