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Lord, Make Us Deficit Neutral — But Not Yet

Obama speak.

2:40 PM, Sep 21, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
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According to Reuters, the Obama administration plans to tackle the growing deficit ... but not yet. That will come after the 2010 midterm election in November, according to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs:

President Barack Obama will lay out ideas to tackle the U.S. budget deficit after November elections and make the issue a top priority in 2011 regardless of any power shifts in Congress, a top adviser said on Monday.... 

"There is no doubt that we are going to have to make, Democrat and Republican, some choices on the medium- and long-term fiscal picture," Gibbs said.

Classic Gibbs! It brings to mind several echoes.

Foremost, my favorite line in St. Augustine's Confessions: "Lord, make me chaste -- but not yet." It's a perfect description of a man yearning for something that's good for him, but not yet wanting to take the necessary, hard steps in order for him to accomplish what he knows is right. 

But it's also a bit reminiscent of more contemporary political speak. Take Nancy Pelosi, on the subject of  health care "reform." "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it," the speaker of the House said as she advocated the controversial bill's passage.

What Gibbs is essentially saying is that, yes, he's aware that there is growing discontent among Americans. Yes, many are very worried about the deficit crisis that we face -- and that will surely only get worse. But don't worry ... we've got it under control. And it would be helpful if the American people elected Democrats so that the administration could really tackle the problems at hand. 

Gibbs is speaking to us in his quintessentially pedantic manner. Talking to us like we're school children. Just listen to us, and we'll solve it. Yes, we're not sure exactly how, but if you just follow us like sheep, we'll guide you to a better tomorrow. 

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