Sunday, January 31, 2010

Breakdown of Obama-GOP Press Conference of January 2009

I highly doubt Obama capable of making truthful statements. However, I can't help thinking the GOP brought this on themselves by trying to be sneaky with the reporter trick.

My breakdown of the address and how it went using this transcript:

Pence Reply: The point's already been addressed that White House projections about how high the unemployment rate would go (8.5%) were wrong, as it's now at 10%. ( However, Obama's skirting the line between lies and truth by saying his administration is off the hook because 1.35 million jobs were lost in the first 2 months of his presidency. Yes, he may be right it wasn't the administration's fault they were lost. But he is wrong for portraying it here as though this excuses his administration promising a better economy then we would get - the report projecting an 8.5% unemployment rate came out in January 2009, not 2008, meaning the job losses a year ago should not have affected them enough to throw their projections so horribly awry. Obama says "most economists, Republican and Democrat, liberal and conservative, would say that had it not been for the stimulus package that we passed, things would be much worse." This is also I think a misrepresentation of something without so much consensus. There is more consensus that FDR's policies worked than Obama's current policies. At the time, it was Obama pushing the stimulus, as shown by this earlier article at the time, which states (, "On Thursday, key members of Obama's party emerged from a closed-door meeting of the Senate Finance Committee criticizing central tax measures of the president-elect's proposals. In particular, members criticized said they did not think the idea of giving employers a $3,000 tax credit for each employee they hire would work. 'I'd rather spend the money on the infrastructure, on direct investment, on energy conversion and other kinds of things much more directly and much more rapidly and much more certainly create a real job,' said Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts." Obama is very dishonestly trying to pass blame now for a stimulus bill he at the time was the rah-rah cheerleader for. He was willing to take responsibility in pushing it on the American people at the time, and now that it's failed, has been trying to back away and saying he didn't even like it. As shown here, his own party members were critical of it at the time because they thought it just threw money around rather than creating jobs. That was also my objection at the time as well, too much of it was created of tax cuts, simply redistributing money, rather than using it to create jobs as effectively per dollar spent as possible. I predicted then for those who know me that it would fail, and so it has. Obama is once again trying to pass off blame for something he did. He is saying the tax cuts and unemployment insurance made sense at the time and were just something necessary and expected for the government to spend 'unprecedented' amounts of money on. I very much disagree. We should not have been spending that money unless it was to directly create jobs. Tax cuts don't matter if people don't have jobs, and if a tenth of them don't, then that's a problem. Unemployment insurance doesn't matter if people don't have jobs, because it will run out. People need jobs, not welfare. The stimulus was a waste of precious fiscal resources at a time when we needed to use our government's money wisely to fix the economy. The Obama administration dropped the ball then, and he is too weak to man up to it now. The one thing I will agree with Obama on is that at the end, he is right to call out the Republicans on having nothing with their call for across the board tax cuts. That's not going to work just as the stimulus at the time didn't work. Tax cuts are just redistribution of money, they don't actually solve underlying issues unless the issue is too much taxation. Right now, I think outsourcing is a key issue, one that the pro-free-trade Obama who buddies up to China is unwilling or perhaps unable to address.

Ryan Reply:  I really take offense to Obama saying "The fact of the matter is that most of the increases in this year's budget, this past year's budget, were not as a consequence of policies that we initiated, but instead were built in as a consequence of the automatic stabilizers that kick in because of this enormous recession."  I don't see the American people being this stupid to accept such a ridiculous lie.  We just saw his administration pushing a stimulus, bailouts, and now health care bills on us that cost 'unprecedented' amounts of money.  Each one of his pet projects has cost our nation to the tune of around $1 trillion and what's more been spectacularly unsuccessful at achieving the lofty goals he'd said they would.  As for the earmarks stuff, it was Obama who made the campaign promises about getting rid of them and not using them.  Now that he's in office, he's trying to pass the buck and here say, "well, it's both sides doing it."  He's the one who promised great reforms and a different approach on earmarks, now they are just something for him to blithely mention as a problem on both sides.  I don't think this is the kind of accountability the American people expected from him.  He's the one who won the most prominent election of them all by repeatedly campaigning against earmarks and making exorbitant promises he had no intentions of keeping.

Moore Reply:  Overall I agreed with Obama.  Yes, energy independence/clean energy is a good thing.  However, he skirted the point that it's jobs we should be focusing on, not environment stuff.  Obama, if you look at the transcript, dodged the primary point here, that we're spending way too much focus right now on Cap & Trade when we should be worried about creating jobs for Americans.  Obama acknowledged jobs are the main concern of Americans but still found a way to weasel his way into defending his pet agenda that is taking away focus from job creation and the economy right now to pursue a invested liberal agenda of the Democrat party, one which is getting pushed on the increasingly skeptical American people as a necessary item to stop the current recession.  Health care and cap and trade when you think about it should not take precedence over job creation, and the Democrat party is trying to push its liberal agendas on this stuff now using the poor economy as an excuse when this is not particularly related to the economy.  Furthermore, I don't understand Obama's emphasis on passing Cap and Trade now of all times when the hacked emails show how truly weak the case for global warming is, and now when the case for Global Warming is at its absolute weakest.  Why the need to push this issue at a time when we should be treading carefully and making sure this really is a key issue?  In other words, why pick the most controversial time of all?  Are they afraid the case for Global Warming is getting weakened and they need to push their agenda now before that becomes obvious?

Chaffetz Reply:  Chaffetz really nailed Obama right here on broken campaign promises.  Yes, Obama promised the health care debates would be on C-Span.  He lied.  (  Yes, Obama promised to exclude lobbyists from the White House's top ranks.  He lied. (  Yes, Obama promised line by line for the health care bill.  He lied.  (,2933,551260,00.html)  Yes, Obama promised to avoid earmarks.  He lied.  (  Obama here denied the Recovery Act had earmarks in it, denying the obvious.  He skipped over the fact that bipartisanship was made impossible by a Democrat Congress that laughed at Republicans on health care to the extent of even locking them out of the meetings.  (  Obama is just saying a bunch of stuff once again that fails to mesh even remotely with reality.  Now that recent elections have once again given Republicans filibuster power, we are suddenly hearing talk from Democrats once more about "bipartisanship" when before they were scoffing at Republicans and locking them out of health care negotiations while they had the upper hand - all that is save the pro-life Democrats who very admirably worked with their Republican counterparts in stopping a bill they could not conscionably support, and in doing so, giving us the American people time to read bills the Obama Democrats would have preferred get snuck by under our noses without our understanding or our consent.

Blackburn Reply:  This was Obama's most reasonable response yet, if he's accurate that Republicans were the ones to propose a health care exchange system which is in fact included in the health care proposals (specifically the Baucus one is where it began being included I believe).  Personally I disagree with both the Republicans and Obama here though.  I think we should be going with a public option which the Republicans don't like and Obama's been willing to abandon, in creating a top-down system to provide free government health care at a basic level, so long as it also leaves the private sector, the free market, intact, and seeks to provide a capitalistic structure to it so as to avoid the issues of poor quality and inefficiency in money spent, unnecessary bureaucracy.  Obama may also have a point that both sides by their increasingly polarized opposition to one another are making it impossible to work with one another.  Be that as it may, the bottom line is that Obama and the Democrats have not kept their promises on health care, or shown any interest in bipartisanship on the issue or listening to the Republicans, and if that is starting to change well then great, but it sure looks like this is just because the recent elections gave the Republicans finally enough in Congress to stop the health care bill independently and thus in the eyes of Obama and the Congressional Democrats, bargaining power.  I just hope the Republicans won't forget the pro-life Democrats who worked with them to make this possible and stop the bullying attempts of Congressional Democrats to ram health care through before it could be examined.

Price Reply:  PolitiFact acknowledged the accuracy of Price in saying Obama had blamed Republicans for having no solutions on health care.  (  Obama here tried to deny that, although to be fair, he may be correct that he didn't say that in his recent State of the Union address, a fact I haven't yet checked up on.  However, the bottom line is that Price is correct, Obama did many times accuse Republicans of having no solutions when they do have bills they are proposing.  Now Obama is trying to skirt around that and wriggle around his former statements.  What I will say is that some of Obama's later statements bear truth, the stimulus was composed of 1/3 tax cuts, while the health care bills are going away from a public option and towards an exchange that one would think would be more satisfactory to Republicans.  However, this is in fact why I dislike the proposals, in part.  Because so much of the stimulus was tax cuts, as I said, I think it was doomed to fail.  And because the current health care reform is getting away from a public option, it is becoming rather useless and futile.  Obama is correct that the Republican suggestions need to have an underlying mechanism for reducing health care costs while providing comprehensive health care.  I'm no more convinced than Obama that Republicans have provided adequate plans at this point.  It's not that they don't have plans, just that I don't think they'd work.  However, I very much disagree with the Obama administration's plans as well, which I think equally futile, and existent primarily to sneak through liberal agendas on issues like abortion and global warming, rather than actually fix any economic dilemmas.  I think neither side at this point has much in the way of solutions.

Roskam Reply:  I think Roskam here made a very generous attempt to let bygones be bygones.  He acknowledged the Democrats had demonized Republicans and locked them out of negotiations, but said, "I think all of us want to hit the reset button on 2009, how do we move forward?"  This is a very courageous way of doing things, acknowledge both sides are polarized and made mistakes, but say in essence, "lets forget it and move forward".  I also consider Roskam to have proposed the first truly great idea by the Republican Party so far, to work with the Democrats in eliminating free trade agreements.  As Roskam stated, "And on the job creation piece in particular, you mentioned Colombia, you mentioned Panama, you mentioned South Korea. Are you willing to work with us, for example, to make sure those FTAs get called? That's no-cost job creation."  Roskam is absolutely right, if Obama or anyone is serious about creating jobs for low cost, addressing the free trade agreements that cause outsourcing and lost jobs is the first thing we need to be doing here.  Great proposal.  Unfortunately, Obama afterwards showed his continued commitment to free trade and his concept of it as a good idea even though it continues to rack up American job losses, most particularly in our crucial manufacturing sector, and thus leaving only service sector jobs for Americans (the worse ones).  While Roskam is proposing an excellent solution for fixing our economy here, Obama is not remotely interested in taking him up on the offer, although they both seem able to say nice things about one another.  It will likely get overlooked because it was near the end, but I at least consider Roskam's statement here the highlight of the debate.

Hensarling Reply:  Hensarling is correct by pointing out that Obama is projecting a need for increased spending down the road, and in further asking why this spending is necessary.  Obama turned it around here to make it an issue of blaming the Republicans for the wars and their own spending (what Hensarling should've done is pointedly asked Obama why he as a Congressman voted for Iraq War Funding and the Bush tax cuts, but wants to just blame the Republicans and not some of the Democrat Congressmen who also voted for them).  No one who's been following politics the last 2 years can buy Obama's claim that his massive spending bills are not having an effect on the deficit.  We've spent trillions and trillions of dollars in a very short amount of time.  Yes, the Republicans under Bush with the tax cuts and wars did not help the economy.  Lets be fair, they're worthy of blame, and Obama, who campaigned on his ability to fix the situation (winning election because of it) and who has now with his enormously expensive and ridiculously ineffective bills made the situation even worse, is now equally to blame with Bush and the Republicans!  Obama also skirted Hensarling's second point mid-conversation, that Americans should have the same health care plan as Congressmen and politicians.  Obama avoided addressing that as well.

IN SUMMARY, I think several Republicans here made a good faith effort to reach out to Obama and the Democrat-side of the aisle to, as Roskam said, "hit the reset button on 2009."  They can't be happy with Obama's repeated refusals to address their concerns and sidestep his opportunities to be personally accountable for past mistakes, while once again laying out a long trail of misinformation about broken promises and outright lies.  I do not begin to understand where Tom Breece (originally replied to here) is coming from, in crowing that this was a Republican-bashing event courtesy of one Barack Obama.  I think both sides were trying to reach out to one another here at a time when Republicans have just re-attained a crucial Congressional vote necessary to provide them with filibuster power and bargaining capability once more.  I admire the Republicans for being willing to seek compromise at a time when they have just attained a crucial victory.  Unfortunately, Obama sidestepped the most serious suggestion for fixing the economy, Peter Roskam's suggestion that we begin removing free trade agreements, "no-cost job creation".  The pro-free-trade Obama is not only separate from Roskam on the issue, but many of his fellow Democrats who historically are against free trade.  Though it seems compromise with Obama at this point may be out of the question, I would hope other Democrats were paying attention to the willingness of Republicans here to talk things out, and will take Roskam up on his offer to address the very serious job-destructing issue of free trade that hurts our economy through a steady stream of outsourced American jobs.  Even if it means stepping on the toes and agenda of their leader, to push across despite his opposition the one thing Americans most need, destruction of the free trade agreements which serve as a hole for Americans jobs to exit our country for other lands.  After it works, I have no doubt Obama will find a way to claim full credit for himself, regardless how much he opposed it originally.


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