Voters who in November 2008 supported a candidate claiming to be all about change, transparency and a new day in Washington are feeling misled. Sadly, the administration of President Barack Obama, like a 6-year-old’s bicycle, is still riding on the sidewalk with training wheels making people reminiscent of the days of business as usual.
As real unemployment surges toward 16 percent inclusive of those out of work seeking employment and those who have been off the clock so long they have stopped looking, this administration is strutting its plumage claiming to have saved millions of jobs.
Whose? Their own, for sure, but not those of the manufacturing sector. Additionally, teachers are being laid off in communities that desperately need more help in the classrooms. Plus there’s the issue of so-called green jobs. The non-partisan Institute for Energy Research noted that this administration is giving corporations $2.3 billion to create 17,000 green jobs. Do the math that’s $135,295 a pop. If this administration spent that amount on the roughly 15.3 million known unemployed people, that totals up at $2,070,013,500,000.
With unemployment reaching heights making people yearn for the days of the Carter administration, the lack of confidence is also a factor. When employers lack confidence they hire fewer workers to both manufacture and sell goods. When more people are out of work, they spend less, or worse, they spend beyond their means and go deeper into debt.
On that front, this administration has failed miserably, digging this nation deeper and deeper into debt with bailouts of industries crying that they were too big to fail. No business is too big to fail. No one is driving a Nash or an Edsel these days or even an Oldsmobile. If people are not buying a certain product, go back to the drawing board. “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently,” said Henry Ford, of Edsel infamy.
What exactly did the $787 billion stimulus package stimulate? Government, and in turn, we the people, own 10 percent of Chrysler and 60 percent of GM. Has anyone received a dividend check lately? Don’t hold your breath. And what about the pathetic cash for clunkers that clearly went crash. When doing the homework on that program, once the taxes were paid and the new cars purchased, the so-called rebate for the older vehicle was actually an expense for the participants.
We the people were also told that Gitmo would be closed and terrorists housed in a prison in Thomson, Ill., and tried in civilian court. The notion of trying enemy combatants in civilian courts is an absurdity that will not only disrupt American citizens’ lives, cost several hundred million dollars, but worse yet, lend credence to the legitimacy of people referred to by Obama as a “nimble adversary.” He won’t even use the phrase war on terror, as if by not saying it makes it not so.
We the people have said that the economy is the number one concern, not health care, which this administration is attempting to ram down the throats of the American people. The administration has declared that anyone without health insurance would either be forced to buy it or face financial penalty or even incarceration. Obama loves choice when it comes to abortion, but not when it comes to choosing schools or making personal decisions. It is unconstitutional for the federal government to force its citizenry to purchase anything.
This administration has also failed to live up to its repeated promise of transparency. Obama said bills would be live on the internet for 72 hours for the public to read and upon which to comment. Obama said hearings would be held on C-SPAN regarding health care. Instead, under the cloak of mystery and more often than not, in the dark of night, the most important legislation of this administration has been passed.
Continuing proof of the failings of this administration and the diminishing popularity of a man who spent 147 working days in the United States Senate before kicking off his campaign to become the most powerful office-holder in the free world is the repudiation against him this past November. Reliably dark blue New Jersey elected Republican Chris Christie as governor even after numerous visits by Obama for the incumbent.
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, the entire GOP ticket, led by our newly sworn in Governor Bob McDonnell, swept to victory in a landslide, decrying those who said the once dependably red state was turning blue.
A further sign of the tarnishing of the Obama brand is his last-minute visit to Massachusetts, which could not salvage the campaign of Democrat Martha Coakley in her race against Republican Scott Brown in the special election to fill the Senate seat held by the late Ted Kennedy. Brown will be the first Republican since Edward Brooke retired in 1979 to represent Massachusetts in the Senate. The Bay State runs 3-to-1 to one Democrat to Republican in voter registration. This should have been a rout, but the folks want REAL change, not just what’s left in their pockets by this disastrous first year of the Obama administration.
Tally in Obama’s personal appeal before the International Olympic Committee in his failed attempt to secure the 2016 Games for Chicago, and Obama is 0-4 with mid-terms in 10 months.
Remember, there’s no learning curve on this job. It’s 3 a.m., the phone is ringing and Obama is in Hawaii playing golf while a terrorist is making our Homeland Security people look foolish, except in the eyes of Janet Napolitano, who should also be standing on the unemployment line.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria.