Now, I am well aware this will be considered a hyper-partisan attack on our president, but I believe the facts will justify the claim. The terrorist attacks were brutal to watch, and we could witness the devastation and destruction wrought with our own eyes. The terrorists desired to crush our economy and undermine our faith in our government, to weaken us. You might even say that they wanted to “fundamentally transform” America. Yet within two years America was well on her way to recovering from those events.
It was understandable that the economy was severely damaged that day. As noted in Kiplinger Financial, on the day of the attacks, the unemployment rate was just below 5 percent, and in the aftermath, with hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in the travel, tourism, and financial industries alone, it would rise to just over 6 percent in 2003. However, by 2007, the unemployment rate was back down to just over 4 percent, and America had come roaring back.
However, in the closing days of the Bush administration, the financial sector would come close to collapse, inducing a national panic arguably deeper than that caused by 9/11. After all, the terrorists were enemies we could see and understand their motivations, and therefore we could fight back. Yet how many Americans could have explained in even basic detail credit default swaps and derivatives, or an MBS (mortgage backed security), or why Democrats instructed GSE’s Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to heavily leverage themselves in the subprime market, or why Democrats repeatedly blocked attempts by Republicans to force a scale back? These were complex financial transactions that baffled most Americans, transactions engaged in by the “Wizards of Wall Street,” and all they really understood was that overnight they’d lost most or all of what they’d worked for their entire lives.
At the crescendo of this crisis, Bush signed the TARP bill and a bailout to save corporations deemed “too big to fail” because, as government is oft wont to do to justify the power we give it, it felt the need to “do something,” regardless of whether that something improved the situation or not, to show government was in control. Bush would later testify that he felt overwhelmed, unsure of the correct course, and ultimately forced to heed the advice of his financial advisors who told him he had to abandon free market principles in order to save the free market. Quite the paradox. Upon taking office, Obama would not let this crisis go to waste.
Campaigning in 2008, Obama pointed to the Bush deficits and called him “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” (ignoring the fact that the highest deficits under Bush came at the end of his second term after Democrats regained control of Congress). Obama lustily criticized Bush’s policies, promising hope and change and greater transparency and a whole host of other lofty sounding platitudes. Alas, it was not to be.
Shortly after taking office, Obama signed the nearly $1 trillion stimulus bill, promising failure to do so would cause unemployment to jump as high as 8 percent. Well, we did pass it, and unemployment jumped to over 10 percent, averaging 9 percent over his presidency, nearly twice what it was under Bush. While headline unemployment dropped from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent last month, that is only because nearly 400,000 Americans gave up hope of finding a job and quit looking, removing them from technical definition of unemployment. Deficits skyrocketed, with Obama’s smallest deficit quadruple the largest Bush deficit. Obama has accumulated $6 trillion in new debt in less than four years, more than twice the Bush deficit of eight years and more than every other previous president combined. If the Bush debt was unpatriotic, then the Obama debt is downright treasonous. We’ve witnessed the near collapse of the Greek economy and government due to its massive debt load, privy to the sight of its government pleading for more bailouts even as its citizens riot in the streets at the thought of even modest cuts to their lavish, government-funded lifestyle. Do we actually believe we are immune from these consequences in America if we follow the same path?
Obama repeatedly proclaimed job creation as his number one priority, yet has not met with his Jobs Council since January. The White House says Obama just has too much on his plate. Still, one might be forgiven for questioning his commitment to job creation when he played his 100th round of golf as president in July, and has held well over a hundred fundraisers this year.
There is simply not room enough in this small space to elaborate on all of the destructive policies of the Obama administration, disastrous economic policies, combined with a disastrous defense and foreign policy which appeases and rewards our enemies even as it insults and alienates our allies.
Due to the debt burden caused by Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and now ObamaCare, the CBO projects the U.S. economy will collapse in just 15 years. Obama and the Democrats want to raise taxes, which depresses economic growth, further injuring the economy. He has done all he can to thwart fossil fuel production domestically, leaving us dependent on oil from countries run by murderous dictators.
This week we’ve also seen the effects of Obama’s foreign policy, with several of our embassies in the Middle East attacked and Americans killed, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was brutally killed and dragged through the streets of Benghazi to the cheers of barbaric Muslim fanatics. Tellingly, the reflexive action of the Obama administration was to apologize … to the attackers. Though the story is now changing, at first it was believed the outrage was sparked by a film critical of Islam. Instead of expressing outrage at the attackers, this administration felt compelled to assure the attackers that we agreed with the need to suppress free speech when it was designed to “hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” Even as our Libyan embassy was burning and Egyptians were rioting, Obama couldn’t be bothered, instead deciding to fly off to Las Vegas for yet another fundraiser.
As tensions continue to rise in the Middle East, Obama also can’t be bothered to meet with the leader of our only true ally there, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, although gratefully he did find time to appear on David Letterman and give an interview to Miami rapper and radio host DJ Laz.
Early in the Obama presidency, we were treated to the politically correct drivel that there were no longer any terrorist attacks, only “man-caused disasters.” I mocked such silliness at the time, but I now must reconsider. All around us I see man-caused disasters, and the man causing them is Barack Obama, with his ample contingent of minions in the Democrat Party. We recovered relatively quickly from 9/11. I am afraid that recovery from the Obama administration will take much longer, if we can even recover at all.
— Louis DeBroux is a Taylorsville resident, married, with eight children. He is chairman of the Bartow County Republican Party. He owns Gatekeeper data backup and recovery. He can be emailed at email@example.com.