Strange Bedfellows: Cato Puts Obama’s Spending In Perspective

From my libertarian friends over at Cato:

I’m a big fan of criticizing Obama’s profligacy, but it is inaccurate and/or dishonest to blame him for Bush’s mistakes. At the risk of repeating my earlier post, the 2009 fiscal year began on October 1, 2008, and the vast majority of the spending for that year was the result of Bush Administration policies. Yes, Obama did add to the waste with the so-called stimulus, the omnibus appropriation, the CHIP bill, and the cash-for-clunkers nonsense, but as the chart illustrates, these boondoggles only amounted to just a tiny percentage of the FY2009 total — about $140 billion out of a $3.5 trillion budget.

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2012: Huckabee Out?

It looks like the former Arkansas Governor/Fox News personality is leaning against another run for President in 2012:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says he’s leaning slightly against running for president in 2012 but says it’s far too early to say what he will do.

Huckabee says how the 2010 congressional elections turn out will affect his decision. He also will be looking at whether the Republican Party is willing to unite behind him as a candidate.

Another consideration, Huckabee says, is the status of his weekly TV show on Fox News.

Given those factors, Huckabee says mounting another presidential bid is “less likely rather than more likely” at the moment.

[Emphasis mine]

Despite Huckabee’s popularity among evangelical Republicans, it’s highly unlikely he could beat someone of Sarah Palin’s caliber. In addition, his failed 2008 campaign would probably cast a shadow over any potential candidacy.

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MIT: Health Care Reform Will Save Americans Money

Politico reports:

A new analysis by a leading MIT economist provides new ammunition for Democrats as the Senate begins formally debating the historic health-reform bill being pushed by President Barack Obama.

The report concludes that under the Senate’s health-reform bill, Americans buying individual coverage will pay less than they do for today’s typical individual market coverage, and would be protected from high out-of-pocket costs.

[…]

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Obama On Track To Have Best First Year Since FDR

According to Jacob Weisberg:

[The] conventional wisdom about Obama’s first year isn’t just premature—it’s sure to be flipped on its head by the anniversary of his inauguration on Jan. 20. If, as seems increasingly likely, Obama wins passage of a health care reform a bill by that date, he will deliver his first State of the Union address having accomplished more than any other postwar American president at a comparable point in his presidency. This isn’t an ideological point or one that depends on agreement with his policies. It’s a neutral assessment of his emerging record—how many big, transformational things Obama is likely to have made happen in his first 12 months in office.

[…]

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Draining The Swamp

The Obama administration recently announced a new policy that will bar lobbyists from serving on federal advisory boards, which will end up removing hundreds–if not thousands–of lobbyists from such positions:

The new policy — issued with little fanfare this fall by the White House ethics counsel — may turn out to be the most far-reaching lobbying rule change so far from President Obama, who also has sought to restrict the ability of lobbyists to get jobs in his administration and to negotiate over stimulus contracts.

The initiative is aimed at a system of advisory committees so vast that federal officials don’t have exact numbers for its size; the most recent estimates tally nearly 1,000 panels with total membership exceeding 60,000 people.

Under the policy, which is being phased in over the coming months, none of the more than 13,000 lobbyists in Washington would be able to hold seats on the committees, which advise agencies on trade rules, troop levels, environmental regulations, consumer protections and thousands of other government policies.

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Thanksgiving 2009 (UPDATED)

In honor of the holiday I’m reposting one of my most popular posts ever, entitled Thank A Democrat:

If you’re not a wealthy landowner and you vote, thank a Democrat: Andrew Jackson got rid of laws that discriminated against working-class Americans by restricting voting to wealthy landholders.

If you’re a woman and you vote, thank a Democrat: Woodrow Wilson supported the 19th Amendment, which was passed and ratified during his Presidency.

If you have ever voted while between the ages of 18 and 21, thank a Democrat: Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Congress passed the 26th Amendment, lowering the voting age to 18.

If you never experienced racial segregation, thank a Democrat: Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which outlawed racial segregation in public schools and public places.

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