Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Grade Inflation

WARNING: This is a political post. If you don't like politics or my take on them, you may want to just skip it. If not, read on.

During his recent Oprah interview, President Obama was asked how he would grade his presidency thus far. He responded that he would rate himself "a good, solid, B+." Now a savvy pol would have said something along the lines of "It's really too early to judge my presidency, I've only been in for a year. It takes time to see the effects of decisions a president makes" or better, "That's really for the historians and the American people to decide." Instead, we got the view that things are almost as good as they could be with him at the helm. This manages to simultaneously convey an attitude of astonishing arrogance and utter cluelessness. Let's review a few relevant facts from the past year, shall we:
  • The unemployment rate when Obama took office was 7.6%, with the real unemployment rate somewhere around 8%. Today, the unemployment rate is 10.2% with a real unemployment rate of around 16% (real unemployment includes those who are still unemployed but whose unemployment benefits have ceased).
  • We passed a $787 billion "stimulus" package which has failed to stimulate anything other than the growth of government employee salaries and the size of union coffers.
  • The deficit has grown from under $400 billion under the heretofore plofligate President Bush to $1.4 trillion today (and in less than 12 months too!). At the present rate of spending, and assuming health care "reform" is passed, Obama will add $12 trillion to the national debt in the next 8 years. To put that in perspective, this is a number that amounts to approximately 80% of annual US GDP and 15% of the total value of all assets in the entire United States (which is roughly $85 trillion). When you consider the existing unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid amount to $65 trillion, it seems clear to me that the Obama agenda will push us very close to national insolvency.
  • Since Obama has come into office, he has managed to bow to the Saudi King, the Japanese emperor, and the Chinese rulers, get chummy with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, support President Zelaya of Honduras when he tried to unconstitutionally remain in power, double-cross the Czechs and Poles on missile defense, and take the Afghan war from a quasi-colonial policing operation to a state where it generates more casualties in a year than it did in all six years of Bush's war there. On the foreign policy front, in sum, the world has grown more dangerous and we have alienated allies and cozied up to enemies in exchange for nothing tangible.
  • His popularity has declined from 64% approval/25% disapproval on January 20th to 49% approval/47% disapproval. Now all presidents decline in popularity, but this is the fastest decline in history.
  • He is pushing for the Pelosi/Reid health care "reform" to pass even though it will add trillions of dollars to our national debt, require punitive levels of job-killing taxation, and leave approximately 23 million people uninsured at the end of the day. And they are trying to pass it despite 61% disapproval of the bill by regular Americans.
If this is what a "good, solid, B+" effort looks like, I'd hate to see a D-.

3 comments:

Ben said...

We saw the D- with the last guy . . . :p

The Bullhorn said...

Ben-
I'm far from a fan of GWB. He spent too much and leaned toward big-government solutions to many things. But do you really think we are better off today with Obama than in say, 2007? So far it seems to me he took the worst domestic excesses of the Bush administration and super-sized them, while going all marshmallowy in the world at the exact moment steely resolve and strength are most needed. Iran will likely go nuclear on Obama's watch just like Pakistan and North Korea did on Clinton's.

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