There has doubtlessly been great anxiety about the economy, but I think even greater anxiety exists over what President Barack Obama is doing and planning to do to this country. We've always had economic downturns, and we've always recovered, but we've never deliberately planned to spend ourselves into bankruptcy, from which we may not be able to recover.
True, our smorgasbord of entitlements has threatened our long-term solvency for some time, and reckless politicians have been negligent in refusing to reform them and, instead, have just created more. But Obama takes profligate spending to entirely new levels while pretending to be a fiscal hawk.
With all due respect to Mr. Obama, I don't recall ever seeing another president whine so much about the mess his predecessor left him, disgracing the motto of former Democratic President Harry Truman that "the buck stops here." Though childish and unpresidential, the worst part about it is that he's using it as a bogus justification to do much worse.
Seriously, how many times are we going to have to hear him say, "Republicans have a short memory, because as I recall, I'm inheriting a $1.3 trillion annual deficit from them"?
Stop right there. This is grossly misleading on many levels. In the first place, President Bush's budget deficits were declining nicely each year before the subprime crisis hit in 2008 (fiscal year 2004: $412.7 billion; FY 2005: $318.3 billion; FY 2006: $248.2 billion; FY 2007: $160.7 billion; and FY 2008: $454.8 billion). Second, Democrats took control of Congress in 2006 and thus share blame. Third, the 2009 budget, upward of $1.3 trillion, contained the extraordinary bailout and rescue expenditures, which Obama voted for. Fourth, eight months of this FY 2009 budget that Obama is blaming on President Bush will occur on Obama's watch (Jan. 20 through Oct. 1, 2009). Fifth, but most important, Obama is seeking to establish this atypical, artificially bloated FY 2009 as the new baseline from which his budgets should be compared, falsely implying that President Bush incrementally increased the deficit each year until it reached the annual figure of $1.3 trillion (the above numbers show the opposite) and that it will remain that high unless he -- Obama -- brings it down. Apparently smiling at our collective stupidity, he thus plans to disguise his increases in annual spending as decreases and take credit for cutting the budget in half by the end of his term.