‘Impatient’ on budget? Obama has no idea

I have a feeling this line from President Obama’s press conference Tuesday is one he won’t live down:

“You guys are pretty impatient. If something doesn’t happen today, then the assumption is it isn’t going to happen.”

“Impatient”? You bet we are.

The “you guys” actually referred to the Washington press corps, and the topic was the federal budget — specifically, the reforms for the tax code and entitlements that members of Obama’s bipartisan commission recommended in December. The president mentioned those reforms as steps necessary to “meet our long-term fiscal challenges,” and that’s true as far as it goes.

You have to wonder, though, how patient all Americans are supposed to be about the totality of Obama’s deficits. The budget Obama presented Monday was his third as president — he only gets one more crack at it without winning re-election — and it’s the third time he’s budgeted a deficit of more than $1 trillion.

Asking for more patience from Americans looks even worse now. Within hours of Obama’s press conference, the House Republican leadership said it would include entitlement reform in its budget for the coming fiscal year, 2012.

What kind of reform? We’ll have to wait and see. But the Budget chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who has already produced one “roadmap” for fixing entitlements and the rest of the federal fisc, is likely to lead the charge.

A reform plan for entitlements that moves the needle even a little bit will be very politically risky. But I think it is smart of Republicans to seize the initiative on this vital issue from a president who talks but doesn’t act about not “kicking the can down the road” any longer — not to mention these lines:

  • “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.” — Barack Obama, Feb. 5, 2008
  • “If you’re headed for a cliff, you have to change direction. That’s what the American people called for in November, and that’s what we intend to deliver.” — Barack Obama, Feb. 5, 2009
  • “Since I’m the president and Democrats have controlled the House and the Senate, it’s understandable that people are saying, you know, ‘What have you done?’ ” — Barack Obama, Sept. 10, 2010

Americans know entitlement reform won’t be easy. What people are really getting “impatient” about is Obama’s failure to rein in the record budget deficits he has created in the short term. Twenty months after the technical end of the recession, the president is calling for yet another year of trillion-dollar borrowing.

Even as his administration projects revenues well above the historical average for eight straight years (from fiscal 2014 through fiscal 2021), it anticipates adding $6.2 trillion in new debt during those same years. And almost all of that debt, $5.5 trillion, will be borrowed to make interest payments on the debt he is racking up or will rack up.

As hard as the Bush years were on the nation’s solvency — more than doubling the debt held by the public, from $3.3 trillion to $7.5 trillion — Obama’s own budget estimates show that he would double it again if he were to serve two terms, from $7.5 trillion to $15.1 trillion. (These figures exclude borrowings by one federal agency from another, which would each of them up by trillions more.)

So, when we are borrowing from our children again over the coming decades to pay interest on the money we’ve already borrowed from them, Obama will indeed shoulder a very large share of the blame.

Of course, we could cut spending now and sustain those cuts into the future, so that those interest payments aren’t as great, and so that we don’t have to borrow more money to make them.

Even if we were to agree on Obama’s spending in fiscal 2012 and 2013 and add 3 percent per year after that to account for inflation and population growth, meaning we wouldn’t balance the budget until 2019 — even if we acted that cautiously, we could still reduce federal spending by almost $4 trillion over eight years.

Even then, we’d have a lot to answer to our children for; I’d prefer stronger action. But if Obama were to make even that modest a proposal, a lot of us might be a little less impatient.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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68 comments Add your comment

I Report :-) You Whine :-( mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

February 16th, 2011
5:46 am

It’s almost like obozo is hellbent on destroying the US economy, ain’t it?

Any better suggestions for his motivations, huh? Huh?

~~~~~

As a conservation biologist, I am charged with the responsibility of maintaining the genetic tapestry of life on our planet. -Urinal

Who died and made this chick God?

The fact that bumblebee populations are plummeting or becoming extinct because of global warming, habitat destruction and neonictinoids are wake-up calls for our species, blah, blah, blah. -Urinal

Next time you are in the backyard admiring the blossoms and some yellow jacket is wearing your ass out, take solace in the fact the AJC and all of it’s environmental terrorist whackjobs are like utterly ridiculous.

[...] Read More… [...]

NoEarlyEd

February 16th, 2011
6:07 am

Although I agree with the Pell grants cuts (because they are limited to summer school), I disagree with the focus of the ramped up programs. I looked up all three programs targeted for increases, and these programs are geared to state-funded preschool education, extra attention on ESL students, and diversity. In other words, take money from U.S. citizens and their kids college aid to give more financial help to illegal alien mothers. Free preschool will certainly give these woman more free time to inversigate more welfare programs that may be available. Is this right? When will U.S. citizens demand out tax dollars be spent on us and not on foreigners?

[...] GOP an entitlement trap?PoliticoBudget dangerWorcester TelegramA budget for the futureLas Vegas SunAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Los Angeles Times -Boston Globeall 10,506 news [...]

Bubba

February 16th, 2011
6:31 am

We’ll know if anybody’s serious about cutting the budget if they vote down funds for the F-35 engine. If they can’t even kill a project the Pentagon doesn’t want, what hope is there? To continue this project based on the argument it will create jobs is ludicrous. Those jobs are nothing more than government welfare.

seabeau

February 16th, 2011
7:02 am

I say cut all government programs including Defence,Medicad,Mediacare, 5% of each of the next 5 years. Halt all foreign Aid. Evaluate at 5 years and cut a larger % for the next time period. Many of the great empires of the past were not crushed by militiary might but by their own fiscal folly.

Will

February 16th, 2011
7:14 am

These tax and spend Georgia republicans are a hoot!

As good politicians, they tow the party line as “tax cutters” and “budget busters” but then scream about not getting enough tax money for the Port Authority to do something that could easily be done closer to the Atlantic and shared by South Carolina and Georgia. This is the biggest hoot – now they are going to defy their party and try to insert an “earmark” for this funding!!!

Yeah boy, these republicans are a fiscal responsible lot aren’t they! I will believe it when I see republicans address the real budget busters – defense and entitlement.

What’s that you say, democrats are also avoiding these budget busters???? Of course they are but is that the standard to wish republicans to adhere to, be no better or different from republicans???

One final note – my biggest “hoot” of the day goes to Representative Ryan of Wisconsin. Representative Ryan is usually a reasoned fiscal conservative that avoids all the “hooey” of the radical republican social agenda. But…..Representative Ryan has indigently opined that President Obama has ignored the direction set by his own budget commission. In doing so, Congressman Ryan failed to note THAT HE WAS A MEMBER OF THIS COMMISSION AND VOTED AGAINST THE REPORT OF HIS OWN COMMISSION!!! And that is truly a “hoot and a hollar”!!

Let me get my magic wand!

February 16th, 2011
7:36 am

It took Bush and the greed of American people 8 years to rack up the deficit but you expect Obama or any other President to clean up this mess in 2 years??? This blog post by Wingfield illustrates how people like him have absolutely no concept of reality.

Bill

February 16th, 2011
7:42 am

@Let me get… I disagree with your contention that Kyle and people like him have no concept of reality. They have a concept, but would rather play partisian politics than be part of the solution. Oh well, I guess the games will continue while the problems continue to simmer…

Regards,

Eric

February 16th, 2011
7:43 am

The blatant hypocrisy of the Wingnut crowd is amazing. For this dude to make such accusations against the President is mind boggling. After eight years of trying to figure out if the previous president was even lucid on any given day, the clear thinking of President Obama is a breath of fresh air. Yes, Kyle, he does indeed have an idea.

Road Scholar

February 16th, 2011
7:47 am

Kyle, how do you feel about the jet engine that the Pentagon says they don’t need? Competition? Yeah, right! Jobs? Yeah, maybe, but the jobs could be replaced by infrastructure funding on projects we DO NEED! Projects that leave a legacy (other than death) and which may upgrade our quality of life?

Oh and Boehmer and most of his colleages have been at this or how many years? And they still can’t name one speciic cut that THEY will propose. Impatient? How about incompetent? I realize the process…Pres states budget , repubs whine, repubs state budget, liberals whine…Where is the bi partisanship you said the repubs were leaders in?

And don’t get me started on having two wars and giving tax breaks. How are we going to pay for them? The “Go shopping” rebutal ain’t working!

Vinny

February 16th, 2011
7:51 am

Obama is an incompetent boob. Let’s make sure this menace to America isn’t re-elected in 2012.

Glenn

February 16th, 2011
8:02 am

So what will you tell your children about the Bush years ? I don’t know which I find sillier republican hypocrisy or political cheerleading .

True American

February 16th, 2011
8:13 am

Vinny : Please stop being another stupid hick from Georgia,the President should have continued to destroy the country the way Georgia W did, he should have let all these spoil Anti Americians stand in the soup lines the way they didi in 1929.
Report :-) You Whine :-( mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin. Look where this country was when he took over to where is is now: All these hypocrite conservatives did not care about our children future when George W ran up trillions of dollars in Debt.
Thanks Mr. President,for working harder then any President we have had in the last 20 years, there are some of us out here who respect the office and still love America.

real john

February 16th, 2011
8:14 am

All of you Obama lovers still keep bring up the same old “Bush this, Bush that.” Did anyone of you even read Kyle’s article. It states, that even by Obama’s own account, he would almost double the amount of debt Bush added and that is assuming pretty substiantial GDP increases…

I might remind some of you Democrats, Bush’s two largest budgets also just happened to come as Democrates took control of the House and Senate in 2006…

Please, if you don’t have anything new to say; please go somewhere else…What is your excused going to be in 6 years (God forbid Obama got reelected), and Bush’s budgets look like chump change compared to Obama’s. Are you going to write us (the ones who knew this guy would spend, spend, spend) a check for electing someone who was totally in over their heads?

DannyX

February 16th, 2011
8:18 am

Heck ya we’re getting impatient on the debt.

How are we going to pay for the two unfunded wars?
How do we pay for the unfunded Medicare Part D?
How do we fund the unfunded Department of Homeland Security?
How do we pay for the trillion dollar tax breaks?

Any answers to all the Republicans out there that are suddenly concerned about the deficit? Got even a clue how to fix your part in the mess?

Lets hear it!!! What is the plan?

Ragnar Danneskjöld

February 16th, 2011
8:19 am

Good morning all. Good essay, Mr. Wingfield, perceptive. Momentum is building for reversion to the 2008 budget. Even O’Reilly – not exactly the sharpest economic analyst – appreciates the simple genius of that plan; last night he feigned ignorance that tea party Republicans had already floated that idea. Not a cure, but a good first step. The cure will require abolition of entire departments, such as Agriculture, HUD, Labor, Commerce, Education, Energy.

And if we want to stimulate the economy, abolition of several of the dedicated police forces, such as SEC, FTC, OSHA, OEO, Commission on Civil Rights, and EPA. A significant reformation of FDA – to abolish its power to prohibit, but maybe give it a power to block torts for approved uses – would enhance life in these United States. And elimination of those agencies that do what private enterprise can do better, e.g., FHLMC, FNMA

DannyX

February 16th, 2011
8:21 am

real john, how do we pay for all the unfunded leftovers from the Bush years?

It should be a really simple to answer. Raise taxes? Keep ignoring it?

Cutty

February 16th, 2011
8:31 am

Wingfield has the memory of Wooten, the whining of Hannity, and the integrity of Limbaugh. His articles get worse by the day. Had high hopes for the young lad, thinking he’s a young conservative that can look past the partisan bs and offer real solutions instead of everything being a democrats fault. I was wrong and he sucks.

Here Spot

February 16th, 2011
8:38 am

“It took Bush and the greed of American people 8 years to rack up the deficit but you expect Obama or any other President to clean up this mess in 2 years???”

You get your goose egg for the day. Obama has run up more deficit in 3 years than all other Presidents combined.

Here Spot

February 16th, 2011
8:40 am

Come Nov 2012 it will be so much fun watching ObaManure get his rear-end kicked. I tell ya I CANT WAIT.

carlosgvv

February 16th, 2011
8:54 am

Obama still has not learned that when you try to please everyone, you wind up pleasing no one. Although he is hardly the ideal for re-election, when you look at who he’ll likely be running against, it becomes a choice between bad and worse. I know we can do better than this. What you really have to wonder is how much longer will Americans patiently put up with this constant parade of bad candidates.

JKL2

February 16th, 2011
9:03 am

dannyx- How are we going to pay for the two unfunded wars?
Scale back and budget cuts. Use fewer contractors. How’s that “close Gitmo” thing working out?

How do we pay for the unfunded Medicare Part D?

Didn’t want it, didn’t need it. (like Bubba’s F-35 engine) Not to worry as obamacare will fix it!

How do we fund the unfunded Department of Homeland Security?

Throw it on the scrap pile with the Dept of Ed and the Dept of Energy. Nobodies going to want our third world country after obama gets done anyway.

How do we pay for the trillion dollar tax breaks?

You mean the obama tax cuts? I don’t know, I guess I’ll have to wait for your answer on theat one.

Socialism is great until you run out of other poeple’s money to pay for it. Looks like we’ve run out of money. Too bad we don’t have a leader.

JF McNamara

February 16th, 2011
9:10 am

“It’s almost like obozo is hellbent on destroying the US economy, ain’t it?”

Yeah, all he did was pull us out of a the worst recession since the great depression. I’ll say that’s hellbent. He’s got a lot more credability on improving the economy than anyone else (except maybe Clinton).

jm

February 16th, 2011
9:21 am

Obama thinks its just monopoly money. And soon enough, he’s going to be about right.

JKL2

February 16th, 2011
9:28 am

JF- He’s got a lot more credability on improving the economy than anyone else (except maybe Clinton).

You mean all our problems would be solved if obama started getting sexual favors from interns in the oval office? What a country!

StJ

February 16th, 2011
9:48 am

“If you’re headed for a cliff, you have to change direction.” So true. However, in this case, “change direction” meant seriously kicking some liberal butt out (see: November). Now the Republicans are ready to do some needed budget-cutting, and now Obama cries foul. Well, too bad. Suck it up. We’re throwing money away at stuff with no reasonable expectation of any return. Time to stop feeding the moochers.

Glenn

February 16th, 2011
9:53 am

Alright fine . Instead of mentioning Bush I’ll restate . How will you explain to your children that deficits caused by bringing in less revenue is acceptable ? The hypocrisy is hilarious . The republicans don’t want to take their medicine either . They want power .

Granny H

February 16th, 2011
10:05 am

Okay, let’s prove we are really serious about cutting federal spending. Let’s voluntarily give up all federal funds that would normally come to Georgia for a year. No agricultural subsidies, no highway funds, no Pell Grants, no Medicare, no Social Security–nothing.

We keep electing politicians who claim any and all forms of taxation are evil. Are we willing to live up to our convictions?

I didn’t think so.

Not So Casual Observer

February 16th, 2011
10:06 am

McNamara,

Obama’ administration increased the size of the “recognized” debt from $10+ Trillion to $14+ Trillion.

Obama abandoned Israel, our only true ally in the Middle East, and has moved to promote Turkey to the position once held by Israel. Exactly how is a country dominated by Islam going to become a best friend to the “Great Satan”?

Obama continues to pile up debt that will destroy our economy, what is left of it, and also destroy the value of the dollar. How is any of that beneficial? Oh wait, I know – you eat today but your children and grandchildren starve tomorrow and that is OK with you!

Obama shifts NASA from a focus on space travel to a focus on creating pride in the people of Islam. Another great idea!

Obama shuts down domestic oil exploration and drilling and makes us more dependent on foreign oil. What a genius this Obama fellow has proven to be – if you are one of his pals from OPEC!

The Obama administration declares the recession is over and the MSM cheers, yet gasoline has increased in price by over 60% in two years, food prices rise every day along with most every other item. Still, the Obama administration declares there is no inflation and SS recipients see no COLA but Medicare insurance premiums are set to more than double in the next few years while Congress raises their own pay and the POTUS and Congress are exempt from ObamaCare.

I could go on but this should give you Lefties plent to support!

JKL2

February 16th, 2011
10:13 am

Not So Casual- The Obama administration declares the recession is over

Did you notice the “Mission Accomplished” signs? That was too funny.

Churchill's MOM.....Rand Paul for President

February 16th, 2011
10:21 am

Rand Paul was on PBS last night and all I can say is; Rand Paul for President. He made a really good defence of eliminating ALL foreign aid and eliminating a large numbers of federal programs. As he pointed out the US Taxpayer has no concept of what it will take to get our house in order.

Not So Casual Observer

February 16th, 2011
10:33 am

JKL2 @ 10:13am,

Not only is that not relative to the discussion and no longer is of any importance but is among the most ignorant comparisons you could make.

What we must face now is not at all funny as a charlatan continues to try to take the nation into an abyss.

Some person earlier commented on “how hard Obama has worked”. Do you, and the other Lefties, never read any of the reports coming from the MSM and other sources commenting on the typical Obama workday? Obama prefers watching Sports Center to meetings with his advisors and Cabinet and has no concept of the day-to-day responsibilities of the office and is only comfortable when he is out speaking to you and the rest of the ObamaBots who cheer his every inane utterance.

George W. Bush was no orator and made significant errors but Bush was never so arrogant as to smugly walk the nation toward disaster simply to satisfy a long-held hate for the United States. And do not try to argue this point as the POTUS and his wife have spoken candidly of their hate on many occasions.

Intown

February 16th, 2011
10:39 am

I could only get through half of today’s Wingfield column. It’s just more partisan nonsense and inside baseball. Impartial views of Obama’s budget commend him for taking the first bold step. (see Alan Simpson’s comments today). Obama produced a budget that makes massive cuts in government spending. We are still trying to climb out of a recession. It is not time to shut the government down so that Dems and Repubs can play a political chess match. Just get it done!

wallbanger

February 16th, 2011
10:46 am

When you run out of money you generally quit spending, don’t you? Well, this government should too. Instead it hires 200 million NEW government employees, who will get paid more more job than their private industry counterparts, AND then get to retire in 20 years with full benefits. in the meantime, private industry people work til 65 and then can’t count on their ss. Something is wrong here. Raise the retirement age for government workers, lower their benefits.

Real Conservative

February 16th, 2011
10:49 am

Kyle said that it’s the third time Obama has budgeted a deficit of more than $1 trillion. But if you look at the numbers for the past couple of years, these deficits are caused mostly by loss of government revenues because of the recession.

I seem to recall Obama trying to do something about that by seeking to let some of the Bush tax cuts expire. But Republicans wouldn’t let him. And didn’t Republicans propose legislation yesterday that would extend those tax cuts permanently?

Republicans also want to increase bloated defense spending, keep us in Afghanistan, continue subsidizing oil, big agriculture, and other corporations, refuse to allow the government to negotiate for drug prices under Medicare Part D, and on on and on.

Sorry, but you can’t be for deficit reduction while your trying to increase the deficit.

When Republicans and/or Democrats start talking about what to do about Medicare and the cost of health care that’s driving up the price of Medicare, then and only then, can we begin to take them seriously when they say that they care about reducing the deficits.

Real Conservative

February 16th, 2011
11:09 am

I was just reading Jay Bookman’s column, and he post a very important fact. Every voter who cares about getting our fiscal house in order needs to stop and meditate on this shameful statistic (emphasis mine):

“We’ve got a health-care delivery system that already spends TWICE AS MUCH of our national GDP as any other industrialized country.”

Again, because this fact is driving up the cost of Medicare as baby boomers begin to retire. So any talk about deficit reduction that doesn’t emphasize reducing the cost of health care is just smoke and mirrors.

http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2011/02/16/two-budget-fights-loom-one-that-matters-and-one-that-doesnt/

Not So Casual Observer

February 16th, 2011
11:11 am

faux conservative,

“…these deficits are caused mostly by loss of government revenues because of the recession.” Really? So the increased spending of more than $1 Trillion was just a trifle? We will not even discuss the wasted stimulus and TARP money.

The government should stop spending at the level of income, so very simple even a Leftie should understand.

There are enough “fluff” departments in the government (Energy, Education, HUD, et al) to accomplish the cuts to balance the budget. Reduce federal government pay by 20% across the board and eliminate federal pensions immediately. When the current workers revolt, and quit hopefully, there will be about 15-20 million people now unemployed who will be happy to step in and take the jobs.

Only government creates the problems that spawn a recession and then proudly boasts of how we will SPEND our way into solvency. Unfortunately there are plenty of ObamaBots who accept this policy as valid.

Not So Casual Observer

February 16th, 2011
11:15 am

faux @ 11:09,

Yet, people from all over the world come by car, bus train and plane to avail themselves of this health system you and Bookman like to insinuate is a failure. Perhaps Jay and “faux” will be heading to Cuba for their next invasive procedure? I would bet they do not!

Glenn

February 16th, 2011
11:57 am

Whether or not Jay or faux go to Cuba for their next “procedure” will be dictated by their provider not them .

bob

February 16th, 2011
11:59 am

Dems bring up the spending by Bush yet don’t seem to understand that Obo will double Bush’s debt in half that time.

JKL2

February 16th, 2011
12:01 pm

Not So–

So I take it you missed the signs at his press conference a couple days ago?

I am from IL so I can say I didn’t vote for the idiot on many levels. Obama is purely backed by crooks and communist. Skin color doesn’t get a free pass in IL, but it seems to qualify him as a diety here in GA.

Bryan G.

February 16th, 2011
12:04 pm

Didn’t Obama say “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for”?

Well, we’re waiting for you, Mr. President. Mr. Obama, tear down this deficit!

LeeH1

February 16th, 2011
12:11 pm

The answer is simple- cut everything that doesn’t affect me directly. Then it’s pretty simple on how to cut the budget.

A simple solution for simple people.

Real Conservative

February 16th, 2011
12:20 pm

faux @ 11:11 and 11:15,

Increased spending of $1 trillion, not including the stimulus and TARP? Wrong. The increases in spending came from the stimulus and TARP and the total spending from both of these combined amount to less than half a trillion or an average of about $240 billion per year.

How is that possible, you say? I’m glad you asked. About of a third of the stimulus was tax cuts, not spending. And we got most of the TARP money back. And by the way, TARP was Bush’s program.

On health care, people who came here to avail themselves of our health care system should have gone to Singapore instead. They’d get the same care for a fraction of the cost.

You know, just because Rush Limbaugh says it doesn’t make it true. The man’s a poser. Real conservatives check their facts.

Real Conservative

February 16th, 2011
12:22 pm

Speaking of checking facts, if you want confirmation about what we spend on health care compared to other industrialized countries as a percentage of GDP…

http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=HEALTH

jconservative

February 16th, 2011
12:25 pm

Nice column Kyle but you are barking up the wrong tree.

As I have noted previously, Congress has the Constitutionally mandated duty to produce a budget. Not the President. The best thing we can do is ignore Obama and concentrate on bringing pressure on our individual congressman and Senators.

So far the cuts on the table involve cutting just 13% of only 12% of total federal spending. At best this is a joke! Cutting $61 billion out of a $1.5 trillion spending year! Surely I am not the only one who is laughing at this!

Nothing, nothing, will get real spending reduced until we start cutting spending on the Pentagon, Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security.

Remember Bush 43 immediately after the 2004 election said he would spend his “political capital” on correcting and saving Social Security. After dozens of speeches over several months his “political capital” got him a bill that never made it out of Republican subcommittees in both houses of congress.

We have politically driven decision making in the nations capital.

Rand Paul made a small start by his proposed $500 billion in cuts from FY 2011 spending. But notice it is still in subcommittee where it will probably die.

There is a presidential election in 21 months. Obama is running for reelection. He will not stick his neck out.

Senators and Representatives will be running for reelection. They will not stick out their necks and start cutting Medicare and Social Security this close to an election. They do not want to be accused of gutting the nations defense so only token cuts will be made in Pentagon spending.

There is a small bi-partisan group of Senators trying to work up a sspending plan that both sides can support. Our hope for reducing spending may be in the hands of this group or a similiar group.

Real Conservative

February 16th, 2011
12:34 pm

Speaking of Bush’s plan to save Social Security, wasn’t the idea that people would be required to put some of their money that would have gone to the Social Security trust fund into private accounts? What’s the phrase for that? Oh yeah. INDIVIDUAL MANDATES!

Hey. That’s basically the same plan that Paul Ryan is pushing. Just like they’re for and against deficits at the same time, these guys are for and against government imposed individual mandates at the same time.

It’s hard to be a conservative these days with guys like this giving us a bad name.

Junior Samples

February 16th, 2011
12:41 pm

How much can we save by bringing our soldiers home? Terrorists don’t wear uniforms, this needs to be handled covertly.

Jefferson

February 16th, 2011
12:57 pm

I guess you know how it felt when Bush was trashing the country. No different.