A Further Perspective

Obama’s Trojan Horse Dinner

He only needed to snooker half of the senators he fed.

By 3.11.13

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Last Thursday President Obama had twelve Republican members of the United States Senate to dinner at Washington’s Jefferson Hotel. What had come over this man who, for more than four years, had exhibited frequent disdain for Republicans in general and Congressional Republicans in particular?

The reason escaped the “mainstream” media, but was not that hard to see. For two weeks leading up to March 1 when the budget sequester began he had preached daily the end of civilization as we know it. Children would be deprived of food, old folks would be thrown out in the snow, and so forth. Then, to make sure everyone knew how painful it would be -- thanks to Congressional Republican intransigence --  he arranged immediately to cancel White House tours, using Secret Service staffing problems as an alibi.

Alas, playing Dr. Doom didn’t work. The appeal of school children to tour “our house” got wide coverage. Obama’s poll numbers went down. There was no catastrophe. In fact, there was no apparent change in daily life except the lack of White House tours.

It was reported that Obama and his guests dined on lamb. In fact, the main course was meat from a Trojan Horse. The hastily-called dinner was not an unveiling of a new, cooperative negotiating partner, but an element in a new strategy by the Old Obama. By schmoozing with them, Obama hopes to sweet talk six into voting for the Democrats’ Senate bill to undo the sequester. The intention is, with just enough Republican Senate votes, to send a bill to the House that contains either no entitlement reforms (Social Security, Medicare) or, if any, ones so tiny as to be only cosmetic. It will probably include provisions to cut “loopholes” from the tax code, but without passing on the new revenue to taxpayers in the form of reduced rates (a House Republican promise). The funds will be used instead to continue Obama’s profligate spending (such as for a program to create robotic squirrels, as noted by Sen. Tom Coburn)

Then, when the House rejects the bill, Obama’s mouthpiece, Jay Carney, will say with a straight face, “He did everything he could. He worked with Republicans in the Senate, but the House just wouldn’t let go of its protection of millionaire and billionaire tax loopholes.”  And Obama, himself, will once again level daily barrages at Republicans. So much for the Trojan Horse Dinner. 

In short, the dinner was part of an Obama plan to position himself on moral high ground when it come time to again cast blame. Indeed, if the bill in question fails it will be followed by a series of seemingly coincidental results of the sequester: long security lines at airports, Head Start programs shut down, and national parks closed. When this happens bear in mind who is in charge of the federal government’s Executive Branch.

Barack Obama has done nothing to promote tax policies aimed at producing economic growth and creating jobs. Instead of culling out undue regulations, he has promoted ever more regulations and red tape that reduce economic efficiency and prevent the nation from taking advantage of the energy bonanza under our feet. Today, the federal government soaks up the equivalent of 25 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. That compares with the 18 percent that is normal. The difference must come out of the private sector, thus inhibiting its ability to create jobs.

In a zero-sum economy, for everyone who does well someone else must do poorly. That is a notion the American Left has inherited from the Marxists. Too bad Obama seems to have heard that message and not the one John F. Kennedy left us, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

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About the Author
Peter Hannaford was closely associated with the late President Reagan for a number of years. He is a member of the board of the Committee on the Present Danger. His latest book is “Presidential Retreats.”