Obama's Happy Talk

All week there was happy news reporting of the happy news of General/Government Motors re-paying its loan years ahead of schedule – somewhat mysteriously, given that the company remains unprofitable. (Gee, maybe they re-paid our loan with our TARP money. That’d be funny, wouldn’t it?) 

Not surprising, all the bragging about how fabulously this bail-out has turned out leaves out some important facts. They’ve omitted the fact that we taxpayers still own a giant chunk of this still-zombie company with none of its core problems changed, and can only hope we’ll someday see that money returned to the Treasury. And that we taxpayers spent our money buying a hunk of GM that was subsequently gifted to the unions. And that we taxpayers participated in rape of GM’s shareholders – which include ourselves: moms and dads and grandmothers and granddads and retirement savings and college funds. And that we taxpayers participated in a criminal conspiracy, or at least gangster government.

We strong-armed auto companies, fired executives, installed union bosses on boards, took ownership away from one group and gave it to another, and summarily shut down a thousand or so small businesses (auto dealers) without ever disclosing the reasoning behind the selections. In fact, we refused to account for these decisions to those whose family businesses were confiscated, to the affected communities, to the media. 

Seeing this go on in America should scare the blood right out of your veins. Being a part of it should make you desperate to shower, to wash away the filth. And filth it is, desecration of the American way of life.  But why let any of this reality cloud the happy news?

The Obama gang isn’t very big on reality at all.

For example, when the president brought his almost daily traveling health care takeover circus to Strongsville, Ohio, near one of my home cities, his speech included this fantastical lie: “Your employer would see premiums fall by as much as 3,000 percent, which means they could give you a raise.” (Imagine the stunned employer fielding all the “When do we get our Obama raise?” questions from his employees.)

Where did such an amazing number come from? His fertile imagination. This is quite typical. If anyone in the media bothered, they could easily catch him making up magical, mystical numbers and facts and expounding patently ridiculous predictions every time he travels to this place or that to put on another show. But why ruin happy news? 

Never mind that much of his happy talk for many carries within it thuggish threats for others. His recent trip to New York, to deliver a speech on financial reform purportedly providing protection and salvation to consumers, could have been given at his desk in the Oval Office. He could have done it in prime time on TV (we know how he loves that)  for all to see, avoiding lost time, expense, security risks, and inconvenience to the area he descended upon. Why blow a whole day away from the White House and a wad of our money to go to a location proximate to Wall Street?

To make his threat to the financial industry clear. No dissent, no opposition; join with me or get your windows broken. Showing up at the doorstep with baseball bat in hand does have more impact. Breaking a few windows immediately beforehand is even better (like that boulder thrown through Goldman Sachs’ window just days before this performance).

Another disconnect from reality is the idea that he has done something, and now moves on to swiftly – by bullying and bribing – conquer another major problem. He and much of the media speak as if he has gotten health care reform done, and will next, quickly, get financial reform done, then immigration crisis solved. Missions accomplished. On the To-Do List this week, on the Done list the next.

But health care reform is a still mysterious, hastily cobbled together, 2,000-page bill with myriad newly visible and sneaky, hidden taxes taking effect quickly. Later, four years hence we’re promised, comes a patchwork quilt of mostly impossible benefits. In essence, he’s lobbed a grenade into the American health care system and another into the insurance industry, exploding 1/6th of the economy into chaos. There’s a mop left leaning in the doorway for somebody else to use, while he’s off to his next glorious adventure. Nothing’s conquered. Nothing’s done. Except in his imagination, and the media’s happy reporting on imaginary accomplishments.  Maybe they’re all smoking medical marijuana.

“Change We Can Believe In” was an apt slogan, because it is all about blind, unreasoned, unreasoning belief in many-times-failed, foolish, and utterly preposterous ideas and schemes. We are to accept it as so because he believes it as so.

So, don’t worry, be happy.

Dan Kennedy is a serial entrepreneur, adviser to business owners, sought-after speaker and author of 14 books. His latest, “Make ‘Em Laugh & Take Their Money: A Few Thoughts on Using Humor as a Speaker or Writer or Sales Professional for Purposes of Persuasion,”  contains a lelection of his BMI essays. More information about Dan can be found at www.NoBSBooks.com, and a free collection of his business resources including newsletters and webinars at www.DanKennedy.com.<?xml:namespace prefix = u1 /><?xml:namespace prefix = u2 />

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