Well this was refreshing. At first. And then I felt less refreshed. Actually, a little icky.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today directly contradicted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who made a fantastic voyage to Mars over the weekend and came back with the conclusion that while the United States has a deficit problem, “It is almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem.”
Asked about this notion, which Pelosi later acknowledged was “called to my attention by my imaginary friend Kelpy Spinkledots,” Carney minced no words, and even sounded a bit derisive.
Of course, the President believes that we have a spending problem that is specifically driven by — and I think every economist worth this — whose insights into this area are worth the paper on which his or her Ph.D. is printed, would tell you that the principal driver when it comes to spending of our deficits and debt is health care spending. And that’s just a fact.
But almost immediately, Carney began emitting irrelevant statements that made it sound like OBAMA MIGHT NOT DO ANY MORE THAN PELOSI about spending.
What is also a fact is that we have reduced non-defense discretionary spending to its lowest level as a percentage of our economy since Dwight Eisenhower was President.
Oh no, not that one again. Actually, it’s only a “fact” by the very loooooooosest definition of the word “fact.”
Obama is indeed reducing non-defense discretionary to historically low levels. And our hero is doing it with no more than a a fountain pen!
That is, he crossed off tens of billions of dollars in surface transportation spending that had been labeled as “discretionary” spending and wrote it into the “mandatory” spending account, putting it alongside Social Security and Mediare. Ditto several billion more in Pell Grants, which also became “mandatory” spending.
And voila, Obama actually is cutting discretionary spending! It’s magical.
If Bush did this, BTW, the press would be raging about his funny bookkeeping.
And then, omigosh, oh no no no no no. This:
The President has put forward entitlement reforms that would further reduce our health care costs.
What he doesn’t believe is that we need to simply shift our health care costs onto seniors — basically say we’ve got a problem that is now yours, Mr. 75-year-old American, or Mrs. 75-year-old American. He believes that we ought to reduce these costs and not shift them onto seniors.
So we’re going to tackle entitlements without making anyone any less entitled! Just somehow get doctors to charge less for MRIs. Or to start using a Magic Eight Ball as a diagnostic tool instead.
Wonderful. Pelosiesque. It appears Kelpy Spinkledots is not just Nancy Pelosi’s imaginary friend, he’s running OMB.