Obama pursuing losing strategy

September 14, 2011


“If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person.” — Bill Clinton

Nearly every time President Obama delivers a speech about the economy or jobs, something bad happens. His speech to Congress last Thursday night is the latest example. The next day, the Dow Jones Industrial Averages plunged 303 points, a decline replicated in other indexes in the U.S. and overseas.

This president is such a prisoner of his leftist ideology he seems incapable of pulling a Clinton and triangulating to get something done that motivates the private sector to hire workers and spur economic growth.

How many more of these speeches must we endure before everyone realizes his ideas and proposals aren’t working? Repeatedly in his Thursday speech the president appealed to Congress to “pass” his “jobs bill.” From the White House Rose Garden Monday, he announced that the bill was on its way to Congress. Let the political posturing begin!

The president claimed to have signed within a month of taking office “the biggest middle-class tax cut in history.” Washington Post’s Fact Checker columnist Glenn Kessler called his claim “ridiculous.” Kessler gave him four Pinocchios, his highest award for dissembling.

The president’s approval numbers continue to fall because the public is slowly getting it. In 2009, in another speech, the president promised his stimulus policies would create 3 to 4 million new jobs by the end of 2010. They haven’t come close. In fact, jobs were lost, leaving a net deficit of 6.7 millions jobs since the recession began, according to Heritage Foundation calculations and U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics figures.

President Obama is like a lost man who refuses to ask for directions. That’s because he has never worked in the real world with people who create real jobs. He operates on theories and an ideology that is incapable of achieving his goals.

Example: He speaks mostly of redistributing wealth, not creating wealth. He wants us to hate the wealth creators, rather than follow their example. The result has been a growing dependency on government, robbing too many of their liberty and opportunity.

Like the floodwaters that have devastated the northeast, the federal government has overrun its constitutional limits. It should not be spending and borrowing more, but less.

The biggest contributor to economic uncertainty is Obamacare. Businesses don’t know what their costs will be and so some are either getting waivers (if they are politically friendly to the administration), or ending private insurance for their employees.

Ask yourself: If the federal government has made such a mess of Medicare and Medicaid (not to mention stretching Social Security to the breaking point) what reasonable hope is there that it will do better with an even larger national health care monstrosity? One might as well spring Bernie Madoff from prison and put him in charge of stock portfolios.

There was a time in America not too long ago when people mostly looked out for themselves and their relatives. Parents cared for their children when they were little and the children returned the favor when their parents got old. Now we dump the kids in day care and they return the favor by dumping their elderly parents in nursing homes. The Fifth Commandment about honoring your mother and father was once taken seriously. Now it’s the government’s responsibility because too many think we are constitutionally mandated to be free of “burdens.”

If we want government to become smaller and perform within its constitutional boundaries, we are going to have to expect less from it and more from ourselves. President Obama understands none of this because others have largely aided him throughout his life and unremarkable pre-presidential career. He has great form, but little substance, except his failed ideology. The tragedy is he has learned nothing from failure.

If the wisdom of Bill Clinton isn’t sufficient for him, here’s Sophocles, who wrote in “Antigone,” “All men may err; but he that keepeth not his folly, but repenteth, doeth well; but stubbornness cometh to great trouble.”

— Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services. His email is tmseditors@tribune.com.


cato_the_elder 6 years, 8 months ago

Excellent column. Just ask the voters of New York's ninth congressional district, heavily laden with registered Democrats, who have just elected a Republican congressman in their district - the first Republican to have been elected there since the early 1920s.

Solyndra, anyone? http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/solyndra-collapse-waste-half-billion-obama-gop-critics/story?id=14424323

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 8 months ago

Apparently you don't quite grasp the impact of Israel and US relations on that particular election. You must be from Kansas.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 8 months ago

Of course I grasp it. It's been obvious since early 2009 that Obama would alienate many American pro-Israel voters by his anti-Israel attitudes and policies. The NY9 election is excellent evidence of how many votes Obama got in 2008 that he's already lost.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 8 months ago

"Nearly every time President Obama delivers a speech about the economy or jobs, something bad happens. His speech to Congress last Thursday night is the latest example. The next day, the Dow Jones Industrial Averages plunged 303 points, a decline replicated in other indexes in the U.S. and overseas."

And worse than that-- my cat puked up the biggest hairball I've ever seen. Thanks a lot, Obama.

jaywalker 6 years, 8 months ago

Right. 'Cuz the market has never dropped like a stone the day after a President has spoken.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 8 months ago

Right. 'Cuz the only thing that happened in the whole wide world that day was the President's speech.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 8 months ago

Candidates from that party that has been declared dead many times on this award-winning website won two special elections yesterday.

madameX 6 years, 8 months ago

"The biggest contributor to economic uncertainty is Obamacare.."

Okay, I call bullcrap on this. I would think that worldwide economic uncertainty, residual problems from the mortgage crisis and the sort of self perpetuating general uncertainty that comes from everyone who's in a position to make a move that might improve the economy being too chicken be the first to make a move, among other things, would be the biggest contributors to the US's economic uncertainty. This thing you call "Obamacare" is way down there on the list.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 8 months ago

It's priceless watching both sides wrangle over "fixing" our economy. There is only one economic unit in this world, the GLOBAL economy. We can help ourselves some with a rational, balanced approach to our defict issues, but we are tied to all others on the planet even if Wall Street and Washington don't want to admit it.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 8 months ago

Yet another Kansan not grasping the massive impact of US-Israeli relations on this particular district and this particular constituency.

Wadde 6 years, 8 months ago

Obama's strategy is not losing; obama still has time to refine his projections for recovery and Employment Creativity.

Robert Schehrer 6 years, 8 months ago

No one had a chance to read Obama's Job Bill on Friday. Now that everyone has had a chance to read theJobs Bill, the stock market has been up everyday this week. The Dow is up over 200 points today.

I can be as silly as everyone else here.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 8 months ago

When are the Dems going to wise up, dump Obama, and nominate Hillary for 2012?

Kirk Larson 6 years, 8 months ago

The rich don't create wealth, they own it. Wealth is created by the people who do the work, i.e labor. In the past thirty years huge amounts of wealth have been created. Worker productivity has tripled, but wages are stagnant. Labor is not getting its fair share for all the wealth it has created. There is class warfare in America; the rich fired the first shot.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 8 months ago

Sadly, the "wealth creators" - the employees in this country - fight for the scraps and want to blame each other for lack of enough scraps.

They blame another American worker producing something for making $10 an hour more than they do...while happily supporting someone producing absolutely nothing who makes $1,000 an hour more than they do.

They don't understand why businesses hire new workers...so believe any nonsense they're told. "Crushing corporate taxes!" "Uncertainty of Obamacare!" Balderdash!

The only reason a business hires an additional worker is because they NEED an additional worker. And the only reason they need additional workers is because they have additional DEMAND that can't be met by existing workers!

Increased profits don't lead to new jobs. Increased DEMAND leads to new jobs.

Unfortunately, the type of demand Americans have created in this country is for lots of stuff for little dollars...so that American workers simply can't produce it cheaply enough.

You can't pay an American worker $10 to create a product that the same American worker wants to buy for only $5. And complaining that another American worker is getting paid $20 an hour does not change this.

I don't fault the rich for being rich, or even for getting richer. But I sure am sick and tired of listening to the whining of the people who make it possible, then complain about their own lacks and losses.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 8 months ago

I find it interesting that Cal Thomas keeps criticizing Obama for having "never worked in the real world with people who create real jobs".

However Cal never mentions that that description actually fits him perfectly as well. Cal has always worked in media. He has never worked in the "real" world himself

(Media? Real world? Hahahahahahaha.)

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