Is He That Dumb, Or Does He Think We Are?

I managed to catch a little of President Obama’s weekly address yesterday (sorry, I tried to avoid it, but wasn’t quick enough) and one of his (and a lot of liberals’) standard talking points finally rubbed me wrong enough to get irritated. See if you can find the problem in this quote:

Some Republicans in Congress have said that they agree with certain parts of this jobs bill.  If so, it’s time for them to tell me what those proposals are.  And if they’re opposed to this jobs bill, I’d like to know what exactly they’re against.  Are they against putting teachers and police officers and firefighters back on the job?  Are they against hiring construction workers to rebuild our roads and bridges and schools?  Are they against giving tax cuts to virtually every worker and small business in America?

Let me spell it out for you folks who are only as smart and educated as, say, a Harvard-educated Constitutional law teacher: Obama here is talking about Congress raising taxes and collecting money. That is federal money. And very, very, very little federal money goes to pay “teachers and police officers and firefighters.” Those people are paid by taxes, yes — but mainly from local taxes, and to a lesser degree with state money. The federal contribution is minimal (excluding those professionals who work directly for the federal government, like the US Marshals, the FBI, and so on.) Further, the states take care of a good portion of their own “roads and bridges and schools.”


What Obama is arguing for is for the federal government to take more money from folks (decreasing how much they can be taxed at the state and local level), have the federal government take its cut for overhead and whatnot, and then redistribute it back to the states — at the whim of Congress, who, of course, NEVER plays favorites. For example, the fact that a good chunk of my own state of New Hampshire is lumped into the “Greater Boston metropolitan area” means that our highways are part of the same general district as Massachusetts — and we have two representatives to their ten, and until recently they had the Senate power team of Kennedy and Kerry. Coincidentally, of course, we routinely got boned when it came to federal highway funds.


Now we come to the key question: this is a simple matter of federalism. Certain responsibilities are delegated to the federal government, while others are reserved to the states, or the people (through the lesser levels of government, like county and city/town). The vast majority of police, fire, and schools are handled at the local level, with some at the county and state. And they don’t depend much on money from Washington to run their affairs.


As alluded to before, President Obama is a Harvard-educated lawyer who lectured on Constitutional law. Further, he’s been a legislator at both the state and federal level. He literally has no excuse for not knowing this.


So, is he really that ignorant, or does he think we are?

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  • My question for the hyper partisan president, is why is he singling out Republicans for his questions? Why not ask the Democrats in the Senate, who are in the majority there, what objections they have to the bill, otherwise, they would have at least brought it to the floor, if not passed it?

    • jim_m

      Come on.  The left can’t wrap their head around the fact that obama failed to get a single vote for his budget earlier this year.  The vote was 97-0.  He couldn’t even get a single dem to vote for his budget, it was so out of touch with reality. 

      I doubt you could find any lefties that are going to recognize that the dems still hold the Senate and could bring this legislation to the floor any time they please.

      The fact is that Dick Durbin has already acknowledged that he doesn’t have the votes to pass obama’s bill.  I suspect that they don’t want to bring it so they won’t get caught showing up the president once again.

      • They also had the opportunity to pass whatever budget they liked (and were Constitutionally mandated to do) last October. They controlled the House, the Senate and the White House. They chose rather to play politics with the budget and use continuing resolutions to mask how much they wanted to spend (which may have cost them more seats in 2010) and to have more than one “government shutdown crisis” to try to blame on the Republicans.

        • Anonymous

          The dems  have their own constitution. Much of it is spelled out in ‘rules for radicals’.. 

  • Stephen Macklin

    Every time I hear him speak on economics and taxation I think of that poster of him made up as the Joker with the label “Socialist.” And one line from the movie always springs to mind:

    It’s not about the money. It’s about sending a message.

  • Anonymous

    Obama is irrelevant.  Events will be spinning out of his (and our) control.

    • He should have been irrelevant in 2008, but for some reason anybody who voted against him was racist.

    • retired.military

      But you will vote for him anyway Chico.

  • Anonymous

    “So, is he really that ignorant, or does he think we are?”

    He’s that desperate, and counting on stupidity.  After all, it’s what got him elected the first time.

  • Anonymous

    If it incessantly quacks, can only flap one wing, and waddles all around… it can only be one thing.  

    Semper Fidelis-

  • Joseph Greenberg

    Obama has so mastered the technique of the big lie that he has managed to convince himself, if noone else,of his lies.

  • Anonymous

    Why not both?

    • I would count a yes to, “does he think we are” as evidence in favor of “is he.”

  • Mr. Tea,

    I believe the answer to your question (“Is He That Dumb, Or Does He Think We Are?) is “yes.”

  • PBunyan

    “So, is he really that ignorant, or does he think we are?”

    It’s not so much that he thinks we’re ignorant.  He’s just counting on the fact the so many voters are.

    • Even Lee W. saw him for what he was – until he was appointed as the Dem candidate, and at that point conditioning kicked in and he couldn’t say enough to support him.

  • Anonymous

    Your basic premise is wrong.

    “Schools and cops and roads are funded by . . .   blah blah blah . . .  federal powers  . . .  blah blah . . .  local choices . . .  blah . . . ”

    Great. So you’ve described to us what our Constitution says.

    What does that have to do with Obama?  The Constitution was written for the little people, not for bigshots from Chicago like him.  If he wants federal monies to be used to pay teachers or cops or any other unionized group he can think of, that’s where they’ll go.

    Where did about one-third of the entire first stimulus package go?  Why, it went to state and local governments, to be used to make sure state and local public employees weren’t inconvenienced by the Depression!

    He wasn’t making a basic mistake about the powers residing in our federal government. It was far worse than that.

    He was announcing – openly, proudly – that he has unilaterally decided that the power scheme set up in the Constitution no longer pleases him, that he will henceforth spend federal money and exercise federal power as he sees fit and right now “fit” means “keeping his union goon base happy”, and if we don’t like it we can kiss his thuggish butt.

  • herddog505

    Jay TeaLet me spell it out for you folks who are only as smart and educated as, say, a Harvard-educated Constitutional law teacher: Obama here is talking about Congress raising taxes and collecting money.

    You’ve put your finger on The Big Lie: Barry’s “job’s bill” (which even the Senate dems won’t touch) is no more a “jobs bill” than I am a supermodel.  Instead, it’s a gimick to allegedly get more money into the federal treasury* and, more importantly, throw a piece of red meat to his loopy, socialist, class-warfare base.

    Come to think of it, ObamaCare was much the same: it was LOADED with taxes, fees, fines, etc., and was intended to both give away “free” health care AND stick it too the greedy, eeeeeevil health insurance companies.  What a deal: Uncle Sugar gets more cash AND people democrats don’t like get to foot the bill.  If it means that a lot of people go out of work or lose their health insurance… meh.  You can’t make omelettes without breakings eggs.


    (*) I write “allegedly” because historical experience dictates that raising tax rates generally doesn’t increase revenue, both because rich people know how to hide their money from the tax many and high tax rates usually depress economic activity, which means people have less income to be taxed in the first place.

  • Anonymous

    But, maybe Barry can get what he wants to do done if he gets four more years.Redistributin’ all that wealth would naturally take some mo time.