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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press The NYT Doesn't Realize that the President is a Politician

The NYT Doesn't Realize that the President is a Politician

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Sunday, 13 February 2011 16:31

The NYT came up with the bizarre assertion that:

"With Republicans in charge of the House, Mr. Obama’s budget is more a statement of his priorities and philosophy than an actual template for federal spending and tax policy."

It is not clear why the NYT would think that the budget proposed by President Obama has anything to do with "philosophy." President Obama is a politician. He got elected president by virtue of the fact that he is a very effective politician. People who express philosophies are typically found in the philosophy departments of colleges and universities, they are not generally found in elected offices.

The article also asserted that:

"The point of Mr. Obama’s [budget] forecast is less to promise a specific result than to signal to voters and financial markets that he is serious about reducing annual deficits."

This leaves out the important group of wealthy campaign contributors. It takes a substantial amount of money to run for president, which to date has only been raised by courting wealthy contributors. Since President Obama hopes to be re-elected it is reasonable to assume that his proposals are structured in a way that would matter to this group of people. It is strange that the NYT article would not mention this fact. 

Comments (4)Add Comment
Plutocratic Party
written by Union Member, February 13, 2011 7:12
It has been said that Obama's goal for the 2012 campaign is to raise a Billion Dollars for re-election. If that is true, it would have to be the guiding philosophy and overwhelming preoccupation of his administration in setting policies for the next 20 months.

It will also be the obsession of the Media, since its goals and values always reflect and reinforce those of the Winners (i.e. Washington Insiders.)

What ever happened to "The Fierce Urgency of Now."
Obama?
written by Scott ffolliott, February 13, 2011 9:51
Obama = El Clinton 2.0 as he continues our wars and torture and tax the poor and jobless workers. Just six more years and then...
RIP Plato
written by frankenduf, February 14, 2011 9:21
'Philosophers are typically found in ivory towers, not in elected offices...'- sigh, on the one hand, the concept of Philosopher king is dead, as instead of statesmen, we have corrupt corporate shills- on the other hand, it highlights the socratic dilemma, which is why a learned man would allow someone dumber or corrupt to rule over him- clearly we need more philosophers, intellectuals, and statesmen crafting public policy- but the propaganda has the working class duped into voting for faux beer buddies and grizzly mamas (the fact that this is not even a rhetorical exaggeration validates the dilemma)- sigh- our time has not yet come... guess it's back to the mountaintop with my homey Z for another 100 years...
...
written by skeptonomist, February 14, 2011 8:04
The signals that Obama has sent out since his election are that he is not very serious about raising taxes on high-income individuals or corporations (which have been making extremely high profits) and not serious at all about reforming the banking and finance industries. Aside from the standard politician's reluctance to call for tax increases, not much he has said has real importance with respect to deficits.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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