10 March 2009

Reality Check

When I let my Newsweek subscription go a few years ago, one of the things that I missed was Robert J Samuelson. I know, I can get him on the net now, but I can't read that in the ... um ... library.

I was never able to figure out Samuelson's political leanings from his columns(I am sure I could look them up); he simply seemed interested in the facts and was appropriately skeptical of everybody. I especially like the reality check he offers this week:

Presidential Double-Talk

To those who believe that Barack Obama is a different kind of politician—more honest, more courageous, more upfront—please don't examine his administration's recent budget. If you do, you may sadly conclude that he resembles presidents stretching back to John F. Kennedy in one crucial respect. He won't tax voters for all the government services they want. That's the main reason we've run budget deficits in 43 of the past 48 years.

Barack Obama is a great pretender. He constantly says he's doing things that he isn't, and he relies on his powerful rhetoric to obscure the difference. He has made "responsibility" a personal theme, and the budget's cover line is "A New Era of Responsibility." He claims that the budget begins "making the tough choices necessary to restore fiscal discipline." It doesn't.

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