Obama to offer “scalpel, not machete” for entitlement reform

posted at 9:30 am on April 11, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama has belatedly discovered that Americans want to see reductions in government spending.  How else to explain David Plouffe’s appearance on a series of talk shows yesterday announcing that the President would unveil a new proposal this week to counter Paul Ryan’s roadmap on entitlement reform?  However, it seems as though Obama still hasn’t figured out the scale of the problem:

In an effort to go on the offensive in the battle over government spending, Obama will look for cuts in “all corners of government,” senior adviser David Plouffesaid on several Sunday talk shows.

Although Obama’s health-care law is projected to curtail Medicare spending over time, “we have to do more,” Plouffe said Sunday, marking the first time the administration has made an explicit commitment to changes in entitlement programs for the purpose of deficit reduction.

Contrasting the president’s approach with what Republican leaders have put forward, Plouffe said Obama will use a “scalpel” and not a “machete” as he seeks to preserve funding for education and other areas he considers crucial to the country’s long-term economic success.

Well, scalpels are fine when the problem comprises a small part of the overall whole.  The federal budget deficit now runs $1.6 trillion, and we’re borrowing 40% of all the money we spend each year.  If 40% of a patient had gangrene, to use Plouffe’s analogy, using a scalpel to trim off the edges would leave one with a dead patient.

Recall that Barack Obama just delivered a ten-year projection for his spending plan with the FY2012 budget proposal last month.  His plan didn’t envision any systemic reform of entitlement spending beyond his fanciful estimations of ObamaCare on Medicare.  With his base already in revolt over the tax deal (and afterward, Libya), Obama had no desire to engage in a debate on entitlements.  Ryan’s plan has put Obama on the defensive, and the White House is playing catch-up.

Now that Obama is acknowledging the need for budget cuts and the role of entitlements in the deficit/debt crisis, he’s stuck.  The White House has to offer a plan that actually cuts entitlement spending enough to close the deficit gap, or they have to raise revenues.  The question isn’t whether a machete gets used, it’s a question of where they plan to use the machete — on entitlement spending, or on taxpayers?  Now that Obama has engaged on the issue, those are the only two choices he has.

Update: Jen Rubin pronounces the Obama do-over on the budget “pathetic.”  I don’t disagree, but it’s useful as an indicator of just how much the paradigm has changed.


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Least serious president ever.

rbj on April 11, 2011 at 9:33 AM

He had a chance 3 years ago for a scalpel, now its time to just chop the whole thing up!

tim c on April 11, 2011 at 9:33 AM

Cutting his way out of the Amazon jungle with a scalpel will get him no where, but he knows that.

darwin-t on April 11, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Seriously, Ed, can we please have either a poll or a pool on how much money Obama’s “serious” budget will cut? My bet is $100 billion across the next ten years, tops.

WesternActor on April 11, 2011 at 9:35 AM

The question isn’t whether a machete gets used, it’s a question of where they plan to use the machete — on entitlement spending, or on taxpayers? Now that Obama has engaged on the issue, those are the only two choices he has.

Like we have to ask which way Obama will go? He’ll offer some token cuts at best. The rest will be tax hikes on “the rich”.

Doughboy on April 11, 2011 at 9:36 AM

First “entitlements” to amputate are Obama’s federal hack authoritarian appointments along with unconstitutional corrupt bureaucracies: Holder, Holden, Geithner, J.Napolitano/DHS, …

maverick muse on April 11, 2011 at 9:37 AM

In other words, Obama just wants to do so whittling on the budget, instead of initiating serious cuts that are needed.

Another demonstration that he is less than serious on solving this matter.

pilamaye on April 11, 2011 at 9:37 AM

Obama will use a “scalpel” and not a “machete”

Is it just me. Or does everything that comes out of this mans mouth sound like a prewritten sound bite.

Tommy_G on April 11, 2011 at 9:37 AM

Saw him on the Teee-Veeeee yesterday, repeating that pathetic “line-by-line” spiel. Total joke!

blatantblue on April 11, 2011 at 9:37 AM

I wish somebody would give Chicago Jesus a calculator.

Tim Zank on April 11, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Wednesday night…O gives worthless speech.

Thursday morning…Announces another VA-CA-CAY!!!

GrannyDee on April 11, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Is it just me. Or does everything that comes out of this mans mouth sound like a prewritten sound bite.

Tommy_G on April 11, 2011 at 9:37 AM

It’s not just you. I think 99.99999% of the stuff he says is prescripted. You can tell when he’s not working from something already written out because he says “uh” about ten times more than he says actual words.

WesternActor on April 11, 2011 at 9:39 AM

How about we take that scalpel, and next election surgically remove Obama…

right2bright on April 11, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Cutting his way out of the Amazon jungle with a scalpel will get him no where, but he knows that.

darwin-t on April 11, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Given that setting, the scalpel would only seem useful for torture and murder.

maverick muse on April 11, 2011 at 9:40 AM

You must pass his budget before you see what is in the budget…

right2bright on April 11, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Obama will use a “scalpel” and not a “machete”

Obama used that line against ’08 McCain in debate and campaign. Hack!

maverick muse on April 11, 2011 at 9:42 AM

We all know what this is about: 2012.

I find it so interesting that it was not the Presidents Secretary of the Treasury or OMB Director announcing this yesterday, but his top political advisor. Anyone else find that interesting?

As for 2012, as many other pundits have al ready mentioned, this is desgiend to make the President look “reasonable,” by offering the “safe” approach up against Paul Ryan’s “extreme” approach.

Overall, you are looking at smoke and mirrors, a couple of nicks on entitlement reform (but nothing too serious as to either make a dent or turn his base totally against him) no reductions on enviornmental “investments” or education, and tax reform desgined to lower the overall rate YET eliminate almost all loopholes which will equal, by Plouffes own admission, a net tax INCREASE on job creators.

2012 my friends… that’s what it is all about. “Rising above the fray,” while not actually doing a damn thing to help us.

Indy82 on April 11, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Heh. He’s already losing his base, big time. This new scalpel budget’s not gonna help him there. :-)

IrishEi on April 11, 2011 at 9:43 AM

SSDD

cmsinaz on April 11, 2011 at 9:43 AM

GrannyDee on April 11, 2011 at 9:38 AM

I thought I was the only one wondering where he’ll be heading to after this speech.
Great minds, I guess, eh ?

pambi on April 11, 2011 at 9:43 AM

does “on several Sunday talk shows” mean “all sunday shows except Fox”? Sorry, but I tend to avoid political shows on Sundays, but I’d predict the ones’ messengers would skip Fox again.

shanimal on April 11, 2011 at 9:45 AM

This “scalpel” meme is several weeks old, yes? Did no one on their team notice that the country realized (1) we now need a chainsaw instead of a scalpel, (2) a promise of a cut is not a cut, and (2) a butter knife is not a scalpel.

apostic on April 11, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Obama will use a “scalpel” and not a “machete”

WE NEED A AXE

IowaWoman on April 11, 2011 at 9:46 AM

does “on several Sunday talk shows” mean “all sunday shows except Fox”? Sorry, but I tend to avoid political shows on Sundays, but I’d predict the ones’ messengers would skip Fox again.

shanimal on April 11, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Surprisingly, Plouffe did appear on FOX News Sunday with Wallace. And even more remarkable: FOX got to break the news about the new scalpel budget.

IrishEi on April 11, 2011 at 9:46 AM

and (3) a typo is a typo ;)

apostic on April 11, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Obama’s team has been using the “scalpel” line for years – and it’s still irrelevant.

His plan has always been to mitigate the deficit (because “balance the budget” is out of order here) on the backs of business and the taxpayer, for the benefit of the non-taxpayer. If he’s trying to incite a class war, he’s doing a mighty fine job.

KingGold on April 11, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Obama will use a “scalpel” and not a “machete”

When the limb is as gangrenous as our entitlement system, the appropriate tool is a hacksaw.

Count to 10 on April 11, 2011 at 9:48 AM

We need a scalpel to remove the cancer that is BHO from the body politic.

JohnGalt23 on April 11, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Time for Trump to switch gears.

Pile on.

artist on April 11, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Obama used that line against ’08 McCain in debate and campaign. Hack!

maverick muse on April 11, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Saw him on the Teee-Veeeee yesterday, repeating that pathetic “line-by-line” spiel. Total joke!

blatantblue on April 11, 2011 at 9:37 AM

Like I’ve said, the 2012 campaign will feel like a rerun. Get ready for lengthy speeches filled with nothing but platitudes and buckpassing that’ll make one wonder if Obama’s even aware he’s been President since January 2009. I’ll bet even a few folks in the crowd will “faint” when he speaks.

BTW, I cannot believe he’s still using that line-by-line BS. This is a guy who signed the trillion dollar Porkulus into law so quickly that no one(including him) had time to skim it much less read it “line-by-line”. Hell, does anyone even think he’s read his health care law? I don’t.

Doughboy on April 11, 2011 at 9:49 AM

shanimal on April 11, 2011 at 9:45 AM

He was on Fox News Sunday (not FNC, but local affiliates) with Chris Wallace. Followed nicely by Eric Cantor.

pambi on April 11, 2011 at 9:49 AM

After pouring in spending with a backhoe, he want’s to use a scalpel to cut it?

And they think their problem is merely “messaging”.

JeffWeimer on April 11, 2011 at 9:49 AM

Obama used that line against ’08 McCain in debate and campaign. Hack!

maverick muse on April 11, 2011 at 9:42 AM

…saw!

Count to 10 on April 11, 2011 at 9:50 AM

We need to take a chainsaw to the budget.

rbj on April 11, 2011 at 9:50 AM

We’ll get infinitesimally less of the same, and the lamestreamers will tout it as “smarter spending” by The new Reagan.

Akzed on April 11, 2011 at 9:50 AM

I wish somebody would give Chicago Jesus a calculator.

Tim Zank on April 11, 2011 at 9:38 AM

He wouldn’t know how to use it. Remember, this is the guy who predicted that under Obamacare, some people’s health insurance premiums would be reduced by 3,000%.

AZCoyote on April 11, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Obama will use a “scalpel” and not a “machete”
WE NEED A AXE

IowaWoman on April 11, 2011 at 9:46 AM

CHAINSAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

pilamaye on April 11, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Given that setting, the scalpel would only seem useful for torture and murder.

maverick muse on April 11, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Seems as though he’s being successful then. The country is dying a torturous death.

darwin-t on April 11, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Gird your loins for a most excellent WTF proposal.

He will go way beyond ‘Let them eat cake’ and tempt us with much less savory fare.

Peri Winkle on April 11, 2011 at 9:53 AM

That is just “messaging” i.e., trying to imprint inot the minds of the public that Obama is like a trusted surgon, while to GOP is like some crazy machette weilding madman. If the GOP is smart they’ll one-up him on this by laying claim to the use of the laser. It just sounds more techy and less vulgar that the machette.

MikeA on April 11, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Without meaning to be hyperbolic, this reminds me of the Marie Antoinette quote “They have no bread? Then let them eat cake”. She didn’t understand they didn’t have any food of any kind to eat. And Obama doesn’t understand not only do we have no money at all to spend, unless we borrow it from sometimes unfriendly countries, but that we’re so seriously in debt that we can’t with good conscience borrow any more money at all.

To sum up, Obama is attempting to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Paul-Cincy on April 11, 2011 at 9:55 AM

When Obummer says ‘machete’ he’s aiming for the middle class.

bloviator on April 11, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Obama & crew still think if the president goes out there and says the woods are full of magical flying unicorns, a majority of the public will believe the woods are full of magical flying unicorns.

In the case of the budget, they truly believe all the president has to do is go out and sound and look good in some stern talk about the budget and they can get away with cutting virtually nothing from the budget, because it’s still 2008 and the swing voters still believe Obama’s shooting rainbows out of his keister. That may be true for the hard core Democrats (Chris Matthews is still wishing to get a pair of Obama’s rainbow-splattered underpants to sniff on), but the moderates are no longer in the mood — they may not be 100 percent committed yet to voting against Obama in 2012, but they now actually want him to back up his talk with action.

jon1979 on April 11, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Obama’s approach to cutting the budget is akin to a lumberjack felling a redwood using a chain saw without starting the motor.

iamsaved on April 11, 2011 at 9:57 AM

it’s useful as an indicator of just how much the paradigm has changed.

Are we finally defining the narrative? Please?

parteagirl on April 11, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Get some new material, jug-ears.

Naturally Curly on April 11, 2011 at 9:57 AM

GrannyDee on April 11, 2011 at 9:38 AM

I thought I was the only one wondering where he’ll be heading to after this speech.
Great minds, I guess, eh ?

pambi on April 11, 2011 at 9:43 AM

All the conservatives at HA have great minds. It’s hard for me to keep up most of the time.

My prediction: The O and Mooch-Chelle go somewhere very exotic and extremely expensive to make up for their cancelled Williamsburg trip. Afterall, they’re working so hard to destroy our country and nanny-state us to death, they deserve to pamper themselves on our dime, don’t they?

Well…don’t they?

/

GrannyDee on April 11, 2011 at 9:57 AM

If the GOP is smart they’ll one-up him on this by laying claim to the use of the laser. It just sounds more techy and less vulgar that the machette.

MikeA on April 11, 2011 at 9:55 AM

That’s hilarious, yet pitiful this is the political discourse, and, you’re probably right!

Paul-Cincy on April 11, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Use a scalpel instead of a machete. Where have we heard that line before? When you’re as deep in the woods as we are, you need that machete. Start the whacking, Mr. B.

Kissmygrits on April 11, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Does anyone else remember hearing the O himself complain about redundancy in the gov’t ? In some speech (SOTU ??) he pointed it out re the fishing industry.
This is driving me nuts trying to locate that quote .. Any help ??

pambi on April 11, 2011 at 10:01 AM

“scalpel, not machete”

Can we put this stupid analogy to rest please?
Surgeons also use scissors and saws, including power ones. When you have cutting to do you suit the tool to the job, not the job to the tool.

Rocks on April 11, 2011 at 10:01 AM

the use of the laser. It just sounds more techy and less vulgar that the machette.

MikeA on April 11, 2011 at 9:55 AM

“And He shall trump your laser-focus with a mighty hard-pivot.”

Peri Winkle on April 11, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Maybe he needs a sharper scalpel. The one he promised to use while campaigning has only cut his approval rating.

John Deaux on April 11, 2011 at 10:03 AM

(Invoking Ash: ) “See this? This … is my VROOM SAW!”

apostic on April 11, 2011 at 10:03 AM

… If he’s trying to incite a class war, he’s doing a mighty fine job.
KingGold on April 11, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Yes and yes.

marybel on April 11, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Contrasting the president’s approach with what Republican leaders have put forward, Plouffe said Obama will use a “scalpel” and not a “machete” as he seeks to preserve funding for education and other areas he considers crucial to the country’s long-term economic success.

He’ll get away with it too, as his media cheering section hails the “new Obama” who is “sobered” by America’s fiscal crisis but more “adult” about his solutions than those screaming baby Teabaggers. They will rain Hosannas on him for maintaining “critical investments” that are “essential to the nation’s econmoic future.”

You guys really don’t get it. The media are not going to let this guy fail. They will never see that their Emperor is naked. They will keep describing to us his beautiful new clothes, in this case his beautiful new sober and reasonable fiscal policy, right up until November 2012.

rockmom on April 11, 2011 at 10:05 AM

What the heck is this? Lucy, you got some splainin’ to do…

HR 1363, the Bill which Congress passed to avoid a gov’t shutdown, Sec. 134 states: “Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, for payment in equal shares to the children and grandchildren of Robert C. Byrd, $193,400 is appropriated.” Money for nothing…

Even in death, Sheets Byrd is giving our money to his family.

How about taking a scalpel to this.

av8tr on April 11, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Seriously, Ed, can we please have either a poll or a pool on how much money Obama’s “serious” budget will cut? My bet is $100 billion across the next ten years, tops.

WesternActor on April 11, 2011 at 9:35 AM

I took my 5 year old nephew to the circus years ago. He got some cotton candy on a stick that was huge, bigger than a watermelon. I asked him if I could have some, and he pinched off a tiny bit between his thumb and forefinger and he gave it to me. I asked one more time, and he did the same thing. He gave me less than 1% of the total. Obama won’t even go that far.

Paul-Cincy on April 11, 2011 at 10:06 AM

When you have cutting to do you suit the tool to the job, not the job to the tool.

Rocks on April 11, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Not if you’re a stool who knows nothing about tools or their usage.

darwin-t on April 11, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Don´t believe a word…….
Saying what he thinks people want to hear and doing what people do not want!
Next election can not come soon enough!

gullxn on April 11, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Plouffe said Obama will use a “scalpel” and not a “machete”

RAAAAAACIST

fossten on April 11, 2011 at 10:07 AM

this reminds me of the Marie Antoinette quote “They have no bread? Then let them eat cake”. She didn’t understand they didn’t have any food of any kind to eat.

Paul-Cincy on April 11, 2011 at 9:55 AM

I was taught that by “cake”, she did not mean a frosted dessert, but rather the charred remains of bread that would get “caked” onto the walls of bakery ovens. In other words, she knew they didn’t have food, and thought little enough of them that she figured something barely edible was good enough for them.

Count to 10 on April 11, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Can we put this stupid analogy to rest please?
Surgeons also use scissors and saws, including power ones. When you have cutting to do you suit the tool to the job, not the job to the tool.

Rocks on April 11, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Exactly, when the leg is putrifying you use a saw to hack it off, otherwise the patient dies. And you know what, most people would rather be alive with one leg than dead. So it is with our government. It is better to amputate the gangrenous leg now in order to save the patient. Liberals want to keep covering up the rot with perfumes and makeup, all the while assuring the patient that someday he will get up and walk again and he should not listen to that mean old doctor who wants to hack off his leg.

rockmom on April 11, 2011 at 10:08 AM

There’s a simple answer for Democrats to bring down the deficit—raise taxes on everyone!

Rovin on April 11, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Scalpel?

Machete??

How ’bout a combine harvester!

RedPepper on April 11, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Recall that Barack Obama just delivered a ten-year projection for his spending plan with the FY2012 budget proposal last month.

Obama didn’t “deliver” anything. His “idiotic economic advisors” put the whole plan together while Obama has honed his golf game. (exactly how does “the one” swing a golf club with all those puppet strings tied to his body)

Rovin on April 11, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Paul-Cincy on April 11, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Cute story. You should’ve known how hard it is to take candy from a baby and their reluctance to share any of it when coaxed. These swindlers are better analogized as maruading pirates than lil cotton-candy-eating chillens, IMO.

RepubChica on April 11, 2011 at 10:19 AM

see this is how the GOp fails. the Gop should be out there NOW saying

scalpel? We have tried the scalpel for the last 3 years. and the Scalpel has lead to $14 trillion in debt.

It’s time we bring out the freaking chainsaw.

fight dam you fight!

unseen on April 11, 2011 at 10:19 AM

You know old Jack in White Chapel had an affinity for the scalpel too.

Ted Torgerson on April 11, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Plouffe smiles when he lies.

He smiles a lot.

He loses his smile when he’s ramming his Marx into America, maybe the blood is going elsewhere.

Speakup on April 11, 2011 at 10:22 AM

The question isn’t whether a machete gets used, it’s a question of where they plan to use the machete — on entitlement spending, or on taxpayers? Now that Obama has engaged on the issue, those are the only two choices he has

.

no true. He has defense ot cut, wars to end, ships to decommission. “fees” and “loopholes” to close.

Obama has a lot more than two choices.

unseen on April 11, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Right on unseen @10:19

cmsinaz on April 11, 2011 at 10:25 AM

This.

kingsjester on April 11, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Anyone want to bet that out of all the gop candidates only Palin will reject the whole scapel theme and call for using a flamthrower?

unseen on April 11, 2011 at 10:27 AM

I predict Joe Biden makes the rounds next Sunday- only he can make the case that the middle class needs to be more patriotic.

BKeyser on April 11, 2011 at 10:28 AM

So it is with our government. It is better to amputate the gangrenous leg now in order to save the patient. Liberals want to keep covering up the rot with perfumes and makeup, all the while assuring the patient that someday he will get up and walk again and he should not listen to that mean old doctor who wants to hack off his leg.

rockmom on April 11, 2011 at 10:08 AM

This is the state of the country, and the state of political discourse between left and right.

Paul-Cincy on April 11, 2011 at 10:31 AM

I remember his first attempt at fiscal responsibility. He asked all of his department heads to come up with $100 million in cuts.

Wow. Most fiscally responsible President ever!

*gag* *choke*

Chris of Rights on April 11, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Let’s create another Federal agency to look into this.

SouthernGent on April 11, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Ah, the old nip and tuck. But, in the end, the same fatty behind a layer of tight skin. Heh.

unclesmrgol on April 11, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Although Obama’s health-care law is projected to curtail Medicare spending over time, “we have to do more,” Plouffe said Sunday, marking the first time the administration has made an explicit commitment to changes in entitlement programs for the purpose of deficit reduction.

Huh? Pitching Obamacare as a device to decrease the deficit is — spinning at how many thousands of revolutions per second?

unclesmrgol on April 11, 2011 at 10:40 AM

A scapel? How about a grapple skidder!

Fallon on April 11, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Remember Obama put forward this canard as one of his selling points in 2008. He wanted to use a “scalpel” to reduce Federal funding.

Little did we know “scalpel” really meant “spoon” used for feeding the deficit monster.

Nethicus on April 11, 2011 at 10:41 AM

The question isn’t whether a machete gets used, it’s a question of where they plan to use the machete — on entitlement spending, or on taxpayers? Now that Obama has engaged on the issue, those are the only two choices he has.

Let me guess. This is another turd sandwich that he doesn’t want to have to eat??

ted c on April 11, 2011 at 10:42 AM

The real question is what is he going to take his scalpel to?

My expectation is that he will offer cosmetic surgery to his last budget proposal as opposed to real reductions in spending.

Stephen Macklin on April 11, 2011 at 10:42 AM

What similar experience in his past would indicate that Mr. Obama has any skill at wielding either a scalpel, or a machete? I could make a few comments on the use of either of these, but I won’t, however, there is nothing leading me to think that he is skilled in the use of either of them. But, that’s just me….

ted c on April 11, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Remember back in 2001 when the Congress declared war on Afghanistan? Wouldn’t that have been a perfect time to let the American people know we needed to tighten our belts and get serious about what is going on with the Nation… that we needed to curtail the frivolities as we had cross-hairs on us and that this was probably not going to be a short conflict. That government can’t be doing ‘guns and butter’ as that leads to inflation, shortages and a cash strapped government.

Instead we were told to go to the mall.

America is still at war. Each of us still has a target painted on our chests. We have elected a President who is making the targets easier to see with DayGlo colors… and crippling our economy. And his solution is: a scalpel.

Chainsaw.

Buzzsaw.

The entitlement system needs to be introduced to a wood chipper.

Stop the spending as government wastes over 1/3 of the funds it gets for the ‘entitlements’ in overhead and provides less for the dollar than if I had just handed cash to a charitable hospital or hospice. Better the caring hand of volunteers than the expensive fingers of the bureaucrat set on creating a bureaucratic empire.

The ‘scalpel’ was needed back in the late 1960′s to stop the entitlement system. The machete would have served in 2001. Now I’m thinking about one of those big 6′ blades used to go through pavement or remove large tree stumps…

ajacksonian on April 11, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Obama didn’t “deliver” anything. His “idiotic economic advisors” put the whole plan together while Obama has honed his golf game. (exactly how does “the one” swing a golf club with all those puppet strings tied to his body)

Rovin on April 11, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Maybe we need to put this in terms Obama can understand: we’re 400 yards from a balanced budget, and we need a driver, not a putter.

Steve Z on April 11, 2011 at 10:54 AM

The use of the term ‘scalpel’ connotates that he has the skill of a surgeon to work some healing magic on the economy. However, his habits indicate that it is a small-bore instrument to be used against an enormous tumor. Let it be knows that he cannot choose, nor use, the appropriate remedy for what is ailing us. Neither metaphorically, nor practically. I think we might need a trade-in on this scalpel.

ted c on April 11, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Maybe we need to put this in terms Obama can understand: we’re 400 yards from a balanced budget, and we need a driver, not a putter.

Steve Z on April 11, 2011 at 10:54 AM

perfect.

Or, we’re at the opposite end of the floor and we need a quick inbounds pass and a half court hook shot with 0.5 sec left…..not a layup.

ted c on April 11, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Jen Rubin pronounces the Obama do-over on the budget “pathetic.”

True, but it’s kind of fun to watch him being dragged to it by a member of the House of Representatives. Ryan rocks.

Dee2008 on April 11, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Now I’m thinking about one of those big 6′ blades used to go through pavement or remove large tree stumps…

ajacksonian on April 11, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Pulled by 242 elephants.

Steve Z on April 11, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Love the photo on the main page for this article. It should be used as a caption contest. For example:

Snagglepuss “Exit stage left!”

mechkiller_k on April 11, 2011 at 11:00 AM

If 40% of a patient had gangrene, to use Plouffe’s analogy, using a scalpel to trim off the edges would leave one with a dead patient.

Or maybe the patient is pinned inside a car driven into a ditch, and we need the Jaws of Life to get him out!

Steve Z on April 11, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Forget all the typical cutting metaphors, what we need is something like Simitrio Ruiz (Swamp logger) and his Feller Buncher, to slash our way out of both debt & deficit.

AH_C on April 11, 2011 at 11:07 AM

The ‘scalpel’ was needed back in the late 1960′s to stop the entitlement system. The machete would have served in 2001. Now I’m thinking about one of those big 6′ blades used to go through pavement or remove large tree stumps…

ajacksonian on April 11, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Indeed – thinking the same thing.

AH_C on April 11, 2011 at 11:11 AM

How about tweezers to remove the thorn that is Obama?

profitsbeard on April 11, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Obama is being forced to show his hand and he’s got squat. There is no way he can bring himself to cut spending (except for the military). It will be all tax increases.

This has obviously been his plan all along. to leftists there is no such thing as private property. He thinks he can charge up the nations credit cards to astronomical levels and then say, “Hey, we have to pay for this, blah blah blah.” Of course he is an economic illiterate and does not realize that his plan cannot work.

Leftists think that once the means of production are held collectively there will be some kind of synergy as we will all be working together towards a common goal. They are blind to the basic truth of human nature, that people are not going to work hard only to have the fruit of their labor taken away and given to others.

xrayiiis on April 11, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Never put down the whip when the other guy is on the run.

Mason on April 11, 2011 at 11:20 AM

The house looks like it is about to fall down. The foundation is cracked, the porch is leaning, the paint is peeling, the furnace and water heater need to be replaced, and there’s asbestos in the ceiling. The kitchen and bathrooms need complete renovation, the hard wood flooring is destroyed, the windows are mostly broken, and the downspouts and gutters are falling off. The first, second and third mortgages are three times what the house is worth. The annual income of the owner is one third of the annual principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments. Your general contractor, Mr. Obama has never actually renovated a house, but he has a plan. His plan to fix the owner’s problem is to take his handy amateur surgeon’s scalpel and trim one flake of peeling paint from the collapsing front porch. Then he recommends refinancing the mortgage so that payments will be four times the income of the owner.
This is what we can expect from the leader of the free world and he has sycophants galore in his administration, the congress, and the media who will back up his pathetic plans.

stefano1 on April 11, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Obama and the Democrats haven’t the slightest interest in actually cutting spending. They finance their war chests and buy votes by spending taxpayers’ dollars, and now future taxpayers’ dollars.

Unfortunately for Obama and the Democrats, economic disaster looms so ominously that even with the help of the MSM they lost control of the narrative.

A majority of voters having recognized the dangers of failing to rein in the insane levels of government spending, Obama and the Democrats will now spring into action. They will pay lip service to spending cuts and deficit reduction. But their real goal is to create the appearance of dealing with spending and deficits so they can win elections by continuing to promise more than can be delivered. They will continue writing checks on future generations’ accounts, all the while lying about it.

All we will ever get out of Obama and the Democrats is smoke and mirrors. By the time it all goes to Hell, they plan to be retired, sitting on a pile of Krugerrands in a gated community.

novaculus on April 11, 2011 at 11:49 AM

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