Obamateurism of the Day

Republicans have slammed Barack Obama and Democrats on their ObamaCare bill, and apparently Obama felt the need to return fire on his Time for Talk is Over Talking Tour this week. In doing so, Obama may have inadvertently revealed why he has trouble managing the deficit — he can’t do math. TPM has the clip from his speech at Arcadia University, in which he wonders aloud why Republicans didn’t tackle health-care reform … during their ten years in power (via Jean R):

He also stressed that “we’ve been talking about health care for nearly a century,” and “we have failed to meet this challenge during periods of prosperity, and also during periods of decline.”

“If not now when? If not us, who?” Obama asked.

The President also took the opportunity to hit Republicans: “I got all my Republican colleagues out there saying ‘No, no, no, we want to focus on things like costs.’ You had 10 years. What happened? What were you doing?”

Ten years? Republicans held the Congress and the White House simultaneously for six years, 2001-6 inclusive — and for over a year at the beginning of that period, Democrats controlled the Senate.  Republicans controlled the House for twelve years, but six of those were when Bill Clinton was President, and they only won the House after Clinton tried jamming a massive government takeover of the health-care system down the throats of Americans, who clearly didn’t want one.  Democrats controlled Congress for the last four years, but they didn’t seem terribly keen on suggesting that they work with George Bush on the problem during the last two years of his administration, either.

Of course, this has something in common with Obamacare — where taxes get imposed for the first ten years, but benefits only get delivered in the final six in order to manipulate the price tag for its first decade.  Who knew that ObaMath could apply so easily elsewhere?

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] 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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