Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Some Quick Hits on The Speech

U.S. Stocks Fall in Early Trading

“Stocks fell sharply lower this morning after a new report showed that existing home sales fell to their lowest level in 11 years, providing fresh concern about the continuing downward spiral of the housing market.”

Yeah – that was it. And no doubt the market also opened down in anticipation of that housing report and was not, in any way, reacting to the President’s speech last night.

Speaking of…

“We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy. Yet we import more oil today than ever before.”

And as a first step toward addressing that concern, he had his Interior Secretary Ken Salazar cancel oil and gas leases on 77 parcels of federal land in Utah a few weeks ago.

A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future.”

I suspect our President is somehow equating a drop in tax rates with a transfer of wealth (unless the government really is transferring wealth to the likes of his buddies Tony Rezko and Ted Kennedy). Methinks then he doesn’t agree with such sentiments as:

"Lower rates of taxation will stimulate economic activity and so raise the levels of personal and corporate income as to yield within a few years an increased – not a reduced – flow of revenues to the federal government."

…but why he wants to pick a fight with the guy who lowered the top income tax rates from 90% to 70% is beyond me.

“That is why I have asked Vice President Biden to lead a tough, unprecedented oversight effort – because nobody messes with Joe.”

…and nobody messes with the guy at the bar mumbling into his drink either. That very emphasis of Joe Biden’s role in this so-called stimulus spending probably accounted for at least a few “sell-it-all”s this morning.

“I understand that on any given day, Wall Street may be more comforted by an approach that gives banks bailouts with no strings attached, and that holds nobody accountable for their reckless decisions.”

Putting aside the mindless (although understandable if your exposure to Wall Street is limited to the likes of John Corzine and Tim Geithner) stereotyping at play, I don’t see the Street warming to any bank receiving such bailouts…and as to nobody being held accountable – well that may be partially true but he does know Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac aren’t on Wall Street, doesn’t he?

“Still, this plan will require significant resources from the federal government – and yes, probably more than we’ve already set aside.


Given these realities, everyone in this chamber – Democrats and Republicans – will have to sacrifice some worthy priorities for which there are no dollars. And that includes me.”

I didn't watch the speech but did he say that with a straight face? There will not be even a single priority of the President that doesn’t get at least some dollars. Nor will any other prominent Democrat find their stocking empty come budget time.

“…if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime.”

Really? So no more increases in cigarette taxes? And gasoline tax increases are now off the table? Or will we just reclassify these as government fees.

“And to respond to an economic crisis that is global in scope, we are working with the nations of the G-20 to … avoid the possibility of escalating protectionism…”

Better yet he could work with his own party and even himself.

“Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.”

Well, we know he didn't learn that phrase going to church in Chicago

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