Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on July 27, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

As the adage says, those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it. Apparently, that’s exactly what Barack Obama hopes. In his speech on Monday night, Obama told Americans that they should hearken back to the days of Ronald Reagan and learn his lesson about tax increases in a crisis:

The first time a deal passed, a predecessor of mine made the case for a balanced approach by saying this: “Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment? And I think I know your answer.” Those words were spoken by Ronald Reagan. But today, many Republicans in the House refuse to consider this kind of balanced approach.

The quote refers to a deal that Reagan cut with Democrats to raise taxes ahead of promised spending cuts down the road. As Yuval Levin recounts at National Review, though, Reagan learned an entirely different lesson from this episode:

Well, yes, those words were spoken by Ronald Reagan (in August of 1982) in reference to TEFRA—the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act—which congressional Democrats promised would involve a ratio of $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases (which they said would consist only of closing loopholes). TEFRA passed later that year, and the tax increases certainly happened but, as Reagan later put it in his autobiography, “the Democrats reneged on their pledge and we never got those cuts.”

TEFRA was one of Reagan’s great regrets about his time in the White House, and should serve as a warning to Republicans contemplating similar grand bargains.

Actually, Reagan himself failed to learn this lesson; in 1986, he signed off on the general amnesty for illegal immigrants with the promise that Democrats in Congress would secure the borders.  That didn’t work out too well, either.  Reagan’s VP failed to learn the lesson from both of these events, reneging on his pledge to fight tax increases in exchange for future budget cuts in 1990.  Those cuts never materialized.

Levin writes that Obama might be thinking about pulling another TEFRA on Republicans with his suggestions of tax increases as “balance.”  You think? Either way, if Obama wants Republicans to become more open to compromise, offering TEFRA as a template is about the worst possible way to go about it.

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.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Levin writes that Obama might be thinking about pulling another TEFRA on Republicans with his suggestions of tax increases as “balance.”

well, then…that’s interesting. I wonder how this type of strategy is doing for his wonderful polling numbers in battleground states??? oh wait, NJ has the run down right here… read it and weep dems.

http://nationaljournal.com/columns/against-the-grain/obama-s-battleground-state-blues-20110726

ted c on July 27, 2011 at 8:09 AM

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.
Pay attention, Congressional Republicans!

JimK on July 27, 2011 at 8:09 AM

he signed off on the general amnesty for illegal immigrants with the promise that Democrats in Congress would secure the borders.

How does Congress have the responsibility for securing the borders?

itsnotaboutme on July 27, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Unless the environment changes significantly, all the money in the president’s reelection coffers won’t be able to expand the map; it can only defend territory that’s being lost. And just as House Democrats played defense to protect the growing number of vulnerable members in last year’s midterms, Obama is looking like he’ll be scrambling to hold onto a lot of the states that he thought would be part of an emerging Democratic majority.

ted c on July 27, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Vile blasphemer! When Obama says it, there’s nothing else to be said. Why aren’t you on your knees, Morrissey?

SKYFOX on July 27, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Who isn’t paying his fair share?

Oh, that’s right…the government.

Oh wait…

fossten on July 27, 2011 at 8:11 AM

What we can learn from history is that Odamna does not learn from history.

We have never been led by anyone with such hubris and incompetence.

Crusader Rabbit on July 27, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Obama hopes people are to stupid to know this…

tinkerthinker on July 27, 2011 at 8:13 AM

as Reagan later put it in his autobiography, “the Democrats reneged on their pledge and we never got those cuts.”

so the real lesson that we should take from this is to never trust Democrat promises of down-the-road cuts.

Well, thank you for the Reagan nostalgia, Mr. Obama./

ted c on July 27, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Obama hopes people are to stupid to know this…

tinkerthinker on July 27, 2011 at 8:13 AM

regarding most of his voters, he’s probably right.

ted c on July 27, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Even today, this morning, Democrats are still pulling this “three card monte” shuffle, demagoguing Republicans for standing on their platform principle of no new taxes. Craven Democrats refuse to recognize that TEA Party freshmen made promises to their districts that are non-negotiable and are keeping their vows to constituents. Instead, Democrats want to keep promises to their constituencies, debt be damned.
.
Democrats are responsible for every bit of this nonsense but they will never, never, never admit it; they will run away from it, pointing at Republicans as they run screaming “Greedy, mean and selfish!” Democrats have no solutions except that which has worked for them for decades: spend, lecture, sermonize, blame, tax.

ExpressoBold on July 27, 2011 at 8:19 AM

Lesson I learned: Never trust a democrat, never ever.

tinkerthinker on July 27, 2011 at 8:21 AM

regarding most of his voters, he’s probably right.

ted c on July 27, 2011 at 8:15 AM

I’m still hoping for a great awakening among the average voters; not the hardcore leftists or radicals, of course. All you can do with them is toss them in a hole and cover with a layer of quick lime and several feet of packed clay.

SKYFOX on July 27, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Obama hopes people are too stupid to know this…

tinkerthinker on July 27, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Well, that would include the entire lunatic lineup at MSNBC, as well as bozo-bucket pundits like Bill Press, Paul Krugman, Bob Beckel, not to mention the entire editorial staff at NYT, LAT, Boston Globe, Yonkers Daily Poop, etc.etc.etc.

I mean, you could populate an entire good-sized island with the fools Obama has managed to bamboozle.

pilamaye on July 27, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Lucy holding the football… The R’s fall for it every time.

Fallon on July 27, 2011 at 8:25 AM

This has to be a new chapter in the annals of Democrat dishonesty. He’s basically lying about how Reagan formed tax policy when, in actuality, Reagan was just another guy treated dishonestly by Democrats. So, its a lie upon a lie being manipulated into a way of further misleading voters 30-some years later.

when he lies, he speaks his native language.

ted c on July 27, 2011 at 8:25 AM

We don’t have a government. We have a crisis management team. Unfortunately they created the crisis.

NickDeringer on July 27, 2011 at 8:27 AM

I mean, you could populate an entire good-sized island with the fools Obama has managed to bamboozle.

pilamaye on July 27, 2011 at 8:23 AM

It’s called Manhatten

darwin-t on July 27, 2011 at 8:29 AM

We don’t have a government. We have a crisis management team. Unfortunately they created the crisis.

NickDeringer on July 27, 2011 at 8:27 AM

That can’t manage a Little League team let alone a real crisis.

darwin-t on July 27, 2011 at 8:31 AM

Obama hopes people are to stupid to know this…

tinkerthinker on July 27, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Can’t blame Bammy for thinking Americans are stupid. After all, 52% of the U.S. electorate voted to make him their president.

AZCoyote on July 27, 2011 at 8:31 AM

I’m still hoping for a great awakening among the average voters; not the hardcore leftists or radicals, of course. All you can do with them is toss them in a hole and cover with a layer of quick lime and several feet of packed clay

No, no, not that, it is an environment in which they thrive. Openness and transparency will kill the beasts.

hip shot on July 27, 2011 at 8:33 AM

Obama gets another “ouchie”

Heh.

Key West Reader on July 27, 2011 at 8:34 AM

SKYFOX on July 27, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Sorry, didn’t attribute the quote to you above post. This computer thingy has me befuddled this morning.

hip shot on July 27, 2011 at 8:35 AM

This is getting tedious. Instead of the Obamateurism of the day/week/month/year. I propose a contest where we find something intelligent he says and follows through on. I know this will be a lot harder, but there has to be something. Doesn’t there?

Tommy_G on July 27, 2011 at 8:39 AM

Obama lies constantly. If his lips are moving, he’s lying!

Vntnrse on July 27, 2011 at 8:40 AM

This isn’t an Obamateurism. This is calculated dog sh!t designed to scare people into his corner. Context is irrelevant if you can pull a Reagan quote out of your a$$ that looks to support your position 100%. Lying and fear mongering are not mistakes or blunders.

NotCoach on July 27, 2011 at 8:50 AM

Just a MEMO here since there is no open thread and the MSM and HOT AIR) are not covering it.EX-NAVY CAPT WADE SANDERS, John Kerry’s good Swift Boat buddy, who tried to help Kerry vilify the Swift Boat heroes who had exposed Kerry as a phony, WAS STRIPPED OF HIS SILVER STAR BY THE NAVY. the Navy said the revocation of the Silver Star was UNRELATED to SANDERS PORN CONVICTION in 2009.see PDF of official court sentencing memorandum.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/more/documents/pdf/090504sanders-sentencing-memorandum.pdf

Sanders lost his phony Silver Star. Shouldn’t Kerry be next?

MaiDee on July 27, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Did the little guy intend to remind everyone what lying trash today’s (and yesterday’s for that matter) left are?

MNHawk on July 27, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Sanders lost his phony Silver Star. Shouldn’t Kerry be next?

MaiDee on July 27, 2011 at 9:02 AM

whoa! I saw that on americanthinker.com and drudge report. Stripping a guy of his Silver Star is HUGE.

ted c on July 27, 2011 at 9:04 AM

How does Congress have the responsibility for securing the borders?
itsnotaboutme on July 27, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Because they have to authorize payment for boarder enforcement (which they didn’t).

Count to 10 on July 27, 2011 at 9:09 AM

GOP promises A.

Dems promise B.

A + B = A.

Akzed on July 27, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Obamateurism of the Day

Obama’s gaffes come so fast and furious that this thread should be renamed Top 10 Obamateurisms of the Day

faraway on July 27, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Something I heard while watching CNN last night continues to strike me (I had no choice- the TV in the break room at work is continually turned to it). Someone seriously made the claim (of course!) that the reason Republicans are so against letting Obama raise the debt ceiling, after allowing Bush to do so several times during his administrations, is because Obama is black.

Never mind that during the Bush administration, the economy hadn’t yet completely tanked. Sure, things took a downswing after 9/11, but it wasn’t the first such downswing in the economy, and we’d always pulled through before. We were sure we could recover just fine.

Three years into the Obama administration, a touch over four years since the Great Recession started, and that optimism has been trained out of us. But no, that can’t possibly be the reason we don’t want to raise the debt ceiling now. It has to be because he’s half black! Grr…

…End early morning/late night rant. I can go sleep now.

Jinxed on July 27, 2011 at 9:32 AM

I think it’s just common knowledge now. None of those tax increases will go towards downing the debt. Rather, they’ll come up with yet another insipid way to waste it. It’s pathetic, and standard procedure in Washington.

Every one that votes for Reid and Obama’s evil…deserves what they get in the future. Although..we’ll all be punished, so …….

capejasmine on July 27, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Øbama quotes Reagan and his tongue doesn’t catch fire? How does that happen?

Kafir on July 27, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Quit worrying about election and save the country.

Stop the bleeding. The tourniquet must be applied, NOW!!!

Schadenfreude on July 27, 2011 at 1:07 PM