- The Washington Times - Monday, April 9, 2012

On Saturday, President Obama enjoyed his 94th round of golf since coming to the White House. If golf were his full-time job, that would be the equivalent of nearly three months spent on the greens. While he hit the links, Americans have suffered from high unemployment and a lingering economic malaise with little hope for a prosperous future.

Soon after he took office, Mr. Obama promised to slice the budget deficit in half to $533 billion by the end of his first term. He missed that hole by almost $700 billion. The budgetary gap was $1.4 trillion in 2009 and $1.3 trillion in both 2010 and 2011.

The nonpartisan Congressional Office Budget projects the deficit for the current fiscal year will be $1.2 trillion, but the estimate would be $82 billion higher had Mr. Obama’s budget been enacted. Thankfully, the House of Representatives hit his spending blueprint into the woods and didn’t go looking to recover it.

While candidate Obama called the $4 trillion in debt during President George W. Bush’s administration “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic,” President Obama remains well below par. As of today, Mr. Obama has increased what we owe to other countries by $5 trillion, a figure that will grow to $6 trillion by the next inauguration. His proposed spending for the next five years would saddle the nation with $20 trillion in total debt by the end of a second term.

Mr. Obama wants to get that second term by making tax hikes the line drive of his re-election bid. His budget plan for the next 10 years promises $2 trillion in higher taxes - not including his beloved Buffett tax to punish the successful. Worse, with the Jan. 1 deadline looming for expiration of many rates, Mr. Obama’s re-election would result in $4.5 trillion in tax hikes on death, gifts, personal income, investments, Medicare, small businesses and corporations. Taxpayers will be stuck in the sand trap.

Taxes and spending have handicapped America’s recovery. The 2009 stimulus failed to create jobs and instead led to the longest stretch of high unemployment since the Great Depression. The score at the gas pump keeps edging higher. On Inauguration Day 2009, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was $1.84. Now, it’s a financial hazard for families at $3.93.

Mr. Bush gave up golf in 2003 out of respect for the military fighting overseas wars and their families at home. Still, he only played 24 rounds in the same time frame as the current duffer in chief. At the White House Easter egg roll on Monday, a supporter said to the president, “Four more years.” He replied, “With your help.” Voters should be wary of giving him a mulligan.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.