The Mendacity of Trope

Obama lied.

Within seconds of taking his (botched) oath of office, he declared that “Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.” It’s really forty-three (he counted Grover Cleveland twice).

But, that’s not the main deception. The theme of his inaugural address is captured by “What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility.”


He’s advocating a massively irresponsible spending program. One that conveniently includes massive allocations to projects of the type he had already advocated for their own sake, under the guise of a stimulus to help with economic recovery. This spending will deepen and lengthen the recession, and will place a huge burden on us to repay the increased debt (one way or another).

Check out Kevin Murphy’s discussion (starting at 17:20 in the video, also see this for the slides) of the wild assumptions necessary to think that the stimulus spending will be helpful (HT Will Wilkinson).

Also, Obama has repeatedly promised to go over the budget to eliminate programs that aren’t working. If he were honest about that, he’d reverse his support of the 2008 farm bill and scrap the bulk of agricultural subsidies.

And, if he were really honest he’d reconsider the entire War on Drugs and scrap that too.

I don’t think he’s responsible, or honest about wanting to eliminate all ineffective programs. I think he’s a typical leftist politician who has seldom seen a problem that he didn’t think could be solved by more government spending or regulation.

I would love to be wrong about this.

If I am, we’ll all know it as soon as he reverses course on these issues.


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