President Barack Obama returned from Hawaii to renew his class warfare campaign under the label of “income inequality.” Using an extension of unemployment insurance benefits to make his case, Obama made a “moral case” for the extension, but what’s interesting is the lack of acknowledgment by media that 3 months of benefits will do little to return prosperity to what politicians in the U.S. call the “middle class.”
Making matters worse, Democrats refuse to meet Republicans halfway on an agreement to fund the extension. The cost is estimated at $6.4 billion, an amount that should be easy for any budget wonk to find in the trillions spent by the federal bureaucracy.
What else have media and assorted pundits failed to do?
Hold Obama and Democrats accountable for the rosy promises they painted in 2008.
If you revisit the presidential debate exchanges between then GOP nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and then Dem nominee Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), it’s evident that Obama’s rhetoric about income inequality and the limited extension of UI upends statements he made in 2008.
For instance, Obama set himself and his party up as saviors of the economy (actually wrecked by big government fans in both parties). Here are sample statements by Obama in 2008 debates :
- “The fundamentals of the economy have to be measured by whether or not the middle class is getting a fair shake.”
- “I mean, we’ve had years in which the reigning economic ideology has been what’s good for Wall Street, but not what’s good for Main Street.”
- “So you may end up getting a $5,000 tax credit. Here’s the only problem: Your employer now has to pay taxes on the health care that you’re getting from your employer. And if you end up losing your health care from your employer, you’ve got to go out on the open market and try to buy it.” [Then Sen. Obama, criticizing Sen. John McCain’s healthcare plan.]
- “And one last point I want to make. It is important for us to understand that the way we are perceived in the world is going to make a difference, in terms of our capacity to get cooperation and root out terrorism…And one of the things that I intend to do as president is to restore America’s standing in the world. We are less respected now than we were eight years ago or even four years ago. ”
- “There has never been a country on Earth that saw its economy decline and yet maintained its military superiority. So this is a national security issue.”
- “Number one, let’s focus on jobs.”
So Democrats were going to give the middle class a fair shake. Instead we got increases in health insurance premiums, increases in our deductibles, and increases in taxes all around. Add in the reduction in our disposable income because of prog energy policy.
Wall Street, by the way, is doing just fine for right now, although that may change in time.
That tax credit for health insurance Obama mentioned? You now take a lesser deduction even if you’re critically ill, thanks to Obamacare/PPACA.
Our world image? Lousy. See Obama’s ramped up drone policy endorsed by neocons and progressives.
The economy as a “national security issue”? Then why did our president and fellow Democrats fail to address it? They’ve had 6 years and they’ve spent or committed billions of taxpayer dollars even as they lobby for higher taxes on top of the tax hikes they have passed since acquiring power.
Focus on jobs? Democrats did that indeed, for failed solar companies in particular. Say adios to that taxpayer money.
There is a debate statement worth noting, made by GOP nominee Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012. Romney said, “The President said by now we’d be at 5.4 percent unemployment. We’re 9 million jobs short of that.”
Where’s the change? Certainly not in our Main Street pockets.
Fox News reported on Tuesday the U.S. unemployment rate has been at 7 percent for 60 consecutive months. Democrats spent hundreds of billions, promising to create “shovel ready jobs.”
Past rhetoric, more than any criticism Republicans can levy, points to the mediocre outcomes produced by big-government policies. Perhaps Democrats can address what they promised voters beginning in 2008—actually, beginning with then Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s victory rant in 2006—and what they have delivered.
Meanwhile, both parties continue to advocate amnesty and that will prolong the current over-supply of workers in the U.S.
Obviously major changes are needed, not just in the progressive left, but on the so-called conservative right as well.
A final note. Progs bemoan the failure of the free market. Fact is, we haven’t had a free market in decades. And that is how you end up with a president who stumps on 3 months of unemployment insurance benefits after returning from a long vacation.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Jan. 7, 2014)