Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama's Speech Hides the Matrix

President Obama is a powerful speaker. There's code and there's the Matrix. I found a number of things he said uninspiring:

"A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future," and I will let them expire at the end of 2010.

"our job - is to solve the problem," so why hasn't throwing $9 trillion at the problem worked? And it's going to take more?

"My budget does not attempt to solve every problem or address every issue," so what does it do? It sounds like sandbagging, or purposeful lowering of expectations.

"creating tax-free universal savings accounts for all Americans," i.e. citizens are responsible for their retirement. Businesses dumped defined benefit plans in favor of 401(k)'s. In an economic crisis, they cut their match. The employee is own their own, which leads me to health care, the target of the next great dump.

"And in each of these years, one million more Americans have lost their health insurance. It is one of the major reasons why small businesses close their doors and corporations ship jobs overseas. And it's one of the largest and fastest-growing parts of our budget," note his reference to employers and the impact of health insurance costs on their bottom lines. This implies the dumping of health insurance costs, either to the individual or government.

"because we're also suffering from a deficit of trust, I am committed to restoring a sense of honesty and accountability," but that doesn't apply to my Justice Department's UBS settlement or an honest painting of Tom Daschle or Ashton Carter.

"it is easy to lose sight of this truth - to become cynical and doubtful; consumed with the petty and the trivial," pure Bush level discounting of critics, even those using theory.

"They need more reform. That is why this budget creates new incentives for teacher performance; pathways for advancement, and rewards for success," expect teacher pay for performance to distort the education system, just at CEO incentive pay imploded Wall Street.

"if we come together and lift this nation from the depths of this crisis; if we put our people back to work and restart the engine of our prosperity; if we confront without fear the challenges of our time and summon that enduring spirit of an America that does not quit, then someday years from now our children can tell their children that this was the time when we performed, in the words that are carved into this very chamber, "something worthy to be remembered." America lacks the leadership in corporate board rooms and our hallowed halls of government to perform. It led us into this morass and plans to prime the greed and leverage pump yet again.

Non-ideological change is nonsense, balderdash, obfuscation. The blue team won and they get to turn the immense federal budget toward their corporate sponsors and wealthy donors. That's what this speech is about. Ignore last night's bizarre applause fest. Watch the legislation and the Justice Department's pursuit of "Just Us". Actions speak louder than words.

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