by Daniel Gardner
Only in America could voters believe all the stuff coming out of the mouths of politicians during an election year, particularly a presidential election year. Remember 2008? Remember all the promises? We're going to bring our nation together again. We're going solve this economic crisis. We're going to make sure everybody has access to health care. We're going to spread the wealth. These are just the tip of the iceberg.
How have these promises panned out? America is more politically polarized than ever, and President Obama is orchestrating a divide and conquer campaign creating wars against women, the Supreme Court, Congress, rich people, corporations, oil companies, insurance companies, fat cats on Wall Street, and lazy dogs in the workplace.
Why has this administration not only been unable to get us out of this economic mess, but has actually made the crisis worse? It's George W. Bush's fault! Still, after nearly three-and-a-half years at the helm, Mr. Obama says it's Bush's fault!
Remember the good old days when gas averaged $1.89/gallon? How about when unemployment was below 8 percent? Remember those days when only 32-million of us depended on food stamps? Yes, there was a time when homes not only maintained their values, but also actually rose in value.
We have lost so many jobs that our workforce is the same size it was 30 years ago! The Congressional Budget Office says real unemployment in America is 15 percent. Inflation is ravishing food and other commodity prices and paychecks are stagnant.
When Democrats took over Congress after the 2006 elections, they passed a budget creating a deficit of $459 billion. The deficit under Republican control the previous year was $161 billion. Since then deficits have soared: FY '09 $1.413 Trillion, FY '10 $1.293 Trillion, FY '11 $1.3 Trillion, and FY '12 $1.327 Trillion. Interest alone on our ballooning debt will crush our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. They will be born into an America that no longer knows the extravagant benefits we've shamefully wasted.
Mr. Obama is not the first president to inherit a recession. George W. inherited Clinton's recession. Bill Clinton inherited George H. W. Bush's recession. I guess turnabout is fair play! And, Ronald Reagan inherited Jimmy Carter's recession which was far worse in many ways than the recession Mr. Obama inherited. The difference is all three presidents got us out of recessions and into prosperous times before the ends of their first terms.
Today we're struggling with a sluggish Gross Domestic Product growth rate around 2 percent, record high unemployment and underemployment, high gas prices, and inflating food and commodity prices.
Mr. Obama has patterned his economic policies after the Keynesian policies under FDR, and we've seen similar results. At the end of Mr. Roosevelt's second term, Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr. said, "After eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started." But, FDR was popular and he won an unprecedented two more terms even though his policies depressed the economy for years.
Mr. Obama is popular too, but four more years of his policies will produce more of the same we've seen since he became president in spite of whomever he chooses to blame.