It is interesting that President Obama tells a NYT reporter Friday that Americans shouldn't be fearful over the economy. What has he been doing himself, for more than a year? Doom and gloom. He deliberately painted the worst possible scenario because it benefited his campaign. It is only because the economy went into a strong recession that Obama won the election.
Instead of following the pattern of a previous president that faced huge problems - FDR - and raising the spirits of the American people before insisting everyone get on board with radical agendas. Now one of his most powerful foot soldiers, Rep Barney Frank (D-MA) claims he'll push to prosecute those he thinks are responsible for the economic downturn. He didn't, however, volunteer to put himself on trial. He was a major force behind the bad policies, those that the Bush administration warned about three years ago and Republicans have tried to fix since 1992, not to mention all the campaign monies given to the likes of Frank by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and regional banks.
Wall Street is Main Street. Since the 1990's and the rise of companies encouraging employees to buy into 401k's and retirement plans, over 60% of Americans are stock holders. And, for the President to act as though a daily monitoring of the stock market is meaningless is to deny reality. The stock market is a barometer of the confidence of the American people in its government. After the barrage of doom and gloom for so long for his own advantage, is it any wonder that Americans are nervous about the leadership coming out of Washington? Is it any wonder that Americans hear the president recommend everyone buy stocks now and they simply think, what is this guy talking about? He doesn't instill confidence. He does not lead.
The president appointed a tax evader as his Secretary of Treasury. Geithner is also one who was involved in the economic policy of the previous Bush administration - he was in the New York Reserve - and represents no change in direction. He hasn't produced a working strategy on bank reform. Until the banks are under control, recovery is not possible. Instead, we have a president jetting around the country, campaign style, pushing the socialism of America through health care and raising taxes on the very small business people who will be the driving force in economic recovery and transforming energy policy. Even far left liberals have begun to criticize President Obama for his slow appointments to his economic team. This week, two women took themselves out of nomination for positions in Geithner's treasury department.
Instead of buzzing around the country as he is doing - the president even issued a directive to his staff to schedule at least one "campaign style" event outside of Washington every week - President Obama should stay in the oval office and learn about leadership and governing. His complete lack of experience in governing is showing. He has yet to cross the gulf between voting on legislation and making executive decision while leading the electorate. He has to get out of campaign mode. He has lived in campaign mode for the last four years of his career and it shows now. He is already saying "in my first term" as though he assumes he'll be re-elected. He is only less than 50 days into his administration. Give it a rest already.
Some Democrats have come out against the latest omnibus bill. He is encouraged to veto it due to all the ridiculous ear marks, though we are told there are none. We are told it is just a holdover budget from the last administration. This is de-bunked and Karl Rove wrote of it recently in The Wall Street Journal. Rove was left to bring clarity to the bill since the media wasn't willing to tell the story. "Mr. Obama has only his own lack of engagement and leadership to blame." "Mr. Obama ceded authority to congressional appropriators, who wrote the stimulus bill that is history's largest spending increase. Then Mr. Obama got behind the pork-laden omnibus-spending bill. And Mr. Obama has also proposed $4 trillion in outlays this fiscal year and $3.6 trillion next fiscal year." "If America 'cannot and will not sustain' deficits like Mr. Bush's, as Mr. Obama said during the campaign, how can Mr. Obama sustain the geometrically larger ones he's flogging?" If the omnibus bill now before the Senate, for which the vote has been postponed due to lack of yes votes, were truly "last year's business" and has to be pushed on through, then the Senate could scrub the overspending and pass that. The fact is that the spending is to provide government services for the next six months. That is the new administration's next six months. The budget goes forward, not backwards.
If President Obama was anyone other than just another far left politician from Chicago, he'd veto the omnibus budget bill. He would live up to his promises to the American voter and not turn a blind eye to ear marks. Plus, he would live up to his promise to allow bills to be online for 5 days prior to Congress voting on them. Where is all the transparency promised?
President Obama ran on bi-partisanship promises and a desire to change the tone in Washington. He has made some odd choices in staff, given these campaign promises. Peter Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, is calling out Republicans on the Sunday talk shows, as though only Republicans have objections to the budget submitted to Congress. "There they go again" he said as a reference to Ronald Reagan and the loyal opposition. He stressed the urgency of health care reform. "We have to get health-care reform done this year." Really? Where did this urgent time table come from? If the administration were an honest broker in change - if the new President was an honest broker in the change mantra - we would be told that the far left knows that health care reform will not be possible to the extents they want with the passage of time. Time is not a friend to a president with a big transforming agenda. The president's popularity will fall and his talk of urgency with his agenda will fade.
Republicans are being portrayed as the party of "no". This is dishonest. John McCain has offered alternatives in the Senate. The Republicans in the House have been shut out completely. Senator Coburn and Senator DeMint have offered amendments to take out the excesses and keep stimulating tax cuts. None have succeeded.
Watching Senator McCain over the course of the past several days as he is interviewed, I can't help but ponder how the agenda would differ. While Republicans agree on reform for the health care industry and in the energy sector, the importance of the small business person would be elevated, not diminished.
It is long past time for President Obama to stop his campaign events and begin to lead.