About that astounding turnabout by Obama
I wrote the article "An astounding turnabout by Obama" that was published in American Thinker yesterday. As I said in the article, I was so surprised by the president's statement that I waited until it was posted in transcript form on the White House website to respond to it.
In the quote, the president used the term "domestic spending." When I wrote the piece, I was unaware that he had used the phrase in the past to mean discretionary spending.
When the president added the word "domestic" to spending, I took it as simply a rhetorical flourish on his part, rather than a significant modifier to the term "spending." Virtually all federal spending is "domestic" certainly including all entitlements, which are not - yet - offered to foreigners.
The press conference on Friday was at the president's volition. He had had a press conference on the same subject -- the debt ceiling -- as recently as the previous Monday. So, when I heard that he was willing to cut "domestic spending" back to the level of the Eisenhower Administration as a percentage of GDP, I thought he was floating a new proposal, in his language a "big" proposal on the debt ceiling issue. The use of the Eisenhower Administration I thought was a form of words to avoid specific numbers in terms of percentages of GDP, i.e., Eisenhower Administration = 18% -19% of GDP, without having to use a number.
FWIW, the piece was accurate in terms of the numbers and charts it presented. The piece was talking about all federal spending. It compared the spending of the Eisenhower Administration with spending of the Obama Administration, showing the explosion in spending as a percentage of GDP during the Obama years.
But, it turns out this was not a turnabout by president Obama. Rather than floating a trial balloon, as I had thought he was doing, the president was reaffirming a previous position.