The Obama Lexicon

David Harsanyi

5/8/2009 12:01:00 AM - David Harsanyi

Washington always has been a thermonuclear cliche generator. But the Obama administration, with all its super-smarts, has taken the exploitation of the euphemism to spectacular new heights.

This week, we learned a bit more about what the terms "sacrifice" (do what we want, you filthy, unpatriotic swine), "era of responsibility" (double the "sacrifice," half the prosperity) and "investments" (we squander money so you don't have to) really mean.

"Transparency" is when Barack Obama promises that the enterprising citizen will be able to track "every dime" of the $787 billion forever-government stimulus bill via a nifty Web site, called Recovery.gov (sic).

Reality is when that much-heralded site won't be complete until next spring, when half the stimulus money will have been wasted and … well, it probably won't be especially helpful.

Earl Devaney, the chairman of the "Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board" -- who, to absolutely no one's surprise, admitted this week that fraud is a distinct possibility -- claims the site won't be ready for five months because there isn't enough data storage capacity to hold it all.

"Stimulus": too big for cyberspace.

In the "new era of responsibility," Obama vowed during his campaign that his administration scrupulously would pore over the federal budget "line by line" to extract savings, eradicate waste and find inefficiencies.

After teeing up a record-breaking $3.4 trillion budget -- on top of bailouts, deficits, stimulus packages and other goodies for special friends -- we know that's bunk.

But watching Obama engage in his act of false heroics this week -- claiming that "we" were going to make tough budget cuts by trimming programs no one in this galaxy cares about in an effort to slice a subatomic fraction from the budget that no one will notice -- well, that was a special treat.

When it comes to "investments," the general idea is this: Every unproductive and superfluous job or project that an army of pencil pushers and special interest groups have conjured up needs someone to fund it. And because you won't do it voluntarily, the administration will do it for you in the name of "community."

After all, what other than a top-down economic model could sustain a place called the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport, which is in Pennsylvania and services an average of 20 passengers a day?

An Investor's Business Daily analysis found that $154 million in stimulus funds were going to rural airports that hardly anyone uses -- many already receiving subsidies and tax breaks.

Why should taxpayers have an opportunity to buy things they value, go to airports they actually need, and grow the economy as they see fit when we have far smarter congressional Democrats and an extraordinary president to decide what is good for us ahead of time and invest "appropriately"?

Which bring us to "sacrifice." After investing billions of tax dollars in Chrysler -- your average return on this venture will be zero -- the failing company declared faux bankruptcy. The Obama administration then went ahead and made an offer to bondholders -- 33 cents on the dollar -- without allowing a judge to decide what the bonds were really worth.

Well, some of these selfish companies who hold Chrysler's debt (the ones who accepted TARP funding, a subsidiary of Obama Co., went along with the administration) want to head to court to determine the actual worth of the bonds in bankruptcy proceedings.

Obama responded that these firms were "hoping that everyone else would make sacrifices and they would have to make none."

No sacrifices? Everybody else?

So now those who take real risk, who invest real money, who refuse government welfare and create real jobs are selfish. They can be bullied by the president and have their legal contracts arbitrarily dismantled.

Well, at least we're getting a better sense of what Obama means when he speaks.