Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Obama Paradox

President Obama presents a paradox. He does not actually like being president. He hates politics. He and his wife hate Washington DC. Obama has complained for years about his inability to accomplish his goals. He essentially quit governing mid-Summer and went into campaign mode where it is more important to score political points and please constituent groups than to actually accomplish anything.

So why is he trying so hard to keep his job?

Obama's 2013 budget is an example. To quote Dana Milbank

The White House's budget for fiscal 2013 begins with a broken promise, adds some phony policy assumptions, throws in a few rosy forecasts and omits all kinds of painful decisions. Even then, the proposal would add $1 trillion more to the national debt than Obama contemplated a few months ago — and it is a non-starter on Capitol Hill, where even Senate Democrats have no plans to take it up. It is, in other words, exactly what it was supposed to be: a campaign document.


As such, the rollout couldn't have been more purely political if it had included a balloon drop.

And this is from one of the Washington Post's stable of left-leaning columnists.

Like Obama's proposed stimulus package last Fall, this was never meant to be a serious budget. It is a campaign platform. It raises taxes on the rich, cuts payments to doctors, and rewards heavily unionized groups (construction and teachers).

So, Obama neglects his duties as President to produce a real budget and instead issues a budget that he knows will never be considered to make his case for reelection to a job that he his dislikes and is not very good at.

Hence the paradox.

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