So, did you hear the one about President Barack Obama holding a press conference, announcing his plans to shrink and streamline the federal government?

So, did you hear the one about President Barack Obama holding a press conference, announcing his plans to shrink and streamline the federal government?


It seems the president had to abruptly end his press conference because everyone in the room had fallen off their chairs in uncontrollable fits of laughter, holding their bellies and crying, “Please stop, please stop, I’m gonna pee!”


Not really. I mean the part about the press conference grinding to a halt amid fits of laughter. Inexplicably, that part didn’t really happen. Almost as inexplicably, the press conference really did happen last week.


So, what gives? Obama has to know that he has absolutely no credibility as Scourge of Wasteful Big Government.


After the so-called Stimulus (which stimulated nothing but the size of the national debt), and the ramming through of an unaffordable massive new health care entitlement, and the piling up of mountains of new regulations and new bureaucracy to enforce those regulations, NOW he says he wants to do something about bloated, inefficient government?


On Obama’s watch, the federal debt has catastrophically exploded as never before in U.S. history and the executive branch has never had so many employees — and he expects us to sit up and listen when he utters truisms like, “The government we have is not the government we need?”


Is it an election year or something?


Oh, yeah. Nevermind then. Now it all makes sense — all the lip service to spending cuts and shrinking government we’ve heard, from both Obama and Congress.


Congress, of course, is about as good at comedy as the president. This week’s hilarity on Capitol Hill was the essentially meaningless vote disapproving of Obama’s raising the debt ceiling.


Yes, it’s the debt ceiling again. Remember all the hubbub last summer, when the White House kept on saying Congress needed to allow the government to go deeper into debt so the government wouldn’t default on its debt and wouldn’t get its credit rating downgraded? Well, they raised the debt ceiling, but our credit rating was downgraded anyway (for the first time in our history — the Obama years are indisputably historic).


It shouldn’t surprise anyone that government spending is already smacking against the debt ceiling. The debt has topped $15 trillion, and the feds are out of money again and need to borrow a few trillion more. Under the deal Congress made with the White House in August, Obama could raise the debt ceiling unilaterally three times — unless Congress voted against it and then overrode Obama’s veto of Congress’ disapproval.


It’s just the kind of cowardly thing that elected legislators do during an election year. The Republicans in particular are terrified of the negative political fallout of a government shutdown, so they signed onto this deal that lets Obama borrow more money while the GOP gets to register an empty vote against it.


And neither party wants to anger voters who depend upon (or benefit from) government programs that are in dire need of reform or elimination. Congress hasn’t truly cut spending in decades, and there’s no way they’ll do it in an election year.


I mean, really now, if the government actually cut its spending, how could our representatives and senators and president buy our votes?


So they’ll just keep on borrowing and spending, until it comes crashing down on everyone, ever hoping the collapse won’t happen until after they leave office.


They won’t stop until something makes them stop.


It probably won’t be the voters who stop them. There are just too many special interests, and too many of us who benefit from federal programs.


And that’s not funny.


Community editor Jared Olar may be reached at jolar@pekintimes.com.