Whether he's a one- or two-term president, Barack Obama's legacy will be the ginormous federal government he left behind. Trillion-dollar annual deficits weren't enough to make him reconsider the wisdom of his spending sprees.
On Thursday, Mr. Obama laid out his proposal for a third stimulus spending bill that he said he would enact if things go his way Nov. 6. The idea is to spend half the combined cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so we can "put people back to work fixing up roads and bridges. We can expand broadband into rural neighborhoods and make sure our schools are state-of-the-art."
The president added in his Green Bay, Wis., remarks that the purpose of the new outlays would be to "put Americans back to work doing the work that needs to be done." By that, he means hiring more bureaucrats, his go-to solution to all problems.
According to the most recent data from the White House's Office of Personnel Management, the government employment rolls swelled 8 percent from September 2008 to June 2012. These aren't your average bureaucrats, either. During the same period, the number of feds taking home salaries of more than $150,000 soared 44 percent. It pays to work for Uncle Sam when there's a Democrat in the White House.
The last time the administration pushed the concept of massive stimulus spending, it was supposed to spur economic growth and lower unemployment. That didn't happen. The official jobless figure is now exactly what it was when Mr. Obama took the oath of office: 7.8 percent.
This administration has had the worst recovery of the 10 recorded since 1947, according to an analysis released Thursday by Sen. John Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee. Gross domestic product has increased just 6.7 percent since Mr. Obama has been in office, which pales in comparison to the 17.7 percent growth from 1982 to 1985 seen in President Reagan's recovery from a recession.
In an interview that aired on MSNBC Monday, Mr. Obama said he wants to create yet another bloated government department. His new "secretary of business" would oversee nine smaller agencies that deal with business and trade issues. Mr. Romney blasted the idea on Thursday.
"I don't think adding a new chair in his Cabinet will help add millions of jobs on Main Street," the former Massachusetts governor told supporters in Richmond. "We don't need a 'secretary of business' to understand business. We need a president who understands business, and I do."
The Romney campaign released a new TV ad mocking the idea, along with a list of respected business leaders who are publicly backing the GOP ticket. Those entrepreneurs include the founders of Charles Schwab Corp., JetBlue Airways, Netscape, Sun Microsystems and Home Depot.
As a former community organizer and professional politician who has never held a real job, Mr. Obama only knows how to turn to Uncle Sam for help. His four-year, real-world experiment with Keynesian economics has left us with a stagnant economy and a national debt that has ballooned 52 percent on his watch. It makes no sense to continue down the same failed path for another four years.
Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.
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