Spin or Truth

I had this student when I taught junior high that would deny doing something wrong even if you watched her do it.  A lot of kids are like that, but I asked this one about what she was doing because she was bright and I couldn’t figure out what she thought she would gain by denying the obvious.  When I asked her , she said, “Well…if I can make you doubt yourself even for a couple of seconds, I probably won’t get in trouble.”

Is that what President Obama is doing?  Trying to make us doubt what we know makes sense?

I listened to the first press conference President Obama had.  The full text of it is here.  I was most interested in the President’s description of the stimulus package, especially when he said this:

What it does not contain, however, is a single pet project, not a single earmark, and it has been stripped of the projects members of both parties found most objectionable.

That press conference took place on February 9, 2009.   I don’t know anyone who believed it, but that’s what President Obama said.  Since then, the size of the omnibus bill has frightened pretty much everyone.  Here’s the spin. In this article on CNN, Peter Orsag,  Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget said this:

“[Such bills] will not happen when the president has the full legislative and appropriations process in place.” …

He [Orsag]argued that the White House had little choice but to support the $410 billion omnibus spending bill, which it inherited from the previous administration. The bill would keep the government running through 2009.

What?  Public opinion changed, so now the bill is inherited?  Despite a promise during the campaign last fall to go line by line and eliminate unnecessary spending, President Obama has vowed to sign the bill, earmarks and all.  Wouldn’t line-item veto work on an inherited bill?

According to this article in the Wall Street Journal:

The budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents — from George Washington to George W. Bush — combined. It reduces defense spending to a level not sustained since the dangerous days before World War II, while increasing nondefense spending (relative to GDP) to the highest level in U.S. history. And it would raise taxes to historically high levels (again, relative to GDP). And all of this before addressing the impending explosion in Social Security and Medicare costs.

If President Obama vowed to use his veto to make sure the spending bill would help our economy, I think he ought to do it instead of changing his tune and saying that he inherited the spending bill from the previous administration and it’s out of his hands.  His signature will go on it, not President Bush’s.  I wish President Obama  would stand up and keep his promises.  Would that be less comfortable than taking the heat for this massive spending bill that may well change the we and our grandchildren live?  Of course it would, but for a president who campaigned on the ideas of hope and change, truth would be a big first step.




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