Obama’s policies regarding our economy have been an unmitigated abject failure but you will never read this in the far left “main stream” media. They will make little or no mention of his failed, irrational actions.
Because Obama’s their man!
To them, this is still Bush’s fault as well as of the Republican Party. They will never admit to the fecklessness and ideological rigidity of Obama’s policies and the profound damage that is has and is causing.
Who's Turning U.S. Into The Third World?
Investor’s Business Daily 04/15/2011
Economy: President Obama says Republicans, if they get their way, will turn the U.S. into a "Third World" nation. Has he looked recently at the course he's set us on? As psychologists say, it sounds like projection to us.
One of the cheapest tricks in political rhetoric is to accuse your opponents of doing something bad that you yourself are doing. That's exactly what President Obama did when he charged that GOP efforts to restore fiscal responsibility would turn us into "a nation of potholes, and our airports would be worse than places ... that we used to call the Third World."
Never mind that most of what he's talking about — like "potholes" and airports — have always been local priorities. And Obama is U.S. president, not U.S. mayor.
But what stuck in our craw was that "Third World" crack. Excuse us, isn't that the way we've been heading under Obama? Consider for a moment these trends:
• Real earnings have fallen for five straight months, and are down 1% since the end of last year.
• Consumer price inflation is growing at a 6.1% annual rate over the last three months, while producer prices are rising an even-faster 13%. According to John Williams of the Shadow Government Statistics website, if we measure consumer prices the way we did before 1992, inflation is now running at 10% a year.
• The U.S. has added $6 trillion to its debt under Obama, a sure sign of being on the road to Third World status. Three years ago, the U.S. had $7.9 trillion in debt. Today, we have $14 trillion. Bankrupt, hyperinflated Zimbabwe couldn't do any better.
• The U.S. dollar has fallen so much and foreign nations have so little confidence in our ability to run our fiscal affairs that the "BRIC" nations — the mostly fast-growing former Third World nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China — are talking about replacing the U.S. dollar in foreign trade with the Chinese yuan.
• Just 45.4% of Americans had jobs last year, the lowest since 1983, according to census data crunched by USA Today. Among men, just 66.8% had work last year, the lowest ever.
• Obama touts the "recovery" that supposedly began in June of 2009, but a look at the data show that last year's real private sector GDP was in fact still down 1.1% from its peak in 2007 — so all of the "expansion" has been in government, not the private sector.
• While we're at it, under Obama, spending has risen farther and faster than under any president in history. At current rates, government at all levels will take up more than half of all economic activity by 2050.
Can't happen here, you say? In 1920, Argentina was one of the five richest countries on Earth. Then it followed policies similar to Obama's — kowtowing to unions, government control of industry, price controls. It crashed, burned and never really recovered.
We're headed down that road. Today, government spending is at a record 25% of GDP, while government regulation costs the U.S. economy $1.7 trillion a year.
As Vice President Biden might say, "That's real Third World, man."
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A basic tenet of the Republicans is that reducing government spending and the debt stimulate private businesses and result in a growing economy. This is just the opposite of the failed approaches of Obama and the Democrats (and the news media and liberal intelligentsia) who believe that a bigger and more massively spending government is the correct and only solution.
The last two years of abject failure of these Democratic policies have clearly shown that this approach does not work. Conversely, extensive research involving similar situations including in other countries has revealed that a significant reduction in government spending and in the level of debt will lead to real and substantial growth both short and long term.
This is exactly what several key Republicans are championing and what we need to support.
Spend Less And Owe Less To Make Economy Grow
Rep. Kevin Brady 03/23/2011
For the past two years, Americans have been told that the only way to economic recovery is more federal spending that drives up federal debt. The White House and Washington Democrats continue to cling to this failed economic model, refusing to listen to the voices of respected economists in America.
The job gap between Democratic promises and the results is significant. After nearly $5 trillion in fiscal and monetary stimulus, there are 2.3 million fewer jobs today than when the stimulus began. The White House fell more than 7 million jobs short of its year-end 2010 forecast, and our unemployment rate is far above the promised 6.9%.
The "government spending is the answer" crowd had their chance to jump-start the economy. They failed. It's time for a proven approach.
Congressional Republicans are determined to remove barriers to new jobs by reducing America's dangerous budget deficits and removing the uncertainty that deters businesses from hiring new workers.
Private business investment, not the government, is the engine of job creation in America. Comparing federal spending and private-sector job growth over the past 40 years shows little correlation between the two. Just the opposite: As federal spending grew, jobs on Main Street shrank.
Since 1971, when private business investment grew — that is, companies both large and small bought buildings, equipment, and software — jobs in the private sector grew. For job creation, there is no substitute for private business investment — not federal spending, not rebates, not "shovel ready" projects.
With nearly $2 trillion in capital on the sidelines, it's time to reject Washington-centric policies and instead encourage business investment to again flow naturally into America's economy.
A new report, "Spend Less, Owe Less, Grow the Economy," unveiled this week by the Joint Economic Committee Republicans, surveys economic studies examining countries with developed economies like ours that struggled with rising government debt. It proves that countries which reduce their government deficits through spending cuts can boost economic growth and job creation even in the short term.
Respected economists found 21 instances between 1970 and 2007 where 10 developed countries successfully reduced their debt-to-GDP ratio by 4.5 percentage points or more based predominantly or entirely on spending cuts. Countries that increased taxes were much less successful.
When government debt shrank through spending cuts, jobs grew. For example, neighboring Canada reduced total government spending by 12.8 percentage points of GDP between 1994 and 2006 and boosted its economic growth from under 1% to a robust 3.4% average. Sweden's economy was shrinking in the early 1990s. After reducing Swedish government spending by 11.4 percentage points of GDP from 1994 to 2000, Sweden's economy revived with growth averaging 3.4%. New Zealand experienced the same.
They are not alone. U.S. economists found 26 episodes in nine developed counties where reducing debt through spending cuts provided a large boost to economic growth in the first three years after their fiscal consolidation began.
That's the critical point: While most economists agree that reducing federal spending increases economic growth in the long term, this analysis of economic studies found that reducing federal spending through spending cuts boosts economic growth and job creation in the short term as well.
Two factors drove these pro-growth turnarounds. First, businesses no longer expected the government to levy large tax increases in the future to pay for excessive spending — so businesses stepped up their investment in buildings, equipment and software. Business investment, as we've shown, equals jobs. Second, families no longer facing higher taxes had higher expectations for permanent disposable income and became more confident to make major purchases for homes and autos.
According to the study, to maximize growth and job creation the spending reductions must be "large, credible and difficult to reverse once made." The cuts that produced the greatest economic growth include: right-sizing the government workforce, eliminating duplicative agencies and programs, eliminating transfer payments (subsidies) to businesses, and reforming and reducing transfer payments (entitlements) to individuals.
Moreover, the study found evidence of strong economic growth effects from reforming government pensions and health care to make them "sustainable and solvent," even when the reforms are phased in slowly and exempt current beneficiaries from change.
To preserve the bloated size of our federal government, President Obama and congressional Democrats loudly decry the risk of reducing America's deficits now. But they ignore the risk of delay.
As this study shows, ample real-life data prove that there are significant economic growth and job creation benefits from reducing spending and reforming entitlement programs to restore their sustainability for future generations.
It's time to stop listening to the economists and politicians who were wrong about the stimulus and instead take a different, proven path forward. To grow America's economy, it's time for Washington to spend less and owe less.
• Brady, R-Texas, is the top Republican on the Joint Economic Committee.
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Obama is an enemy of the American middle class. This is not partisan rhetoric or a visceral reaction but instead a position by design.
By Obama himself.
Obama is an irrefutable socialist (and worse) who is quite comfortable surrounding himself with other socialists and communists (Van Jones, et al). Part of his ideological position is supporting and fighting for the underclass at the expense of the middle class.
This is a basic tenet of communism as elucidated below.
Of course, this is the antithesis of our capitalist free market system which is based on productive labor rather than wealth transfer facilitated by a monolithic omnipotent central government which is Obama’s ideal.
Obama's War on the Middle Class
Jeffrey Folks March 23, 2011
Whenever he is in campaign mode, President Obama goes to great lengths to remind voters that he is "struggling to defend the middle class." As he did in January 2010, Obama speaks of the middle class as "under assault" (by whom he does not specify). In his Labor Day radio address of 2010, he spoke of his "commitment to the middle class." As evidence of this commitment, Obama established a "Middle Class Task Force" early in his presidency chaired by Vice-President Biden. With Biden in charge, why worry?
It should be obvious that Obama and the left wing of the Democratic Party are not struggling to defend the middle class. Most of the time they are struggling to disenfranchise it by ignoring the basic rights of human liberty and of property that are guaranteed under our Constitution.
The 18% real rate of unemployment during Obama's first two years in office has not done much for the middle class. At the same time, there has been an enormous transfer of wealth from the middle class to the underclass. ObamaCare, financial services reform, mortgage reform, education reform, tax reform: in all of these areas, the administration's efforts have been to create and expand services for the poor at the expense of the middle class.
Whether it is the free health care promised to tens of millions of new Medicaid recipients or mortgage principle reductions ("cramdowns") promoted at every turn by his Justice Department, Obama acts like a political general in the class war -- the war of the government services-dependent poor and unionized public sector against the middle class. Among the first acts of his administration were the expansion "making work pay" and child credit benefits: welfare of the sort that had been trimmed by the GOP Congresses of the 1990s.
Whether it is benefits for the underclass or more power for public sector unions, Obama is intent on cementing power based on the loyal support of the underclass and unionized labor. But to complete the task, he must deceive the middle classes for a bit longer by appearing to move to the center. The independent middle class voter, the very class of citizen that is most endangered by his presidency, is key to his reelection. In order to win reelection, he needs to convince them that he is safe.
But nothing Obama has done has benefited the middle class. That much should be clear just from what is happening with consumers' pocketbooks.
The recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report on consumer prices is a telling indication of the effects of Obama's policies on the middle class. During the past 12 months, gas prices are up nearly 20%. While global markets largely determine oil prices, Obama's assault on drilling and his weak-dollar policy have not helped things. Had the President pursued a pro-drilling policy and defended the dollar, gas prices would have been substantially lower. Even at this late date, if the administration were to signal support for expanded drilling, world energy markets would respond by lowering the price of oil, thus lowering the price the middle class pays at the pump.
Gas prices hit the middle class disproportionately hard. Bill Gates spends an infinitesimal portion of his earnings on energy bills, and the urban underclass pay little. But the middle class, most of whom commute some distance to work, are shelling out a great deal more each month. The same for food prices, which are up substantially above the "core rate" of inflation. The underclass benefit from increased food stamp subsidies; Gates has probably never shopped. It is the middle class that bears all the burdens under Obama.
The passage of ObamaCare was supposed to lower the cost of health care for practically all Americans. This, in fact, was one of the main rationales for its adoption. Again and again, Obama promised that his health care reform bill would lower the cost of health care -- by $100 billion (he likes big round numbers, for some reason), by $200 billion, by $500 billion over the next ten years.
But since ObamaCare was passed, health care costs for the middle class are way up. Over the past 12 months the cost of private medical insurance, where it can be purchased at all, is up by as much as 59%. Hospital costs are up 6%, nearly three times the rate of core inflation. The cost of the most widely prescribed drugs has increased well above the rate of inflation, driven up by the prospect of future government regulation. None of this has helped the middle class. It is, in fact, part and parcel of a calculated transfer of wealth from the middle class to the underclass.
It's not just energy and health care. Other prices that are influenced by government policy have gone up disproportionately to those in the less regulated market. Educational expenses are up 4%, twice the rate of core inflation. Again, it is the middle class that has been hit. College tuition, private school tuition, and child care -- these costs impact the middle class, not the Warren Buffets of the world, and not the underclass who receive full "need based" scholarships, magnet school preferences, and subsidized child care.
It does not help that, as announced Monday, sales of previously owned homes fell in February to their worst level in nine years. Middle-class homeowners who are now under water on their loans will have to wait a bit longer to break even. Boomers eyeing a place in the sun are going to have a hard time selling their current home before moving.
As Obama understands all too well, one of the hallmarks of all socialist countries is the absence of an independent middle class. From the Bolshevik experiment in Russia to socialist Venezuela today, it is necessary for communist leaders to eliminate that class of citizens who are not dependent on government for their welfare.
Political theorists from Aristotle to Locke understood that a truly independent and prosperous middle class was essential to the collective well-being of any society. The middle class has always, in every society, been characterized by qualities of social restraint and economic realism -- a shrewd and skeptical conservatism that serves to restrain the grandiose plans of utopian revolutionaries and embittered reactionaries alike.
Throughout its history American society in particular has been the beneficiary of an aspiring middle class whose efforts have created the world's greatest democracy. It is an ominous sign that the political left, with the loyal support of more than a third of our population, is intent on its destruction.
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These are not halcyon days but judging by Obama’s frivolous and hedonist activities, you may be fooled. He has consumed plenty of time assessing and completing picks for the NCAA basketball brackets. Obama has also indulged in several White House parties, money raising events, basketball and golfing outings over the last few weeks. This weekend he is even going to Rio.
Zero leadership or signs of responsibility.
The budget is at an impasse with an impending government shut-down. Obama’s only contribution here was an irresponsible, reckless and disingenuous plan adding $1.7 billion to the deficit just in one year.
Effective unemployment is over 10% and underemployment is around 20%. Tens of millions of Americans are suffering … while Obama parties and cavorts.
Revolutions and uprisings are occurring all over the Mideast and thousands are being slaughtered in Libya. Egypt. Tunisia. Bahrain. Saudia Arabia. Obama is “monitoring” the situations.
Iran continues developing nuclear weapon capabilities and is exporting and subsidizing terrorism. Obama is not home right now.
A nuclear apocalypse may be evolving in Japan. Obama has said little.
The list goes on…
This “president” is a disaster for America and the world.
More vehemence need be expressed and effective actions taken against him to rectify these situations.
The White House Disengages
Investor’s Business Daily 03/15/2011
Leadership: When Democrats held Congress, the Obama agenda was audacious. Today, faced with global unrest and an economic reckoning, the president is filling out basketball brackets and scolding school bullies.
'There is only one president," Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., told Politico this week, when asked if President Obama should be exercising leadership toward reforming America's out-of-control entitlement spending programs, such as Medicare and Social Security.
The soothsayer famously told Julius Caesar to "beware the ides of March." One of the priority items for Obama on Tuesday, March 15, was taping his picks for the NCAA basketball tournament.
Last week, the president and the first lady were holding a "White House Conference on Bullying Prevention," at which he recalled being taunted because of "big ears and the name that I have." He lamented recent youthful suicides, such as those of Ty Field and Carl Walker-Hoover.
We can't just accept that "kids will be kids," Obama insisted, citing data showing that many American students have been "pushed, shoved, tripped, even spit on."
Then, of course, there is the partying. Late last month, the president and first lady treated themselves to an East Room concert by Smokey Robinson, Sheryl Crow, comedian Jamie Foxx and others. At previous soirees, the Obama White House has hosted Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Tony Bennett, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and even a cavalcade of stars from Broadway shows.
And let's not forget former Beatle Paul McCartney being flown in from England to sing "Michelle" to the first lady and attack President George W. Bush from the East Room stage.
As House Speaker John Boehner's office has pointed out, when Democrats were running Congress and Obama's legacy was at stake, the president "went 'all in' to push through his job-crushing health care law."
Now, after historic elections in which the voters were so troubled by the Democrats' trillions of dollars in new spending that they turned over the House to the Republicans, Obama chooses to play small ball.
The president plans new spending of $8.7 trillion, which would add over $7 trillion to the national debt during the coming decade. At more than three-fourths of the entire U.S. economy, this spending comes to nearly twice the debt that plagued us before the recession.
Yet as the federal government goes deeper into debt but keeps expanding, we have a president using the bully pulpit to generate enthusiasm for Washington bureaucrats supervising kids' elementary school recess. Instead of videotaping basketball picks, why isn't Obama working hard to find common ground with House Republicans as they craft proposals for the fundamental reform of Medicare and Medicaid?
There can be no budget balancing without reduced Medicare and Social Security benefits, and everyone knows it. But members of Congress from both parties won't embrace cuts or raise the retirement age absent presidential leadership. So where is it?
If we're to believe what White House aides have again and again told the press, one of this president's favorite maxims is, "Let's not play small ball." But what Obama is doing now is chapter and verse out of the Bill Clinton manual on triangulation — and its ultimate purpose is his own political self-preservation.
Clinton fought urban crime by funding midnight basketball tournaments and emptily promising 100,000 new police. He "reformed" public education by requiring school uniforms. And he "cleaned up" the culture by requiring TVs to have V-chips — which surveys show hardly any parents ever use.
The Japan earthquakes are threatening the nuclear power renaissance this president promised, the U.S. is impotent as the Mideast burns and Islamist terrorists wait to exploit the instability, and our still-tepid economy remains threatened by out-of-control entitlements.
Conrad says "there is only one president." But where is he? And how many more Democrats will it take to get him to step up and fulfill his responsibilities.
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For those of us who knew that Obama the candidate for President was not who he claimed that he was and that he posed a substantial danger to America, we are not surprised by his attacks on the foundations of America. What is somewhat shocking and disheartening is how rapidly, severe and widespread his destructive actions have been on our way of life, rights, finances, freedoms, security, future, etc. There are no epochs in our history that have been anywhere near as noxious for the Country or the individual as this “president’s” two years.
To paraphrase one of his (narcissistic) slogans: “He is the one that the Founding Fathers were warning us about.”
Obama must be stopped. Neither the United States nor much of the world can afford 2 more years of his arrogant, corrupt, criminal, narcissistic, profligate, hedonistic misrule and tyranny.
Obama's First Two Years a Disaster for America
Chad Stafko March 16, 2011
Recall the euphoria that surrounded Barack Obama during the 2008 election season and after he was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States. Life was going to be blue skies and rainbows, or at least we were told, with hope and change on the way. The American people would be better off and so would our nation with Obama in control. After a little more than two years as the President, those blue skies have turned gray with not the slightest hint of a rainbow.
Some professed that with Barack Obama as President, the staples of life would become affordable if not altogether free. Surely you remember Peggy Joseph who said, at a Barack Obama campaign event in August 2008, that she would not have to worry about paying for her gas and mortgage. Consider what has happened to those staples of life during the Obama presidency.
As of March 14, the average price of regular unleaded gasoline was $3.57/gallon. When Obama took office in January 2009, the price was $1.81/gallon. That represents more than a 90% increase in just over two years.
To put that in perspective, assume you have a 40 mile round trip commute to work, your car gets 20 miles per gallon and that prices remain the same going forward. Relative to January 2009, you are paying about $18 more per week and about $72 more per month at the pump.
The pertinent question we might ask is, "What has President Obama done in the past two years to limit the rise of oil and gasoline prices, if anything?" The answer is...nothing. If anything, his policies have contributed towards rising prices. Recall the moratorium he enacted on oil drilling following the BP oil spill that further limited the supply of the commodity from our own waters. His failure to support drilling in ANWR and his overt allegiance to the anti-drilling environmental fringe has also directly contributed to less supply of oil and therefore higher oil prices.
Ms. Joseph also looked forward to Obama paying her mortgage. Well, many Americans don't have to worry about a mortgage anymore, as they've had their houses foreclosed. In 2009, a record 2,824,674 foreclosures took place, while 2,872,892 foreclosures occurred in 2010. In other words, 5.7 million families have lost their homes, but at least they're not up all night wondering how they will pay their mortgage.
It just wasn't supposed to be this way, at least in the eyes of the 53% of voters who cast their ballot for Barack Obama. After all, President Obama's policies were going to reignite the economy and keep the unemployment rate below 8% at least that is what we were told, thereby making those aforementioned mortgages affordable. The opposite has occurred.
In December 2008, President Bush's final full month in office, the nation's unemployment rate stood at 7.3%. From that point until December 2010, a period in which Obama benefited from accommodative Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, the unemployment rate rose to 10.1% at one time and remained at or above 9.5% from July 2009 until November 2010.
This resulted despite unprecedented government spending labeled as "economic stimulus."
What happened? Instead of a surge in America's economic growth, we've seen a surge in America's deficit. Under the direction of President Obama, the United States has seen its deficit increase by more than $3 trillion or by nearly $10,000 for every man, woman, and child in America.
Then there was the promise of "When there's a bill that ends up on my desk, as President, you, the public, will have five days to look online to find out what's in it before I sign it...." Again, the reality has been the complete opposite.
Rewind to March 2010, when then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in reference to the ObamaCare bill, said, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." Really? I thought that 2,700 page bill would be posted on the Internet for all to view for five days. Instead, it was rushed through and pushed down our throats, despite most Americans not in favor of it. Again, Obama failed to deliver, as he has time after time.
We are now just after the halfway point of the Obama presidency. Based on the facts, we are no better off as a nation than we were when Obama took office. The average American citizen has failed to see an improvement in his or her lifestyle versus two years ago. This is a presidency, up to this point, that has been an absolute disaster for our nation and our people.
Chad Stafko is a writer and political consultant living in the Midwest. He can be reached at email@example.com
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To push his Green agenda, Obama and is environmental radicals want to see the price of gas skyrocket. In fact, his Administration has stated in the past that they have no problem with gas being at $5 or even $8 per gallon as it would result in less usage and a cleaner environment.
It is no coincidence that Obama and his Administration had banned any drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and then when this was ruled illegal by the judiciary, it simple has refused to issue permits. There are severe restrictions elsewhere.
The bottom line is that there is decreased production, restricted refinery capabilities and increased dependency on foreign sources like ... Libya, Venezuela, Nigeria, etc.
Aside from sucking out any money that the American public may have left, such exorbitant prices will crush many industries and quash the nascent economic recovery.
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The consummate contemptuousness, incompetence, corruption, illegalities and destructiveness of Obama and his radical ideologies is beyond description. In his short two years which feel interminable, he has wreaked seemingly irreversible havoc on this country, its economy and citizenry. His forced and zealous transformation of America, abetted and facilitated by strategically placed and powerful Progressives and partially bankrolled by the dark force of Darth Soros, has brought our country to the precipice of bankruptcy and civil uprisings not too far from a civil war.
We must fervently and relentlessly fight this forced and unwanted transformation. The Tea Parties were spontaneously formed in response to this and have been quite effective in countering Big Government. Gov. Scott Walker and the citizens of Wisconsin versus the public unions and labor unions in general represents a critical but related battle that seeks to weaken the unions, their incestuously relationship with Big Government and the Democrats and this transformation. This is almost more important than the economic implications.
A president of misrule
Victor Davis Hanson February 24, 2011
President Obama established a bipartisan debt-reduction commission -- and then ignored its findings, which called for unpopular cuts in entitlements and spending. His first two budgets led to the largest deficits in US history. The ensuing $3 trillion in red ink prompted the Tea Party movement and led to the Democrats' largest midterm House defeat since 1938.
No matter. Obama has proposed a budget with an even larger, $1.6 trillion deficit. That record federal borrowing prompted columnist Charles Krauthammer to describe it as Louis XV indulgence, an allusion to the wild royal spending that brought about the French Revolution. Even Newsweek's Evan Thomas, who once gushed that Obama stood "above the world" as some "sort of God," called the president's new budget a "profile in cowardice."
After Obama leaves office, a perfect storm of rising international interest rates, an anemic dollar and panic on the part of foreign lenders may force an end to this unhinged American rush to borrow and blow what it has not earned.
Gas prices in many parts of the country are nearing $4 a gallon; it could get even worse as unrest spreads in the oil-exporting Mideast. Yet the Obama administration seems to see no crisis. It has curtailed leases for offshore-oil exploration for seven years and exempted thousands of acres in the West from drilling. It won't reconsider opening up small areas of Alaska with large oil reserves.
Instead, the administration in 2009 pushed through cap-and-trade legislation in the House on the dubious proposition that, in times of unusually cold US winters, the planet is warming up. Accordingly, the administration would like to tax further the already high price of fossil fuels rather than go all out to look for more. Yet importing more oil from abroad and growing more subsidized biofuels at home will lead to a disastrous trifecta of borrowing even more money, ensuring greater global pollution and causing higher world food prices.
ObamaCare was pushed through the Senate in 2009 through backroom deal-making and special perks for fence-sitting senators. The premise was that it would save both patients and the nation billions of dollars. But updated estimates now suggest that the takeover of health care will cost the country about $2 trillion over the next decade while disrupting and making more costly existing health plans.
That worry may explain why the administration has quietly granted waivers from its own "affordable" plan to some 700 organizations covering 2 million workers -- 40 percent of them union members. Long after Obama has left office, everyone else who isn't so privileged to be exempted will have to live with the consequence of a cumbersome and costly federal health bureau.
The president just weighed in on the Wisconsin budget deadlock, suggesting that Gov. Scott Walker was out to punish public-sector unions more than to figure out a way to close a $3 billion state deficit. But unlike the federal government, Walker can't print money, and he can't so easily raise taxes without losing residents who might flee to lower-tax states. That Obama wants unions to know he's on their side is clear; that he cares how Wisconsinites are going to pay for sky-high public-employee wages, benefits and health care isn't so evident.
In these lean times of nearly 10 percent unemployment and rapid hikes in gas and food prices, the president has chastised "fat cat" Wall Street bankers, the wealthy who jet to the Super Bowl, those who junket to Las Vegas, and in general suggested that strapped American families might wish to "sacrifice" and "put off a vacation."
But in "let them eat cake" style, the first family seems tone-deaf to the potential symbolism of postponing its own exclusive vacations. Michelle Obama just returned from skiing at an elite Vail, Colo., resort. Last summer, in Marie Antoinette fashion, she jetted to Costa del Sol in Spain for a costly Mediterranean vacation.
After Obama leaves office, we're all going to have to eat cake. Then a less eloquent president will have to balance budgets, pay off trillions in debt, develop more energy, come up with a sane health-care policy and in symbolic fashion have the first family share the sacrifice of a more mundane lifestyle. firstname.lastname@example.org
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