EDITORIAL: Obama’s broken record

Crooner in chief is singing a different tune than four years ago

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President Obama says he needs four more years to finish the job he started. That’s his way of admitting he’d rather Americans not look too closely at his poor job performance so far. The Obama campaign slogan “Forward” is apt because Barack doesn’t want voters to look backward at the wreckage in his wake.

Exhibit A is the nearly trillion-dollar “stimulus” package of 2009 that promised to lower unemployment rates to about 5.5 percent by now. Instead, it’s 8.1 percent, and it’s only that low because 368,000 stopped looking for work and aren’t counted by bureaucrats. Democrats warned if the stimulus plan were rejected, unemployment in the third quarter of 2012 would be way up at 6 percent. In retrospect, the country could have avoided adding a huge chunk to the national debt and still had more people working today if that boondoggle hadn’t been enacted.

Another Obama promise not kept is cutting the federal deficit in half. In his convention speech Thursday, the president said, “You do the math.” OK, fine. In his first budget proposal, Mr. Obama projected that if his policies were enacted, the federal budget deficit for fiscal 2012 would be $581 billion. Instead, it’s about double that as Mr. Obama racks up budget deficits of more than a trillion dollars year in and year out. The deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product was at 3.1 percent in 2008, but under Mr. Obama it has averaged over 8 percent.

In his first 986 days in office, up to Oct. 3, 2011, Mr. Obama oversaw a $4.2 trillion increase in the national debt. That’s more than the debt accrued by all presidents from George Washington to George H.W. Bush combined. While Mr. Obama likes to blame his predecessor for the mess, the deficit for all of 2007 was $161 billion. Mr. Obama can rack up that kind of red ink in a single month without breaking a sweat.

While running for re-election, Mr. Obama refuses to talk in detail about Obamacare, which was supposed to be his signature achievement. Health care was only mentioned in passing in his convention speech. He denounced, “Washington politicians who want to control health care choices that women should be making for themselves” — which is exactly what Obamacare does. Mr. Obama’s unwillingness to point with pride at his most significant legislative success says a lot about what Americans have learned about the law after Congress passed it without reading it.

Listening to Mr. Obama’s spin about his foreign-policy record makes it seem like our rocky world has spent four years singing kumbaya. The lofty rhetoric about peace and dignity doesn’t bear close scrutiny. America’s adversaries are emboldened by the weak U.S. leader while allies like Israel openly question the U.S. commitment to its security. Radical Islamic governments are taking over in the Middle East. Fortunately, Mr. Obama even failed to deliver on his first promise in office: to close the terrorist-detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

We’ll concede one point: Osama bin Laden isn’t better off now than he was four years ago. In that respect, he has something in common with the American people.

The Washington Times

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