Here is my rant for the day. This morning, after picking up my delicious Anaheim Scrambler from the Corner Bakery, I exited Union Station only to be accosted by a handful of Obama campaign workers (still holding Obama campaign signs, mind you), asking me to sing a piece of paper supporting the Obama budget.
“Isn’t the campaign over?” I questioned. They told me that it was not a “campaign” but to show support to Congress for the President’s budget. “Well, then do you have a copy of the President’s budget that I can read?”
They answered no to that one too. Then I asked them the question, “Have you even read the document?” They looked at each other and shook their heads (of course not, it is 142 pages, and what 20 year old has the time or patience to read that, you know with Twitter these days).
I was about to lose it right there, but instead, I muttered to them that they were “encouraging ignorance”, and I walked away. Now that I am composed, let me just say this, WHAT THE HELL? First of all as a practical matter, why are you sending campaign workers to collect signatures in DC where we have no actual voting representative in Congress (and if we did, she would be supporting the Obama budget anyway), but where you are sure to have plenty of either A) hyper-informed political saavy types who work in DC and will see through this or B)plenty of illiterate high school dropouts who will probably sign anything put in front of them that has the Obama campaign emblem on it.
And secondly, what really sticks in my craw is that this is nothing but a Campaign to encourage ignorance. You send a bunch of 20 something still-unemployed campaign workers out into the public to gather support for something that they haven’t even read. You don’t even give them a copy of the budget so that they can show the people whose signatures they are soliciting what the budget looks like. Way to value empty rhetoric over the actual substance of what the budget is.
What should they be doing? Well, since the President isn’t encouraging an actual informed body politic, let me do it for him. Here is where you can read the President’s proposed FY 2010 budget. Now keep in mind, that this is produced by the Executive Office of Management and Budget, so it is not an unbiased view of things. You might even want to try looking at some criticisms of his proposed budget, a common one being that the numbers on which his budget is based on predictions for economic growth that are too optimistic. Here’s an article from the Washington Post, for example.
Or this quote from the NY Times article about the budget’s unveiling:
“After negative growth of 1.2 percent this year, the budget projects growth of 3.2 percent in 2010, and 4 percent or more in the following three years. In contrast, the consensus of business economists surveyed by Blue Chip Economic Indicators this month projected growth no higher than 2.9 percent through 2013.”
The simple fact is that the President’s extremely long and complicated budget is a little bit more sophisticated than earnest 20 year olds outside Union Station would have you believe. It is multi-faceted, and as with most legislation, there is some good there and also some bad. Take some time to figure it out for yourself.
*P.S. – As a follow up to yesterday’s post about the invented outrage of politicians in Washington, read this article in the New York Times about the sort of mob mentality that has now been created and is causing some people to fear for their safety. Truly, truly discouraging.