Obama: Bush Made Me Do It (updated)

Even Obama’s socialism is Bush’s fault. Last Friday a reporter from the New York Times asked President Obama:  "Are you a socialist as some people have suggested?"

Obama answered, “You know, let’s take a look at the budget -- the answer would be no.”

Apparently, the question (and his vapid response) bothered President Obama. The Washington Times reports that Obama later called the NYT reporter from the Oval Office to clarify his response:

"It was hard for me to believe that you were entirely serious about that socialist question," he told reporters, who had interviewed the president aboard Air Force One on Friday.

Opening the unusual presidential call to reporters by saying that there was "just one thing I was thinking about as I was getting on the copter," he said it wasn't he who started the federal government's intervention into the nation's financial system.

"I did think it might be useful to point out that it wasn’t under me that we started buying a bunch of shares of banks. It wasn’t on my watch. And it wasn’t on my watch that we passed a massive new entitlement -- the prescription drug plan -- without a source of funding. And so I think it’s important just to note when you start hearing folks throw these words around that we’ve actually been operating in a way that has been entirely consistent with free-market principles and that some of the same folks who are throwing the word 'socialist' around can’t say the same." [Emphasis added.]

In other words, Obama claims to have inherited socialist policies from President Bush. Maybe so. Bush (and a Democrat controlled congress) was responsible for the first bailout bill.

But Obama cannot blame the second bailout bill on Bush. Obama's trillion-dollar pork laden stimulus bill is not “entirely consistent with free-market principles.” Not even close .

To the extent President Obama is taking the country further down the road to socialism, he needs to be held accountable for his actions. Obama, not Bush, is now the head of state. If Obama isn't making the decisions right now, if  he isn't running the country right now, who is?

Update: Randall Hoven adds:

After the interview, the President thought that the question deserved more of an answer.  He called the interviewer back.  (That's right.  President Obama called a reporter just to say he's not a socialist, really.)

"He then dismissed the criticism, saying the large-scale government intervention in the markets and the expansion of social welfare programs had begun under his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush.  ‘It wasn't under me that we started buying a bunch of shares of banks,' Mr. Obama said. ‘And it wasn't on my watch that we passed a massive new entitlement, the prescription drug plan, without a source of funding.'"

Do you find something curious about his reasoning?  His reasoning is that if things were already a little bit socialist when he got there, then he's not being socialist no matter what he does.  I think in logic, that particular fallacy is called the non sequitur, or whatever you call that fallacy that means "makes zero sense."

Also, look at what he pointed out: Bush's prescription coverage under Medicare and his TARP bailout - the very things that sent conservatives into tizzies and Rush Limbaugh into conniption fits.  There you have it, from the ultimate authority, that Republicans being "moderate" was enough excuse for Democrats to blow the national debt up to levels not seen in 60 years.

Do you now see why Rush and the rest of us troglodytes absolutely loath moderateness?  It is badness squared.  It is plain bad when you do it, but then it's used against you by the very people you tried to compromise with.

So if George Bush was a little bit socialist, it's not socialist to take his $400B deficit in 2008, and quadruple or quintuple it to $1.7 trillion or so in 2009.  Heck, since the federal government was already spending 20% of GDP in 2008, bumping it up to 28% in 2009 is no sin.  Why not make it 50%?  Still no socialism, here.  No sir.

So for those of us who didn't like what Bush did, Obama is going to give us even more -- on steroids, cocaine, and LSD all at once.  And that's what he means by "change"?

Then again, there's a simpler explanation.  He's lying.
Even Obama’s socialism is Bush’s fault. Last Friday a reporter from the New York Times asked President Obama:  "Are you a socialist as some people have suggested?"

Obama answered, “You know, let’s take a look at the budget -- the answer would be no.”

Apparently, the question (and his vapid response) bothered President Obama. The Washington Times reports that Obama later called the NYT reporter from the Oval Office to clarify his response:

"It was hard for me to believe that you were entirely serious about that socialist question," he told reporters, who had interviewed the president aboard Air Force One on Friday.

Opening the unusual presidential call to reporters by saying that there was "just one thing I was thinking about as I was getting on the copter," he said it wasn't he who started the federal government's intervention into the nation's financial system.

"I did think it might be useful to point out that it wasn’t under me that we started buying a bunch of shares of banks. It wasn’t on my watch. And it wasn’t on my watch that we passed a massive new entitlement -- the prescription drug plan -- without a source of funding. And so I think it’s important just to note when you start hearing folks throw these words around that we’ve actually been operating in a way that has been entirely consistent with free-market principles and that some of the same folks who are throwing the word 'socialist' around can’t say the same." [Emphasis added.]

In other words, Obama claims to have inherited socialist policies from President Bush. Maybe so. Bush (and a Democrat controlled congress) was responsible for the first bailout bill.

But Obama cannot blame the second bailout bill on Bush. Obama's trillion-dollar pork laden stimulus bill is not “entirely consistent with free-market principles.” Not even close .

To the extent President Obama is taking the country further down the road to socialism, he needs to be held accountable for his actions. Obama, not Bush, is now the head of state. If Obama isn't making the decisions right now, if  he isn't running the country right now, who is?

Update: Randall Hoven adds:

After the interview, the President thought that the question deserved more of an answer.  He called the interviewer back.  (That's right.  President Obama called a reporter just to say he's not a socialist, really.)

"He then dismissed the criticism, saying the large-scale government intervention in the markets and the expansion of social welfare programs had begun under his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush.  ‘It wasn't under me that we started buying a bunch of shares of banks,' Mr. Obama said. ‘And it wasn't on my watch that we passed a massive new entitlement, the prescription drug plan, without a source of funding.'"

Do you find something curious about his reasoning?  His reasoning is that if things were already a little bit socialist when he got there, then he's not being socialist no matter what he does.  I think in logic, that particular fallacy is called the non sequitur, or whatever you call that fallacy that means "makes zero sense."

Also, look at what he pointed out: Bush's prescription coverage under Medicare and his TARP bailout - the very things that sent conservatives into tizzies and Rush Limbaugh into conniption fits.  There you have it, from the ultimate authority, that Republicans being "moderate" was enough excuse for Democrats to blow the national debt up to levels not seen in 60 years.

Do you now see why Rush and the rest of us troglodytes absolutely loath moderateness?  It is badness squared.  It is plain bad when you do it, but then it's used against you by the very people you tried to compromise with.

So if George Bush was a little bit socialist, it's not socialist to take his $400B deficit in 2008, and quadruple or quintuple it to $1.7 trillion or so in 2009.  Heck, since the federal government was already spending 20% of GDP in 2008, bumping it up to 28% in 2009 is no sin.  Why not make it 50%?  Still no socialism, here.  No sir.

So for those of us who didn't like what Bush did, Obama is going to give us even more -- on steroids, cocaine, and LSD all at once.  And that's what he means by "change"?

Then again, there's a simpler explanation.  He's lying.