President Obama:The Greek Politicians Won Elections As Well!

EconMatters's picture

By EconMatters

President Utilizing Media to Pressure Republicans on Debt Ceiling

Let me first state that I am not a Republican or a Democrat, or a Tea Party advocate; I just look at individual issues based upon their merit.  The issues and the right solution is what is important to me, and not collective party ideology.  But president Obama trying the same tactics of negotiation in the media to frame the debt ceiling debate as the Republicans being irresponsible, and not paying the Country`s bills is just media manipulation at its finest.


This tactic is very transparent and apparent to the educated members of society, unfortunately the tactic worked with regards to the fiscal cliff, and he is hoping to do the same thing again by putting all the pressure on the Republicans with these media shows, and essentially making the Republicans look like the bad guys here.


This kind of tactic I find repugnant because yes I am an American president Obama and I don`t agree with this tactic or the Democratic stance on this issue. The Republicans wouldn`t have to resort to this kind of negotiation if Democrats could ever be forced to cut any type of spending in any other manner.


Further Reading - Rick Santelli Is Right

The Democrats just refuse to admit that there is a problem that is at the critical stage, and it needs to be addressed now, even if the country has to go into a recession to finally address the spending problem.



Just like Credit Default Swaps – The Numbers just don`t add up Anymore

The numbers just don`t add up anymore, and this is our Jesus Moment where we are AIG and we realize we need to sell a bunch of these credit default swaps while we still can because if the market turns against our debt portfolio even slightly in relative terms, the debt burden will take down our entire country.


We saw what happened to AIG, well there is nobody to bail out the United States. This is the last chance before interest rates and the bond vigilantes awaken from their slumber and debt markets revert back to their historical norms, and then we are AIG and it is too late.


The Democrats are the “Bad Guys” here!

I will frame the debate in the other direction. Democrats are irresponsible, and the Republicans already raised taxes and revenue, now this is your turn to address spending. If you refuse to address spending in the next month where you have had 5 years to cut spending and have refused then you are the irresponsible party, dead wrong on this issue, and you are the bad guys.


Winning Elections has nothing to do with Leading a Country

I don`t care if you won the election with a 100% mandate, I am sure the Greek politicians won all their damn elections as well. So stop spouting this campaign rhetoric as it is irrelevant to the spending problem at hand. We don`t have a tax problem, we have a spending problem. We never have a problem raising taxes in this country, but we sure have a problem cutting wasteful spending.


Personally, I doubt that the country`s spending issues and debt constraints that will hit home 5 years down the line were really on the voter`s minds while casting votes in the recent election. It is never on voter`s minds until you get Greece style austerity programs, then it really becomes on their minds, and guess what the Greek citizens still didn`t want to cut spending even when their country was in default.


So relying on the voters to volunteer to cut back spending is like asking a fox guarding a henhouse to tighten up security measures. It isn’t exactly in the majority of the population’s interests since the majority benefit from all this spending in the short term.


This isn`t a Republican or a Democrat issue as President Bush sure was quite a spender during his 8 years in office as well, and he wasn`t very fiscally responsible, and I don`t consider him a good president from a long term fiscal thinking standpoint.  So I am just as hard on the Republicans on this issue as the Democrats, and they need to do a much better job cutting back on Military spending which has been in “Overkill” mode for the last 10 years.


Republicans Need to Start with Military Spending Cuts

The Republican Party has positioned themselves as budget hawks, but they have their own set of skeletons in the closet with regard to excessive Military spending over the years that has contributed their fair share to the federal debt of 16 trillion dollars and counting.  Yes the United States needs a military to meet any threats posed by our enemies, but the amount that we currently spend versus the actual threats is just a waste of money.


I know that the industrial military complex as it were provided jobs in areas of technology and research and development not to mention an entire supply chain of components along the manufacturing process for military weapons and logistical infrastructure.


But the problem is that net of taxes generated for the nation versus costs to tax payers, military spending doesn`t pay for itself, and is a net drag on the economy from an economic standpoint. 

I know there are all kinds of areas where this country needs to cut spending but Republicans can make the first move by offering up some legitimate cutbacks in military spending to get the ball rolling in the negotiations because the democrats are going to have to cut their “untouchables” as well.


Both Sides Underestimating the Cuts Needed

I frankly think that both sides are naïve in regards to just how much legitimate cutting on spending they are going to have to do as the numbers they are discussing are not even close to what is required. And with Obama already pushing the idea of closing corporate loopholes in the tax code, he and the democrats are still focused on the revenue side of the equation, even after just winning on the revenue issue this past month. I guess they still want more revenue, but I hope this is just an opening negotiation stance, but if we are still negotiating over revenue issues in the debt ceiling debate, then this country will be in default in 10 years instead of fifteen.


Maybe Now is the Time to let Accountants Decide Spending Cuts

This is not a political debate, this is a financial decision, get rid of the politicians and bring in the accountants and risk managers. The politicians have had their chance to solve the debt problem, now it is time to bring in the number crunchers and let them decide objectively where to cut government spending.


This is now a business decision like AIG, and I am your risk manager Mr. President tapping you on the shoulder telling you it is time to cut spending. Just like a proper risk manager needed to tap the derivatives group at AIG, and say you are overexposed here sell this percentage of the portfolio of credit default swaps throughout the remainder of the next two months.


President`s Legacy

I am your accountant Mr. President, and I know you are proud of how many votes you just won an election by over the Republicans. Congratulations are in order, now Mr. President the numbers don`t add up, and you just raised taxes, so now you have to cut spending by this amount or we declare bankruptcy in fifteen years. Do you understand this Mr. President? Do you follow what I have laid out here?


Our option is spending cuts or bankruptcy, sure Mr. President we can raise taxes some more, but it is only a stop gap measure. The only real way to solve the escalating budget debt problem with the country`s future debt obligations is to cut spending by a massive amount Mr. President.


Yes I know you will be out of office when the country defaults, but is this what a responsible president would do? Are you a responsible Individual? As your risk manager cutting spending is the responsible way to begin solving this problem Mr. President. In fact, it is the only way or we default on our debt obligations in fifteen years.


Republicans: Right on this issue!

Now we need to stop campaigning there are no more elections for you to win, the Republicans may indeed be bad guys, but on this issue they are actually good guys. I don`t even care if they are addressing the issue because of purely selfish reasons. I don`t care why, but I am your risk manager, and you need to cut spending it is the only course of action that is a viable option after just raising taxes.


I don`t believe Democrats could cut Spending even if Default Occurred

Remember, the only reason the republicans have had to resort to these type of tactics if that the democrats will literally never address spending cuts. The United States will be in default a la Greece, and they still wouldn`t enact austerity programs. They just cannot stomach spending cuts even if the country has to default, they literally don’t seem to care.


This is how much this party lives by spending. The Democrats are the habitual spender who maxes out all the credit cards, and keeps on shopping till they are literally all declined. That is the only way they will ever cut spending. The Democratic Party needs some counseling on spending. They need to take one of those debt management courses, and have their finances managed by a third party via a court appointed process.


Even when the president is trying to frame republicans as bad people, he still can`t even help but show his true colors and the party’s true colors by dropping little hints that they are not serious about addressing any legitimate spending cuts.


Popularity versus Leading

Sometimes Mr. President, one has to do the unpopular thing, if it is in the best interests of the country. This is the AIG moment, get your act together, and lead. This is your AIG or Greek moment and you’re failing miserably, and going to go down as the President who sent the country into unsustainable default territory a la Greece.


This is where we are headed right now, and you will get blamed for this lack of fiscal discipline, regardless of how much President Bush spent on Defense Spending because this is what your tenure is being defined as the “Spending President”.  


Every Spending Program needs to be on the Cutting Block

Now is the time, to get serious from both sides of the aisle, and this means cutting wasteful military spending! But just because the Republicans need to cut defense spending, doesn`t mean you are off the hook Democrats.


We are going to need much more significant cuts to the budget than either side is proposing currently as the numbers even with aggressive spending cuts being talked about today, are just not going to solve the problem. They are too small, relative to future obligations even under this low interest rate environment.


Just today the Social Security Administration reported that by 2033 they will run out of money, enough is enough you are the president of the United States; you are not there to do the popular thing, but the right thing.


I am sure that Greece politicians were elected by the majority as well, and they had prescription drug plans that the country couldn`t afford. Guess what, they really couldn`t afford them, and a bunch of other governmental obligations that the country just couldn`t afford.


Definition of Irresponsibility

We are on the same path as Greece, and you need to recognize that being a true leader is not doing the popular thing but the right thing with regard to fiscal responsibility. Not spending within your means is the irresponsible act here, not balancing the budget is the irresponsible act here, continuing down the same path as Greece is the irresponsible act, and not addressing spending cuts in the next month is the irresponsible act.


Risk Manager is a Thankless Job

I am not asking you to cut spending, Mr. President, as your Risk manager I am telling you to cut spending now as the only viable option in solving this government debt to GDP issue. That is the problem with risk manager`s, when the problem goes all the way to the highest levels of power within a corporation, i.e., AIG, Greece, and MF Global, nobody ever listens to the risk manager. The position never carries enough power when mismanagement is at the highest levels of government or business. 


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cpzimmon's picture

And atlas shrugged.

working class dog's picture

The author most definitely represents the 1 % AND THE ILLUMANTI, who Obama works for. Obama gave more permanent and better tax cuts to the wealthy so stop the bull shit about how Boehner Bonehead didnt win the negotiations. The middle class workers such as myself got a 2 % increase in social security and the 5 yr tax cuts are not permanent as the insiders in Washington got, especially the hedge funds with their bull shit con story of saying they dont have income its capitol gains.,I will sell you the Brooklyn Bridge if you believe going to work to make money using your trade is not income from labor. Only the shlepps like me who sweat in an engine room have to pay tax on my labor, not the panty waist hedge fund limp dicks. Don't piss down my neck and tell me its raining.

de3de8's picture

Such bs, all know of the obscene waste in gov't. Start there to promote the idea of turning the blimp in a typhoon. It starts with arresting the increases but makes me want to hurl to know that the fewer and fewer of us just keep getting fleeced to carry on with their irresponsible, no, criminal acts. Sad.

silverserfer's picture

yeah stop the spending and start paying the fed debt back. Learn how a privatly created ponzi works idiots.  another POS article from Econmatters. You are truly too stupid to be contributing to Zerohedge.

dadichris's picture

There is no mathematical way to solve the current situation.  Cutting spending of any kind will hurt GDP and revenue.  Raising taxes, ditto.  Raise the debt ceiling kicks the can down the road and hurts the economy for generations.  There is no viable solution except to default.

EARLPEARL's picture

obama is playing the hand he was delt....and i think quite well...blame it on the republicans and take back the house in 2 years is the plan .....

Walt D.'s picture

Suppose the Fed is prepared to loan me $100 billion at 0.5% interest only for 100 years. All I need to do is put $50 billion aside to make the interest payments. I then have $50 billion to spend until I kick the bucket. (Now I realize that if I was Congress, that this would last me less than a week ....)

Walt D.'s picture

Actually, I think Obama is right - the US is in a situation where there is no way out, even on a cash basis - just keep borrowing and spending - the Fed will keep buying up the debt - no need to do anything until something happens - this could be a very long time.

Sort of like the home owner who can not pay the mortgage - just stay in the house, save or spend the mortgage money until the house is foreclosed and you get evicted. This could be a long time - 18 months or longer in California.

Same with credit cards - keep on charging until the card is refused - no difference between going bankrupt owing $150K as opposed to $100K.


hooligan2009's picture

so you think the real con is that the Fed hasn't been printing money to fund all government spending from day 1?

why pay taxes at all?

dadichris's picture

the ponzi economics train left the station decades ago - the US can continue to borrow its way to collapse or premptively default.

Zen Bernanke's picture

Doing the right thing and doing what keeps you in power are most often diametrically opposed.  Especially in Obama's case where the majority of his support comes from folks who pay no taxes or are on some form of public assistance. 

monad's picture

"As taxation is made compulsory on all, whether they vote or not, a large proportion of those who vote, no doubt do so to prevent their own money being used against themselves; when, in fact, they would have gladly abstained from voting, if they could thereby have saved themselves from taxation alone, to say nothing of being saved from all the other usurpations and tyrannies of the government. To take a man's property without his consent, and then to infer his consent because he attempts, by voting, to prevent that property from being used to his injury, is a very insufficient proof of his consent to support the Constitution. It is, in fact, no proof at all. And as we can have no legal knowledge as to who the particular individuals are, if there are any, who are willing to be taxed for the sake of voting, we can have no legal knowledge that any particular individual consents to be taxed for the sake of voting..."

"At nearly all elections, votes are given for various candidates for the same office. Those who vote for the unsuccessful candidates cannot properly be said to have voted to sustain the Constitution. They may, with more reason, be supposed to have voted, not to support the Constitution, but specially to prevent the tyranny which they anticipate the successful candidate intends to practice upon them under color of the Constitution; and therefore may reasonably be supposed to have voted against the Constitution itself. This supposition is the more reasonable, inasmuch as such voting is the only mode allowed to them of expressing their dissent to the Constitution." - Lysander Spooner

hooligan2009's picture

he was spartacus...he also said that high interest rates did not amount to usury, since a high rate of interest would compensate the lender for the right amount of risk didn't he?

Nels's picture

 The issues and the right solution is what is important to me, and not collective party ideology.

And without an ideology or theory of how things work or how things should work, how do you decide what is the 'right solution'?  According to the Cloward/Piven ideology,  causing a big crash is the right tactic to get to their desired solution.

Ideology does matter, there is no squishy middle that can stop determined folks with a strong ideology like the Cloward/Piven adherents.

Snakeeyes's picture

Yes Obama, let's keep acting recklessly (and unlawfully) and see where it gets us. Europe and the US are slowing down ... and Hollande/Obama want to raise taxes. Brilliant!

lakecity55's picture

Why do people think ozone is what we used to know as a 'president?'



Collapse the Republic.

After 4 years of evidence, so many are so ignorant.

This man is a dictator; he will do what all dictators have done throughout history.

rwe2late's picture

Too much Kool-aid drinking at Econmatters.

Since TARP, Obama has clearly shown what he believes is “best“, regardless of popularity.

In any choice between the public and his sponsors,

What’s “best” for Obama always is to benefit his sponsors, the financial mafia and the merchants of death.

Whether it is to violate the Bill of Rights, engage in world-wide assassination, or “bank”-rupt government, Obama has demonstrated his loyalty to what is “best”.

Of course, it isn’t really so simple as just replacing Obama.

It’s about breaking the power of the bankster- militarist syndicate over politics and the economy.

Cutting pensions and medical care hardly hurts the syndicate, or will improve the economy.

Nor will further restrictions on the Bill of Rights lessen the control by the syndicate, or make the public safer.

Ending global militarism, ending Prohibition II and the ancillary crime-generating prison industry, ending TBTF financial swindling, ending Homeland martial law, restoring the Bill of Rights, and stopping the destruction from “IMF-NAFTA” and shock doctrine globalization are what is needed.

DeadFred's picture

Thank you! I just got off philstockworld where Phil (who I used to admire) was shilling for the Kenyan guy. Yes the repubs are not much better than what you'd scrape off your shoe, but pedal-to-the-metal on the spending machine isn't the answer.

SKY85hawk's picture

I tried to post this on Phil's Seeking-Alpha blog. The 'censor' seems unable to approve it. Am I out of line?

Phil parrots OBoo's total default Scare tactic:

I said:

Social-Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and interest payments are mandatory for the federal government to pay as is interest on the Debt.   The Feds have 2/3rds of the income needed to balance the budget.

All the arguing over sequestration and the fiscal cliff are politicians pandering to plump patrons about their pleasant perks.

It's time for an honest assessment of Federal spending that should be reduced until the economy actually does 'improve'.

 I have lots of links with suggested spending reductions, from more credible sources than myself.

How 'bout one from the CBO?  The CBO says there are reductions of $100 billion, before the FiscalCliff.



I'm sure other readers can add to this list!


Snakeeyes's picture

It really is the Debt Star. While Republicans share the blame, Reid, Pelosi and Obama are the true culprits. It is now so big that it can never be paid off (unless by force).

Shevva's picture

Funny it'll be the big grins kids that have to pay for his Trillions, do you think they'll thank him for this debt?

hooligan2009's picture

uh huh...from Metropole c. 1908

He was burning with a sense of outrage. He had been tricked and made a fool of; he had been used and flung aside. And now there was nothing he could do — he was utterly helpless. What affected him most was his sense of the overwhelming magnitude of the powers which had made him their puppet; of the utter futility of the efforts that he or any other man could make against them. They were like elemental, cosmic forces; they held all the world in their grip, and a common man was as much at their mercy as a bit of chaff in a tempest.

hooligan2009's picture

japan is going for more stimulus again..the bug is approaching the windshield quite fast

add the numbers up. Y52.1 trillion yen..or c. $600 kind of wonder what they can spend worthless yen on these days..certainly can't use it to decontaminate its exports and its cities.

new game's picture

mission impossible as in mathematically impossible.

not to mention hundreds of gub programs that would literally put peoples on the street, hungry and homeless.

and the printing goes on til a point of hypeinflation as we will witness in japan.

usa=japan + greece.

long; fireplaces, woodburners. chainsaws, log splitters and bic liters


hooligan2009's picture

i don't agree that it is impossible...the current spending programs are impossible..shifting from impossible planned spending to possible planned spending is not only possible, but will either happen through economic collapse or responsible government

gdp predicated on government spending of an excess of 20% of GDP, when spending of ONLY 8% of GDP is affordable, means that the Government is responsible for too much of gdp and that 20% number is growing.

gdp is around 10% too high, as are the benefits. these need to cut by this amount immediately. all benefits unfortunately.

this is the price of  decades long corruption in government.

of course, simply halving defence spending (more than the third required as a minimum) would allow more beneficiaries to keep more money.

do you want to pay benefits in the form of a massive army, air force and navy or pay benefits in the form of welfare.

welfare benefits are a lot cheaper and perhaps allow less in kick backs and allow more people to live longer

chances of this happening, rather like Lew's signature..OOO, OO, fuck all O

hooligan2009's picture

stll haven't quantified the cuts necessary.

spending of 3.6 trillion needs to be cut firstly to balance the budget (zero deficit). with tax increases just gone through, this means 1.2 trillion of cuts or 33% equal to 7.5% of GDP.

thats needed today

further tax increases and spending cuts are then required of 300 billion to (responsibly) reduce debt to GDP from 103% to c. 80%

another ten years of 2-3% (300 billion to 500 billion) surpluses are required.

chances of this happening = double O, triple O fuck all blank..I agree that the US government neeeds to be placed in conservatorship...immediately

Ghordius's picture

WTF has this to do with Greek politicians?

hooligan2009's picture

they won their elections as well; elected to SOS and couldn't save the sinking ship of a fucked up fiscal position of the same percentage size as the US in six short years.

Grin Bagel's picture

Oh my, all that anger directed at the puppet instead of the puppeteer, the Central Bank corruption of our constitutional money creation system. Shame, shame. When will we ever learn?

new game's picture

+ a trillion Grin - linking cause and effect is not an intellectual skill for most humans.

can i add that the puppeteer is not a secret, no mystery! But to get to the problem we have

to get through many well contrived "defenses" evolved from past successes.  In effect, the powerfull

are well insulated by human weakness. As always and will always be...\

knowledge is power, what you do with it will ultimately determine YOUR FATE.

tango's picture

The problem with blaming a shadowy puppeteer is that culpable parties are always excused.  (1) The President who no longer even pretends interest in fiscal sanity, (2) Congress who can't fart without thinking of the political consequences and can only think of cutting the rate of growth but mainly (3) the voter who keeps returning these nitiwits year after year because they are so self-deluded.   We only have ourselves to blame and while pointing fingers may make us feel good, it does not absolve our sins.

lakecity55's picture

Yes! Hold the dictator to account. Start there. Go up the chain. Find the Beast and 'neutralize' it.

LawsofPhysics's picture

That which cannot be sustained, won't be.  Absolution will come when the supply lines break. 

Some things never change.

q99x2's picture

Post this on MSNBC

Azannoth's picture

I find it funny when people like the Author here are trying to look for solutions.


The problem is the (Debt based) System that is at it's end, we need a hard-reset nothing less will "save us"

Popo's picture

"Mr. President, you need to recognize that being a true leader is not doing the popular thing but the right thing with regard to fiscal responsibility"



TerminalDebt's picture

He will do it the same way he lives his life, late as usual

nmewn's picture about a game of name the author of this quote?

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure...It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

Sounds like some radical Tea Party member to me ;-)