Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on February 25, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Wouldn’t it be nice if the people in charge bothered to research issues before opining on them? Barack Obama had another “acted stupidly” moment last week, this time on the topic of government shutdowns. The President warned Social Security recipients that a government shutdown would cut off their monthly checks:

And I think people should be careful about being too loose in terms of talking about a government shutdown, because this has — this is not an abstraction. People don’t get their Social Security checks. They don’t get their veterans payments.

Really?  Er … apparently not.  CNN Money did the legwork that Obama should have done before displaying his level of understanding regarding budgets and mandatory spending:

During the last major shutdown, which lasted about a month starting in late 1995, the Social Security Administration mailed checks throughout the crisis, and a close reading of established law makes clear the agency has the legal authority to do so again.

“I am absolutely sure the checks would be sent out,” said John F. Cooney, a partner at law firm Venable who designed shutdown plans for the government while employed at the Office of Management and Budget.

Robert Reischauer, president of the Urban Institute and a trustee of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, backed that view, saying claims that benefits won’t be paid are “not true.”

CNN Money goes into the history of Social Security payments during the last shutdown, but the simple answer is this: Congress doesn’t need to approve funds for mandatory spending, because existing law makes it, well, mandatory. Social Security benefits are paid through the trust fund, which has the implied authority to keep paying its staff because it is legally required to keep cutting the checks.  The Clinton administration made it clear that SSA had to continue operations, and so it did — and so it will if we hit another government shutdown this year.

If Obama wants to talk about the effects of a government shutdown, is it too much to ask that the purported Constitutional scholar learn about them first?

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

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Wrong again.

50sGuy on February 25, 2011 at 8:06 AM

OK, so the SS checks go out. Might a government shutdown mean Obama stops being POTUS? BONUS!

apostic on February 25, 2011 at 8:09 AM

If Obama wants to talk about the effects of a government shutdown, is it too much to ask that the purported Constitutional scholar learn about them first?

Well It’s an understandable mistake, Social Security isn’t in the Constitution

Gwillie on February 25, 2011 at 8:10 AM

dog

AH_C on February 25, 2011 at 8:11 AM

“Makin’ it up as I go along.”

The Gospel of barack. Chapter 1, Verse 1.

DuctTapeMyBrain on February 25, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Sounds like Obama is playing his second favorite card again.

His first favorite is the Race Card.

In this case, his second favorite is the FEAR Card.

pilamaye on February 25, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Just think of it as government “going on a vacation” Zero.

viking01 on February 25, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Pathetically uninformed ? Or just another cynical attempt to scare the crap out of everybody ? You decide.

teacherman on February 25, 2011 at 8:13 AM

During a Government shutdown, do I stop being taxed? If the answer is no then the entitlements can flow.

Electrongod on February 25, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Obama can say anything he chooses with the comfort of knowing the media will cover his back at every turn.

Keemo on February 25, 2011 at 8:16 AM

Don’t know much about history…..

ConservativeMom on February 25, 2011 at 8:16 AM

I love it when he pulls the “old people are stupid” stuff.

katy the mean old lady on February 25, 2011 at 8:16 AM

Yeah, Ed, but facts don’t scare people. Therefore, they have no business coming out of a Democrat’s mouth.

Kafir on February 25, 2011 at 8:16 AM

…..and a close reading of established law makes clear the agency has the legal authority to do so again.

Well, I’m sure they won’t get any input from the PantLoad in Chief to prevent it for some BS political talking point..or anything.

BigWyo on February 25, 2011 at 8:16 AM

Then the Republicans had better get out front with this message and tell the public that while the Dems in Congress are holding fiscal sanity hostage by not approving the budget cuts included in the House CR bill, they are also falsely claiming that their threatened government shutdown will stop SS payments. Don’t let the Democrats put the country into further debt with this falsehood. Your SS checks will continue to be delivered.

onlineanalyst on February 25, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Pssssst….Barry….you are the head of the Government. The folks who cut the checks have you for a boss. If the checks don’t land in mailboxes who are the folks gonna want to call day and night (even 3 am)?

Limerick on February 25, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Pathetically uninformed ? Or just another cynical attempt to scare the crap out of everybody ? You decide.

teacherman on February 25, 2011 at 8:13 AM

I decided he is a F assh*le. I know it wasn’t on your list but I have decided.

Electrongod on February 25, 2011 at 8:18 AM

BTW…anyone see this mornings paper…GM cuts it’s workers $4300 ‘profit’ sharing checks.

Damn I wish I had a UAW job. I wouldn’t have to worry about Barry’s SS check landing in my mailbox.

Limerick on February 25, 2011 at 8:19 AM

Why let a little thing like the facts get in the way of a perfectly good lie?

sandee on February 25, 2011 at 8:20 AM

Yeah. But he doesn’t let his concern get in the way of partyin’ down.

kingsjester on February 25, 2011 at 8:21 AM

Think of the gas it would save, Jughead.

viking01 on February 25, 2011 at 8:23 AM

During a Government shutdown, do I stop being taxed? If the answer is no then the entitlements can flow.

Electrongod on February 25, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Interesting point. If the government does indeed shut down, somehow I doubt they’ll stop collecting taxes.

CurtZHP on February 25, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Electrongod @ 8:18.

That, my friend, is a very reasonable third option.

teacherman on February 25, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Fearmongerer.

loudmouth883 on February 25, 2011 at 8:25 AM

GubmentMotors and UNION security checks.

Limerick on February 25, 2011 at 8:26 AM

The old people are going to be thrown out in the streets and made to eat dog food!!!!

ladyingray on February 25, 2011 at 8:28 AM

ladyingray on February 25, 2011 at 8:28 AM

YouTube it please.

Limerick on February 25, 2011 at 8:29 AM

Why wouldn’t the checks go out? We’ve been told over and over that there is PLENTY of money in SS now….no..no..no, really there is PLENTY of money in SS to pay you. We haven’t touched it….right????

sicoit on February 25, 2011 at 8:30 AM

I have to call bull-sh!t, on this being an Obamateurism.

This Cockroach of a President knows exactly what he’s saying and doing.

And, this Narcissistic little Pr*ck (w/a Capital “P”) thinks you’re too stupid to figure it out.

franksalterego on February 25, 2011 at 8:31 AM

And when the government shuts down, those old folks better watch out! That’s when the robots will attack…

apostic on February 25, 2011 at 8:33 AM

He’s trying to scare the elderly with lies.

If I didn’t know better, I’d think the Democrats are projecting when they accuse Republicans of “politics of fear” and FNC of lying.

forest on February 25, 2011 at 8:35 AM

You have to elect him to find out what’s in him.

Mojave Mark on February 25, 2011 at 8:35 AM

It’s the same old tired “Women and minorities hardest hit” li(n)e of Bravo Sierra.

Then again, we’re talking about an administration that thinks it can pick and choose which laws it obeys, substituting its own dictates for the laws it disagrees with.

steveegg on February 25, 2011 at 8:36 AM

If Obama wants to talk about the effects of a government shutdown, is it too much to ask that the purported Constitutional scholar learn about them first?

Of course it’s too much!
Let the man eat his waffle…
March Madness next week!

Cut the guy a break.
Presidentin’ in hard work.
And no fun at all…

Haiku Guy on February 25, 2011 at 8:39 AM

steveegg on February 25, 2011 at 8:36 AM

The Inconvenient Rules?

Limerick on February 25, 2011 at 8:39 AM

Don’t know much about history…..

ConservativeMom on February 25, 2011 at 8:16 AM

I love that song by the great Sam Cooke. :)

50sGuy on February 25, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Are kidding? Nothing stops Uncle Sam from spending money he doesn’t have. The whole concept of government “shutting down” is intended for the inattentive to latch on to and parrot. If pols truly believed that spending money we don’t have was a big effin deal, they never would have dug a hole this deep in the first place.

pugwriter on February 25, 2011 at 8:40 AM

The Inconvenient Rules?

Limerick on February 25, 2011 at 8:39 AM

Yep.

steveegg on February 25, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Yeah. But he doesn’t let his concern get in the way of partyin’ down.

kingsjester on February 25, 2011 at 8:21 AM

Yeah, Motown is a ghost town, and that is why ObaMao is partying. Look for the union label.

onlineanalyst on February 25, 2011 at 8:41 AM

Are kidding? Nothing stops Uncle Sam from spending money he doesn’t have. The whole concept of government “shutting down” is intended for the inattentive to latch on to and parrot. If pols truly believed that spending money we don’t have was a big effin deal, they never would have dug a hole this deep in the first place.

pugwriter on February 25, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Minor point of order – Congress has to authorize the executive branch to spend money it doesn’t have. No authority, no spending.

As for SocSecurity, it just happens to be “mandatory” spending, which means it gets spent on until the theoretical money dries up unless the Social Security Administration is specifically ordered by Congress to stop.

steveegg on February 25, 2011 at 8:43 AM

This is what we are dealing with…my daily anecdote…

I’m at the local gas station this morning standing in line. Folks are tearing up the poor clerk…”Why is YOUR gas so high?”…someone says “Libya”. trying to rescue the clerk, and all the bitchers turn around and you can see none of them have a clue.

There are your voters. There are the folks who believe Olby, and Joy, and Good Morning America.

Limerick on February 25, 2011 at 8:45 AM

“Constitutional scholar”? Nothing he has ever done lends credence to that title.The adjunct lecturer should shut up.

I would accept “scholar” for a real academic, but this man is nothing of the sort. He’s a socialist rabble rouser and nothing more. The press has handed him undeserved accolades and has done minimal reporting on his background, his views or even his current behaviors. The MS media is merely a branch of the dems and no longer serves any legitimate purpose.

clnurnberg on February 25, 2011 at 8:45 AM

You have to elect him to find out what’s in him.

Mojave Mark on February 25, 2011 at 8:35 AM

If only that was true. The MSM continues to lie and minimize and hide facts on his behalf.

clnurnberg on February 25, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Congress doesn’t need to approve funds for mandatory spending, because existing law makes it, well, mandatory.

The hell you say, Ed…/ Now does that lil’ factoid right there mean that FBHO can’t take the issue and demagogue and fear-monger it to death?? I s’pose not….

ted c on February 25, 2011 at 8:50 AM

Are kidding? Nothing stops Uncle Sam from spending money he doesn’t have. The whole concept of government “shutting down” is intended for the inattentive to latch on to and parrot. If pols truly believed that spending money we don’t have was a big effin deal, they never would have dug a hole this deep in the first place.

pugwriter on February 25, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Minor point of order – Congress has to authorize the executive branch to spend money it doesn’t have. No authority, no spending.

As for SocSecurity, it just happens to be “mandatory” spending, which means it gets spent on until the theoretical money dries up unless the Social Security Administration is specifically ordered by Congress to stop.

steveegg on February 25, 2011 at 8:43 AM

Yes, I get all that. My basic premise remains. Besides what catastrophe occurred from the ’95 shutdown? Nada!

pugwriter on February 25, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Grunt on February 25, 2011 at 9:07 AM

The facts about SS checks must have been included in a briefing that occurred before 9:30.

Beaglemom on February 25, 2011 at 9:08 AM

This highlights the fact that overpaid and overbenefited and overpensioned and unproductive government workers process checks for entitlement payments. That would be the easiest function to farm out by bids to private contracting companies like ADP, and that would save us money.

Someone get on that.

slickwillie2001 on February 25, 2011 at 9:29 AM

Obutthead doesn’t have to learn. Or think! His job is to stand there, be purty, and read the TOTUS. The thinking comes from the dumbarses he has in his administration. Even if they have a brain the size of tomato seed.

capejasmine on February 25, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Yes, I get all that. My basic premise remains. Besides what catastrophe occurred from the ’95 shutdown? Nada!

pugwriter on February 25, 2011 at 8:51 AM

Point noted.

steveegg on February 25, 2011 at 9:36 AM

“Makin’ it up as I go along.”

The Gospel of barack. Chapter 1, Verse 1.

DuctTapeMyBrain on February 25, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Second verse
Same as the first.

GrannyDee on February 25, 2011 at 9:37 AM

The Clinton administration made it clear that SSA had to continue operations, and so it did — and so it will if we hit another government shutdown this year.

If Obama wants to talk about the effects of a government shutdown, is it too much to ask that the purported Constitutional scholar learn about them first?

Obama could end Obamateurisms once and for all by permanently appointing Clinton as Spokes-Czar of Difficult Questions and Republican Relations, as he did one Date Night last fall. Obama would remain as President of Golf Cart One, while Billary would handle all the hard stuff, with a little help from Monica Lewinsky.

Steve Z on February 25, 2011 at 9:57 AM

The Clinton administration made it clear that SSA had to continue operations, and so it did — and so it will if we hit another government shutdown this year.

The Clinton group wasn’t prepared to cut off the checks to old folks, even if they could blame it on Republicans.

This group will, so if a few pawns have to go hungry for a while, and it serves the purpose, then so be it. The trick will be effectively blaming it on the Republicans, which is why they are prepping that battlefield right now.

iurockhead on February 25, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Social Security benefits are paid through the trust fund, which has the implied authority to keep paying its staff because it is legally required to keep cutting the checks.

You mean that filing cabinet full of IOU’s in West Virginia that the dimwit cowboy Dubya Bush told us about? Oh well, write up a few more!

Steve Z on February 25, 2011 at 10:02 AM

I think we should transfer the idea of this veiled threat to stop SS payments to the instance of a state-run medical insurance entity, and having someone with the ethics and morals of Teh Øne as Chief Executive who would threaten “a shutdown of medical services” if his demands weren’t met.
.

ExpressoBold on February 25, 2011 at 10:04 AM

This happens too many times for it to be an error. Obama purposely fear mongers with the belief that people are too stupid to know the truth. It just shows how utterly clueless he truly is.

O/T Here’s another promise Obama hasn’t kept:
“If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself — I’ll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America.”

GrannySunni on February 25, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Don’t worry he will make sure those checks don’t go out if he has to unplug the printer himself!

ctmom on February 25, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Billary would handle all the hard stuff, with a little help from Monica Lewinsky.

Steve Z on February 25, 2011 at 9:57 AM

These days, it’s…well, semi-hard.

SKYFOX on February 25, 2011 at 10:13 AM

Whew! Thanks, for a minute there I was afraid I’d have to compete with the cat for that last can. But, then, that was our dear leader talkin’ and BO don’t know jack.

Kissmygrits on February 25, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Silly – BO can say anything he wants; why stick to truthful statements? His minions will begin screeching, repeating his lies, and the dummies who support him will repeat them as truth, over and over again.

disa on February 25, 2011 at 10:36 AM

How naive to think O’Boingo doesn’t know. He knows, alright. He’s just hoping the punters don’t.

mr.blacksheep on February 25, 2011 at 10:42 AM

The best we can hope for from the fluffers in the media is a correction without calling it a correction or in any way passing judgement on the stupidity of the statement.

SKYFOX on February 25, 2011 at 10:48 AM

It never happend in the media. That way they don’t have to apologize.

BetseyRoss on February 25, 2011 at 11:07 AM

This is intentional on Obama’s part. The only thing he left out was that seniors would be eating dogfood.

Buy Danish on February 25, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Fear-mongering misinformation. Now that’s a new tactic.
/s

Freelancer on February 25, 2011 at 11:47 AM

My 88 year old mother heard this and said, “How did this idiot get to be president? I got my checks last time the gov’t shut down.” She’s a pistol, that gal! LOL

odat on February 25, 2011 at 12:11 PM

I’m guessing he knew, but lied.

mikeyboss on February 25, 2011 at 12:25 PM

One would think that the odds would dictate that he’d be correct at least occassionally when making off-prmpter statements, but this guy is just so friggin’ thick.

Dumb AND Arrogant – America can really pick ‘em.

Tim_CA on February 25, 2011 at 12:26 PM

If Obama wants to talk about the effects of a government shutdown, is it too much to ask that the purported Constitutional scholar learn about them first?

Key word – purported.

Schadenfreude on February 25, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Obama=Idiot

old war horse on February 25, 2011 at 2:10 PM

It’s hard to learn about the job, on the job, from 9:30 to 3:00 every day.

AnotherOpinion on February 25, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Reagan shut Washington down three times. Everybody got their money. If any action in Washington shut off Veteran’s pension payments, you’d see what a true march on Washington looks like. Go ahead, mess with the military retirees, there’s many more of us than there are of you buffoons.

“Congress shall make no law…abridging…the right of the people peacably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

You can bank on those who took their oath of enlistment seriously knowing what is meant by the above, and that they will act upon it. If only our lawmakers and our executive knew what their oath of office meant, and if only they meant it when they made that oath.

Freelancer on February 25, 2011 at 2:48 PM

If the government is shut down, it will not run smoothly and it will not be pretty. Little Bammie is no Ronald Reagan, and he will make sure that it’s another crisis for him and his corrupt prog cabal to take advantage of.

slickwillie2001 on February 25, 2011 at 5:16 PM

This is part of a plan. They are counting on shutting down the government and blaming it on Republicans, as in 1995. Back then they had cause, because Gingrich had made a point of doing so. He got his head handed to him by the media. This time, the Republicans have carefully made the point that their cuts will not force a raising of the debt ceiling. Doing so would play into the Democrats’ hands. They’re already giving away their game.

flataffect on February 25, 2011 at 11:09 PM