Austin Hill: President Barack Obama has no intention of helping to grow the United States economy. Perhaps that sounds harsh. Maybe it sounds outrageously "partisan." Maybe it just sounds outrageous.
President Barack Obama has no intention of helping to grow the United States economy.
Perhaps that sounds harsh. Maybe it sounds outrageously "partisan." Maybe it just sounds outrageous.
But after 10 weeks in office, Obama has displayed a consistent pattern of proposing ideas and plans (and in one case signing legislation) that will weaken the U.S. economy, not strengthen it. To attempt to view this man through the lenses of American economic prosperity makes no sense, yet when one views him through the lenses of a weaker U.S., Obama's behavior is rational. Thus, it is now apparent that creating an economically weaker U.S. is his goal.
I know that sounds really outrageous, but I didn't arrive at this opinion quickly. Like most Americans, I want to assume the best about the president. I was appalled by most everything candidate Obama said about economic issues during his campaign, which was one of the biggest reasons why I didn't vote for him. But after he won the election, I assumed a "wait and see" stance, hoping that if Obama were to surround himself with a good team of economic advisors, maybe that could bring about a more productive set of policies.
And early on, there was evidence that my hopes might materialize. When President-elect Obama began building his "economic team" with Lawrence Summers, a veteran of the Clinton administration, and Paul Volcker, a veteran of the Reagan administration, things looked more promising than they did on the campaign trail. And given that Timothy Geithner's career of service in the federal government spans both Bush presidencies and the Clinton era, I was encouraged when Obama selected him to be secretary of the Treasury.
But Obama realities quickly set in. Volcker has not once spoken publicly since going to work for Obama, and beltway insiders (plus just about everyone who works in the world of financial media) report that Volcker has a nice office at the White House, never gets invited to staff meetings and has virtually no contact with the president. And while Summers has been slightly more visible publicly, Obama's economic proposals don't emulate anything of the sort for which Summers is known.
During his campaign, Obama liked to reiterate that he was being advised on economics by famous investment manager Warren Buffett. Yet Buffett now deems Obama's so-called "economic stimulus bill" as largely a waste of taxpayer dollars and has expressed alarm over the national debt that Obama's further plans will create.
With the majority of the "stimulus bill" devoted to congressional pet projects - "free" condoms, child care, tattoo removal, and "the arts" were some of my favorites - and most funding for infrastructure projects delayed until 2011 and beyond (closer to Obama's re-election race), it's difficult to argue with Buffett's assessment of the bill, and it seems that most Americans actually agree with him.
President Obama now faces growing opposition in Congress to his economic proposals, even among members of his own Democratic Party.
Days after voting in favor of Obama's so-called "economic stimulus bill," two of Arizona's congressional Democrats - Harry Mitchell here in the Valley, and Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson - were designated as "vulnerable" by the Democratic National Committee. That is to say that within less than two months after beginning their current terms in Congress, the Democratic Party determined that Mitchell and Giffords are "vulnerable" to being unseated in the 2010 election because of voter outrage over their support for Obama's wasteful spending.
So while Obama repeatedly reminds Americans of the tragedy that he faces - having "inherited" a $1.3 trillion deficit from the former president - he spent more than half that amount in one so-called "stimulus" bill and has proposed a federal budget that spends $3.6 trillion more.
Despite opposition here at home and overseas, Obama continues to propose huge deficit spending measures that will lead to declining American prosperity. Perhaps in Obama's mind the weakening of America would make for more "fair" and "just" conditions for the rest of the world. But now that we know his intentions, there's one important question that remains: Will the Democratic Congress allow the president to fulfill his dreams?
Austin Hill of Gilbert comments on political and social issues every Sunday. He hosts talk radio around the country and frequently is a guest host for Arizona's KTAR (92.3 FM). He is the author of "White House: Confidential - The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History" and is a national columnist at Townhall.com. Contact him at info@Austinhill.net.