The intertwined strands of evil DNA - Obamanomics and Obamacare - will determine the outcome of the 2012 election, and Barack Obama knows it. That's why he desperately wants to talk about something else. Anything else. A failed stimulus. Shovel-ready jobs that even President Obama later admitted don't exist. Auto takeovers. Bank bailouts. Mythical green jobs. And a historic American credit downgrade. Obamanomics has become the science of downward-sloping graphs.
Officially, America is in the third year of recovery from the Great Recession, but try convincing voters of that. The average unemployment rate in Mr. Obama's first three years was 9.3 percent. Surely, somehow that must be the fault of President George W. Bush, whom Democrats mocked in 2004 as delivering a "jobless recovery" even though the average unemployment rate in his eight years was 5.3 percent.
The real unemployment rate, when you include the underemployed and those who've simply given up looking for jobs that just aren't there, is almost 15 percent. Since Obamanomics was unleashed - increased taxes, increased regulations, wildly increased spending and weak-dollar monetary policy - a million fewer jobs exist in America, median household income has dropped nearly 10 percent, housing prices have hit an almost 10-year low, gas prices have doubled, a record number of Americans are on food stamps, and the federal debt races toward $16 trillion (around $140,000 per taxpayer).
The only way out of this abyss is, of course, private-sector economic growth. In the aftermath of the recession of the early 1980s, for example, President Reagan's economic strategy was exactly the opposite of Mr. Obama's: lower taxes, lower spending as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), reduced regulations and strong-dollar monetary policy. That produced an average GDP growth rate of 7.1 percent. Now, three years into Obamanomics, America's GDP growth rate has slowed to a crawl: 2.2 percent.
The administration would like you to think we've turned the corner, but calling our current economic status a recovery is like calling the product of a Kim Kardashian wedding a marriage. Technically, it meets the definition, but, come on, nobody's buying it.
As if the quagmire that is Obamanomics weren't enough, the president dropped an anchor that not only sabotages his own recovery but threatens our nation's long-term economic survival: Obamacare.
So thoroughly disastrous is Mr. Obama's signature accomplishment that many Democrats are openly hopeful that the Supreme Court will rule Obamacare unconstitutional so it becomes less of an issue in the presidential election. Imagine that. Mr. Obama and the Democrats fiddled with Obamacare as America's economy burned, and now they hope we will forget. We won't.
The Obamacare house of cards is collapsing. Its price tag has doubled. Americans remain adamantly opposed to it. And the unkeepable promises have vanished like vapor on the wind: It would allow you to keep your current insurance and doctor and lower your monthly health insurance premiums. It would reduce the deficit and create millions of jobs. Lies all.
So what's a president to do when his stimulus has failed and his health care takeover is even worse? Avoid them at all costs. Talk about anything else. Student loans. Birth control. Hooded sweatshirts. Heck, even talk about eating dogs.Anything besides the two issues that define his presidency and threaten our republic.
It's Obamanomics and Obamacare, the intertwined strands of evil DNA, stupid.
Mitt Romney should avoid the temptation of chasing Mr. Obama down every side-issue rabbit hole. At every opportunity, he should drag him back to the main path. Whenever Mr. Romney is asked a question, whether in debates or by reporters or even at town-hall meetings, his answer should always include at least one of those two words: Obamanomics and Obamacare.
Question: Mr. Governor, should a woman's access to birth control be a right?
Answer: The most effective way to assure access to products or services is to make them affordable through free-market competition. That's how stores like Wal-Mart and Target provide birth control for just $9 a month. And the most moral approach is for people to freely choose to participate or not. Unfortunately, Obamanomics adds crushing burdens on American companies that drive up prices and therefore limit access. And Obamacare unbelievably forces women in churches to choose between their government and their God. American women are victimized by both Obamacare and Obamanomics.
That's easy enough.
The 2012 election will be the most consequential of our lifetimes, probably of our children's and our children's children's lifetimes. We will choose between Mitt Romney's opportunity society and Barack Obama's government-centered society. Voters deserve an election that addresses rather than avoids the important issues that will determine the difference.
Dr. Milton R. Wolf, a Washington Times columnist, is a radiologist and President Obama's cousin. He blogs at miltonwolf.com.
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