Speaking on December 4th, President Obama, tacked once again, at least in his rhetoric, this time towards claiming that he is targeting a pro-economic growth, anti-economic inequality policy in his remaining time in office. Skepticism is warranted for a number of reasons including: Mr. Obama, along with Congressional Republicans and Democrats, had helped strap the US economy and government to a contractionary fiscal policy and therefore to anti-growth government spending policy for the period 2010-present. The cleverest piece of the rhetoric in the speech: “A relentlessly growing deficit of opportunity is a bigger threat to our future than our rapidly shrinking deficit” artfully distracts listeners from Obama’s own role in spurring on deficit hysteria in much of his time in office. The deficit hysteria he helped foment in turn has endangered exactly the economic opportunities that Mr. Obama now claims to want to encourage. Mr. Obama is one of the chief engineers of the current framework of acceptable discourse in Washington where almost all political actors and media figures measure the government’s success or failure by how much the deficit has been cut, a metric that in 99 out of 100 economic scenarios will lead to slowing economic growth or economic contraction.
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