Derek Hunter

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.

Gambling is risky, but it’s also fun – in moderation. That fun is only magnified, one would imagine, when you’re betting other people’s money. After losing trillions of our dollars on past gambling binges, it seems the president has taken our credit card out of the casino and onto the street for a rigged game of three-card monty.

There’s a joke in there about doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result, but it’s too expensive to make.

Hit hardest by Obama’s failed policies and gambling addiction is what the Washington Post called the “lost generation – people in their 20s and 30s who face record unemployment and little to no prospects in the near future. They’re living with their parents longer and delaying marriage because they have no choice, they have no options.

As bad as current young people have it, their kids and grandkids will have it worse. The government already has blown through the money of all Americans alive today, Those yet to be born who will start off in a hole so deep their financial situation may never see sunlight.

The website USDebtClock.org, a numbers-only site that tracks the national debt on all levels of government, including the unfunded liabilities of entitlement programs, should serve as a wake-up call for every American. When I checked it this week, it indicated your share of the national debt is $131,559. That’s probably a number you’ve heard before, and it’s disturbing. But it’s nothing compared to your share of the unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare, which is a staggering $1,031,127 each.

The President knows these numbers. He just doesn’t give a damn.

As National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru pointed out about the new political ad by AFSCME touting the president’s latest half-trillion-dollar attempt to be seen as caring, progressives think “More debt = more revenue = less debt. A spending Laffer Curve!”

President Obama isn’t a dumb man. He knows what he’s doing. But only he knows why he’s doing it. He couldn’t do worse for the economy and the future of this country if he were trying. Considering he keeps doing these things, one has to wonder if he is.

It’s not currently morning in America. When it comes to our economic future, it’s more like mourning in America. We have to get over our grief and make it to November 2012, then choose to go in a different direction. If history has taught us anything it’s that the sun always rises – we just have to make it through the night first without doing any more damage.


Derek Hunter

Derek Hunter is Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist. You can also stalk his thoughts 140 characters at a time on Twitter.