When Ronald Reagan ran for President in 1980, he did so by, asking a simple question: Are you better off now than you than you were four years ago?
The Carter administration had been such an unmitigated disaster, the answer was obvious and the choice was clear - Reagan won in a landslide.
In 1984 Reagan, ran under the theme “Morning in America” and won an even bigger landslide victory.
For all his contempt for everything conservative, President Obama ran a Reaganesque campaign in 2008. But, in 2012, the Reaganesque re-election campaign Mr. Obama undoubtedly would like to run isn’t possible for him. The Republican candidate will be free to ask the “Are you better off” question, but it’s clearly not morning in America. It’s mourning.
As he is fond of saying, President Obama inherited an economic mess. Our cyclical economy was on the down end of the circle. But every move this president has made has served only to broaden the circle and expand the bottom.
Nearly every unit of measure for the economy is worse than it was when President Obama took office. Unemployment, the most personal of all measurements, has grown significantly – to 9.1 percent with an underemployment rate of more than 16 percent. Nothing this administration has done has begun to alleviate this problem.
After forcing through his $787 billion “stimulus” bill to create “shovel-ready jobs” that even he admitted weren’t shovel ready, and a much ballyhooed “Recovery Summer” last year, we’re in the same sinking economic boat we were before – only with a bigger hole.
If the Obama administration had set out to deliberately make the economy worse, it is difficult to imagine what they would’ve done differently.
As the 2012 election approaches, the rhetoric of concern, class warfare and “feeling your pain” has stepped up, but the “solutions” being offered by the White House are a doubling down on the failures of the past. The unprecedented reckless spending that led to the first-ever downgrade of the nation’s credit rating has been met not with introspection and a new approach, but with calls for more spending.
The Solyndra debacle has cost taxpayers at least a half- billion dollars. But rather than take a breath and seriously re-evaluate its viability, the administration is rushing to push through $9 billion more in similar loans to “green” companies before the Sept. 30 deadline for the subsidy program. The examples go on and on.
The Obama administration seems to share the mindset of almost all progressives – that the sheer force of their will can overrule reality. It can’t.