The president’s reelection campaign has been running an ad titled “The Choice.” You have probably seen it during the Olympics or in other pricey slots. In it, Mr. Obama, speaking to the camera, shows how little he has learned from the mistakes of his first term – and how extreme his plans are for the second.
The ad starts straightforwardly. The president tells us: “Over the next four months you have a choice to make. Not just between two political parties or even two people. It’s a choice between two very different plans for our country.”
This, of course, is true.
Then he turns to his campaign’s talking points, rhetoric you hear from every surrogate and read in all their emails: “Governor Romney’s plan would cut taxes for the folks at the very top, roll back regulations on big banks, and he says that if we do our economy will grow and everyone will benefit.”
In other words, for an economy driven by entrepreneurship, in which the percentage of Americans working today is lower than it was on the day the president took office, Mr. Obama is determined to keep up his tax and regulatory attack on American enterprise. This isn’t news. But it underscores a central fact of this year’s choice: When it comes to the economy, in four years Mr. Obama and his team have learned nothing.
Then he turns to another talking point: “But you know what? We tried that top-down approach. It’s what caused the mess in the first place.”
Now, you can’t expect that the president would acknowledge the truth here, that “rolling the dice,” as Barney Frank put it, on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was the source of the crisis and that “rolling the dice” was the policy of his party in Congress, something they prevented President George W. Bush’s administration from stopping. Nor can he acknowledge that “rolling the dice” on less than credit worthy home purchasers remains central to his administration’s program. So Mr. Obama routinely blames the economic crisis on policies that, beginning under Ronald Reagan, gave us the longest peacetime economic expansion in our history. This is all politics, of course. But again, it underscores that after four years of failure, Team Obama has learned nothing.
Then the ad turns to set up lines for the chilling part: “I believe the only way to create an economy built to last is to strengthen the middle class. Asking the wealthy to pay a little more so we can pay down our debt in a balanced way.”
Strengthening the middle class is, of course, a Democratic Party mantra… and a Republican Party goal. It is universal to politics in a nation where almost every one of us considers him or herself part of the middle class. But all the net new jobs over the past three decades have come from businesses started in the prior five years. So where is the president going to find what he calls “middle class jobs” after he strangles entrepreneurship with higher taxes? Meanwhile despite a nod to the deficit, he says not a word about spending that has gone from 20 percent of GDP before his presidency to 25 percent today. Again, he gives not a hint of a lesson learned from his mistakes.
Now to the chilling part. The president tells us he is raising taxes “[s]o that we can afford to invest in education, manufacturing, and homegrown American energy for good middle class jobs.”
The government will invest in manufacturing and energy exploration and development? Don’t we fund these with private investment?
Unless he means more bailouts and takeovers of manufacturing, as his administration did with the auto industry. According to the Heritage Foundation (see: http://tinyurl.com/6mhb4e4), all the $23 billion taxpayers have lost from the bailouts went, not of the auto manufacturers, but to the investment funds of the United Auto Workers union, a major administration backer.
And unless he means he will double down on more Solyndras, that is, on what now appear to have been just-short-of-fake investments that channeled vast amounts to presidential friends before going belly up.
In other words, in term two, the president promises to work for an America with less entrepreneurship, less private investment in business expansion, and less job creation in the places where we have created jobs when our economy has been growing strongly.
Instead, he promises to give us more government takeovers, more bailouts and subsidies, more federal spending, tax dollars wasted, and more barely disguised corruption.
Has any president of either major party ever run on such an extreme and unsettling platform?
Mr. Obama concludes his ad saying: “Sometimes politics can seem very small. But the choice you face, it couldn’t be bigger.”
On that, at least, he is exactly right.