Yesterday on CBS Sunday Morning, President Barack Obama was being interviewed by Harry Smith. This seems to be this President’s primary function. I can just see his job description now–Item 1, must interview with the media incessantly. Never mind running the country. We’ll leave that to Pelosi and Reid. And, who can blame him? It’s more attractive to meet with adherents to your policies, glowing supporters and people who will fawn over you than with the other 80%, the rabble, the people who just don’t get it. Bring on The View! They love me! Everyone must love me too!
Anyway, Mr. Smith asked the President if he thought the criticism leveled at him and his administration was “undeserved”. “Yes”, the President replied, “it is undeserved”. He went on to suggest that the future will be kinder to him and his administration once people begin to understand all that he has had to endure and reform in the first 18 months of his administration–that is, the recession, bailouts, health care reform, financial reform, etc.
What? Is the President delusional? Politics, particularly modern politics, has always been about the mastery of spin, and this administration is clearly good at it. But the American people are tired of it, and for the last six to nine months, have begun to see it for what it is–nonsense.
First, President Obama needs to understand–deeply understand–that the stimulus, bailouts, deficit spending, health care reform, and now financial reform, have run counter to the will of the majority of Americans. Not the people in the la-la land of Obama and cronies, but the folks who do the tax-paying, hiring, spending and bill-paying. The President’s agenda of wealth redistribution is not what they signed up for.
Second, President Obama needs to understand that there are deep concerns about the economy that transcend stimulus and the expiration of the “Bush tax cuts”. Last week’s release of economic statistics are a perfect example. The housing industry is in severe recession still, and no amount of home-buyer incentives will work any longer. Consumer confidence is low and durable goods orders are soft. New claims for unemployment benefits were 457,000 in the previous week, suggesting that companies continue to lay off workers. Finally, preliminary GDP estimates say the economy grew at a 2.4% rate in the second quarter, a mediocre reading at best.
The President is clearly out of touch with his constituents. Nervous companies are not hiring. Nervous consumers aren’t spending money (at least, the ones who are working). And until they are confident that the government is going to stop spending money and that their taxes are going to remain stable, they will not spend or invest, or do anything but sit on their cash. At least, until the government takes it…
Is the criticism deserved? You bet! But we’ve seen this movie before. We know how it ends. It was called the Carter Administration and it ended with the resurgence of conservatism and Ronald Reagan. As long as the current Administration continues to ignore the people and continue down the road they’ve set before them, they can continue to expect criticism. They are self-destructing. How I love a happy ending!