Today marks the 1,000th day of Barack Obama’s presidency, and unfortunately for America, those days have been marked by deeper deficits, lost jobs, prolonged unemployment, and bigger government. Meanwhile, many of those charged with leading the federal government have all but abdicated their responsibilities.
The national debt stands at $14.9 trillion–$4.2 trillion of which has been added since Obama took his oath of office. Fourteen million Americans are unemployed–that’s 9.1 percent of the workforce. The unemployment rate has been above nine percent for 840 of the 1000 days, and the average unemployed worker has been without a job for more than 9 months. All told, 2.2 million jobs have been lost under Obama’s watch, despite the White House’s claims that the President’s $787 billion stimulus would create 3.3 million net jobs by 2010.
Unfortunately, instead of leading America toward fiscal sanity and a stronger economy, the President is taking the country in the opposite direction. Last week, his latest proposal to “stimulate” the economy with another $447 billion in spending failed to pass the Senate, but instead of recognizing that more taxing and spending is not what America wants or needs, he’s redoubling his efforts. Today, the President is starting another bus tour to sell a different version of the same plan–this time broken up into pieces of taxing and spending still big enough to choke a horse. It’s the same plan, only in different packaging. Former Congressman Ernest Istook explains the danger:
Even segmented versions of Obama’s $447 billion plan can be used to squeeze in those worst parts. That’s because it’s almost impossible to get both the House and the Senate to enact identical versions of a bill, thus requiring a conference committee to “work out the differences”–which sometimes includes adding distasteful details.
While it’s good news that the Senate rejected the President’s jobs plan, the bad news is that the Senate has utterly failed to help put America back on a strong fiscal path. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) point out that it’s been 900 days since Senate Democrats last adopted a formal budget plan, calling it “a national disgrace.”
As required by law, House Republicans presented a budget in committee, brought it to the floor, and passed it earlier this spring. It was an honest, detailed, concrete plan to put our budget on the path to balance and our economy on the path to prosperity. But Senate Democrats, during this time of national crisis, failed even to present a budget plan — in open defiance of the law and the public they serve.
What we have seen from the Obama Administration is bigger government, more regulations, and massive amounts of government spending in the hopes of stimulating the economy. The trouble is that it hasn’t worked, as the numbers show. Obama promised that his $787 billion stimulus would save or create 3.3 million jobs by the end of 2010. It didn’t, and given the jobs that were lost, he came up 7.3 million jobs short of his goal. His health care plan, better known as Obamacare, did not reduce health care costs as promised and is in fact responsible for increasing costs in 2011. On top of that, the law will price many unskilled workers out of full-time employment.
And those are just the big-ticket items. Over the last 1,000 days, America has seen increased regulations, a 9,000-earmark omnibus bill, a government union bailout, a Wall Street reform bill that will do more harm than good, a nuclear arms treaty that is detrimental to missile defense, a refusal to expand domestic energy production, federal overreach into education, an undermining of the rule of law, and a dark cloud hanging over our military’s future due to a failure to ensure adequate defense spending.
In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, James Freeman writes of an interview with billionaire Mortimer Zuckerman–Democrat, real-estate mogul, and New York Daily News owner. ”Among business executives who supported Barack Obama in 2008, [Zuckerman] says, ‘there is enormously widespread anxiety over the political leadership of the country.’ Mr. Zuckerman reports that among Democrats, ‘The sense is that the policies of this government have failed.’” Given the track record of the Obama Administration over the last 1,000 days, they would be right. Bigger government has not put America on a stronger fiscal path, it hasn’t created jobs, and it hasn’t built a stronger economy.
There is a better way. Heritage’s Saving the American Dream plan charts a course that fixes the debt, cuts spending, and restores prosperity. It redesigns entitlement programs, guarantees assistance to those who need it, and saves the American dream for future generations. If Congress and the President want to move America forward, create new jobs, and spur businesses to grow and invest, then piling on debt, raising taxes, and increasing spending is not the answer–no matter how much Obama would like it to be.