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August 20, 2012

The other day, Newsweek had a cover story about Mitt Romney’s “Wimp Factor.” This week? The opposite: Niall Ferguson arguing that Obama must go in the new issue. That’s quite a cover that 1.5 million people will get in their mailboxes.

Aug 19, 2012 1:00 AM EDT
Why does Paul Ryan scare the president so much? Because Obama has broken his promises, and it’s clear that the GOP ticket’s path to prosperity is our only hope.

I was a good loser four years ago. “In the grand scheme of history,” I wrote the day after Barack Obama’s election as president, “four decades is not an especially long time. Yet in that brief period America has gone from the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. to the apotheosis of Barack Obama. You would not be human if you failed to acknowledge this as a cause for great rejoicing.”

Despite having been—full disclosure—an adviser to John McCain, I acknowledged his opponent’s remarkable qualities: his soaring oratory, his cool, hard-to-ruffle temperament, and his near faultless campaign organization.

Yet the question confronting the country nearly four years later is not who was the better candidate four years ago. It is whether the winner has delivered on his promises. And the sad truth is that he has not.

In his inaugural address, Obama promised “not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.” He promised to “build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.” He promised to “restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.” And he promised to “transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.” Unfortunately the president’s scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful.

In an unguarded moment earlier this year, the president commented that the private sector of the economy was “doing fine.” Certainly, the stock market is well up (by 74 percent) relative to the close on Inauguration Day 2009. But the total number of private-sector jobs is still 4.3 million below the January 2008 peak. Meanwhile, since 2008, a staggering 3.6 million Americans have been added to Social Security’s disability insurance program. This is one of many ways unemployment is being concealed.

In his fiscal year 2010 budget—the first he presented—the president envisaged growth of 3.2 percent in 2010, 4.0 percent in 2011, 4.6 percent in 2012. The actual numbers were 2.4 percent in 2010 and 1.8 percent in 2011; few forecasters now expect it to be much above 2.3 percent this year.

Unemployment was supposed to be 6 percent by now. It has averaged 8.2 percent this year so far. Meanwhile real median annual household income has dropped more than 5 percent since June 2009. Nearly 110 million individuals received a welfare benefit in 2011, mostly Medicaid or food stamps.

Welcome to Obama’s America: nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return—almost exactly the same proportion that lives in a household where at least one member receives some type of government benefit. We are becoming the 50–50 nation—half of us paying the taxes, the other half receiving the benefits.

And all this despite a far bigger hike in the federal debt than we were promised. According to the 2010 budget, the debt in public hands was supposed to fall in relation to GDP from 67 percent in 2010 to less than 66 percent this year. If only. By the end of this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), it will reach 70 percent of GDP. These figures significantly understate the debt problem, however. The ratio that matters is debt to revenue. That number has leapt upward from 165 percent in 2008 to 262 percent this year, according to figures from the International Monetary Fund. Among developed economies, only Ireland and Spain have seen a bigger deterioration.

Not only did the initial fiscal stimulus fade after the sugar rush of 2009, but the president has done absolutely nothing to close the long-term gap between spending and revenue.

His much-vaunted health-care reform will not prevent spending on health programs growing from more than 5 percent of GDP today to almost 10 percent in 2037. Add the projected increase in the costs of Social Security and you are looking at a total bill of 16 percent of GDP 25 years from now. That is only slightly less than the average cost of all federal programs and activities, apart from net interest payments, over the past 40 years. Under this president’s policies, the debt is on course to approach 200 percent of GDP in 2037—a mountain of debt that is bound to reduce growth even further.


  1. pamelaofthepoconos permalink
    August 20, 2012 8:46 am

    From post “nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return”
    -> I doubt this is known beyond the internet. In the spirit of Melanie Wilkes (GWTW), “I’ll do what I can”.

  2. pamelaofthepoconos permalink
    August 20, 2012 8:57 am

    Just posted, but happened 8/14. While Republicans recognize the Obama EPA regulations are job killers, Democrats tout they’re cleaning the air for our children. Hundreds of coal miners and their families stand in line while waiting to attend a rally at the Century Mine near Beallsville, Ohio, for Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012.

  3. wyntre permalink
    August 20, 2012 8:59 am


  4. August 20, 2012 9:09 am

    “Unemployment was supposed to be 6 percent by now. It has averaged 8.2 percent this year so far. Meanwhile real median annual household income has dropped more than 5 percent since June 2009. Nearly 110 million individuals received a welfare benefit in 2011, mostly Medicaid or food stamps.”

    The real figures are more likely 11% – 13%..

    I’ve always like the nurturer, Melanie Wilkes. She comes through in the clinches, though.

  5. August 20, 2012 9:15 am

    wyntre, you’re good to go… Love the red breasted beauty!

  6. pamelaofthepoconos permalink
    August 20, 2012 9:22 am

    This just boils my blood; workers obviously not local.
    New Wyalusing Hotel Helps Gas Region Housing Crunch
    Updated August 8 2012
    Wyalusing, Bradford County – With workers continuing to flock to northeastern Pennsylvania because of the natural gas industry, housing has become a major issue. Adds 24 rooms to existing 11. Owner: “We’re so busy and we probably turned away 5,800 rooms in a year’s time.”
    I saw a couple of those workers in western PA hotel last year. Appearance of scum of earth from their “wardrobe” to their vehicle. Never mind where their pay checks go.

  7. pamelaofthepoconos permalink
    August 20, 2012 10:42 am

    Uh oh. Regarding POLITICO e-book “Obama’s Last Stand,” out Monday published in a collaboration between POLITICO and Random House: Obama campaign roiled by conflict
    Glenn Thrush –

  8. pamelaofthepoconos permalink
    August 20, 2012 10:46 am

    President Obama’s ground-breaking firsts

  9. August 20, 2012 11:02 am


    from your politico article:

    “Obama’s trash-talking competitiveness, a trait that has defined him since his days on the court as a basketball-obsessed teenager in Hawaii, was on display one night last February,
    when the president spotted a woman he knew was close to Sen. Marco Rubio in a Florida hotel lobby. “Is your boy going to go for [vice president]?” the president asked her. Maybe, she replied.”

    “Well,” he said, chuckling, according to a person who witnessed the encounter. “Tell your boy to watch it. He might get his ass kicked.”

    Other passages of the book reveal:

  10. pamelaofthepoconos permalink
    August 20, 2012 11:54 am

    Get this [caveat I’ve not read it; no time right now] Fact Check: Obama running against outdated version of Ryan Medicare plan | Fox News

  11. wyntre permalink
    August 20, 2012 1:23 pm


    I have definitely been blacklisted from His44, I have tried logging out and logging in again, asking for a new password and trying to log in with the computer generated one, changing my profile password and everything else I can think of.

    it looks like I have been discarded.

  12. wyntre permalink
    August 20, 2012 1:25 pm

    I am going to order a slew of books today. Here’s my list:

    Fool Me Twice
    The Amateur
    Leading from Behind

    I would order Obama’s Last Stand but I don’t like e-books.

  13. pamelaofthepoconos permalink
    August 20, 2012 3:51 pm

    W – nice book order! Thanks for the head’s up on logging in. Not certain when I’ll be inclined to try. The whole deal has been an unsettling shock.

  14. August 20, 2012 5:42 pm

    August 20, 2012 1:23 pm

    Ck out Amazon and WND- If you have a tablet or an I-Book, they are capable of sending the books to those electronic media.. and you will save some money too- I love my tablet. The freedom of taking a library with you wherever you go is awesome.

    I just don’t think admin’s furloughing certain posters is permanent or a blacklisting of any sort. I have never heard of posters getting thrown off the forum before except for known disruptive posters who’s only mission is for disruption of the forum.

    And if I am wrong and it is a permanent situation it is certainly nothing Hillary would approve of- So, there is a huge disconnect going on between the current admin and past policy.

  15. August 20, 2012 5:53 pm

    FYI- The Clinton Family, including Chelsea and Mark are on vacation this week.

    If you want to you can ck out the ‘Chelsea Unleashed’ forum in the above blogroll. Great set of pictures archived there… even pics from Bill’s governor days.. when Chelsea was about 8yrs old. Chelsea has grown into a beautiful woman.. I can’t wait either until she has kids.. It’s a life changing experience when you have kids. Having two kids is the perfect family. One for each parent. When and if a third one comes along, it doesn’t matter any more.You have a brood to raise whether it’s 3 or half a dozen.

  16. foxyladi14 permalink
    August 21, 2012 4:46 pm

    I am happy to see the Clinton’s getting a little rest.Our hard working Hillary sure needs it. “_

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