Commentary Magazine


Live-Blogging the Budget Speech: The Inevitable Straw Man

“Politicians are often eager to feed the impression that solving the problem is just a matter of eliminating waste and abuse—you’ll hear that phrase a lot,” says Obama. “The implication is that tackling the deficit issue won’t require tough choices. Or politicians will suggest that we can somehow close our entire deficit by eliminating things like foreign aid, even though foreign aid makes up about 1% of our entire budget.”

Really? Which politicians were actually arguing this? This is Obama trying to play the “reasonable” fiscal hawk, by attacking arguments that nobody serious would actually make.