- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Clint Eastwood set off a firestorm when he mocked the empty-suit president, Barack Obama, by placing a vacant chair onstage at the Republican National Convention. This week, the Democrats are running an empty-chair convention and proving him right.

America is heading for a financial cliff. Our spending is out of control, and our debt, like Greece’s, has exploded to become larger than our economy itself. Each baby born today is welcomed into America with a $50,000 debt wrapped around his neck. Our way of life and our nation are at risk.

America’s critical hour is upon us, and it demands leaders courageous enough finally to address our largest threats. The Democrats’ convention is an endless parade of promises of free birth control and health care for 26-year-old “kids.” There is no shortage of references to boogeymen like former President George W. Bush and embattled Missouri Senate candidate W. Todd Akin.

But here’s what you won’t hear from the Democrats:

$16 trillion dollar debt. The federal debt hangs above our children’s future like the sword of Damocles, and the Democrats have no answer. In 2008, candidate Barack Obama declared that George W. Bush was “unpatriotic” for adding $4 trillion to the debt “by his lonesome” in eight years. President Obama has added $5 trillion so far.

23 million unemployed. Mr. Obama promised that under his plan, unemployment would be down to 5.6 percent by now (or, without his plan, 6.0 percent). Instead it’s 8.3 percent. There are 300,000 fewer jobs in America today than when Mr. Obama took office.

Obamacare. Sure, the Democrats will boast of the poll-driven “freebies” that skirt the edge of their health care takeover, but they will avoid the linchpin of the program: the individual mandate. They’ll avoid the Supreme Court ruling that Obamacare is a tax (which makes Mr. Obama a court-certified tax raiser). They will ignore that the Congressional Budget Office recently declared that the Obamacare price tag had doubled to nearly $2 trillion.

Middle-class tax hikes. “I can make a firm pledge,” candidate Obama promised in 2008, “under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” The court-certified tax raiser in chief unleashed 20 new taxes within Obamacare alone, and that was before the Supreme Court declared the individual mandate itself to be a tax.

Food stamps. In the Obama era, a historic high 1 in 7 Americans is on food stamps — 45 million souls. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi thinks food stamps (and unemployment benefits) are the “biggest bang for the buck” to stimulate the economy, and Mr. Obama’s U.S. Department of Agriculture, amazingly, encouraged food-stamp parties. (“Make it fun by having activities, games, food and entertainment.”) And he wonders why we call him the food-stamp president.

Downgraded America. Soon after the Democrats rejected the Republicans’ Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011, Mr. Obama became the first president in our history to preside over our nation’s credit-rating downgrade.

General Motors’ (GM) costly bailout. You’ll hear claims that Mr. Obama saved GM, but since the government takeover, the troubled automaker has lost 49 percent of its value relative to the Dow and continues to lose market share. Taxpayers are $16 billion in the red, and now Mr. Obama wants to repeat this bailout magic for “every industry.”

There’s so much more the Democrats will ignore at their empty-chair convention:

Failed $831 billion stimulus. History’s largest slush fund for unions and party cronies.

Medicare raid. Mr. Obama and the Democrats are taking $716 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare.

Median household income is down under Mr. Obama, from $54,983 to $50,964.

Gas prices are up under Mr. Obama, from $1.85 a gallon to $3.78.

Blocking the Keystone XL pipeline and preventing the creation of 20,000 associated jobs.

Fast and Furious, which armed Mexican drug cartels with American guns.

Budget. It’s been more than three years since the Democrats have offered one.

Solyndra. The green boondoggle wasted hundreds of millions of tax dollars to enrich Democratic corporate cronies and their bankrupt companies as they funneled campaign contributions back to the party.

Tax-funded abortions. Barack Obama voted three times to deny medical care to a baby — or as he calls him, “a fetus outside of the womb” — that had survived a botched abortion.

So pay close attention to the Democrats’ empty-chair convention. Print out or cut out this column and use it as a checklist. Do the Democrats care enough about America — do they care enough about you and your children — to address our nation’s looming threats? Or are they simply trying to distract you from them?

Dr. Milton R. Wolf, a Washington Times columnist, is a radiologist and President Obama’s cousin. He blogs at miltonwolf.com.

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