The president’s evasion tactics on the debt and deficit

posted at 4:50 pm on June 29, 2011 by Tina Korbe

If that press conference doesn’t prove it, I don’t know what will: The president who campaigned on promises of increased transparency in government has turned out to be a master of evasion (and secret negotiations) instead.

With barely more than a month to go before the Aug. 2 debt ceiling deadline, President Barack Obama still refuses to really lay bare his budget and deficit reduction plans. Since he released his proposed budget earlier this year (a budget the Congressional Budget Office said would double the national debt and never achieve a deficit of less than $748 billion), he’s done nothing but deliver general remarks — and, as CBO director Doug Elmendorf said recently, the CBO doesn’t exactly score speeches.

Obama’s platitudes might have surface appeal — of course “we can focus on jobs at the same time that we focus on debt and deficit reduction” and of course “one of the most important things we can do for debt and deficit reduction is to grow the economy” — but they don’t deliver the specifics Congress and the public so desperately need to know before a last-minute vote on the debt limit.

(Of course, those specifics Obama did mention in the press conference this afternoon don’t exactly inspire confidence in the brilliance that supposedly simmers behind closed doors in Vice President Joe Biden’s rapidly collapsing secret deficit reduction talks. Praise for payroll tax reductions and unemployment insurance combined with criticism for corporate tax cuts doesn’t exactly bode well for a plan to reduce the deficit.)

Yet, the president still claimed today that he has led on this issue — and audaciously implied a Congressional vote to raise the debt ceiling should be just as much of a no-brainer as his daughters doing their homework.

But, as Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, has said:

The president cannot ‘lead from behind’ in dealing with the most pressing crisis our nation faces—our exploding debt and the increasing damage it is doing to our economy.

It’s taking too long for a proposal to be presented, and it is clear now that optimistic statements about existing progress have been too generous. It will be unacceptable for the White House talks, or any talks, to produce a controversial decision at the 11th hour and for its passage to then be demanded in panic. Such an approach heightens the risk of failure.

Congress and the American people deserve a full opportunity to review and consider any debt limit deal that is struck behind closed doors.

Sessions is not the only person to have called for greater openness. (Here, for example, are Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) saying the same thing and a Fox News panel debating the issue, as well.) But history shows us we have every reason to expect the results of the Biden talks won’t be revealed until the last minute. Consider:

The stimulus bill in February 2009 was worked out by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in closed meetings.

The president’s number-one agenda item upon assuming office was to pass comprehensive health care reform. The bill was negotiated by a few select Democrat congressmen behind closed doors without C-SPAN cameras, then presented to Congress.

And this past spring, the deal that extended the Continuing Resolution and avoided a government shutdown was worked out in private between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker John Boehner, and President Obama. It was then “dropped into the legislative hopper with crisis providing motivation” to pass it or else.

To be fair, the president might have fostered an environment of secrecy, but he hasn’t received much help on the debt and deficit from Democrats in the Senate, who might have been able to prevent the need for the Biden talks in the first place, had they just passed a budget at any point in the past two years.


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Take away excuses, and all that’s left are wishful results.

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Out: Where’s the beef?

In: Where’s the budget?

faraway on June 29, 2011 at 4:52 PM

He is a Phantom, but a malicious one.

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 4:52 PM

“I can no more disown my deficit plan, then I can disown the debt I’ve run up.”

Roy Rogers on June 29, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Scary thought of the day?….

He starts off with an automatic 45% that will vote to re-elect!

PappyD61 on June 29, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Yet, the president still claimed today that he has led on this issue

…from behind, as he always does.

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Rope a dope by a true dope.

Dhuka on June 29, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Good news, depending where you sit,or stand.

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 4:56 PM

You’re being a little rough on the guy, Tina. All we have to do is get those corporate jet owners to pay their fair share and all will be solved.

Doughboy on June 29, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Leading from Leaving us behind.”

Abby Adams on June 29, 2011 at 4:56 PM

To be fair, the president might have fostered an environment of secrecy Corruption

FIFY

Colbyjack on June 29, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Republicans have to start doing things to get peoples attention on Obama’s strategy to force through tax increases.

pedestrian on June 29, 2011 at 4:59 PM

If Americans would simply “up their game” things would be all better…

catmman on June 29, 2011 at 5:00 PM

To be fair, the president might have fostered an environment of secrecy, but he hasn’t received much help on the debt and deficit from Democrats in the Senate, who might have been able to prevent the need for the Biden talks in the first place

You have to hold these discussion behind closed doors, so that participants feel comfortable discussing any every idea. Otherwise, discussions turn into a PR flame war that prevents any real progress from occurring. But I agree that the Dems in the Senate may well be a major problem.

At the end of the day, everyone has to be willing to put some skin into the game to find common ground.

foreverright on June 29, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Obama still refuses to really lay bare his budget and deficit reduction plans

He doesn’t have any plans. This man is totally unqualified for the position he holds. His job is to just look presidential and hope that nothing blows up on his watch. Well he’s failed on both counts. Why oh why is the MSM still protecting this guy? Are they too blind to see what he’s doing to the country? Or as I sadly suspect, they would rather see the country go to hell in a hand basket than admit they made a mistake by backing this loser in the first place.

Tommy_G on June 29, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Sh*t in one hand, and expect Oblowme to do anything for the good of this Republic in the other, and see which one fills up first.

We can’t take anymore of this Soros-sock puppet, a$$clown.

Get off your worthless a$$’s Repubics!!!

Flyboy on June 29, 2011 at 5:04 PM

I want Trump to get Obama’s school records and passport.

Roy Rogers on June 29, 2011 at 5:05 PM

Scary thought of the day?….

He starts off with an automatic 45% that will vote to re-elect!

PappyD61 on June 29, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Scary indeed. Scary too that at least the same percentage STILL does not see through his favorite tactic of bold-faced saying exactly the opposite of what he is actually doing (but he says it so well….)

neuquenguy on June 29, 2011 at 5:05 PM

Expect RINO response…

squish, squish, squish…

Roy Rogers on June 29, 2011 at 5:06 PM

This is how he was in the debates vs McCain:

No answers and no specifics.

He banked on evasiveness and the fact that the media was on his side.

He’s smart to employ the same strategy. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

rickyricardo on June 29, 2011 at 5:07 PM

KP’s in a redemptive mood.

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 5:09 PM

This is how he was in the debates vs McCain:

No answers and no specifics.

He banked on evasiveness and the fact that the media was on his side.

He’s smart to employ the same strategy. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

rickyricardo on June 29, 2011 at 5:07 PM

He got away with it because he had no record to defend. There should’ve been a higher standard demanded of him by the electorate even back then, but he can’t run from his record in 2012. And if whoever the GOP nominee is doesn’t make each debate 90 minutes worth of trashing the guy as the failure he is then the Republicans don’t deserve to win the White House.

Doughboy on June 29, 2011 at 5:10 PM

President Barack Obama still refuses to really lay bare his budget and deficit reduction plans.

Thats not actually true. He has said repeadetly that his plan to close the defecit is to raise taxes on the rich. Every time he opens his mouth that comes out, so I guess you could say that is his plan.

Johnnyreb on June 29, 2011 at 5:10 PM

I thought it was funny that he accused Congress of not being in D.C. to do their job. First, they are in D.C. way too much and the people they represent aren’t in Washington. I thought that’s how he explains all his fundraising trips, getting in touch with people.

Cindy Munford on June 29, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Hey, Obama’s been doing Bin Laden (his words). So give him a break. That’s can’t be pretty.

Chuck Schick on June 29, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Something evil and wicked about all of this…

May God bless America

golfmann on June 29, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Republicans have to start doing things to get peoples attention on Obama’s strategy to force through tax increases.

pedestrian on June 29, 2011 at 4:59 PM

The current Republican leadership, and membership overall it appears, seem incapable of doing anything.
This situation cries out for a real leader.

GaltBlvnAtty on June 29, 2011 at 5:16 PM

Why oh why is the MSM still protecting this guy? Are they too blind to see what he’s doing to the country? Or as I sadly suspect, they would rather see the country go to hell in a hand basket than admit they made a mistake by backing this loser in the first place.

Tommy_G on June 29, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Because, if the first black (or more accurately, half black) president was to be a one-termer, it would only prove that we are a nation of racists.

Nevermind that he got elected in the first place.

But you’re right, they would rather see the nation fall apart than admit that they’re wrong about Teh Zero.

UltimateBob on June 29, 2011 at 5:17 PM

With barely more than a month to go before the Aug. 2 debt ceiling deadline, President Barack Obama still refuses to really lay bare his budget and deficit reduction plans.

HA HA HA HA

THERE IS NO PLAN.

antisocial on June 29, 2011 at 5:17 PM

The man is naked! We should all be laughing and slapping our thighs. Ridicule is right and appropriate.

Mason on June 29, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Oz

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Dangerously incompetent presser…

d1carter on June 29, 2011 at 5:25 PM

UltimateBob on June 29, 2011 at 5:17 PM

If my choices in life are: being labeled a racist by morons in the MSM or living in destitution in the greatest country on the face of the earth. Well then I guess you’ll have to call me a racist. Throw in homophobic and intolerant just to round things out. Remember, if it doesn’t hurt. It isn’t taking a stand.

Tommy_G on June 29, 2011 at 5:27 PM

“What do you expect me to do, I’m only the president!”

-PBHO

Bishop on June 29, 2011 at 5:29 PM

THERE IS NO PLAN.
antisocial on June 29, 2011 at 5:17 PM

Perhaps not a budget/deficit plan, but there is a plan.

Oh yes, there is a plan.

Bishop on June 29, 2011 at 5:30 PM

“What do you expect me to do, I’m only the president!”

-PBHO

Bishop on June 29, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Raise all boats
Feed all the people
Provide everything for all, cars, mortgages, clothes, etc.
Do something with the oceans, like he said he would

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Yet, the president still claimed today that he has led on this issue — and audaciously implied a Congressional vote to raise the debt ceiling should be just as much of a no-brainer as his daughters doing their homework.

Says the slacker-in-chief. What a set of bolshy big yarblockos he has.

disa on June 29, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Oh yes, there is a plan.

Bishop on June 29, 2011 at 5:30 PM

He’s very successful at it. Give him a second term and Chavez will be an ant in comparison.

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2011 at 5:32 PM

We have to reelect PBHO to find out what his budget plan is, ala Kerry 2004.

Bishop on June 29, 2011 at 5:33 PM

You know who is full of evasions and excuses? Congress, including Republicans. The president is an empty suit and he will sign any deal Republicans can make with Senate Democrats. Any deal at all!

Boehner must by now understand that Democrats don’t care about this country at all and will happily watch Republicans absorb voter ire if the Treasury needs to quit issuing new debt. Republicans need tombegin preparing the public for the failure of efforts to cut a deal with the nutty Democrats. Who ever heard of raising taxes on the verge of another recession? That’s insane.

MTF on June 29, 2011 at 5:42 PM

So Barack Hussein Obowma is a lying narcissistic incompetent piece of sh%t…

… It’s a good thing he’s not President or anything.

Oh, wait…!

Seven Percent Solution on June 29, 2011 at 5:47 PM

President Obama says he is “amused” when people say he needs to get more involved in the debt crisis talks currently being led by Vice President Joe Biden.

Human trash. How did we get stuck with this fool.

Bishop on June 29, 2011 at 5:57 PM

“We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.”
–Ayn Rand

“Practise the 5 D’s:
Dodge,
Duck,
Dip,
Dive, and
Dodge.”
–Patches O’Houlihan

iurockhead on June 29, 2011 at 6:02 PM

The Occam’s razor? He has no plan at all.

WitchDoctor on June 29, 2011 at 6:05 PM

I’m completely convinced that these two bozos thought that they could spend the first 18 lavishing hundreds of billions of stimulus cash on their buddies who got them elected, grow the federal government, and the economy would “naturally” recover as it always does.

Now that no recovery has ocurred, the two bozos are out of ideas – of which they only had one anyway: spend.

In other words, they’ve got nothin’ and it shows! It’s hilarious to watch. They are soooo pathetic. Too bad the country suffers the most.

Mr_Magoo on June 29, 2011 at 6:28 PM

The only thing keeping me hopeful at this point is reading Ronald Reagan: An American Life. The situations seems so similar to me (although I’m certainly no expert). And then Reagan appeared with his “plan.” I hope to God someone who has a real plan gets elected President.

Mr_Magoo on June 29, 2011 at 6:31 PM

To reiterate the obvious, not passing a budget leaves nothing but continuing resolutions, that is a continuing of the last lavish budget the democratics passed with all the giveaways and trinkets for his plantation special interests.

This is why the starting point for a new budget must be a budget from 2002-2006.

slickwillie2001 on June 29, 2011 at 6:32 PM

“Congress needs to get working on the Debt thingy. I work so hard like killing Bin Laden and invading Lybia. Now buckle down and get working. I’m late for my tee time or I would join you.” -BHO

Corsair on June 29, 2011 at 6:52 PM

I only heard outtakes (one or two t’s?) on the radio, but the stuttering and sputtering of this phony demonstrate that he is intent on class warfare demagoguery. He is not addressing the drivers of the debt crisis at all. The insistence by the Dems that paying our creditors first means that social security recipients and the military will suffer is the cheapest lie that the Dems have, creating fear and dissension. There are loads of programs that can be cut or reduced in order to meet federal obligations. Timmy and Barry don’t want to do the hard work of setting priorities.

I don’t want anyone to tell me that this jerk is eloquent or an intellectual powerhouse. He is an agitator.

onlineanalyst on June 29, 2011 at 7:31 PM

“Congress needs to get working on the Debt thingy. I work so hard like killing Bin Laden and invading Lybia. Now buckle down and get working. I’m late for my tee time or I would join you.” -BHO

Corsair on June 29, 2011 at 6:52 PM

The other night on Fox News someone, I think maybe Beckel, was asked “if President O. was afraid of Michelle Bachmann”. He chuckled and said something like “Obama killed Bin Laden, why on Earth would he be afraid of Bachmann?”

How did he get back to the US in time for his tv speech about it, and get that camo paint off his face too?

slickwillie2001 on June 29, 2011 at 7:37 PM

President Barack Obama still refuses to really lay bare his budget and deficit reduction plans.

Yeah, but he’s great at that ‘vision thing’ and spitting platitudes out of both sides of his mouth. Essentially saying “we can increase spending and reduce the deficit at the same time”.

GarandFan on June 29, 2011 at 7:40 PM

And the presstitutes dutifully laughed at Obozo’s analogy to Sasha’s and Malia’s doing their homework ahead of time. Is this jerk not aware that the Dems are two years behind in preparing a budget?

Streamline a budget back to the pre-2007 Congress’s years. Then we might start talking about reducing the debt.

onlineanalyst on June 29, 2011 at 7:46 PM