Busy Signals on the Health Care Hotline

You didn’t want to be the guy chosen to tell Stalin that the wheat crop failed or the production quotas on trucks and cars were not met. Why?

Because despots always blame people, not systems.

In the same way, you don’t want to be the guy chosen to tell Obama that his health care websites are a disaster. But that’s what they are, and he’s managed to blame everyone but himself.

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A Redistributive State of the Union

[Note: This piece was originally published on January 25th, 2012]

Shortly after President Obama was elected, NBC News interviewed a young woman from Detroit named Peggy Joseph. She explained that she was excited about Obama’s election because “I won’t have to worry about putting the gas in my car. I won’t have to worry about paying my mortgage.”

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What’s Wrong With a Win-Win-Win(-Lose)?

This past Friday, President Obama signed the kind of law that makes everyone happy… an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts. It’s a deal Republicans like because it keeps income, dividend, and capital gains tax rates relatively low for another two years. While Democrats like it for its extension of unemployment benefits, reduction of Social Security payroll taxes, and extension of tax credits for children, college tuition, and a variety of other items.

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Congress Takes Vigorous Steps to Look Like it’s Planning to Reduce Deficit

Erskine Bowles, President of UNC, and former Wyoming Senator, Alan Simpson, the co-chairmen of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, are getting political leaders caught up with the obvious reality of the US’ precarious financial state… that the budget deficit is quickly hurtling the nation toward a debt crisis not unlike Greece, but on a much larger scale.

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Bernanke Equally Handy With Paintbrush, Printing Press

The G-20 meeting wraps up in Seoul today with little more to solve currency devaluation than a 30-page report. In it, the Group of 20 proposes that the IMF help the situation by offering guidance toward more market-determined exchange rates… not exactly a sure-fire plan.

All the while, President Obama played his expected role, blaming China for manipulating the yuan as most other nations were more inclined to level criticism against the US’ own monetary shenanigans. The US was the proverbial pot calling the kettle black, and in the unilateral fashion that seems reminiscent of a previous presidency, the US once again goes it alone.

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The Truth in Obama Oval Office Decor

Given the wide assortment of issues facing the nation — debt, deficit, war, and bloated government — it’s actually no surprise the media is aflutter over President Obama’s Oval Office makeover.

As charming and comfy as it may be, it’s still holding court to some of Washington”s biggest problems.

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Hoping for a Soft Economic Landing

Back in January of 2009, the US Airways pilot Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger safely crash landed a commercial airplane on the Hudson River against all odds.

Sully emerged as a hero, and perhaps President Obama is hoping a daredevil economic landing can rub a little magic off on him as well. And, of course, he’s counting on taxpayers, especially the wealthy ones, to make it possible.

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Snail-Like Economy Speaks Up

President Obama still has the dual twinkles of hope and change in his eyes, but even this simple-minded snail of an economy is finding it difficult to believe he’s “selling it.”

At least he’s having a good time.

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Detour on the Road to Recovery

Two new polls, from ABC and CBS, are showing Americans are dissatisfied with how President Obama is handling the economy, and his approval ratings are at an all time low.

With fewer than four months remaining before the November midterm elections you can be sure he’ll usher the economy down any road it’ll go.

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Beyond President’s Control the Huge Leak Continues

Plugging an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico 18,000 feet below sea level may be outside of President Obama’s core skill set. The national debt, on the other hand, is at least situated on dry land. 

Perhaps some new clogging strategies practiced on Deepwater Horizon may have additional uses… for the nation’s deeply-underwater deficit spending.

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