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View Diary: CBO: Deficit will tumble this year, but obsession with fiscal tightening will hurt economic growth (67 comments)

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  •  I think that there are other reasons (1+ / 0-)
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    howd

    for why Obama is so hell-bent on cutting entitlements and the deficit at a time when we shouldn't be doing either. I don't think that he's "owned" by anyone. As a future ex-president, he can write his ticket and doesn't need patronage. Sure, it doesn't hurt to keep up good relations with the future donors to his presidential library and whatever causes he decides to take up, but he doesn't need to kiss up to them to do that, only to give them a seat at the table so that they don't feel snubbed and left out (these people are VERY vain).

    I think that he's doing this because one, he wants to be seen as "serious", and these days that means cutting entitlements and the deficit. Which makes him weak and vain himself, because he should know better. But he doesn't want Tom Friedman or Pete Peterson to dismiss him as one of those utopian liberals--thus the weakness and vanity.

    And two, I think he's bought into the Puritan and Victorian attitude that unless you're extremely unfortunate, your success, or lack thereof, is largely your own fault, and he's doing everyone a favor by tightening their belts a bit, as a sort of tough love to get you off your butt. He probably believes that his amazing success is completely his own doing, and not the product of some amazing luck as well (like running against really weak opponents). So if others aren't doing so well, it's probably their fault, and they need to buck up and work harder.

    Now, if was reluctantly willing to cut entitlements because he felt that it was politically unavoidable, that would be one thing. But I think that he really wants to cut them for its own sake, as what he views is good policy. And the only way I can see him believing that is if he believes in this self-reliance horseshit. And it is horseshit, but no matter how hard they work, lots of people are falling behind. Not everyone is as talented and lucky as him.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 07:38:42 PM PST

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