Sunday, October 24, 2010
Obama's Failure Agenda
By Alan Caruba
Normally, we assume that anyone who runs for and assumes the office of president has an agenda intended to succeed and thereby ensure that history will look favorably on his accomplishments. The men who served in that office craved success and loathed failure.
Barack Obama didn’t merely promise hope and change. On June 3, 2008 in his nomination victory speech, he said that “this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal…”
Lovely rhetoric, soaring oratory, but the sick were being cared for in hospitals all over America, even if they could not afford it because the law required such care then and now. No one was being turned away at the emergency room. As for jobs, in 2008 the unemployment rate rose to 6.1%, the highest level since September 2003. Today, it officially stands at 9.6% and is widely understood to be far closer in reality to 20%.
As for the Earth beginning to heal, I have no idea what he meant by that and I doubt anybody else did. Last time I checked, the Earth was doing just fine. The seas, meantime, have been rising a few millimeters each century and give no indication of stopping.
What will end, however, is the control of Congress by the Democrats in November; definitely the House and even possibly the Senate. What has already ended is Barack Obama’s credibility. Few people who have been paying attention believe anything the man says.
It took less than half his term to achieve this, but it began with his oath of office that required a “do-over”. Legislatively, letting Nancy Pelosi write and ram through a $787 billion stimulus bill was an indicator that Obama was clueless regarding ways to jump-start the economy. Obama signed it into law in February 2009.
Meanwhile he busied himself taking over ownership of General Motors and Chrysler, signing off on a failed “Cash for Clunkers” program.
The stimulus program, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, spent $63 million on a tunnel to nowhere in Pittsburgh, an $89,000 sidewalk that led to a ditch in Boynton, Oklahoma, and the president’s belated discovery that there were no “shovel ready” projects.
Among the projects were $1.9 million for international ant research, $554,763 for the National Forest Service to replace windows in a closed Mount St. Helens visitor center, and $308 million for a joint clean energy venture with BP, the oil company best known these days for the Gulf of Mexico spill.
While Americans were losing jobs and seeing their homes foreclosed upon, the Obama administration was spending $700,000 to study why monkeys respond negatively to inequality, $529,000 to study the effects of the environment on local populations—in the Himalayas, and $456,000 to study the circulation of Neptune’s atmosphere.
Nearly $9 million was spent on signs promoting the administration’s sponsorship of various stimulus projects.
His idea of partisanship was to tell Republicans in Congress “We won.”
His press conferences were such disasters there was a stretch of more than 300 days between the last two.
His foreign policy decisions included abandoning Poland, Tibet, and Israel. His efforts to entice Iran were rebuffed and the leaders of European nations and Russia made no secret that they regarded him as a dunce.
Obama took credit for the official end of the Iraq War even though that had been set in motion by the Bush administration well before his election. Instead of just closing down U.S. participation in the Afghanistan quagmire, Obama prolonged it.
At the heart of the mortgage loan financial collapse were two government entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but when the Obama administration signed off on new regulations for Wall Street, neither were even mentioned in the reform legislation.
Big Government will keep getting bigger as agencies such as the Security Exchange Commission increases its budget by twenty percent to $1.2 billion, more than triple its size in 2000. It is expected to increase by more than one thousand people to about 4,700 regulators, a 36% increase from 2007.
Left unsaid that this is the same SEC that failed to spot Bernie Madoff’s $50 billion Ponzi scheme or did anything regarding what were later deemed “toxic assets” requiring a TARP program to bail out the banks, investment firms, and AIG, an insurance company.
Absolutely nothing good can be said for Obamacare. Most Americans opposed its passage and most say they want it repealed.