- The Washington Times - Monday, February 23, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

It is clear that President Obama is no student of history. How many people remember the depression of 1920 (not the Great Depression of 1929)? Few people do because for the first and only time in U.S. history, Congress acted responsibly by reducing spending and doubling tax cuts. The United States came out of that depression within a year and enjoyed the red-hot economy of the 1920s.

If Congress had applied the same solutions during the Great Depression, it would be even less well-known than the depression of 1920. Instead, during the 1930s Congress spent and tinkered and, as economists realize now, President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal was a monumental failure of big-government, socialistic spending. Today’s stimulus bill is using these same failed policies, but with a new twist. Mr. Obama plans to make Americans so fearful of an economic Armageddon that they will gratefully, eagerly and precipitously accept his economic recovery plans.

Concealed within his bill lies the framework for implementing vast and insidious changes to health care and other social programs that will permanently cripple our economy with European-style socialism. For example, health-care officials will be subject to ever-increasing scrutiny and mountains of red tape, which will drive health care costs through the roof. Then, to offset the high health-care costs his plan caused, he will initiate step two of his plans, which is to nationalize health care.

America needs to wake up and demand a true stimulus bill to get our economy back on track. Not, as history has shown us, more social spending that inhibits economic recovery or true job growth.

MAJ. RUSS DUENOW

Marine Corps (retired)

Fredericksburg, Va.

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