Friday, September 7, 2012
No, Don't Fool America Twice
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. It’s a cliché but a true one. After you have learned someone cannot be trusted, continuing to trust him is not just naiveté, but delusional. It is also quite common.
I am a few weeks shy of my 75th birthday and in my lifetime I do not recall a single speech more filled with demagoguery, division, and deception than the concoction of lies uttered by President Obama. But he does deliver a speech extraordinarily well. What we need now, however, is not more speeches, but solutions.
Consider Obama’s usual snake oil that was on display in his acceptance speech Thursday evening. It was truly a masterful act of deception. “The path we offer may be harder, but it leaders to a better place. And I’m asking you to choose that future.” Four more years of high unemployment? Four more years of an economy growing so slowly it barely qualifies as a recovery? A convention during which the national debt hit sixteen trillion dollars? Is that really “the path” any sensible person would choose?
His 2012 acceptance speech was full of the last three years of math trickery and unfulfilled promises. Not mentioned is that the Making Work Pay tax credit, a payroll tax cut, has been allowed to expire. Everyone’s taxes will increase next year. The Washington Post awarded him “two pinocchios” for his tax cut claims.
Should it come as any surprise that Obama was nominated by former President Bill Clinton who told a real whopper? He said that no previous president had ever been able to overcome the financial mess Obama keeps telling us he “inherited” when in fact President Ronald Reagan faced a similar daunting challenge, a recession left behind by Jimmy Carter and, within three years, began the turnaround of the economy that was historic compared to the floundering of Franklin D. Roosevelt who actually prolonged the Great Depression from 1933 to 1945.
It is instructive to go back to Obama’s equally vaporous and vacuous promises during his 2008 acceptance speech because he repeated many of them.
In 2008 he said, “Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working for less.” Well, yes, and he could have said that again last night because, during the last four years, unemployment has climbed to historic heights with an estimated 23 million Americans worse off than they were when he took office. Obama’s “path” has been more than forty months of unemployment at an office eight percent or more, but for blacks, Hispanics and the nation’s youth, it is far higher.
Are we better off today than in 2008? The answer is no.
In 2008 Obama cited our ills, but said “These challenges are not all of government’s making.” Well, yes, they were! The financial crisis that occurred in 2008 was the oft-predicted failure of Congress’s housing policies going back to FDR’s era when Fannie Mae and later Freddie Mac were created with the promise that everyone could own a home, but not then, nor now was that ever possible except for the pressures—particularly in recent years—on banks to make bad loans they knew could not be paid. They then sold them to the two government-sponsored agencies who, at the time of the collapse, owned fifty percent of all home mortgages! The federal government was forced to seize control of both and to pump more money into both.
Obama’s answer, however, was that it was—wait for it—George W. Bush’s fault; the same President who strove to get Congress to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and to address the changes needed to reform and save Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
The 2008 acceptance speech was replete with goals—promises made—such as achieving in ten years an end to our dependence on oil from the Middle East. That was perhaps the most deceitful promise in the light of the way his administration arbitrarily shut down drilling in the Gulf a Mexico after the BP accident and has thwarted all oil exploration and drilling on federally owned lands and offshore where our nation’s coasts hold billion of barrels of untapped oil and billions of cubic feet of natural gas..
Instead, the Obama administration pursued “investments” in the least productive sources of electricity, solar and wind, squandering billions as one solar company after another went bankrupt leaving the taxpayers to pick up the tab. Both solar and wind require backup by traditional coal-fired, natural gas, hydro-electric, and nuclear power plants to ensure a steady source of electricity, but the Obama administration has openly waged a war on coal mining and coal-fired power generation.
To promise that cars will go twice as far on a single gallon of gas is to defy the laws of physics. There is a finite amount of power in a gallon of gas and no amount of engineering can increase it. What can and is decreased is the safety of the car and its occupants in an accident.
And for all his talk about jobs, this President thwarted the building of the Keystone XL pipeline that would have created an estimated 20,000 jobs and who admitted that there were far fewer “shovel ready” jobs than he thought. In the process, billions in so-called stimulus money were wasted.
“I will only send our troops in harm’s way with a clear mission…” and so he increased troop strength in Afghanistan, a totally stalemated war, and announced the date the U.S. would leave! And was there a clear mission in Libya where Obama choose to “lead from behind” NATO to affect the overthrow of Gaddafi? As for the end of the war in Iraq, the withdrawal of troops had been negotiated by the Bush administration before Obama took office.
With the exception of the assassination of Osama bin Laden, the Taliban are still active in Afghanistan and will reclaim that nation when NATO forces leave. Al Qaeda has been diminished to an unknown extent but the Islamic holy war against the West will continue.
Obama’s approach to Iran has been an embarrassment and a threat to Israel, the Middle East and the West because he has shown no resolve beyond useless UN “sanctions.”
And the 2012 Democratic Party convention had to restore a platform plank acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to mention God. Delegates booed that!
To suggest as he did that “climate change”, the code word for “global warming” is not a hoax is to ignore the greatest hoax of the modern era, one which his EPA uses to justify more and more and more regulation to strangle manufacturing and business in America. Mankind has nothing to do with the planet’s climate. The cycles of the Sun does that.
To suggest that taxing a few millionaires will cure the budget deficit is a lie as America borrows more and pays more interest on an hourly basis while the national debt has reached $16 trillion; more than the value of all the goods and services this nation created and provided this year. The U.S. is broke and living off its credit card. We must restore fiscal sanity.
In one issue after another, in 2008 Obama skated by them with the oily rhetoric of a snake oil salesman and in 2012 he did the same, essentially offering the same failed policies, often using the same words.
He promised a lot of change, along with a lot of hope. The only hope left for most Americans is that the November 6th elections will remove him from office and ensure that both the Senate and House empower Congress to begin the work of real recovery from his failed policies, programs, and promises.
He fooled a lot of voters in 2008, aided in no small degree by a worshipful mainstream media. In 2012, Americans must not be fooled again!
© Alan Caruba, 2012