A study in contrasts

Two statements below from two different Presidents of the United States. No additional commentary here, but the second one I remember sticking with me for a long time after watching the press briefing on television. The first item below I did not see on television live, but I did read part of the transcript afterwards. I think it’s an interesting contrast between the two presidencies and where we were 9 years ago versus today.

The first from Barack Obama’s appearance on CNBC on September 20, 2010:

My entire focus right now is to make sure that the private sector is thriving, is growing, is investing. As I said, that’s why we haven’t increased taxes on corporations. We are not proposing dividends to go up — taxation on dividends to go up above 20 percent. I think we’ve been very responsible stewards.

The second from George W. Bush’s remarks to the press on September 13, 2001:

You know, through the tears of sadness I see an opportunity. Make no mistake about it, this nation is sad. But we’re also tough and resolute. And now is an opportunity to do generations a favor, by coming together and whipping terrorism; hunting it down, finding it and holding them accountable. The nation must understand, this is now the focus of my administration. We will very much engage in domestic policy, of course. I look forward to working with Congress on a variety of issues.

But now that war has been declared on us, we will lead the world to victory, to victory.

All is well now, thanks to the government

This post by Anthony Gregory is the best piece of satire I’ve read in a long time. You have to read the entire thing, but I’ll quote a bit to give a feel for it:

The end of this terrible recession into which the free market plunged us is all thanks to the federal government, of course. In particular, we owe the Obama administration our gratitude for its stimulus program. But we should also tip our hats—hats we can presumably now afford to buy— toward the Bush administration for its TARP bailouts, without which the banking system would have completely collapsed, credit would have dried up and we would have all starved to death.

This post reminded me that I needed to write my own blog entry on the central issue that I believe could unite people from both ends of the political spectrum. That idea is that it is not the intention behind a particular policy or government program that matters; what truly matters is the overall effectiveness of the policy. More to come on that in a future post.

Sorry for the lack of updates. Will try to resume regular posting soon.