Monthly Archives: March 2009

President Obama Working on Commission

Now that President Obama has taken over management of GM through the ousting of its CEO, and underwriting its warranties, I wonder what sort of compensation he is receiving.

On Sunday, George Stephanopoulos was able to attribute a jump in the stock market to an Administration announcement, so would it not be reasonable to attribute changes in GM sales to President Obama’s efforts? And if so, wouldn’t it be reasonable for the President to earn a commission just like any other salesman?

The President did emphasize in his remarks today that he was seeking fairness in the auto industry, and now that he’s a member I do not see why he would be excluded from fair compensation for his efforts.

It’s only fair.

President Obama – A Record of Success?

Today, during President Obama’s remarks concerning his takeover of the auto industry he sought to reassure workers directly affected by his actions. In particular, he reminded the audience that

“I got my start fighting for working families in the shadows of a shuttered steel plant”

Yes he  did, but what were the results of those efforts? Has anyone in the news media tracked down those families and asked if the President’s efforts were successful?

My guess is that the “dog that didn’t bark” theory applies. If President Obama had any meaningful affect on the lives of those families in the shadows, they would have been paraded relentlessly across our televisions at every campaign event.

Dis-Inherit?

President Obama rarely speaks of budget or economic issues without mentioning the large deficit he “inherited”. Yes, he did campaign on looking forward and not placing blame on the past, but more importantly, how did Senator Obama vote when the spending bills were presented? Senator Obama voted for every penny President Obama “inherited”.

Since clearly President Obama seeks to shift the blame for the heavy debt load the nation faces, does he now believe he cast his previous votes in error?

Fairness

 

E. J. Dionne, writing in the Washington Poston the 26th about the benefits of raising taxes, at one point make an appeal to fairness. I was struck by his notion, certainly not unique among members of the news media,  of fairness.  

If one were to conduct a survey on the question “If person ‘A’ has $50K taxable income and pays $6700 in taxes, how much should person ‘B’, who has 20 times more taxable income pay?” I assume the most common answer would be “20 times more” or $134,000. I’m pretty sure the people who would answer “48 times more” (the current tax code) or higher would be outliers.

Mr. Dionne and his brethren seem to equate “more able” with “less entitled”. Otherwise how else could they justify confiscating the fruits of a person’s labor at different rates without serious moral consideration? The right to one’s own labor is a pretty important civil liberty. There’s even a Constitutional Amendment to clarify the issue.

When considered on moral grounds it’s amazing what Mr. Dionne is willing to compromise civil rights for. Read the ARRA (Stimulus Bill) or the recent Omnibus Spending bill to see what Mr. Dionne thinks justifies infringing  civil liberties.

Deficit of Explanation

I have know way of knowing if the the White House Press corps has original thoughts or if they just reflect the sentiments of their peers, but at least two members of the news media were curious as to how the President could reconcile his claims of fiscal responsibility with his proposed $9 Trillion deficit.

The President deflected the first question by breaking his campaign promise to not look back and justified his 200% increase of the structural deficit by blaming the Bush administration and conflating the what the President described as emergency spending to prevent catastrophe with the structural deficit.

Unfortunately for the President, he was off teleprompter so when the second (and most likely not pre-approved) question was posed, the President did mention “Structural deficit” explicitly. This will undoubtedly lead to the news media being forced to point out that the President did not inherit a $1.3 Trillion structural deficit, but  a $250 billion one.

President Obama, Movie Buff (Update)

A British newspaper is reporting that Prime Minister Brown actually opened President Obama’s gift of 25 DVDs, but ran into a snag when the DVDs wouldn’t play in his European market DVD player.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mandrake/5011941/Gordon-Brown-is-frustrated-by-Psycho-in-No-10.html

One would expect that this reportedly technologically savvy, internationally traveled President would have a similarly experienced staff. At least that’s what I’ve been led to believe by the news media.

Unfortunately, this is yet another error to add to the ever growing list of goofs, gaffes, mishaps, mistakes, blunders and catastrophes from a President who is getting on the job training as an executive. Let’s hope he has a very steep learning curve.

Plausible

Today, listening to the radio, many of the news reports contained lots of “analysis” of the AIG distraction. This “analysis” blended in to a general discussion of the faults of the current Administration, including a large number of unfilled positions at the Treasury Department.

At one point, I clicked on to a new station in the middle of a report

“…the 13 owe more than $220 million in back taxes between them.”

My first thought was that $20 million in unpaid taxes may be an obstacle to confirmation…, but after listening for a few more seconds I realized that the numbers referred to corporation who had received bailout money.

Nonetheless, only 60 or so days into the Obama Administration it was plausible that the President would nominate someone to high office who owed $20 million in taxes. 

After all, in the Presidents own words (reportedly), he won.