Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Catch of the Day

Lots of folks had this one, but the one I read first (and I think he had it first) was Matt Yglesias, so I'll give him the CotD. For some prime Tom Friedman bashing, after Friedman complained that no one knows what Barack Obama wants to do on the budget:
[T]hose of us familiar with the world-flattening capabilities of the Internet are able to find such documents as “Living Within Our Means And Investing In The Future: The President’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction” (PDF) published by the Office of Management and Budget in September. As you might gather from the title, it contains a plan, endorsed by the president, for economic growth and deficit reduction. The details on the tax side are spelled out starting on page 43, with other sections dealing with mandatory savings and health savings separately. There are a bunch of summary tables in the back, too. Unfortunately the tables are too wide to be reproduced on the blog in a way that preserves legibility. But interested parties can and should download the document! My guess is that if Friedman phones up the OMB press office someone there would be happy to walk him through it.
 As Steve Benen documents, this isn't a momentary slip by Friedman; it's perhaps his most consistent theme that Barack Obama won't take a position on things that Obama has in fact taken a position on, often in hard-to-miss ways such as State of the Union speeches. And I think Greg Sargent is right; there's a good institutional reason that Friedman would want to appear non-partisan and even-handed even though his actual views line up quite consistently with the president's, and his absurd ignorance of what the White House is up to fits that goal quite well.

Whatever the reason for it, the result is that Friedman makes himself into a laughingstock, and an annoying one to boot.

Nice catch!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, but Friedman is merely sticking to the Obamabots' policy direction post the November 2010 election, in which he submitted a massive spending budget to the Congress, which got rejected 97-0 in the Senate, and got Obama tagged as unserious.

    You can yammer about something the Obamabot minions have published somewhere, or some speechifications someplace, but Obama has been intent on keeping the massive spending increases intact, and has been fighting a scorched earth battle to do so.

    That's why the Congress pretty much walked away from him and drafted whatever we see coming down the pike these days, with Obama as a mere bystander. There aren't enough votes to give Obama exactly what he wants, and he seems incapable of operating in an environment of give and take.

    Just a hint for you: OMB plans published in September 2011 are irrelevant and long outdated, and indicate a foundering administration desperately seeking to stay afloat. It is stunning that it took them fully 10 months to accept reality on matters budgetary. Simply stunning. This is incompetence as we've rarely seen it.


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