By Don Feder – BarbWire guest contributor
I keep getting e-mails from clueless conservatives about what a dumb-bunny our president is. This bromide has been rattling around the right since 2008: Obama can’t walk and chew gum without the aid of a teleprompter. He’d need a brain transplant to achieve the IQ of dirt.
Last week I received the following: “Barack Obama is an eloquently tailored empty suit. No resume … no original ideas, no understanding of how the economy works, no understanding of how the world works… nothing but abstract, empty rhetoric devoid of substance.”
A posting on American Thinker offers the following as proof of Obama’s blithering incompetence: “The facts reveal that he was stupid enough to believe ObamaCare would work.” But ObamaCare is working exactly as the president intended.
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The empty-suit quote is from a commentary by the late Dr. Jack Wheeler, written during the 2008 campaign – before Obama got himself elected president twice (the second time in the midst of the longest sustained high unemployment since the Great Depression), before he managed to push through the most radical legislation since the progressive income tax and thwarted repeal – even though, after five years, it’s never had majority support – despite turning the Constitution into a paper airplane and flying it out a White House window. Can we talk Teflon?
In the past 80 years, only two presidents have been this successful – FDR and Ronald Reagan. And still him-so-dumb thinking dominates the right.
Okay, Obama isn’t a bloody genius. Neither was Stalin, Hitler, Al Capone or Meyer Lansky. But like his ideological soul-mates, Obama is cold, calculating, ruthless, and diabolically clever at advancing his agenda. He also keeps a low profile. To quote Al Pacino as the Prince of Darkness in “The Devil’s Advocate”: “They never see me coming.”
Last December, after five years of that old Obama magic and three-quarters of a trillion in economic stimulus, the unemployment rate finally dipped below 7%. The media celebrated this as the start of something big. It was the continuation of something pathetic.
In the last month of 2013, 74,000 jobs were created. In a nation of 310 million, that’s less than half the number needed just to keep pace with population growth.
December marked the 44th straight month in which more people gave up looking for jobs than found them. The real unemployment rate (unemployed, underemployed and stopped looking) hit 13.2% – almost twice the official rate. The American Enterprise Institute discloses, “Both the number of long-term unemployed workers (who have been actively looking for work but unable to find jobs for 27 weeks or longer) and their share of total unemployment are at post-war highs.”
The teen unemployment rate is 18.6%. For black teens, it’s an ominous 35.8%. The economy is so good that almost a quarter of 26-year-olds are still living with their parents.
Obama wants to do more – raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that will annihilate another 500,000 jobs. Bill Gates observes: “If you raise the minimum wage, you’re encouraging labor substitution and you’re going to go buy machines and automate things…. It does cause job destruction.”
The president is counting on it. High unemployment is a symphony for the party of plunder. It gets to play lord bountiful with regular extensions of long-term unemployment benefits (now up to 99 weeks) which heartless Republicans will be castigated for opposing. As more Americans slip below the poverty line, the Democrats’ base grows, and the president has another opportunity to demagogue about the “growing problem of income inequality” and push new programs from the playbook of Marx and Engels.
Unlike employment, food stamps has had banner growth in the Obama years, up from 26 million in 2007 to 47 million this year. According to the Census Bureau, by 2011, more Americans were receiving benefits from one or more means-tested federal programs than were employed full-time, year round. These programs, which cost almost $1 trillion annually, cover over 100 million Americans.
Democratic power grows from dependency. The left wants a swelling army of the dole-addicted looking to Washington for food, housing, health care and other necessities – a mob which will storm the polls every two years to vote their perceived interests.
ObamaCare is big government’s latest great leap backward. Nationalized health insurance will drive up costs, ravage the private insurance market and put the power of life and death in the hands of warm and caring bureaucrats.
The administration now admits that 93 million will lose their existing plans (the ones Pinocchi-prez assured the gullible they could keep, if they liked them) and be forced onto one of the exchanges to buy an inferior product at a higher price.
From 2005 to 2013, premiums for the average individual plan increased 37%. For a family plan, they rose 31% during that period. Anticipating the impact of ObamaCare, the same premiums rose nearly 40% and 56% respectively since February 2013.
The burden of ObamaCare will also be measured in lost jobs. When fully implemented, the employer-mandate is expected to add $5.51 an hour to the cost of employing a full-time worker with dependents. It will add tens of millions of low-income individuals to Medicaid, result in hiring 16,000 new IRS agents, and provide funding for close to 50,000 “navigators ” – leftwing activists paid up to $48-an-hour to promote enrollment.
As the guide “ObamaCare: Before And After,” published by Discover the Networks, explains: “It is a matter of public record that President Obama and many other leading Democrats view ObamaCare not as the final solution to the nation’s health care problems, but rather as a stepping stone toward the ultimate goal of a single-payer system administered entirely by the federal government. Obama has acknowledged this many times over the years, as have Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius.”
The failure of ObamaCare .01 will be used to roll out a full-fledged socialized system.
Along with dependency, federal spending and the National Debt have also soared. In 2011 Washington’s share of Gross Domestic Product climbed to 24% – the largest share of GDP consumed by the federal establishment since the end of World War II.
When the messiah ascended on January 20, 2009, the National Debt was $10.626 trillion. By January 31, 2014, it had reached $17.293 trillion – an increase of $6.666 trillion over the Obama years. It took 227 years (from America’s founding to 2003) for the National Debt to hit $6.666 trillion. Obama added as much debt in just five years.
By driving the nation into bankruptcy, Obama impoverishes the middle class and further undermines the economy. When Republicans protest raising the debt ceiling, Democrats and their media mutts get to growl about a looming government shutdown. “It’s the end of the world as we know it….”
Obama has America on an energy-starvation diet.
Last week, the administration again delayed a decision on U.S. participation in the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The 1,700-mile pipeline from the oil fields of Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast would result in thousands of construction jobs. More importantly, it would lessen our dependence on Obama’s friends in the Middle East. With Keystone XL, by 2030, 4 million barrels of Canadian crude a day could be reaching us, twice what we currently import from the Persian Gulf.
This January, the average price for a kilowatt hour of electricity in a U.S. city hit an all-time high, thanks to Obama’s war on coal. While the U.S. population increased by 14 million since 2007, the production of electricity in the United States has declined – another sacrifice laid on the altar of Global Warming.
Obama hates American preeminence. He hates economic growth. He hates energy production. He hates the private sector and middle-class prosperity. He hates a system where consumers can shop for health insurance and have real choices.
He wants to leave America poorer, job growth stagnant, our people more dependent, and our economy gasping for air. That will be his enduring legacy to our national decline. America’s failure is Obama’s success.
Stupid, inept, incompetent, hapless? The president and his supporters hope you’ll keep right on underestimating him.
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com. First published at GrassTopsUSA.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.