The Grappler

by Russ Roberts on May 13, 2009

in Politics

From USA Today:

For a guy grappling with recession, bank and auto bailouts, and
record-setting budget deficits, President Obama also has a longer-term
headache: The worsening financial condition of Social Security and Medicare as the Baby Boomers age.

Grappling? In the movie version, maybe Mickey Rourke can play the President. Grappling? That makes it sound as if the President has all these vipers and snakes and Rouses surrounding and attacking him and all over him that he as to fend off. Grappling? Usually you grapple with stuff that surprises you, not stuff you did to yourself. You can't blame Obama for the recession or the bank bailouts and maybe even the auto bailout. Those started on Bush's watch. But the record-setting deficits? Those are Obama's idea. He's not grappling with that problem. He created that problem, certainly in the dimensions that we're talking about. It's not one of his short-term "headaches." A headache is what usually happens out of the blue. But if a guy is banging his head against the wall, you don't want to say that one of his short-term problems is a headache. The short-term problem is that he's banging his head against the wall.


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