Robert Knight

When reality bites, you can either try to change reality, or create your own.

Barack Obama claims that he has presided over trillions in spending cuts. If he’s a fiscal conservative, then I’m a forward “enforcer” for an NBA playoff team.

The president, who has increased the national debt by $5 trillion – more than all previous presidents combined – points to a nutty study by a journalist named Rex Nutting, whose virtual math asserts that Mr. Obama is an advocate for small government.

Mr. Obama has unrolled this meme on the campaign trail. He also told a crowd at the Iowa state fairgrounds on Thursday that the Republican plan to extend the Bush tax cuts is “like trying to put out a prairie fire with some gasoline.”

Mr. Obama pushed his green energy agenda by promising to save jobs at a wind turbine factory in Newton, Iowa, where he said, “If Congress doesn’t act, companies like this one will take a hit. Jobs will be lost.”

Mr. Obama should know about lost jobs. Real unemployment, which includes underemployment and those who have given up looking, is about 11 percent. First Solar, to which the Administration provided $3 billion in loan guarantees, has fired 30 percent of its workforce, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Abound Solar, which got a $400 million loan guarantee, stopped production in February and laid off 180 employees, according to Forbes, as noted by the American Enterprise Institute’s Marc Thiessen. Solyndra and several other companies that received hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in loan guarantees have also gone belly up.

The problem here is not failed capitalism but crony socialism. According to the Hoover Institution’s Peter Schweizer, author of Throw Them All Out, bundlers for Mr. Obama raised nearly $500,000 for his campaign while receiving more than $11 billion in grants or loans.

So who is to blame for the mammoth increase in national debt since 2008? Why, George W. Bush, of course, Mr. Obama’ favorite devil.

Yes, Mr. Bush spent too much, financing two wars and colluding with liberal Democrats on boondoggles such as the No Child Left Behind Act. But Mr. Obama’s crony socialism makes Mr. Bush look like an amateur.

The real cause of government gigantism is a breakdown in the moral culture and the rise of envy, the beating heart of socialism, which is the desire to have what someone else already has.


Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.