This week, Obama showed himself once again to be out of touch with both Americans and with the current debt situation in the United States. He spoke of the determination, optimism, and fundamental decency in Americans that lives on and yet he seemed to suggest that that meant Americans would be determined to pass his health care reform and massive entitlement expansion. If Obama wants his presidency to be a success and for our economy to turn around, he will need to learn the lessons of the recent elections. To regain his footing with the American people, he will have to do more than institute a delayed, short-term, token spending freeze and acknowledge that the key to pulling us out of this recession lies with the innovation and motivation of the American people—not with yet another expensive program.
In his speech, he promised that he wouldn’t do what was popular, but would do what was necessary. Unfortunately, it seems he has done neither. Over the past year he has pushed and shoved a tremendously unpopular health care agenda, and attempted to buy off the last Senate vote with $100 million of our tax dollars. His tax and regulatory policies, in one year, have dropped us, according to the Heritage Foundation’s 2010 edition of the Index of Economic Freedom, for the first time ever, from being the land of the free, to the land of the “mostly free.”
And even as he promised yet another “jobs” bill, he is 7 million jobs short of where he promised we would be right now. He promised a growth of 3.5 million in the last year and instead lost over 3.5 million. Last year, federal spending reached the highest level in American history outside WWII, and under his leadership, the public debt is projected by the CBO to triple to $22.1 trillion by 2020. And his crumb that he tossed to Americans was a paltry $447 billion spending freeze which won’t even take effect until a year from now and is only a tiny sliver of our $3.5 trillion budget and only a portion of his own $862 billion stimulus plan – which has failed. His mission of change has brought Americans into a dangerous situation.
Americans have responded to this failed way of handling our economy and this blind policy by reminding him that what had been claimed as “Kennedy’s seat,” was truly “the people’s seat.” But, as evidenced by his speech last night, he clearly has not gotten the message from the election results in the states of Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. For his presidency to remain effective and for his policies to work, he must listen to the American people, push back his own ideas a little and realize that big government is not the way to go.
As Obama noted, Americans have ideas and are motivated people, unafraid to take risks. What he did not acknowledge was our fierce independence and our profound love for freedom. It is the ingenuity of individual Americans that has made this country so successful–not government programs and expansions. Americans have never wanted the huge government safety net which can also double as a noose. Obama’s current policies would leave the next generation with only the memory of freedom, a country that is hobbled in the world, and one giant debt to pay.
Surrounded by like-minded advisers, Obama seems to only hear echoes of his own voice. He tunes out the poll numbers and election results and focuses on his out-of-touch policy goals. Our forefathers, whom he referenced, took the risk to come to this land for freedom. That spirit of determination and fundamental decency endures; we still love freedom. He said, “Again we are tested, and again, we must answer history’s call.” Should he continue along this path which in the past year has robbed people of opportunity, he may find, true to American nature, history’s call be to stop his own agenda.