Is This Hope, Or Change?

I can’t tell. Dave Dayen at FDL notices OFA’s latest plea to their email list:

Here’s what OFA is reduced to. I just got this email:

A decade of irresponsible spending led to a projected $1.3 trillion deficit that President Obama inherited upon taking office — putting America on an unsustainable fiscal course.

From Day One, this administration’s top focus has been growing the economy and putting Americans back to work — and that will never change.

The economy is growing again, yet all across America families and businesses have been tightening their belts. The President knows their government must do the same.

Yesterday, he announced a proposal to freeze pay for non-military federal employees for two years — a plan that will lead to $60 billion in savings over 10 years. It’s one of many tough choices the President has made to cut costs in the upcoming budget to begin to put our nation’s fiscal house in order. And it follows directly from this administration’s dedication to stretching federal dollars and reining in the long-term deficit.

Now, if you listen to some talk radio hosts or a few of the talking heads on cable news, you’ll hear a very different assessment of our fiscal policies. These voices ignore the irresponsibility of the past while pinning the blame for “reckless spending” solely on this administration. It would make a good fairy tale if it weren’t so dangerously untrue.

But these voices — as loud as they are — are spreading bunk. Cutting costs and spending responsibly has been a cornerstone of this administration’s record. And we need your help to get the truth out there.

Will you take a few minutes and write a letter to the editor today to set the record straight?


Says it all, really, doesn’t it? Hardly even requires comment, though Dayen pithily notes “That’s right, the organizing project of the Democratic National Committee wants you to organize in support of freezing public worker salaries.” (emphasis mine) Who needs Republicans, with Democrats like these? Perhaps Plouffe and Obama can launch a campaign to get us all to “urgently send in” $20 each in support of a campaign to rein in runaway social security benefits, next. Or food stamps.


(it goes without saying, of course, that this is an almost completely symbolic gesture, in terms of the federal deficit. This kind of freeze would save an estimated $60bn over ten years, while the proposal to simply allow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to return to their Clinton-era levels for income above $250K would save $700bn over the same time period. In a time of such severe economic crunch for everyone, though, it’s anything but symbolic for the actual working-class folks who earn those ordinary paychecks as government workers. So why do this now? Because this idea came in #1 on Eric Cantor’s “YouCut” online suggestion box, where anyone with a computer could tell the incoming GOP House majority what they would cut if they were in charge)