I never expected President Barack Obama to be promoting my new book, “Crimes Against Liberty,” but that’s virtually what’s happened with his recent speeches on the economy. It’s as if he’s determined to validate every premise I assert in “Crimes Against Liberty.”
All the elements are there: his thin-skinned narcissism, his deceit, his militant partisanship, his bullying and his dogged adherence to his disastrous policy agenda against all evidence of its failure and against the express will of the American people.
His full-throated class warfare was on clear display. With him, it’s always us against them. He praised “Wisconsin’s working men and women,” that is union members, as if no one else works or contributes to the economy or society.
Expanding on this theme, he paid homage to the middle class — the people whose taxes “in any form” he promised he would never raise — before signing the excise tax on tobacco, trying to pass the cap-and-trade bill, shoving through Obamacare and its 14 to 19 new taxes, which will total some half a trillion dollars over the next decade and fall hardest on middle-income groups. A value-added tax is even on the table.
He claims to be the middle class’s greatest champion but fails to explain why his economic policies — not George W. Bush’s, not John Boehner’s — are devastating that very group and bankrupting our children’s futures.
No, the acceptance of personal accountability is not in his makeup. It’s still Bush’s fault that our unemployment rate hovers between 9 and 10 percent despite Obama’s promise that it would not exceed 8 percent if he passed his stimulus bill. Now he says “there’s no silver bullet” to fix these problems. But that’s not what he said during the campaign. He was the silver bullet who would cause the oceans to subside and whose policies would “jump-start this economy again.”
He ratcheted up his class warfare theme with this assertion that only those at the top of the economic ladder are doing well, while the middle class is being left behind. If that’s true, does it mean he will finally acknowledge the failure of his policies? After all, the middle class (and all groups) fared far better under President Bush. But don’t hold your breath.
Next, this self-professed “fierce advocate for the free market” proceeded to savage capitalism, saying it’s always rewarding greed and recklessness. What evidence does he have that America’s free market system tilts toward criminals? He’s the one, with his government hand-picking of winners and losers, who skews the natural workings of the market in favor of his friends and supporters.
He also engaged, as usual, in scapegoating, demonizing and bullying groups of people instead of discussing the merits of his policies. He went off again on “Wall Street,” those he consistently and unpresidentially derides as “fat cat bankers,” who are responsible for our economic problems because they took “reckless risks and cut corners to turn huge profits.”
Wrong again. The Democratic-led Congress pressured banks to take ridiculously reckless risks not for profits, but to realize its Utopian scheme of “affordable housing,” which involved making un-creditworthy loans to people who couldn’t pay them back.
He then turned his sights on the unemployment problem, saying that having a job is about more than a paycheck; it’s about people’s having “a sense of purpose.” That’s very true. But this is Obama’s economy now. His economic agenda has largely been implemented, and the economy is utterly stagnating.
Yet he remains in campaign mode, as if he were still an outsider. It’s surreal. If he truly wants to give people the sense of purpose that only their jobs can provide, then why does he extend unemployment benefits in perpetuity and create a disincentive for people to go back to work?
Amazingly, Obama’s stated prescription to jump-start the economy now is to spend another $50 billion of money confiscated from the private sector for infrastructure improvements. This is becoming cartoonish. If an almost $800 billion stimulus bill didn’t get the economy moving, how does he expect us to believe a mere fraction of that amount would do it? And don’t get me started about how he presented his stimulus bill as an infrastructure booster and then allocated only 7 percent of those funds toward infrastructure. Nor should I comment on his otherworldly claim that he is “committed to fiscal responsibility.”
And he has the audacity to complain about being mistreated. “They treat me like a dog”? You mean they treat you like you and your party have been treating Bush for 10 years, including your slanders in your speeches this week?
This whole thing is disgraceful, and people across America now recognize it. Obama has about five notes, and he plays them over and over in cacophonous disharmony. The more he talks the less people believe him. It’s not as if we can’t compare his rhetoric with the results.