John at Power Line puts it very plainly:
Barack Obama is not a serious man, and the speech he gave today did not outline a serious proposal to deal with the country’s debt crisis. In the first place, as ranking Senate Budget Committee member Jeff Sessions has emphasized, a speech by itself is meaningless. If Obama wants to make a serious debt reduction proposal, it has to be presented in detail, in budgetary form, so that it can be analyzed properly and scored by the Congressional Budget Office.
Did not we used to have a term for people who were always talking about things, trying to convince folks of stuff that simply wasn’t so?
One blindingly obvious fact about Obama’s speech is that it almost completely ignored the fact that he submitted a budget for FY 2012 just 60 days ago that included projections for the next decade. That budget has now been torn up and thrown into the wastebasket in favor of whatever ultimately emerges from today’s speech. Today, Obama twice referred, obliquely, to his own FY 2012 budget, both times to explain that he is now proposing something different. But what are we to make of the fact that a 60-day-old budget proposal is now on the scrap heap? Why did our President change his mind? Why is he now purporting to reduce our debt by trillions more than he claimed just two months ago? He offers no explanation, but I will suggest one: Obama’s FY 2012 budget was an irresponsible joke.
It is hard to come to a conclusion other than that the President believes he can change things by merely speaking about them–except when things don’t change (the less than overwhelming support for his FY 2012 budget, for example) — in which case he will talk about things some more.
P&R was also unimpressed:
[Obama] then says this:
Part of this American belief that we are all connected also expresses itself in a conviction that each one of us deserves some basic measure of security. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, hard times or bad luck, a crippling illness or a layoff, may strike any one of us. “There but for the grace of God go I,” we say to ourselves, and so we contribute to programs like Medicare and Social Security, which guarantee us health care and a measure of basic income after a lifetime of hard work; unemployment insurance, which protects us against unexpected job loss; and Medicaid, which provides care for millions of seniors in nursing homes, poor children, and those with disabilities.
We don’t “contribute” to Medicare and Social Security. We are taxed for them. It is not voluntary, as it would be if you were contributing to a hospital or your 401(k), but confiscated. What is more, the “guarantee” entailed in them is a lie. It is based on a dishonest scheme in which promises are made but not paid for. The same can be said for Medicaid and Unemployment Insurance beyond the initial 13 weeks it’s supposed to cover. It’s all a sham and the guarantee isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.
The terminology the President is using here smacks so much of newspeak that it is not funny. At best, Obama seems to be trying to convince his audience that they simply believe all of these nice things he is saying about Medicare, etc that they will come true.
Why does reality seem so hard for him to grasp? Perhaps an illustration would help.
Let’s say that a 350lb man is told he must drop 150 lbs to save his life. He is given enough food to feed himself down to that level, but no more. He has a choice. He can continue to eat at the current rate, thereby consuming the food rapidly–and then starve himself down to 200 lbs when that food runs out, or he can figure out how much he needs to eat every day to trim himself down to 200lbs without the massive shock which starvation would bring.
So, what’s it going to be, Mr. President?