Monday, January 2, 2012

Reponse to Obama's Top 90 Accomplishments, part 1

Of the 90, some are not really accomplishments and most are simply bad accomplishments. I'll comment in increments of 10 accomplishments at a time.
1 and 2 are not and accomplishment: he didn't actually cut anything, he told other people to look for spending that might be cut. That's like saying "i'll think about cutting spending", and then citing the thought as an accomplishment! Truth is spending has spiked dramatically under his administration.

3. Bad accomplishment. Government has no business telling business owners how much they can or cannot pay their employees. It's their business, their money, and their employee, and only they can determine how much their labor is worth to them. Government has no right to set that wage or to "enforce" wage equality. Nobody is entitled to any wage at all, it's just a business offer which anyone is free to refuse. Besides, there's this

4. Eh, kinda. He did it, but he did it reluctantly; he wanted to keep the troops there longer, but the Iraqi government wouldn't give them immunity from the Iraqi court system. Essentially, they told him "if US troops accidentally kill any more Iraqi's, we're jailing them for murder". And that's why he had to leave, to avoid that situation. And we were scheduled to leave anyway, no matter who was president. I'll call it half an accomplishment.

5. Fine. 1.5 accomplishments.

6 and 7 are the same thing, freedom of press regarding war casualty reporting. They count as one. 2.5 accomplishments.

8. haha no no no. Obeying the law is not an accomplishment. NOT obeying the law is a crime. If Obama cites "i'm not a criminal!" as an accomplishment, something is very wrong.

9. See #'s 1 and 2. Promoting an ideal is not an accomplishment, but telling others to promote something certainly isn't.

10. Bad accomplishment, or at the very least a useless one. There's nothing wrong with a lobbyist visiting the white house and talking to the president. It's only bad if the president changes his plans for the country because a lobbyist bribed him. So this is in essence saying "I have made it less likely that I will be tempted to change my mind." Which is not an accomplishment. The way to fix the problem of too much lobbying is to stop getting the government involved in so many things, so that so many interest groups no longer need to hire lobbyists, because politicians wouldn't have a say in their affairs.

‎11. Bad, restricts freedom to do what you like. See #10

12. Good. 3.5 accomplishments.

13. Good. 4.5 accomplishments.

14. Strictly moral call. Depends on your view on abortion. If you think embryo's are living human beings, harvesting stem cells from an embryo is murder, and this is bad. If you think it's not a living human being, it's enabling science and freedom, which is good. Obviously Daily Kos is liberal, so I'll give the benefit of the doubt. 5.5 accomplishments.

15. Same as 14/16, can't double count.

16. Bad accomplishment. People can decide what technologies, projects, charities, businesses, initiatives, or anything else they want to invest in or donate to on their own. It is wrong for the government to tax them, take away their freedom to choose what to invest in from them, and then decide what is most important for that money to go to themselves. It's also unconstitutional. Democracy does not mean we get to democratically vote on how we ought to spend rich people's money. It means that within the scope of government's constitutional action, we can vote on the best way to fulfill those limited responsibilities.

17. I don't know enough about this to pass judgement, so I have to assume he's right. 6.5 accomplishments.

18. Technically, bad accomplishment, the government shouldn't be running infrastructure at all. But considering it does run infrastructure, and it won't stop doing it for awhile, I guess it needed to be done for the immediate future. 7.5 accomplishments, assuming this is just for interstate highways.

19. Bad accomplishment, schooling should be handled strictly at the state level, and besides the federal government is flat broke.

20. See #19. Also, we don't need more schools. We need better schools. We're flat broke, there is no evidence that smaller class sizes improve grades, and decisions/money about the best way to handle education are best made at the state level.

‎21. Sigh. This is another half-accomplishment. He is phasing it out, and that is good. But it also still exists, and during the campaign he promised to end it. Hell, in his first week in office he promised to end it, and he hasn't done it yet. He balked at trying them in American courts, and he balked at moving them to US prisons, because both were controversial. So he's just keeping them there for political convenience to delay the time he has to deal with that problem. He's failed to live up to his promise, so it's only a half. 8 accomplishments.

22. Psh. AKA the bailouts. Disaster.

23. Bailouts part two, and they did anything but "rescue" that industry as a whole. Bad bad bad.

24. ...which failed miserably. He promised unemployment would never top 8% if he passed the stimulus. It's been over 8% for 23 months. Bad bad bad.

25. They could already do that privately. Federal mortgage guarantees use taxpayer dollars to bail out people who took out loans they couldn't afford to pay. Unconstitutional waste of money, when we have no money to waste. Bad accomplishment.

26. Bailout part 3. bad bad bad.

27. Good. 9 accomplishments.

28. Same as the above. Ending the policy that allowed the facilities to operate is the same as closing the facilities. Can't double count.

29. Good, although I'm skeptical that the President has much to do with the advancement of the technology. Benefit of the doubt. 10 accomplishments.

30. Of course the only spending he's willing to cut is the spending that's actually constitutional. That aside, this needs context for evaluation. I don't know what the missile defense system's budget is, how much we need, and whether it was too high or too low for an effective system. But I do know this much: if somebody else shoots a missile at us, I want us to be able to shoot it down. Can we still do that effectively with that cut? I don't know. Until the author provides evidence that this program's budget was unnecessarily inflated, I can't give him credit for an accomplishment. And since the program itself constitutional, the money spent doesn't bother me as much. We absolutely need to make military cuts, but lets do that by ending the wars and thinning military industrial complex, not one of the few peices of our defense budget that actually goes towards defense.

‎31-36: all good. 16 accomplishments.

37. Bad accomplishment. Giving certain industries or products competitive advantages over others is exactly what causes the crony capitalism system we have where competition is restricted and freedom is restricted. All companies and all people should operate under the same tax rates, the same regulations, the same rules and same conditions. We shouldn't try to encourage people to act in a certain way by tailoring the laws to certain types of behavior that politicians find preferable. I'd even prefer laws which banned driving inefficient cars to laws that gave an incentive to drive some cars over others. Speaking of which...

38. Oh boy. Bad bad bad. Where to even begin with cash for clunkers? I think this about sums it up. Fantastic article by Stossel:

39. Not an accomplishment. He didn't do anything. He announced plans. Nothing has been done yet. He didn't even make the plans, or do the planning, or even appoint the team that did the planning. He announced the plans. Just because somebody under him came up with a good idea (assuming it is a good idea, i have no idea how much this will cost) doesn't mean it's been accomplished yet, and when it is it doesn't mean he gets credit for accomplishing it.

40. Bad accomplishment, because it could be done better privately and it's unconstitutional and it's part of the larger ObamaCare law, which is a total disaster.

41. National Youth Service Program? What the hell does that mean? What/whom are they serving? Do they get to choose who/what/if they serve? I don't know what that is, but it sounds ominous. I'm serving the country via the military, but the military is constitutional use of tax dollars. Whatever this thing is probably isn't.
42. Good. 17 accomplishments.
43. Good, but worded stupidly. "ended the previous policy of not regulating carbon dioxide emissions" means "he regulated carbon dioxide emissions!" 18.
44. Bad. Even if the vaccination programs aren't mandatory, they're unconstitutional, and could be done better privately.
45. Bad, could be done better privately or by state governments.

That's half, and I think you get the idea. I'll try to finish it off later.

1 comment:

  1. I very much liked this and the FDR thing.

    For 17 I would see it as a half accomplishment it's basically just the 10th amendment. It's surprising though because he has supported legislation that directly contrasts this.