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I have to admit, day two of the Democratic National Convention was a lot more interesting than day one. On day one, the highlight was Michelle Obama receiving a standing ovation for saying she loved her country. Only Democrats would think such a statement was worthy of a standing O. Most of us take love of country for granted, but Mrs. Obama's actual convention mission was to spell it out, so we'd know she didn't really mean those previous comments she made about not being proud of her country and thinking Americans were downright mean. Talk about the bigotry of low expectations.
But on to day two, where Hillary made her eagerly awaited pro-Barack Obama speech, with quotes like this:
"In this election, we need a nominee who can pass the Commander-In-Chief test, somebody ready on day one...because the first and most solemn duty of the President of the United States is to defend our nation...when there's a crisis, when the phone rings, whether it's 3pm or 3am, in the White House there is no time for speeches or on-the-job training...Senator McCain will bring a lifetime of experience to the campaign, I will bring a lifetime of experience, and Senator Obama will bring a speech he gave in 2002."
Oh, wait a minute. Those quotes are from a few months back, when both Hillary Clinton and Obama's VP nominee Joe Biden thought Obama was too inexperienced to be the the President. My apologies. Following are some new quotes from Hillary's speech last night, where you'll hear how much progress Barack has made these last few months. Hillary's speech was pretty good for the most part. She has improved at public speaking. Maybe she learned from watching Barack, who is a consummate public motivational speaker. Her speech sounded good as long as you don't think about the words TOO much, same as Obama's do. Hubby Bill was certainly looking proud (and red-faced. He should get his blood pressure checked). You can link to Hillary's speech here if you missed it):
"No way, no how, no McCain....when Barack Obama is in the White House, he'll revitalize our economy, defend the working people of America, and meet the global challenges of our time. Democrats know how to do this. As I recall, President Clinton and the Democrats did it before."
I have to correct Mrs. Clinton on one point. It was actually President Clinton AND THE REPUBLICANS who did it before, not the Democrats. The GOP controlled the Congress during Bill Clinton's term, and it was the Republican Contract With America that made balancing the budget a priority. Initiatives like welfare reform and reigning in spending were also GOP-driven, though Bubba gets credit for pragmatically moving to the center and forging compromises with the Republicans. And I don't think anyone in government had anything to do with the dot-com bubble that drove revenues up. That was a function of the private sector. All Bubba and the GOP did was WATCH that happen, which drives home an essential point - The private sector creates the revenue, not the government. Many speakers at the Democratic convention last night seemed not to know that. They acted like everything must be directed by government overlords. Untrue, as the dot-com boom illustrates.
It's too bad G.W. Bush (and the Republicans) didn't continue the late 90's surplus trend, though the bursting of the dot-com bubble, the inherited recession, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina were significant contributing factors to our economic misfortunes and weren't Bush's fault, not that those things let Bush off the hook. He is certainly responsible for two wars and vastly increasing social spending at the same time he cut taxes, not exactly a model of fiscal responsibility, which is why he ran up $2.5 trillion in deficits during his 8 years. That was part of last night's Democratic message, that Bush is fiscally irresponsible. I agree with them there. But perhaps the Dems can then explain to me why the biggest deficit in the entire history of the country, nearly $500 billion, will occur THIS YEAR, the first year under the budget of the Democratic Congress ? Last year, the final budgetary year of the outgoing Republican Congress, the deficit was only $167 billion. THIS year, Bush the spendthrift actually found someone who could outspend him, as he vetoed a bill or two, and threatened to veto others, while the Democratic-led Congress opened the spending floodgates, as they ALWAYS DO.
Returning to last night's convention, where the Democrats were allegedly talking about the economy (have you ever noticed that Dems always talk about economic matters in EMOTIONAL terms rather than LOGICAL terms ? Drives me crazy), in addition to all the new federal spending the Dems will enact to "chart a new course" and "reverse the failed Bush policies", the Democrats repeatedly pointed out that Barack Obama is going to cut taxes for 95% of Americans, the beloved middle class, because we the middle class deserve it. That's nice of him, but I have to ask another question - Isn't cutting taxes while jacking up federal spending THE VERY SAME THING THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION DID ??? I'm pretty sure it is. Maybe a Democrat would reply to me that Obama will increase taxes on the rich to pay for everything. Okay. Obama has defined "rich" as anyone who makes over $250,000 per year. Only 2% of the country makes that much. Will reversing the Bush tax cuts for that 2% really pay for a $1,000 tax cut for the rest of us, not to mention universal health care, universal pre-school, universal college, massive increases in spending for education, job training, alternative energy, and the other 50 things the Democrats want to spend money on ? Do those numbers add up ??
Analysts (or anyone with a calculator) say NO, those numbers do NOT add up. In fact, Barack Obama knows they don't. He has already stated that balancing the budget is not in the cards, because he has other priorities, as follows:
"I do not make a promise that we can reduce it [the federal deficit] by 2013 because I think it is important for us to make some critical investments right now in America's families" - Barack Obama
George W. Bush's excuse not to balance the budget was recession and war resulting from 9/11. Obama has already found his excuse not to balance the budget. John McCain is the only one pledging to balance the budget, yet last night, every Democrat who set foot on the stage to talk about the economy tried to tell you that John McCain is a continuation of the Bush policies. Like hell he is. OBAMA IS THE CONTINUATION OF THE BUSH ECONOMIC MODEL of deficits. Obama is for big federal spending and tax cuts at the same time, just like Bush. He's for huge new federal programs (Bush started the Medicare Part D Drug benefit and NCLB. Obama will make those look like chicken feed). Obama will be the one to add trillions more to America's already massive $55 trillion in unfunded liabilities (that reminds me. Everyone should go see the movie I.O.U.S.A. Everyone. If you care about your country, if you care what we're doing to future generations, it's essential to educate yourself on these matters).
And do I really need to point out what a pipe dream those 5 million new "green jobs" are ? I mean, c'mon people, didn't Obama pull that number right out of his skinny backside ? I only wonder why he didn't say 10 million, 20 million, or even 100 million. If you're going to make up numbers, why not go the whole nine yards ? I'm all for alternative technologies, we definitely need them, but let's admit a couple things - 1) We're going to need oil for a long time yet, and 2) alternative technologies still need to be subsidized by the government at this point. Let's pursue a comprehensive energy course that will actually work. That includes drilling AND alternative technology. Let's get rid of the partisanship on this vital issue and accomplish something.
I have a couple more short observations about last night's Democratic Convention. First, Ohio's governor, Ted Strickland, told a pretty good joke. He said "George Bush was born on third base, and thought he hit a triple." It doesn't mean much, but I thought it was funny and the crowd loved it. Other than that, Strickland is a pretty lousy public speaker. He looked like he was about to have a nervous breakdown last night, and it's not the first time. My other observation is this - The Democrats nominated the wrong person. Hillary Clinton was the far better candidate for president. For that matter, she was the far better candidate for Vice President over Biden too. Obama made a big mistake not picking her. He still might overcome it, because this is the Democrats year, but still, another huge error in judgement for Barack, whose big claim to fame is supposed to be his judgement.