- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 5, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President Obama’s all-out class-warfare attack against Republicans Tuesday was a shameful litany of excuses that included blaming all of his fiscal failures on George W. Bush.

His speech to the nation’s news editors, which accused the GOP of budget cuts it has not proposed, was the political equivalent of the delinquent remedial student who told his teacher, “The dog ate my homework.”

With such a failed economic record over the past three years, it takes a great deal of gall to deliver an excuse-ridden speech like this, not to mention his own insecurity about winning a second term.

Gone was the 2008 Barack Obama who condemned the use of politics as “a blood sport,” dividing one class from another. This was all-out political war, meant to draw blood among those who oppose his re-election.

He called the GOP, which controls the House and soon may take control of the Senate, a “radical” party that would destroy social welfare programs for poor and middle-class Americans. He falsely applied the 10-year, $5.3 trillion House Republican budget to a host of programs for the most vulnerable Americans, which the GOP’s document does not do.

“Disguised as a deficit-reduction plan, it’s really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. … It’s a prescription for decline.”

He mocked likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney for calling the deficit-cutting plan “marvelous,” saying that it would establish a form of “social Darwinism” that would pit the poor against the rich.

In Mr. Obama’s fear-mongering vision of the future, if the GOP gets its way, America will be turned into a brutal “Hunger Games” society where survival of the fittest rules.

As for his four consecutive budget deficits totaling more than $5.3 trillion, Mr. Obama says it’s Mr. Bush’s fault: “Two wars, two massive tax cuts and an unprecedented financial crisis.”

His impotent economic policies were not responsible for the extraordinary length and depth of the recession and the still-anemic, weakened economy in the fourth year of his presidency, he said.

No, it’s the big, bad Republicans, including Mr. Bush’s tax cuts (even though Mr. Obama extended those tax cuts in 2010 for two more years) and Mr. Bush’s weak financial regulation that led to the subprime scandal and Mr. Obama’s ballooning deficits.

People who bought homes they couldn’t afford were not responsible for the financial crisis. The elimination of prudent federal lending standards by the Democrats who ruled Congress were not to blame, according to the president.

No, it was the Republicans, who were out of power in 2009 and 2010, when the Democrats had huge majorities in both chambers and could pass anything they wanted, and did. They forced through the $1.7 trillion Obamacare plan and the $831 billion job stimulus package, which was a colossal failure.”

At one point in his demagogic screed, Mr. Obama seemed to be rewriting political history, not letting facts get in the way of a good attack line.

“You would think that after the results were made painfully clear, that the proponents of this [tax cut] theory might show some humility, might moderate their views a bit,” Mr. Obama said. “But that’s exactly the opposite of what they’ve done. Instead of moderating their views even slightly, the Republicans running Congress right now have doubled down.”

Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid no doubt will be surprised to learn that Republicans are running the Senate.

Thanks to a compliant news media, Mr. Obama seemed to get away with blaming Mr. Bush in his first two or three years. But now, in the fourth year of his failed presidency, does he really think he can continue to blame his predecessor for the $5 trillion he added to the national debt and a weakened economy where jobs are still in short supply?

Notably, he never addressed any of the major economic problems that still confront our country as he approaches the end of his term. He said nothing of his vision for the future.

What planet is the president living on? Earth to Mr. Obama: More than 24 million Americans are still underemployed. The economy grew at a feeble 1.6 percent in 2011 (fourth quarter to fourth quarter). Poverty has soared to its highest level in 50 years, with 46.2 million Americans below the poverty line, up from 43.6 million in 2009.

“Under this president’s watch, more Americans have lost their jobs than during any other period since the Great Depression,” Mr. Romney says.

Mr. Obama’s blood-sport attack Tuesday was filled with vague terms such as “economic fairness,” but you would have a hard time finding any mention of the terms that matter most to millions of jobless Americans: economic growth, job creation, business formation and investment.

The construction industry is still in a recession. Home prices continue to fall. Home foreclosures are expected to surge in 2012. Nearly 20 states suffer from jobless rates of 8 percent to 12 percent, and business startups, the wellspring of job creation, are at their lowest level in 30 years.

Four-dollars-a-gallon gas anyone? Mr. Obama says he isn’t to blame. But Steven Chu, his energy secretary, told the Wall Street Journal in 2008, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” where it is about $9.

Some of Mr. Obama’s defenders are calling this dismal high-unemployment, subpar-growth economy “the new normal.”

But in 1984, after Ronald Reagan cut taxes across the board, the economy came roaring out of a severe recession with 8.5 percent growth, after creating 3.5 million jobs in 1983, including more than a million jobs in one month.

That’s what Mr. Obama was ridiculing Tuesday as “trickle-down economics.”

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.

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