Older, But Not Wiser
Obama's first speech in a series is a predictable bust.
2:46 PM, Jul 24, 2013 • By FRED BARNES
“As a country, we’re older and we’re wiser,” President Obama declared in a speech today in Galesburg, Illinois. He’s certainly older. But on the basis of this speech bristling with tired ideas he’s trotted out time and time again, Obama himself is anything but wiser.
A quick read turns up false and misleading claims, pious promises, and statements that mean nothing. “I will engage the American people in this debate” over America’s future, he said. Not with this boring, forgettable speech, he won’t. Somebody at the White House needs to tell truth to power: Mr. Obama, no one takes your speeches seriously any more.
He says he’s “challenging CEOs…to hire more Americans.” By boosting their cost of doing business by imposing Obamacare? Thanks to the president, CEOs are hiring more…more part-time workers, that is.
“I care about one thing and one thing only, and that’s how to use every minute of the 1,276 days remaining in my term to make this country work for working Americans again,” he said. This begs the question: What have you been doing for the past four-and-one-half years?
In the dubious claims department, Obama laid it on thick. “We now produce more natural gas than any country on Earth,” he said. True, but this has occurred despite the dead hand of Obama’s regulators. “We have tough new rules on big banks,” he said. But the big banks are bigger than ever and still too big to fail.
There’s “a new foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth,” Obama went on. But who thinks this will be case once the Federal Reserve stops pumping $85 billion into the economy each month? Only a few dreamers.
As for wind and solar power, they’ve doubled during his presidency, Obama claimed. He fails to mention the reason. They’ve been lavished with huge taxpayer subsidies. Otherwise, they fail the market test.
And remember the “sequester”? It was his idea to force spending cuts of $100 billion or so for 10 years. Now, though the sequester’s impact has been chiefly to reduce our military strength, he blames Republicans for “leaving in place a meat cleaver” that’s done everything from costing jobs to gutting education and scientific research.
As usual for an Obama speech, there’s plenty of pie in the sky. He’ll “rebuild run-down neighborhoods.” He’s for making preschool available for 4-year-olds—no mention of the cost—and providing “a vital support system for working parents.” Translated, that means taxpayer paid babysitting.
One could go on. Obama took his normal tack with Republicans. He called on them to find “common ground” with him, then trashed them as folks who think inequality is “both inevitable and just” and favor an “unfettered free market…regardless of the pain and uncertainty imposed on ordinary families.”
As expected, the president presented himself as the champion of the middle class. But he gets its role upside down. Since World War II, “a growing middle class was the engine of our prosperity,” he said. Wrong. Our prosperity created a growing middle class.
In the unlikelihood you’ve been paying attention to Obama’s speeches, you’ve heard all this before, particularly about what government will do for you. For Obama, free markets are irrelevant. But here’s the worst part. This speech was first of a series on the economy.
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