- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Five years of President Obama’s policies have resulted in the first generation in our nation’s history that does not know whether it can do better than its parents. Mr. Obama may have killed the American dream.

Mr. Obama wants Americans to ignore the reality of the endless economic malaise. “The United States is better positioned for the 21st century than any other nation on Earth,” he said in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

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To handle any lingering doubt in citizens’ minds, he tried to pin the blame on the rich instead of his policies.

“Corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better,” he said. “But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled.”

The president frequently uses class-warfare tactics to try to distract voters. The facts are that gross domestic product barely ekes up each quarter by low, single digits, while the labor-force participation rate is down to the lowest level in 35 years.

This means that the hope-and-change agenda enacted by Mr. Obama since 2009 has resulted in a stunted economy and fewer people than ever in the workforce.

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“People won’t do as well in the future as they would have as result of the policies of this president,” Rea S. Hederman Jr., director of the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation, said in an interview.

“Taxes are higher than they were even under Bill Clinton. The health care bill requirements mean fewer people can get into labor force or take longer to find a job, so their lifetime earnings will be lower.”

There is a direct correlation between years of work experience and salary, so even being one or two years out of work will have lifelong consequences.

The president said in his speech that the United States now has “the lowest unemployment rate in over five years.” He neglected to explain that the rate has gone down recently only because people have decided to give up working. Some go back to school, others retire, but many have gone on disability or the government dole.

That’s why Mr. Obama asked Congress again to reinstate the long-term unemployment insurance that finally expired at the end of 2013. He knows that people just stop knocking on employers’ doors and sending out resumes after years of rejection.

He then swoops in and offers handouts that further disincentivize people.

It is truly sad that the number of families dependent on the government for food stamps has skyrocketed almost 70 percent during this presidency. These are no longer the most vulnerable in our society. The so-called safety net has widened as fewer of us can find good jobs.

Just a few years ago, children and the elderly made up most of the food-stamp recipients. Now an analysis by The Associated Press shows that working-age people are now the majority of those dependent on the government for their meals.

A dependent, despondent, unemployed or underemployed American has become almost normal. How can people have hope for a better life in these circumstances?

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