At an economic summit on fiscal responsibility at the White House yesterday, the man who has presided over an unfathomably quick growth of the deficit, said to his bi-partisan audience:
“I want to be very clear,” Obama said in opening the session in the White House State Dining Room. “We cannot and will not sustain deficits like these without end. Contrary to the prevailing wisdom in Washington these past few years, we cannot simply spend as we please and defer the consequences to the next budget, the next administration and the next generation.”The irony of this statement wasn't lost on others, including Sen. Orrin Hatch (from Politico.com):
"It is ironic that the president is holding a summit on fiscal responsibility less than a week after instigating and signing a massive, wasteful stimulus bill,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told Politico. “Convening groups to talk about deficits and holding a photo-op isn't going to pay off our debts -- we should be focusing on reducing our estimated $1.2 trillion deficit by reforming entitlement programs and reducing wasteful government spending…That would be something all Americans could support, not just the limited group admitted to attend his summit today."I listened to some of what Obama said at the meeting, as it was presented this morning on NPR, and he was folksy, amiable, and well-spoken. At one point, in reference to government procurement and fiscal responsibility in government, John McCain attacked the plans for a new high-tech fleet of Presidential helicopters. Obama played the stand-up comedian, cracked some jokes, and then agreed with McCain. I was left with the distinct impression that Obama has a near total lack of any of his own ideas and simply reflects what he thinks the crowd wants to hear. And also that the White House summit was sublime political theater without any substance.
Obama is a chameleon. When pushing for trillions of dollars of aid to nationalize the banks, the situation is too dire to worry about the deficit. When he is talking to congressmen about fiscal restraint, he talks the talk about halving the deficit and blames the Bush administration for the inherited problems. The press pretends not to notice the sleight of hand and blithely reports that people are "hopeful."