Jewish World Review Oct. 17, 2013/ 13 Mar-Cheshvan, 5774
Obama has failed to follow his own example
By Victor Davis Hanson
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Republicans and Democrats are still name-calling in their arguments over the government shutdown, out-of-control federal spending and the implementation of Obamacare.
Yet if both sides would agree to just follow the earlier advice of President Obama, tempers might cool and a deal could still be reached. And had President Obama himself just listened to earlier guidance from
In 2006, Obama rightly called for an end to the Bush administration's intemperate deficit spending that had resulted in an annual deficit of
Obama rightly added an additional warning in forcing an impasse over further borrowing: "Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America's priorities. Instead, interest payments are a significant tax on all Americans -- a debt tax that
The next year, Obama voted "present" rather than to approve another
Unfortunately, the calls of Obama, Biden and Reid for fiscal restraint were largely ignored by now suddenly deficit-obsessed Republicans -- and the 2006 shutdown effort failed 52-48 on a close but strictly partisan
In 2008, candidate Obama returned to the issue of profligate spending again. He went so far as to call the continued Bush deficits "irresponsible" and "unpatriotic," even though the deficits at the time had been far smaller than they are at present, and the national debt was trillions less than it is now.
Nonetheless, Obama was right again. Even in the period before the present five consecutive
Yet this year, the Obama administration's smallest deficit in six years will still exceed
Candidate Obama once had a vision of a new national health coverage that would lower premiums. His dream coverage was not supposed to affect existing health plans. It was promised to make American businesses more competitive. New universal insurance would even decrease deficits.
Had President Obama followed his own guidelines, perhaps we would not be fighting over the Affordable Care Act -- or the employer mandate would not have been postponed, or there would not have been an online bureaucratic maze.
Well aside from its botched online inauguration, Obamacare is already raising existing premiums and requiring new taxes. It is forecasted to spike the debt. The rules of existing health plans are changing. Businesses are discouraged from hiring permanent employees. Obama in 2008 might have agreed with all the present criticisms of his own, or any rival, universal health-care plan.
For most of 2008, candidate Obama also called for a kinder and gentler
Unfortunately, during the present shutdown, the president in a single press conference called his Republican adversaries names of the sort that he earlier had warned the nation about. Through a series of metaphors, similes and allusions, Obama reduced his opposition to little more than ransom takers, house burners, defaulters, global economy crashers, nuclear bomb users, extremists, threateners, extortionists, hostage takers, plant burners and equipment breakers -- who are apparently also untrustworthy and irresponsible.
Just as the obstructionist Obama was not an arsonist in 2006 and
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Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.
© 2013, TMS