For someone supposedly so bright and learned, President Obama is becoming truly notable for the teensy intellectual heft of his statements. The puniness of it all is particularly apparent in his eagerness to caricature principled opposition to his policies and ignore – to an awesome extent even for a politician – reality where it concerns policy.
In a piece in today’s Wall Street Journal, former George H.W. Bush economic chief Michael Boskin details the ways in which the president embellishes the estimates of his OWN advisers, including claiming incorrectly that the stimulus saved us from a Second Depression.
But a search for fallacies need take us no further than today’s speech given in Washington as Obama signed the Financial reform bill. Here’s his take on the GOP:
I also want to thank the three Republican Senators who put partisanship aside, judged this bill on the merits, and voted for reform.
How presumptuous. The clear assumption here is that the rest of the Republicans opposed the bill for political reasons and failed to judge it on its “merits.” How can someone who came to Washington advocating political cumbaya have such a low opinion of the motives of his opponents?
Much of the rest of his remarks were devoted to caricaturing Wall Street as a den of evil where unscrupulous bankers will bilk you out of your money and tank the economy first chance they get. Of course, along have come Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and Barack Obama and the only three morally sound Republicans in town to save the day.
There is no mention of the advocacy by the very authors of this bill of policies to get home loans to people WHO CAN’T AFFORD TO BUY HOMES in order to give us a more just society. These people, by the way, included former President George W. Bush, who in 2004 touted an “ownership society” and strategies to help people buy homes WHO CAN’T AFFORD TO BUY HOMES in order to get reelected.
Here’s another whopper from today’s speech.
What often happens as a result, is that many Americans are caught by hidden fees and penalties, or saddled with loans they can’t afford.
This is what the bill will correct. Now, really, how many people are “caught by hidden fees and penalties?” Who doesn’t know about hefty late payment fees. Over-the-limit charges? Usually they’ll wave the first or second violation if you just ask anyway.
And a lot of these “loans they can’t afford” were adjustable rate mortgages that people could no longer afford when the rate went up. Now, what was the trickery here? Oh I know. Calling them ADJUSTABLE RATE mortgages. That’s, ADJUSTABLE RATE mortgages.
I mean, who knew that the rate would change?