Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Democrats and Democracy

In a Press Conference this morning, Obama said that the average American shouldn't worry about stuff like the Debt limit, that's what professional politicians are for:

This brings up a couple of questions:

First, why does your party call themselves "Democrats"? When Jackson split off from the Democratic-Republicans he called his party the "Democrats" because they were populists who more directly reflected the will of the people. On the two major issues of your Presidency (three if you include your action in Libya) you have explicitly rejected the will of the people because you thought you knew better than they do. I actually think that's sound governance in a Republic, but then I've also explicitly stated that I don't believe in Democracy, I reject the direct election of Senators, I think we should raise the voting age, and I think we ought to restrict voting to those who are informed (and preferably pay taxes). All positions absolutely anathema to a Democrat.

Second, and more important, why are you pulling the American people into a debate on how a deal to raise the debt limit is structured? You have held something like 4 press conferences in the last couple weeks all of which are intended to point to to an American people who are too busy cooking dinner to have an informed opinion on whether or not a debt limit raise is good policy that we should raise taxes with the debt limit instead of only cutting spending. In your opinion, isn't that something professional politicians should take care of for us behind closed doors? If you can't be bothered to explain why we should raise the debt limit, why explain how the deal should be look?

This is particularly important since these speeches have been utterly insincere. Several Republicans (and to my knowledge not a single Democrat) have asked for the actual negotiations to be open to the public. Despite working to put food on my table, I've actually tried to follow this pretty closely, but there's no way anyone (including the people in the media who have written columns on what a great deal somebody is rejecting) have any actual insight into what's going on in these negotiations. But, despite the fact that I can't find what is actually being debated, I do know enough to know that you are lying to us. I know this because the revenue increases you talk about aren't even a percent of the spending you claim to be offsetting, you have noted in these remarks the drastic cuts you're willing to take while simultaneously asking for increases in spending on pet projects that would be at the top of the Republican list to cut, and most importantly you continually say you want a "long term" fix when the only budget your party has produced in nearly 3 years (your 2010 budget) increased the debt every year in its scope (and was rejected by every member of your party).

If you don't believe the people have enough time to understand the big picture, can you please stop the demagoguery over the details?

PS. I should probably note, I support a debt limit increase, but I would rather have no increase than a bad deal. There's no point in having a debt limit if it's just going to get increased every time the government maxes out our credit card again. I disagree with the assertion that we will default if we don't get a debt increase. We can cover debt repayment with only 10% of receipts at current revenue levels and I would argue the 14th Amendment states that the President must use 10% to do that (which leaves about half of current government functions funded). I'll admit that Obama is probably going to cut the most irresponsible programs he can to show how important our limitless debt is, so we'll have closed National Parks and no FBI while ethanol subsidies and free breakfast in schools continue, but that's still not as bad as an actual default.

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