Video: 58 trillion dimes and the parade of cliches

posted at 4:01 pm on February 13, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

State of the Union speeches are known for their reliance on empty promises and well-worn clichés, but last night’s SOTU has one that’s even emptier and well-worn than most.  The RNC produced this video at practically the same time Barack Obama was telling the nation, “Let me repeat: Nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime.”  If that sounds familiar, well, it should:

His list of proposed programs include a national pre-school program, government aid in getting low-interest mortgages to millions of homeowners, a project to repair houses, more job-training programs and an increase in the minimum wage.

The GOP reacted promptly to Obama’s speech, which began at 9.00 pm. EST.

“FYI, Obama is right, he hasn’t added a single dime to the debt, he’s added 58.6 trillion dimes,” said a 9.41 p.m. message from Joe Pounder, the research chief at the Republican National Committee.

The committee quickly released a video showing Obama’s repeated claims that his policies would not cost a dime, and contrasting those claims with the $5.8 trillion in new debt created during Obama’s first four years.

However, Obama suggested that his extra spending will be offset by increased taxes, and should not increase the government’s near-$1 trillion annual deficit.

In order to cover just the current annual shortfall, Obama would need tax increases of nearly a trillion dollars each year.  Even his original position in the fiscal-cliff standoff over the expiring tax rates — hiking marginal taxes on those earning over $250,000 a year — would have only produced $80 billion in revenue under static tax analysis … or 800 billion dimes a year, if you prefer.  That’s only 8% of the annual budget deficits Obama has run in his first four years in office.  It would take a tax increase of more than twelve times that amount to balance the budget for Obama’s current spending, let alone the additional money he needs for his SOTU proposals.

Andrew Malcolm calculated that Obama spoke 6,419 words and nearly as many clichés:

Obama used to be known as a Real Good Talker. He made his initial national bones with a speech.

But the last two — his Inauguration and State of the Union — are tired, boilerplate, bits and pieces of campaign rhetoric cut and pasted into recycled collections of empty phrases that sound swell — until you read them. Obama’s top speechwriter, overpaid at the top White House salary of $172K, recently abandoned ship for even better Hollywood dough. …

It was stunning last night to hear and then read among the 6,419 words likely the most colossal collection of yawn-inducing clichés in recent American political history.

Be sure to read Andrew’s catalog of the most prominent, although “dime” didn’t make the list.

On the other side of the aisle, Kirsten Powers was just as unimpressed with Obama’s “same old, same old”:

If the State of the Union address Tuesday night is any indication, it appears President Obama’s chief speechwriter has been replaced by a cliché-generator circa 1960. His erstwhile oratory was a melee of cringe-inducing lines ripped straight from a sit-in.

The commander in chief waxed about children being important for our future and how we should be a country where “if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead.” Which we are for the most part, anyway. Also, isn’t there a rule about how many times you can use the same line in a speech? Doesn’t basic etiquette and decency prevent us from ever hearing this again: “A tax code that ensures billionaires with high-powered accountants can’t pay a lower rate than their hard-working secretaries.” Yes, we know: Warren Buffett is your friend and his secretary pays a higher tax rate that he does. Is this really the only way to demonstrate the tax code needs to be reformed?

The president has only a few opportunities to speak to the nation, and he blew this one. It was so hackish, so devoid of any theme or purpose, that it makes one wonder whether part of Obama just wants to see how bad he can be before his cultists in the news media can see it. Every speech is exactly what they wish it to be, regardless of reality. His mainstream inaugural speech was treated as a liberal call to arms when it was no such thing. Of course, conservatives thought that. If Obama had announced he just joined the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh would have seen it as proof that he was a socialist. But why liberals would confuse a boilerplate middle-of-the-road inaugural speech with Das Kapital will be forever befuddling.

It was more of a spending call to arms than anything else — and like Kirsten says, the same-old, same-old spending call to arms.

Ah, well.  I think this advice will be shown as prophetic in the next four years (NSFW):


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The Penny Plan.

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 4:02 PM

I like it.

besser tot als rot on February 13, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Cause the dime plan ain’t working.

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Let me repeat. Cause the dime plan ain’t working.

Bmore on February 13, 2013 at 4:03 PM

That movie never gets old.

Somebodys got to go back and get a sh!tload of dimes…..

D-fusit on February 13, 2013 at 4:10 PM

That movie never gets old.

Somebodys got to go back and get a sh!tload of dimes…..

D-fusit on February 13, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Obama’s working up a Number 6 on the US economy.

Doughboy on February 13, 2013 at 4:11 PM

If I had a nickel for every time Oboma mentioned “a dime”…..

Shy Guy on February 13, 2013 at 4:12 PM

That movie never gets old.

Somebodys got to go back and get a sh!tload of dimes…..

D-fusit on February 13, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Might be NSFW.

22044 on February 13, 2013 at 4:14 PM

I’m glad Buhrock Hussein Obama got Re-Urkelected.

He’s going to go down in flames very quickly as his policies begin to kick in. I don’t think he anticipated being Re-Urkelected, and this Re-Urkelection will have many negative consequences.

/Poor Urkel.

Key West Reader on February 13, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Dear Leader is righting perceived wrongs of the past…it has nothing to do with the economy or jobs.

d1carter on February 13, 2013 at 4:20 PM

22044 on February 13, 2013 at 4:14 PM

???

You must have missed the same video that Ed posted right below the post.

Thanks anyway.

One of my favorite all-time classics.

D-fusit on February 13, 2013 at 4:20 PM

America, RIP

Cause of death: 1,000 cliches.

RasThavas on February 13, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Obama’s attempts to fix the economy have been about as successful as Wylie Coyote’s attempts to catch the Roadrunner.

Only difference, Wylie came up with better plans.

fogw on February 13, 2013 at 4:24 PM

B.H.O’s speeches read like Horoscopes! It is what you want it to be (unless you check the facts). I think the speeches are deliberately made for and aimed at the low information voters.

gullxn on February 13, 2013 at 4:25 PM

My response to Obummer’s plan – “excuse me while I whip this out”.

dentarthurdent on February 13, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Brother can you spare a dime?

Fallon on February 13, 2013 at 4:30 PM

???

You must have missed the same video that Ed posted right below the post.

Thanks anyway.

One of my favorite all-time classics.

D-fusit on February 13, 2013 at 4:20 PM

You’re absolutely right – I put the cart before the horse! lol

22044 on February 13, 2013 at 4:31 PM

You’re absolutely right – I put the cart before the horse! lol

22044 on February 13, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Just don’t put your horse in front of Mongo…..

dentarthurdent on February 13, 2013 at 4:33 PM

I think when Obastard mentions a dime he is actually thinking of a dime bag not a dime.

bbinfl on February 13, 2013 at 4:33 PM

To tell a family secret, my grandmother was Dutch.

tom daschle concerned on February 13, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Just don’t put your horse in front of Mongo…..

dentarthurdent on February 13, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Yes – good advice!

22044 on February 13, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Let me repeat!…….

….And repeat and repeat!…….

……….Cause you hacks that write about me won’t scrutinize a dime’s worth of bilge I’m saying…..

itsspideyman on February 13, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Where was this commercial during the election?? Pretty effective.

kpguru on February 13, 2013 at 5:00 PM

“good morning, is we awake”?

“That depends, is we Marxist”?

“yes we is”

“Then we is Awake”

That movie NEVER gets old.

ToddPA on February 13, 2013 at 5:02 PM

On the other side of the aisle, Kirsten Powers was just as unimpressed

oh, i was just about to ask what she thought.

what a courageous, independent thinker she is! a liberal who’s brave enough to admit that conservatives are right about everything!

she’s my hero.

sesquipedalian on February 13, 2013 at 5:03 PM

The difficulty in the State of the Unions speech was that TOTUS had a difficult time interpreting the original which was written in Russian….

Don L on February 13, 2013 at 5:06 PM

The guy is Hedley Lamarr.

NeoKong on February 13, 2013 at 5:09 PM

My posse was yawning, too. A bunch of liberal wishes that have NO WAY of passing the House.

John the Libertarian on February 13, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Problem is, with the IRS running the toll booth, you can’t ride around it!

Steve Z on February 13, 2013 at 5:13 PM

He’s so lazy, why doesn’t he just phone in the speeches? At least we could hit the mute button like Nancy-poo does.

GarandFan on February 13, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Similarly nostalgic was a giggly JustUs Benedict Roberts glad-handing Barky like a Hitler Youth groupie.

viking01 on February 13, 2013 at 5:29 PM

so he turned out the shirtless beer ponger for Teddy’s writer? Man its going to take a lot of gin and beef to get Obama that kind of polish.

DanMan on February 13, 2013 at 5:29 PM

The Blazing Saddles reference is awesome.

CycloneCDB on February 13, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Ed must have a sterling memory to be able to pick quotes from movies that were produced what, 40 years ago? Great pick, though!

scalleywag on February 13, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Ed must have a sterling memory to be able to pick quotes from movies that were produced what, 40 years ago? Great pick, though!

scalleywag on February 13, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Ya – but it’s a classic – with LOTS of famous lines.

I saw it with my dad in the theater when it first came out.
IMDB says 1974, so I was either at the end of 8th grade or start of 9th.

dentarthurdent on February 13, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Cut the One some slack. He’s tired, so tired and uninspired. Must be all the schnitzengruben he ate.

- Lili Von Shtupp

Zorg on February 13, 2013 at 6:29 PM

“Is it twue what they say…”

No – I better not go there…

CycloneCDB on February 13, 2013 at 7:22 PM

If Obama had announced he just joined the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh would have seen it as proof that he was a socialist.

Ah, the qualifier “Just in case you think I’m one of them, here”, instead of continuing the critique on merit. Here’s what she could have said to keep it in tact:

Generally, they are in the opposition; therefore, become worried regarding speeches antithetical to their current stances. As such, judgement of the opposition becomes cloudy and unreliable.

That allows inferences for the pinkos.

John Kettlewell on February 14, 2013 at 2:15 AM