But lamentably, a few days later, The Washington Post reported: "A senior administration official acknowledged yesterday that the budget does not contain $2 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade. Instead, the figure represents Obama's total efforts at deficit reduction, including tax hikes (of more than $1 trillion) on families making over $250,000 a year. It also includes hundreds of billions of dollars 'saved' by not continuing to spend $170 billion a year in Iraq."
Only a big-government man would think of calling a trillion-dollar tax increase a spending cut or "saving." Technically, of course, it is true. A trillion-dollar tax increase would reduce spending by $1 trillion for those private citizens who were taxed. And from the perspective of the federal government, a trillion dollars taxed is a trillion dollars saved from the greed of the taxpayers who produced the wealth and might well want to spend or invest it in nongovernmental activities.
But the foregoing merely are pettifogging numbers compared with Obama's bigger ideas about energy and health care (regarding health care, more in future columns). Our president shares a fascinating idea about energy with most of what used to be known as the "small is beautiful" crowd. It is a curious phenomenon that one needs a very big government to enforce the beauty of small.
Obama's secretary of energy, Steven Chu, said last year that the price of electricity in America is "anomalously low." You see how much smarter that Nobel Prize winner is than you? You probably thought you already were spending enough on electricity and fuel.
And sure enough, Obama explained last week that in order to make alternative energy sources -- wind, solar, perhaps eventually human muscle power -- economically competitive, he intends to raise the price of carbon-based energy until it is so expensive that even solar power would be such a deal.
This level of destructive irrationality cannot be accomplished in the private sector. It would take a very big government indeed to bring such inanities into being. (Disclosure: Being rational, I give professional advice to carbon-based energy producers.)
If President Obama were to try to misrepresent his positions for the next four years, there would be nothing he could say that would approach the inaccuracy of his claim last week that he is not for big government. It is the essence of the man and his presidency. He doesn't like America the way it has been since its founding, and it would take an abusively big government to realize his dreams of converting America into something quite different. If you don't know that, you don't yet know Obama.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.