Obama’s excuses are wearing thin
STEVE HUNTLEY email@example.com October 6, 2011 9:24PM
Updated: November 16, 2011 10:06AM
For years, the ritual response from the White House to the nation’s economic problems was to blame the Bush administration — President Barack Obama inherited this mess. With that excuse wearing thin after nearly three years of his administration and a persistently weak economic pulse, Obama has found a new reason for the country’s woes: Americans grew soft.
“This is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft, and we didn’t have the same competitive edge that we needed,” Obama told Orlando, Fla., TV station WESH this week. That’s, well, an interesting explanation for the housing collapse caused in large measure by government-promoted lax mortgage loan standards and low interest policies.
Obama’s comment was the latest manifestation of the administration’s proclivity to blame someone else — anyone else — for the failure of its policies to restore the economic vitality of the country.
Lately, Obama and other Democratic leaders have taken to complaining that Republicans are putting party ahead of country by opposing his economic legislation. In other words, the GOP is unpatriotic. That’s a dramatic turnaround for Democrats who angrily bristled whenever someone suggested a lack of patriotism in their criticism of the Bush administration policies.
We should never be surprised by hypocrisy in politics. Still, both parties would do the country and the cause of a more civil discourse a great favor if all insinuations of insufficient patriotism were banned from our politics.
Obama is trying to set the table for the 2012 election to portray himself as running against a do-nothing Congress. The problem is that half of Congress, the Senate, is controlled by his party. Obama has been on the campaign trail demanding that Congress vote on his latest stimulus package. So Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) proposed a vote on the measure Tuesday, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wouldn’t allow it because he knew it didn’t have enough Democratic votes to pass.
The problem with Obama’s jobs bill spiel is that voters see it for what it is, politicking. Polls show a lack of faith in his stimulus measure to create jobs.
What’s more, he was disingenuous in arguing his case for the bill during his news conference Thursday. He said it has tax cuts and credits Republicans should like. The problem is that those are temporary measures, which have been shown to be inadequate in inspiring business confidence for the very reason that they are not permanent measures to give job creators and investors certainty about the future tax environment.
Combine a poorly conceived, politically motivated jobs bill with White House excuses, unprecedented spending, an avalanche of new regulations, wasteful commitment of tax dollars to green energy illusions like Solyndra, hostility to domestic fossil fuels and anti-business rhetoric, and it’s no wonder that investors and business executives are sitting on trillions in capital instead of making job-creating investments.
Things have gone so badly for the economy under this president that Obama admitted in an ABC News interview that Americans are not better off than they were four years ago. That, he said, has made him the “underdog” in the 2012 election. If that’s true, Obama has no one to blame but himself and his wrong-headed policies.