Barack Obama has resurrected his 2008 slogan of "hope and change," though he's dropped the "hope" part.
"You know that I know what real change looks like because I fought for real change," Mr. Obama told supporters Friday in Hilliard, Ohio. "After all we've been through together, we can't give up on real change now." It's a dangerous theme for an incumbent president because if change is needed, it's a change from his own policies.
A few minutes after the president spoke, Mitt Romney entered a campaign rally in Wisconsin where the crowd cheered "four more days" -- a take-off of the "four more years" chant heard at Mr. Obama's events. The former Massachusetts governor agreed the country is on the wrong track.
"Unless we change course, we may well be looking at another recession," he said. "Candidate Obama promised change, but he couldn't deliver it. I promise change, but I have a record of achieving it."
The president hasn't kept his word. At the third presidential debate in 2008, candidate Obama explained his intention to enact a "net spending cut" in Washington. He said he'd go through "the federal budget line by line, page by page" to eliminate unneeded programs. The one-term Illinois senator vowed to make a dollar-for-dollar reduction in government spending to match any new outlays. Instead, he spent $813 billion more in 2012 than his predecessor spent in 2008.
Mr. Obama also assured voters before he was elected that his health care reform would "cut the average family's premium by about $2,500 per year." Four years later, premiums have jumped $3,065, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. At a rally in Springfield, Mo., three days before the 2008 election,
Mr. Obama pledged to create 2 million jobs by using government money to build infrastructure and 5 million by investing in "the new energy economy." Unemployment is higher now than when he took office.
If Mr. Obama had kept his February 2009 promise "to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office," the national debt would be a whopping $3 trillion less than it is today. Instead, the national debt has increased $48,975 per household under this president.
At every campaign stop, Mr. Obama brags about Bill Clinton's economic success, as if the former president's record will rub off on him. Even Mr. Clinton concedes this tactic is hopeless. On Friday, Mr. Clinton said that people keep coming up to him and saying they have lost their enthusiasm for Barack. "I may be the only person in America," admitted the 42nd president, "but I am far more enthusiastic about Obama this time than I was four years ago."
The shift over the last four years to super-sized federal government, nationalized health care and overregulated businesses has derailed prosperity. People are tired of the broken promises. They want change, just not the kind Mr. Obama is offering.
Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.
© Copyright 2016 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.