Donald Lambro

The quality of life in the United States has fallen dramatically in the Age of Obama, eroding the American dream, suffocating our economy, and making jobs ever harder to come by.

Instead of uniting our country in one common purpose, President Obama has divided us by making class warfare one of the major weapons in his politics and his policies.

He came into office with our nation sinking into a deep recession from which it has never fully recovered. He has talked endlessly about delivering good-paying, full-time jobs for everyone, but has never successfully delivered on his promise to do so. Not even close.

No issues before the American people are more critically important than the continuing decline of the once-mighty U.S. economy and the dimming of the American dream.

But these issues have been effectively eclipsed by the fight over the government shutdown in an effort to force Obama to give in to GOP demands that he delay the start of Obamacare, or make major changes in its dictatorial provisions.

The so-called Affordable Health Care Act will impose many regulations, taxes, penalties and costly regulations on the economy and businesses that will kill jobs. Indeed, it is already doing that, as small businesses lay off workers or cut back on their hours to skirt the threshold number of full-time employes that would force them to provide health insurance for their workers.

But no one's talking about this, or the other troublesome economic repercussions in Obamacare. The discussion in much of the country and in the news media is all about the government shutdown; about programs and agencies that have ceased operations; about tourists who cannot enter government landmarks, national parks; and about the economic impact on the country.

In their refusal to send a straight "continuing resolution" to the Senate to fund the government, House Republicans hoped it would spark a needed debate over Obamacare. And that it would lead to a one-year delay in its mandates and maybe a chance to take control of the Senate in 2014.

But that hasn't happened. The political debate here and across the country, and in every TV newscast, is all about the shutdown, not about Obamacare.

As I predicted in my last column, the news is saturated with sad stories about workers who have been furloughed without pay and with the rent or a mortgage payment due. Aged World War II veterans, making perhaps one last trip to their marble memorial on the mall, found that it was shut down. Certain food safety inspectors off the job. National security intelligence analysts not on duty.

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.