President Obama’s re-election effort is in full swing, but you wouldn’t know it by the Administration’s recent pronouncements. On issue after issue, even when the Administration is on the losing end, it insists that it is winning, like Charlie Sheen during his infamous meltdown. Except unlike Charlie Sheen, who received a huge payout after his escapades and is working on his next hit show, this Administration is sowing the seeds of its failure and dragging the nation down with it.
The Administration’s determined effort to call defeat victory and failure progress is not merely the typical agitprop peddled by an Administration mired in failure, though the recently released campaign biopic narrated by Tom Hanks, “The Road We’ve Traveled,” has plenty. Rather, the administration’s modus operandi evidences a studied and reckless indifference to the real world effects of its policies.
On energy, in the face of rising gas prices, President Obama continues to oppose domestic drilling while taking credit for some increased drilling on state and private land, which he had nothing to do with. He continues to push for solar ventures and other distractions, like algae, even after the Solyndra debacle forever branded his Administration’s energy vision a pipedream. And most galling, he continues to reject the Keystone pipeline, even as Senate Democrats line up to cast votes in its favor and union allies, knowing the jobs its construction will create, plead for its approval.
On the economy, the Administration takes credit for “lower” unemployment numbers, officially reported at 8.3 %, even after its $790 billion stimulus failed to deliver the promised 8% rate. Yet unemployment stood at 7.8 % at his Inauguration, and the true unemployment rate is closer to 30 % when you include, as you should, those able to work but not looking for work. What is more, the President has amassed more debt in three years ($4.9 trillion) than President Bush did in eight ($4.8 trillion), and he has made no effort to lower the 35% corporate tax rate, which will soon be the highest corporate tax rate in the world.
On entitlements, the President continues to propose budgets that avoid the tough choices necessary to confront the nation’s looming budget bombs, Medicare and Social Security, which will consume 20% of GDP by 2035. If criticism is leadership, the President is surely leading in criticizing Paul Ryan’s reform plan. But regardless of the merits of Ryan’s plan, and there are many, Rep. Ryan deserves credit for starting an overdue conversation with a serious opening argument. The same cannot be said for the President.