- - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

In 1968, Lyndon B. Johnson’s last year in office:

* Gas was 34 cents a gallon.
* The average new home cost $26,600.
* The federal debt was $368 billion.

In the years since, thanks to the inability of FDR and his protégé LBJ to anticipate the consequences of their policies, the big government machine is out of control and in the hands of its least qualified conductor in history: Barack Obama. The results:

* The average gallon of gas is $3.47.
* The average new home $331,400.
* The federal debt is $17.7 trillion and climbing fast.

Even if you adjust those 1968 dollars for inflation, the comparison with the Obama years is still ugly. For example, that 34-cent 1968 gas would cost $2.34 in 2014 dollars. If you can find a station selling gas for $2.34, you’d better keep it to yourself, or else you’ll be crushed in the stampede of people looking to top off their tanks. That average 1960s home would cost about $180,000 today, and Johnson’s federal debt works out to $2.5 trillion after 45 years of inflation. If only we had a national debt of $2.5 trillion.

The comparisons between LBJ and BHO are both telling and important historical lessons.

Both men believed that with their will and personalities they could bring significant change to the world.

Both exploited race for political opportunities and both governed over times with race riots under their watch, in part caused by their policies of encouraging a culture of victimhood.

Both brought overly expensive programs, (Medicaid and Obamacare), that have damaged our healthcare systems. LBJ promised cheap coverage for old people, Mr. Obama promised cheap coverage for everyone.

Both campaigned on plans to bring peace out of war: Johnson had Vietnam; Mr. Obama has Iraq and Afghanistan. Both plans failed.

LBJ was known to have wiretapped Barry Goldwater. Barry Obama is known to have wiretapped just about everyone else.

Both increased taxes on “the wealthy,” which brought on or lengthened a bad economy

Johnson threatened Margret Mayer, a reporter for the Dallas Times-Herald, over her investigations into his personal wealth. Mr. Obama investigated James Rosen of Fox News over his role in investigating the Obama administration.

Johnson used the crisis of JFK’s assassination for political opportunities. Mr. Obama famously “never let a crisis go to waste.”

Johnson was humiliated as vice president by the Kennedys. He eventually got even by calling RFK — within 30 minutes of his brother’s assassination — and asking for the wording of the Oath of Office so he could take it immediately. He also had JFK’s widow stand next to him (in a suit with her husband’s blood splattered on it) while he took that oath. Mr. Obama was humiliated by the Clintons and eventually got even by humiliating Bill in the press and Hillary with Benghazi (more TBD).

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