Bait and Switch

Bruce McQuain points out this statement by Obama that is just staggering in its mendaciousness (emphasis added)

In a sobering holiday interview with C-SPAN, President Obama boldly told Americans: "We are out of money."

C-SPAN host Steve Scully broke from a meek Washington press corps with probing questions for the new president.

SCULLY: You know the numbers, $1.7 trillion debt, a national deficit of $11 trillion. At what point do we run out of money?

OBAMA: Well, we are out of money now. We are operating in deep deficits, not caused by any decisions we've made on health care so far. This is a consequence of the crisis that we've seen and in fact our failure to make some good decisions on health care over the last several decades.

WTF?  The current deficit is because of health care decisions?  What happened to TARP and that crazy-large trillion dollar "stimulus" package and Chrysler and AIG and GM and all those other bailouts?  Sure, there is a looming Medicare bankruptcy, but that has little to do with the deficit numbers quoted.

We libertarians have always warned that the modus operandi of government is the following:  The government creates a problem.  Then the government uses that problem as justification for more government action.  Repeat.  Is there any clearer evidence than this from Obama?  He wastes a couple of trillion dollars in his first months in office propping up the constituent groups who got him elected, and then blames the spending on health care, which gives him an entree to ... spend more money on health care.

I couldn't be more depressed about the state of our country than I am right now.


  1. Elliot:

    Democrats have been telegraphing this economic roundkick for years. Anyone who paid attention in the 90s should have seen this one coming long before this last election.

    A great analogy I once saw is that government breaks your legs, establishes a monopoly on crutches, then brags about their generosity in providing you with assistance.

    As Samuel L. Jackson said, "Hold onto your butts!"

  2. Me:

    As much as I despise the man, this one is scarily correct.

    The current financial crisis and its insane bailouts pale in comparison to the systemic cost of health care in the US. We're currently paying twice as much as European countries for health care with a quality that consistently ranks us in positions 30-40 on objective measures for quality of service.

    With an aging population and huge entitlement laws put onto the books, the future cost of healthcare staggeringly outweighs, say, the cost for social security.

  3. spiro:

    However "Me"

    His solution will be to throw MORE money at healthcare, not to solve what causes the sink. Coyote is correct to point out that the govt is telling us "stop hitting yourself" while they grab our wrists and pummel us with our own hands.

  4. Steve:

    "I couldn’t be more depressed about the state of our country than I am right now."

    I know what you mean, though I wouldn't say that were literally true, considering the depths to which governments have sunk "for the people." There's still a lot of the private sector to plunder, a lot of independent minded Americans to grind up. Until enough people get fed up enough to take action to throw off their chains, expect the index of hopelessness to rise precipitously.

  5. Steve:

    I've heard it said that hell is the impossibility of reason.

    I wouldn't invest in snow shovels.

  6. Dr. T:

    "I couldn’t be more depressed about the state of our country than I am right now."

    I can easily imagine the Treasury Department printing and dumping a trillion dollars later this year. That would start a lovely inflationary trend and an economic calamity just as the economy was beginning to improve. Add another hundred billion to GM plus a national takeover of health insurance, and we'll be in much worse shape than now.

  7. Joseph Hertzlinger:

    Of course it makes sense. Every dollar spent on private health care is another dollar than won't be sent to Washington.

    After that, they'll use funding food stamps as a reason to nationalize restaurants.

  8. TDK:

    Interestingly when the health service in the UK was nationalised in 1948, the claim was made by some that health care costs would decline as a proportion of GDP as the health improved. For example, eliminating rickets in children would mean that lives would be rescued from non-productivity. Instead of being recipients of welfare/charity they would be contributors.

    Strangely this example of state planning didn't work out.

  9. Mercy Vetsel:


    I'm just glad so many of my fellow libertarians either chose Obama or sat out the race. Obama was the Senator with one of the worst ratings by organizations like the National Taxpayers Union and McCain had one of the best and there were plenty of hints in Obama's record to tell us that he would be a big-government nightmare.

    So even having the knowledge that Republicans vote much more libertarian than Democrats, we libertarians are still able to demonstrate how much we dislike BOTH "Coke and Pepsi" parties by remaining aloof and uncommitted or even by supporting Obama. That's dedication!

    We're so dedicated to our independence and ideological purity that we're willing to let Obama, become the most fascistic (sorry, "market socialistic", if you prefer the modern euphemism) U.S. president of all time. Isn't great to be dancing about with the unicorns and rainbows, unaffected and unaffiliated with the petty politics of the nation?


    P.S. Are we going to get a Coke/Pepsi retraction?

    February 5, 2008, 7:55 am

    I will not be voting today, because in Arizona to vote in the primary one must register with the government as a member of either the Coke or Pepsi party. I just can’t make myself do it.

    P.P.S. Are we still ambivalent?

    TJIC has the silver lining nailed for libertarians:

    Let us not forget the good news from the election: one statist, speech limiting, freedom-agnostic candidate lost.

    I’m kind of ambivalent this morning - I knew in advance that freedom was going to lose again in this election, no matter what the outcome.

  10. Steve:

    Mercy, the so-called libertarians who voted for Obama are either absurdly ignorant, stupid beyond belief, or just wearing a mask for propaganda purposes. The same goes for those who voted for McCain for any other reason than to block Obama. McCain is one of the worst Republicans, particularly since Specter left. There simply was no reason to have any expectations that he would improve the cause of personal liberty. Being "not as bad as the Democrat" is not a positive expectation.

    If you went into the voting booth, held your nose, and voted for John McCain, then went home to take a shower and purge yourself, reasoning that your vote might possibly prevent the worse candidate from winning, I can't fault you too much. I did likewise in '96. But I now wish I hadn't.

    You can't keep voting for the lesser of two evils and expect to get anywhere. Eventually, you have to take a stand and withhold any indication of approval of any "evil" choice. How else could you possibly show these politicians you no longer want "evil" at all? How else can you signal to faithful Republican voters that they need to do a better job of vetting their choices, but to let them continue to fall on their faces so long as their choices are "evil"?