OK. This should have been April Fool’s Day news.

In his first cabinet meeting, President Obama, expecting a $1.75 trillion deficit (that’s DEFICIT–not the whole $3.6 trillion budget), has asked his cabinet to cut spending by $100 million. While acknowledging it is small, he said, “Cumulatively, they make an extraordinary difference.”

Let’s put that in perspective. That’s less than 0.003% of the budget. The national average income is around $40,000. (I don’t remember the exact latest number.) To ask the same percentage cut would be $1.11. That’s like saying that skipping a single large order of fries will have an effect on the average person’s annual budget.

Some examples of savings already planned are things like sharing computer printers. The president followed up with the statement, “We’ve got more to do.” I’d say so!


“Out of the mouths of babes . . .”

This morning on the way to drop the kids off at school, I had the radio on. The news was talking about President Obama still being in favor of the ban on “assault” style semi-automatic weapons, although he currently is not willing to try to push a reinstatement through. (cf. The Arizona Republic ) As an aside, as recent as Feb. 25 the attorney general said the administration would try to reintsate the ban. We’ll see how that ends.

Anyway, my daughter asked what an assault weapon was, and about the ban. Keeping things simple for the kids, I told them that (a) an assault weapon is a gun that can be fired quickly, and (b) some people wanted to limit the choices we have in what kind of gun to buy. At that point my son piped up, “That makes our country less free.”

How could I say it any better?

Feeling patriotic!

Unlike Michelle Obama, I’m not proud to be an American the first time. I’ve been intensely patriotic for years, but as I watch and read the news about the Tea Party protests I’m feeling particularly proud. At this point, it is difficult to get any hard numbers, but I’ve found estimates of 3000 in Columbia, SC and 7000 in Atlanta, GA. Like many, I’ve been pretty discouraged with all the spending of money we don’t have (and our kids won’t have) but will have to pay back. The statistics are positively scary, but I won’t go into that here, as it can be found elsewhere. [Maybe in another post . . .]

However, many thousands gathered around the country today to send the message to Washington that we’re fed up with the whole approach to economic policy that is coming out of that city. Some say it’s about taxes; some say it’s about spending; some say it’s about freedom . . . In reality, of course, it’s about all these, and more. Individuals naturally have issues with which they resonate more. I do think, though, that with nearly every issue, the feeling all these protesters have is that D.C. is no longer listening to them.

Our government is based on representation. We elect people and give them the task of making decisions that reflect our values. But the decisions of the last year have been against the wishes of vast portions of America. The first bailout kind of caught people by surprise, but by last September Americans overwhelmingly were against the TARP program bailouts. Nevertheless, it was pushed down our throats with no regard to alternatives proposed by the minority in Congress. Bush (yes, I’ll criticize him, also), Obama, Pelosi, Reid, et al decided to start spending our money, and print more to cover the deficit.

Since then, we’ve had a huge follow-up stimulus bill (loaded with pork, by the way) and an outrageous budget (with 8000+ earmarks) that increases spending beyond any recent levels. We have tax increases on people who already pay most of the taxes already. We have impending indirect tax increases in the so-called “cap and trade” program. We have many tax cuts that are due to expire in 2010 and following years, resulting in effective tax increases on a large percentage of American taxpayers. In all these cases, the will of the people is being ignored.

So the end result is many thousands of protesters gathered in every state in the union. It is indeed reminiscent of the original Boston Tea Party. We’ve got people now telling the government they need to listen to us–REPRESENT us (by “us” I refer to our values) or go home! Are you listening, Washington? Are you listening, President Obama?

UPDATE [4/17 10:37pm]–pajamasmedia.com is tabulating figures. They are up to a total of 617,568 nationwide. Who says the tea parties haven’t caught on!

Obama gets poor grade

Well, as of 11:40am, April 3, 2009, a poll on msnbc.com (a left-leaning news source, where you would expect left-leaning people would be answering polls) has President Obama getting a grade of D or F by 53% of responders who were asked to grade him A, B, C, D, or F.

Click on the above link to add your opinion!

As can be seen from the graphic, it looks like a “love him or hate him” situation. Remember that this is a non-scientific poll, but it doesn’t jive very well with published approval numbers. However, the latest numbers have shown a decrease in scientific approval ratings.

Wonder what the results would be with a more balanced crowd?