Donald Lambro

In the sixth month of his second term, President Obama is still trying to figure out what he wants to do in the remainder of his presidency.

Thus far, Obama -- who appears to spend most of his time delivering speeches -- doesn't have a clue. He has become the "Podium President" whose only agenda is to avoid dealing with the economy.

While polls show that the economy remains the number one concern for the American people, it has become "the quiet crisis" in Obama's government -- unheralded, unspoken, unnoticed and untreated. No one talks about it, least of all the Democrats on Capitol Hill.

Efforts at creating jobs in this economy have become far less important for the administration than winning messaging wars and riding out the scandals that threaten to engulf the Obama presidency.

At the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a battery of committees and subcommittees are holding hearings on a range of administration scandals that constitute significant abuses of power.

House lawmakers heard testimony this past week from ordinary Americans affiliated with various conservative groups who said that the IRS had demanded the names of political figures with whom they've been in contact, copies of speeches they'd given, and lists of their donors. These were only some of the disturbing inquiries that threatened their right to free speech.

The IRS made no such inquiries into liberal non-profit groups seeking similar tax exempt status.

Elsewhere, lawmakers are digging more deeply into Attorney General Eric Holder's dubious claim that he had no role in the administration's alarming search of a Fox News reporter's e-mails, when numerous public reports say he signed off on the Justice Department's order.

Now we learn that the National Security Agency is collecting tens of millions of Americans' Verizon telephone records after an April court order.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is busily preparing to put its health care program into full gear next year, a program that will authorize the IRS to penalize millions of Americans who do not obtain health insurance. Small businesses which do not provide medical insurance for their employes will also be liable.

Is it any wonder that 56 percent of Americans recently told the Gallup Poll that "the federal government today has too much power?" I expect that number to rise leading up to the 2014 midterm elections.

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.