- - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There’s a new T-shirt out there making the rounds. It says: “I am one of the people who pays for all the free stuff Obama gives you.”

For his last two years in office, President Obama plans to be Santa Claus, giving everyone everything they want — for free. “Tonight, we turn the page,” he said Tuesday in his State of the Union address. Indeed.

The president has for the last week or so been leaking out the initiatives he announced tonight. Not surprisingly, no one in the White House has uttered a peep about how to fund them. But still, he took credit for the burgeoning economy — “At this moment — with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.”

And then, frighteningly, he said: “It’s now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next fifteen years, and for decades to come.”

Mr. Obama has called for free community college for all — price tag: $60 billion. “What I’d like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who’s willing to work for it,” Mr. Obama said in a White House video posted Thursday evening. But even though those students are working, the president doesn’t want them to have to pay for it. Makes sense. Such a burden.

The Harvard grad also proposed $2 billion in new payouts to give parents up to 12 weeks paid time off (the White House announcement sent to reporters helpfully notes that “the Department of Labor will use $1 million in existing funds,” so, they really need only 1,999 million more dollars and, boom, fully funded).

Of course, everyone should have free health care, unless, of course, you make over $62,000 a year, then your health care will cost $1,500 a month (but hey, that makes it “free” for everyone else). And the president couldn’t care less about the $18 trillion national debt or the $564 billion deficit for 2015 — he’s proposing a spending increase of 7 percent, or nearly $70 billion. What, you don’t like “free”?

Now, Mr. Obama has already added nearly $7 trillion to the national debt, but he’s still got two more year. He’s figuring all the free stuff he gives away will make lifelong fans, who will speak fondly of him in years to come. Like forgiving student loans — Yobama, you ‘da man!

In reality, Mr. Obama knows his new proposals won’t go anywhere in the GOP-controlled Congress. His modus operandi for the first six years is to propose initiatives he knows will die a quiet death, and then to whine about Republicans being the party of “no.” A weak and spineless MO, but it did get him re-elected. He’s not stupid.

The president is emboldened by the suddenly-recovering U.S. economy, which, in large part, comes despite” his efforts. American is producing more oil than ever — nearly 9 million barrels per day — even though the White House has imposed moratoriums, fought the Keystone pipeline and opposed fracking (the very reason for the uptick in domestic oil production).

Still, Mr. Obama tonight took credit for everything that is going right in America. Yes, the recovering economy is all him. “Middle-class economics works. Expanding opportunity works. And these policies will continue to work, as long as politics don’t get in the way.”

For this president, the future means free stuff for everyone. And it’s just how he governs. Sure, the country is $18 trillion in debt, but that shouldn’t mean you can’t have everything you want exactly when you want it.

And shame on you for thinking otherwise.

Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at josephcurl@gmail.com and on Twitter @josephcurl.

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