In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR


Grandma Minnie’s Recipe for Budget Disaster

President Obama’s budget reminds me of when my grandmother got a little older and gradually stopped making the delicious delicacies she’d been churning out all her life.

One day, late in her life, she served us some gefilte fish – a Jewish delicacy of thick chopped fish patties in a gelatinous sauce. It didn’t quite seem up to her usual standards. Kind of bland, this stuff. It looked the same as her normal offering – covered with lots of sauce and with some carrots added and so forth, but something was not right.

Then we looked a little closer.

What's really going on here? (Not an actual photo of Grandma Minnie)
What's really going on here?
(Not an actual photo of Grandma Minnie)

All of Grandma Minnie’s dishes were done with creative imprecision – a little of this, a little of that – somehow always yielding a relatively consistent great taste. It’s why none of her recipes were ever passed down – she couldn’t exactly explain how she did them.

But this time, we noticed, all the pieces of gefilte fish were about the same size and shape. This was not how Minnie Pawgan operated.

We knew: Store bought, but dressed up to look authentic.

President Obama has laced his FY 2014 budget proposal with some ostensibly appealing features: he used chained CPI to reduce Social Security benefits and made real cuts in Medicare, for example. But when you look a little more closely, this is just warmed over Democratic stuff.

The great claim that it raises taxes by about $580 billion – to be added to the $600 billion in increases passed as part of the January sequester deal – turns out to be a $1 trillion in tax increase when you include fees and things like a new cigarette tax. That now adds up to about $1.6 trillion. Obama ain’t getting anything close to that from Republicans, and he knows it.

The Social Security benefit cuts are just a drop in the bucket of what’s needed. The Medicare cuts are similarly tiny relative the the massive unfunded mandate that this, the greatest boondoggle in all of history, has become. What’s more, they fall mostly on providers, who, like the doctors have done every year since they got whacked in 1997, will surely lobby hard and get much of their money back.

And despite the tax cuts and spending increases, the deficit remains above $400 billion IN TEN YEARS.

Obama and budget director Jeffrey Zients discuss methods for disguising gefilte fish
Obama and budget director Jeffrey Zients discuss methods for disguising gefilte fish

Obama’s operatives were on TV today saying things like, as a percentage of GDP that’s pretty good. Well, it’s actually not that good, and of course it assumes we won’t have any new crises, whether resulting from the economy, al Qaeda, or a foreign war. And, I assume, no new Democratic presidents with vast spending ideas.

There are spending cuts which may or may not occur, and new programs – like guaranteed early childhood education – that will be impossible to revoke once established. They’ll live on whether the money’s there or not.

The budget enables Obama to present himself in 2014 as a moderate who tried as hard as he could, but the cruel Republicans walked away. And so, he will say, we need a Democratic House to get anything done.

He’s continuing to meet with Republicans, which is fine – he had a dinner with GOP senators Wednesday night. But this may well be part of the effort to obscure what’s really going one here. It’s at least as interesting that he is NOT meeting privately with Democrats to try to sell the budget to them, since they are furious about the cuts he decided to include. If he’s serious about this, he needs to do a lot of hand holding on the left. I don’t see it.

What’s more, this budget is two months late. Trains have already left the station in both the House and Senate. Another sign that Obama is more serious about politics than policy.

Grandma Minnie couldn’t fool us, though at her age, we forgave her for trying, because she hadn’t fooled us before.

Obama, who promised Obamacare wouldn’t raise our insurance premiums or force us to change doctors, who said that he would halve the budget deficit, and who said, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die, he wouldn’t raise middle class taxes – which he does in this budget –¬†doesn’t have quite the same residue of trust.

20 thoughts on “Grandma Minnie’s Recipe for Budget Disaster”

  1. So exactly how does our President suppose seniors are supposed to supplement their income in times of inflation; get a job? As for cutting Medicare, it’s not like we can just go get medical insurance elsewhere.

    Our government confiscated our earnings for Medicare, telling us it was for our own good in the future and now, what?, get sick and die old man/woman?

      1. They’ll happen but in very stealth and invidious ways your gefilte
        fish is mom’s and my ketchup soup although not Heinz will have to
        use the cheap stuff. All the while the Obama’s will dine on Kobe
        and Wagu swill down that Grey Goose and party every night.

      2. I know a lot of people are enamored of hospice, but I am not one. My mother and many of my friends’ mothers were in hospice–they emphasize it’s “free,” meaning you won’t see a bill. No food, no water, morphine all day, even if the person had no pain. Well, my mother took 8 days, my friends’ mothers 7, 14, and 9. Yes, a lot of money is spent at the end of life, this seems reasonable, maybe it is, but to me, it’s disturbing. But it comes to us all, I guess.

    1. Well, geez, it’s not like he can cut Medicaid! Some of those poor people can’t even speak English. How do you expect them to get a job. /sarc/

  2. The BHO budget is based exactly on the same formula I witnessed and in which I was a nearly daily participant in mostly television and some radio news for 40 years +.
    We have a commodity found in chicken yards. The quantity is much greater than the chickens themselves. Our task is to refashion this commodity into chicken salad.
    Ah, welcome to the work of creative writing, redirected attention and sensory overload. The consumers cannot be allowed to comprehend what we, their educators and mentors, are feeding them.
    Welcome to Brave, New World! Do you prefer 1984?

  3. Great analogy, Keith. As with all things Obama – he’s bought the store brand of gefilte fish and thinks if we put enough horseradish on it no one will notice.

  4. Combine today’s thread on Memphis Soul at the White House with tonight’s thread on Grandma Minnie’s recipe and what do you get?

    Memphis Soul Stew by King Curtis and the KIngpins:
    Give me about a half a teacup – of bass
    Now I need a pound of fat back drums
    Now give me four tablespoons of boiling Memphis guitars
    This is going to taste all right

    1. That’s because Grandma Minnie loved her family, i.e., her audience.

      FCMABBHO doesn’t love anyone but himself.

      Hell, he doesn’t even love himself.

      He’s a narcissist.

      He has an empty core.

  5. I’m not sure what’s more disgusting: the doggy-doo scene in “Pink Flamingos,” or this shameless kabuki theater act by Obeyme.

    Two months overdue, and I doubt it gets a single “yea” vote in either house of Congress.

    This is a completely unserious proposal, from a completely unserious man.

  6. Off topic, but whenever you see a picture of Obama in the Oval Office he’s always leaning against something, or kicked back with his feet up on a desk or table, or casually dressed. Always he looks like he’s chilling out. Does he even realize how serious his job is?

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