Four years ago, candidate Barack Obama said voters should look to a president's policies when deciding whether to re-elect him. "The question of this election is not are you better off than you were four years ago -- we all know the answer to that," he told an Ohio audience. "The real question is will this country be better off four years from now?"
In 2008, it was hard to judge what Mr. Obama would do since he had no track record beyond his brief service in the Illinois and U.S. senates. It was easy to be captivated by his vague promises of hope and change. Over time, his policies took concrete form: Leading from behind, spreading the wealth around and, "You didn't build that." More of the same won't make America a better place in 2016.
Most Americans feel President Obama's failure in a deep and personal way. They've suffered a lost job, a drop in take-home pay or the general decline in their standard of living. Hard reality backs up the gut feeling. Millions have given up looking for work, and a record 46.7 million have turned to food stamps to get by. Businesses report in surveys that they are afraid to hire because they see more taxes and heavy regulation on the horizon.
Mr. Obama claims he's not responsible, that he inherited these troubles from President George W. Bush. To rescue the economy, Mr. Obama promised that spending $833 billion in borrowed taxpayer funds on "shovel-ready" projects would put money into the pockets of workers. The president's Keynesian faith told him government intervention is the only way to create jobs and jump-start growth. It didn't work.
When Mr. Obama was sworn in, the economy was generating $13.2 trillion in wealth annually (using 2005 dollars to account for inflation). On Friday, the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced the country's economic output for 2012 was $13.6 trillion. So the $833 billion loan bought us $454 billion in growth -- hardly a sensible return on investment. Of course, Mr. Obama's borrowing didn't end there. He charged up $5,571 billion in debt with pointless "green" projects, Obamacare and other boondoggles. So much for his promise to cut the deficit in half.
The boast that he'd have the most transparent and ethical administration in history proved equally empty. Mr. Obama claimed executive privilege to keep Congress from learning the truth about the Fast and Furious program that ensured a steady flow of guns to Mexican drug cartels. The administration then cited this "gun running" as an excuse to impose new gun-control measures in border states. Mr. Obama and his surrogates lied about the Sept. 11 attack that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya. Rather than coming clean regarding the Islamic terrorists behind the murders, the White House concocted a bogus tale about a YouTube video, expecting to get away with the fabrication.
Instead of a strong foreign policy, we have a commander in chief who bows to the king of Saudi Arabia and the communist president of China and looks the other way as the Iranian mullahs develop nuclear weapons. In short, we have a president who embodies weakness in economic, political and diplomatic affairs. The United States can't take another four years of Barack Obama's recklessness.
The Washington Times
© Copyright 2016 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.