You'll remember his boastful promises that if we would just indulge his "stimulus" idea, he would jump-start the economy and ensure that unemployment would not exceed 8 percent. Despite getting his way, he has managed to achieve the worst of both worlds: He'll double the national debt in five years and triple it in 10, yet unemployment is just now -- after two years of hovering between 9 and 10 percent -- dipping below 9 percent.
So Obama came into office during very difficult economic times and, instead of implementing policies to truly stimulate economic growth, further smothered the private sector by ratcheting up government spending and onerous regulations, and he has deliberately compounded our national deficits and debt at a time when we are on the brink of a financial catastrophe. Though his own bipartisan deficit commission told him entitlement reform is imperative, he continues to kick the ball farther down the road without so much as an overture toward a nod of a pretense of a good faith effort to tackle it.
This very week, he and his Democratic colleagues are lying in wait for congressional Republicans to refuse to approve the Democrats' reckless budget for the remainder of the year so they can blame the mean GOP for another government shutdown. They'll pretend they have no role in such a shutdown and hope this fraudulent narrative turns the political tide in their favor -- all while the fiscal crisis remains unattended. They'll doubtlessly employ a similar strategy to ambush Republicans as heartless scrooges when Rep. Ryan unveils his long-term budget and proposes real economic growth and authentic entitlement reform.
When you take politics out of the equation, there is a consensus that we are on a collision course with national financial disaster. When you put politics back into the equation, only one party is trying to do something about it.
But here's the rub. Some Republican congressmen are horrified that if they stick to their guns in the upcoming budget battles, they'll lose the PR war, just as Republicans supposedly did in 1995-96. For reasons I'll address next time, 2011 is not 1995 (we have a nation-threatening emergency, folks), and Republicans must remain strong. Honor your mandate, ladies and gentlemen. We've got your back.
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