Joe Biden, Spending Cuts and the Big Snooze

C’mon. Admit it. When the White House announced earlier this week that the Prez was going to outline his views on federal spending and deficit reduction you had some concerns. No, not about the details. But whether or not he was going to preempt American Idol.

Well, the Prez opined yesterday afternoon at George Washington University in D.C. and by the time the American Idol wannabes appeared on stage his plan had already been sliced and diced by the TV Talking Heads and related pundits and Inside the Beltway miscreants.

We’re now a nation of born-again budget cutters and deficit reducers. The questions are how deep the cuts, to what programs and how quickly. And yeah. There’s that sticky point about taxes. The Prez is OK with hiking taxes on the wealthy. The Republicans — and conservative Democrats who want to be reelected — say no way. And wasn’t that the issue where the Prez and the Dems raised the white flag during the lame-duck session of Congress a few months ago? I digress.

Anyway, the debate over these issues is important, timely and necessary — and it will frame the national and state elections in 2012.

Here’s from an article in the NYT, “Obama’s Debt Plan Sets Stage for Long Battle Over Spending“:

President Obama made the case Wednesday for slowing the rapid growth of the national debt while retaining core Democratic values, proposing a mix of long-term spending cuts, tax increases and changes to social welfare programs as his opening position in a fierce partisan budget battle over the nation’s fiscal challenges.

After spending months on the sidelines as Republicans laid out their plans, Mr. Obama jumped in to present an alternative and a philosophical rebuttal to the conservative approach that will reach the House floor on Friday. Republican leaders were working Wednesday to round up votes for that measure and one to finance the government for the rest of the fiscal year.

Mr. Obama said his proposal would cut federal budget deficits by a cumulative $4 trillion over 12 years, compared with a deficit reduction of $4.4 trillion over 10 years in the Republican plan. But the president said he would use starkly different means, rejecting the fundamental changes to Medicare and Medicaid proposed by Republicans and relying in part on tax increases on affluent Americans.

The president framed his proposal as a balanced alternative to the Republican plan, setting the stage for a debate that will consume Washington in coming weeks, as the administration faces off with Congress over raising the national debt ceiling, and into next year, as the president runs for re-election.

Game on!

And with the stakes this high it’s understandable that the Prez wants a strong manager to lead the team. Again, from the NYT:

Mr. Obama named Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to lead the negotiations with Congress, which the administration hopes will produce the outlines of a deal by the end of June, though a detailed agreement might have to await the outcome of the 2012 election. Mr. Biden played a similar role in talks that averted a government shutdown at the 11th hour, over issues far less thorny than those on the table now.

And yet it appears that VP Joe reacted to Obama’s remarks yesterday in much the same way as the American public: With a big yawn.

Here’s from The Huffington Post, “Was Joe Biden Sleeping During Obama’s Speech?“:

Did Vice President Joe Biden fall asleep while President Barack Obama delivered a speech on his administration’s plans for tackling the national debt on Wednesday?

ABC News released video of Biden attending the event held at George Washington University early in the afternoon. In the clip, the vice president appears to doze off while the president is speaking on the financial issue.

National Journal notes that if Biden did in fact nod off during the president’s remarks, it seems that he wouldn’t be the first member of the Obama administration to do so. In 2009, then-chief economics adviser to the president, Larry Summers, was caught snoozing in a picture taken by a Getty photographer during a meeting on the economic crisis.

OK. It’s hard for me to criticize the Veep on this one. I’ve been there Joe. And done that.

But hey. At least yesterday I made it right to the start of American Idol.


One response to “Joe Biden, Spending Cuts and the Big Snooze

  1. I second that! Don’t’ blame Joe for taking a snooze. All that talk and no walk. I have been a fed worker for 30 years, and I am so tired of hearing what feather bedders the rest of the US thinks we are. Every change of administration picks on the fed work force. The public wants public services but they don’t want to pay for them. This government bailed out private sector business that then paid their CEOs Million dollar bonuses and freeze the federal workers pay for the next 2 years, and maybe the next 5 y ears, and reduce their retirement benefits, and make them pay more towards their retirement. Gads! I work in a “acknowledged” sweat shop, where the work load is incredible, there is no coverage for vacations, so you hate to take one, cause of the back log that builds up, and I do not know of a single fed worker that has had an easy job, and was not busy for a full work day plus. My job allows me a birds eye view into management practices in a multitude of fed agencies, and believe me, the private sector worker has it better. The managers I have had the opportunity to observe, have no ethics. It is all about self glory, self promotion and tooting their own horn. They wouldn’t dream of bucking the system in order to do the right thing by their fellow man. They don’t acknowledge subordinates for their integrity and unbiased application of regulations, as it threatens their position. Course the tide can always turn- and fairness may prevail. Management is now directed to cooperate with the unions – settle grievances at the 1st step, etc. instead of fighting employee’s objections to unfair treatment to the 9th level. Why should an employee have to file for medical accommodation, get a medical certificate to justify having a comfortable chair to sit in while required to sit and work at a computer 8 + hours a day? Or management just turn off the overhead UV lights to accomodate complaints of eyestrain. What is the big deal??They make a Federal case out of it -LOL. Green indeed.
    And Federal Spending – Wow – DOL just spent over $3million to move my agency, to an area that is a SuperSite, with still yet to be uncovered buried
    treasure (?)and another agency is spending another $3million to move into the one we vacated. Who did that save money for? Not the taxpayers. The kudos go to the agency head that is claiming a savings that will not be recovered for 10 years, and by then they will move again, already in the planning. On and On. – the incompetency is incredible. The lies and deception are not acceptable. Retribution must be forthcoming , you think?

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