Is Obama finished?

As the economy sinks and hope turns into despair, the president’s odds of re-election are fading fast

Is Obama finished?

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Two and a half years into Barack Obama’s presidency, Obamamania has given way to Obamamisery. Fourteen million Americans are out of work. The unemployment rate remains stuck above nine per cent. The net number of new jobs created last month was exactly zero. And nearly one in six Americans live in poverty—the most in 27 years.

Sure, the former Illinois senator was dealt a raw hand—elected in the midst of an economic crisis and two long, costly wars, at the burst of a credit and real estate bubble that would take years to unwind. In his inaugural address, the new President acknowledged “a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable.” But Obama had promised to be the man of hope and change. “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America,” he told the millions people who had travelled from around the country and the globe to witness him take office and end the era of George W. Bush.

In January 2009, the unemployment rate was 6.9 per cent and Obama’s approval ratings were over 60 per cent. The question that framed his presidency was whether he would lead the country out of crisis the way Franklin Delano Roosevelt led the country out of the Great Depression, or whether he would become the next Jimmy Carter—a weak, one-term president done in by economic malaise and failures abroad.

This week the Congressional Budget Office revised down its projections of U.S. economic growth. It expects an anemic rate of 1.5 per cent in 2011 and 2.5 per cent in 2012. The U.S. unemployment rate will remain close to nine per cent through the end of 2012, the CBO predicted—a number that could spell political defeat for Obama in the next presidential election.

Some Democrats now worry he is turning out more Carter than FDR. “I’ve just done six town hall meetings. People are shaking their heads and saying ‘I don’t know if I’d vote for him again,’ ” Peter DeFazio, a Democratic congressman from Oregon, told his local TV station after spending the summer recess consulting constituents. “One guy asked me, ‘Give me 25 words what he’s about and what he’s done for me.’ I’m like, ‘It could have been worse.’ ”

Among the African-American community, where unemployment is almost 17 per cent, there is also growing frustration with Obama. “Our people are hurting. The unemployment is unconscionable. We don’t know what the strategy is,” said Maxime Waters, a Democratic lawmaker from California. “We’re supportive of the President, but we’re getting tired, y’all, getting tired,” she told a jobs forum in August.

Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, said Obama’s re-election is not a given. “Just going by the numbers—the rate of unemployment in the country, the lagging growth in our economy and, of course, the public opinion polls—the election next year, in my opinion, is a toss-up,” he told MSNBC.

A key turning point came in the summer of 2009, after Obama pushed for a major health care reform legislation that included a legal requirement for all Americans to buy health insurance. The aggressive policy push reinvigorated the beaten-down Republican party, whose most fervent supporters found their voice in angry town hall meetings and rebranded themselves as the Tea Party. The political backlash fuelled the Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in November 2010.

In early 2011, though, things were looking up again—the worst of the recession seemed to be over and the economy was gaining steam. In May, Obama ordered a Navy SEAL team into a high-risk raid of a compound deep inside Pakistan that succeeded in killing the United States’ nemesis, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, with no American loss of life. But economic threats still lurked—the Japanese earthquake had already scrambled supply chains and became a drag on the U.S. economy, the U.S. real estate market slowed again after tax incentives for homebuyers expired, and turmoil in European debt markets created new economic uncertainty and anxiety for American banks.

In the meantime, the Tea Party pushed concerns about joblessness aside to place debts and deficits centre stage. First, a fight between the White House and Republicans over funding the federal budget nearly led to a government shutdown. Then, this summer, a battle over whether to raise the limit on what the U.S. government can borrow brought the country to the brink of default, leading to an unprecedented downgrading of the United States’ debt rating. The American economy just couldn’t seem to catch a break. Indeed, some analysts are already using the word “depression” to describe the U.S. situation (see “The dreaded D-word,” page 33).

Now, the economic storm clouds of the government debt crisis in Europe, where Greece teeters on the verge of default, further threaten the United States. A financial crisis overseas would quickly spread across the Atlantic and bring the fragile U.S. economy down with it. It does not bode well for a President whose disapproval rating has rocketed to a high of 55 per cent, and who is fighting for his political life.

The economic anxiety among Americans is palpable. Polls show that only 17 per cent of Americans are satisfied with the economy, and after 2½ years in office, even Obama’s own aides concede that he now “owns” it. But after months of Democrats complaining that Obama has looked weak and bullied by Republicans in the debt battles, a different President appeared on the scene on Sept. 8. In front of a national television audience, Obama transformed himself from the wooden, professorial president into an energized leader with new-found focus. In a fiery speech to a joint session of Congress, he laid out a new job creation plan—and called on Congress to pass it immediately.

The US$447-billion plan includes $253 billion in tax cuts and $194 billion in spending. The proposed tax cuts included an extension of a payroll tax cut for employees, as well as a reduction in the payroll taxes paid by employers, and tax cuts for hiring new employees. There were tax credits to encourage companies to hire veterans and workers who have been unemployed for more than six months. The spending proposals also included aid to states to hire teachers and firefighters, as well as money to modernize schools and create an “infrastructure bank” to update roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

After two years of deferring details of his policy initiatives to Congress and compromising with intransigent Republicans, Obama began to draw a line in the sand. It was his attempt to take back the initiative from Republicans who had dominated the debate over the economy with their laser focus on debt and deficits, and to rehabilitate himself with voters who keep telling pollsters that, by far, their number one concern is jobs, jobs, jobs. Obama emphasized that every policy in the plan had been at one point or another supported by some Republicans as well as Democrats. At first, House Speaker John Boehner said some of the proposals “merit consideration.” But within days it became apparent that Obama wants to pay for his plan with tax measures that have already been rejected by Republicans. They include limiting tax deductions for upper-income earners and closing “loopholes” that would result in increased tax bills for investment fund managers, oil and gas companies, and owners of corporate jets.

Republicans quickly declared the package dead on arrival in the Congress. Boehner dismissed the proposal as being paid for by “permanent tax increases put into effect in order to pay for temporary spending.” The Senate minority leader, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, portrayed the plan as “a hodgepodge of retread ideas” that Obama was “daring Republicans to vote against.” Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, campaigning for a Republican congressional candidate in New York state, called Obama’s American Jobs Act a bucket of “warmed spit.”

Obama seemed to relish their rebukes. He was staking his political future on either the possibility that the plan works and the economy improves—or that Congress rejects it and he can run against a “do-nothing Congress” that turned its back on the jobless. “Should we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires?” he asked. “Or should we put teachers back to work so our kids can graduate ready for college and good jobs? Right now, we can’t afford to do both,” Obama declared in his speech. “This isn’t political grandstanding. This isn’t class warfare. This is simple math.”

Gleeful Democrats said the hitherto laconic President sounded like he’d finally had a cup of coffee.

But even in the unlikely event that Congress passed the whole plan, could it actually work? The administration has been reluctant to predict an exact number of jobs that would be created by the new policies. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, concludes that “President Obama’s jobs proposal would help stabilize confidence and keep the U.S. from sliding back into recession.” In a report following the speech, he wrote that the plan would add two percentage points to GDP growth next year, add 1.9 million jobs, and cut the unemployment rate by a percentage point. The Economic Policy Institute, a liberal-leaning think tank in Washington, calculated that the plan will save or create around 4.3 million jobs.

But Republicans don’t buy the numbers. After all, the administration had predicted that its first stimulus package, enacted in early 2009 at a cost of $787 billion, would keep unemployment below eight per cent. (The White House now argues that it simply did not appreciate how bad the economic situation was, and that without the stimulus, it would have been even worse.) But economists say the original stimulus plan had various flaws. Economist Garett Jones of George Mason University says that, among other things, the funds were “poorly targeted.” He blames the White House for allowing Congress to write the details of the bill, rather than presenting its own detailed plan, just as Obama let Congress write the details of the health care reform bill. “It does seem to be a theme with this White House,” says Jones. “That’s bad management. Why bother having great economists in the White House if you’re not going to use them?”

Perhaps the lesson was learned. The new proposal, written in-house, is better tailored to job creation, with payroll tax cuts for employers and a proposal to allow unemployed people to continue receiving unemployment insurance while participating in unpaid internships. “It’s the kind of job training that matters—sitting in a job, not sitting in a classroom,” says Jones. But whether it’s the most effective way to spend half a trillion dollars is another question.

And in addition to Republican opposition, Obama’s new spending plan faces the complication of coming at a time when Washington is fixated on also passing new austerity measures. The bipartisan deal that allowed the federal government to borrow more money came with an agreement to find $1.2 trillion from the deficit over the next decade. A group of lawmakers, dubbed the “Super Committee,” has begun meeting this month to hash out the cuts ahead of a November deadline. Republican leaders and some economists are now urging the committee to come up with even larger cuts, as much as $4 trillion over 10 years.

even with the economic doldrums and uncertainty on so many financial fronts, it’s too early to declare Obama definitively doomed. The current political environment is simply too hard to predict. “History would suggest that unemployment levels this high, if they continue into the spring, would be devastating to a president’s re-election chances,” says pollster Michael Dimock at the Pew Center for the People and the Press. But there is a big caveat: coming off the summer’s debt-ceiling debacle, the Republicans have taken a beating in public opinion even worse than Obama’s. “Every drop that Obama sees in the polls seems to be magnified for Republicans,” he said.

Approval ratings for Republican leaders in Congress is around 22 per cent—roughly half of Obama’s. Dimock sees this as a historical shift away from what used to be a partisan see-saw in public opinion: “When one party would go down, the other would go up in the public’s estimation. Right now everybody is going down,” he says. And things are not as bad for Obama as they could be, given the economy. Only 17 per cent of Americans are satisfied with the state of the nation—but despite Obama’s plummeting popularity, 43 per cent still approve of the President.

Obama’s approval rating has been more resilient than George H. W. Bush’s during the recession of the early 1990s, says Dimock. “His approval is exceeding other economic and satisfaction metrics by a substantial margin. The only other president who enjoyed that was Clinton,” he says. And surveys of partisan affiliation suggest that Republicans have not made great inroads. The percentage of Americans identifying as Democrats peaked in 2008 with Obama’s election and has been falling ever since—but Republican identification has not been growing. “What you have is a growing share of voters that are disaffected with both parties. It makes making predictions about 2012 tricky,” notes Dimock.

The President’s political strategist, David Axelrod, is banking on the notion that once Republicans settle on a nominee, the election ceases to be merely a referendum on Obama. “At some point these things become less about gauging the President, a referendum on the President, and more about a choice between two candidates,” he told MSNBC. And Axelrod gave a preview of the attack line Obama will use: “When you listen to the Republican party, they simply want to recycle the very same ideas that got us into this mess in the first place.”

With his eye on 2012, Obama has already been taking his plan to the so-called battleground states, such as Virginia and Boehner’s home state of Ohio. Whatever Congress does with his jobs plan, though, the fate of Obama’s re-election may ultimately depend on factors beyond the control of any elected officials in the United States. Will Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke overcome concerns about inflation and juice the American economy by increasing the money supply at the board’s next meeting on Sept. 21? Will German Chancellor Angela Merkel stem the European debt crisis that could potentially push the U.S. over the economic precipice? In the end, the question may be less whether Obama can save himself, but whether others such as Bernanke and Merkel can save Obama.


Is Obama finished?

  1. “Will Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke overcome concerns about
    inflation and juice the American economy by increasing the money supply
    at the board’s next meeting on Sept. 21?”

    This is hilariously ironic.  In what bizarro universe does an increase in money supply reduce inflation?  The mechanisms of inflation are so simple, and easily explained, yet Keynesians continue to try and assert that 2+2 does not equal 4.

    • You misread the point, James. Bernanke is afraid of increasing the money supply because it will create inflation. That’s for sure. And the Fed is sworn to protect the real value of loans by keeping inflation in check.

      But are we anywhere near the point we should be worrying about inflation? That’s like an anorexic worrying about the calories in an apple. Bernanke’s huge mistake last time was to give the new money to the banks. It went immediately to bonuses and to investments in growing economies. If he’s going to print  more money, it has to go to government projects, those projects that the USA so badly needs but “can’t afford”. 

      The resulting inflation would reduce the value of loans and of horded wealth and stimulate economic activity. This could be better achieved through taxation of that wealth that is doing nothing but gathering gold dust, but since that can’t be touched…

      The Republicans argue, disingenuously, that Obama’s stimulus has ‘done nothing’. But isn’t it plainly obvious that the continuation of the Bush tax cuts has created absolutely zero jobs?

      • What is the difference between “horded wealth” and my savings, pray tell?

        Earnings get taxed as income.  Most people spend most of what remains; some people save some of it.  The fact I don’t spend everything immediately does not entitle you or anyone else to do so.

        • The difference between your savings and hoarded wealth is determined by degree. If you have a retirement savings account that will provide you a comfortable living and enough left over to help your kids with their student loans – that’s savings.

          If you’re a corporation, with billions of dollars in cash that would otherwise be in circulation, then your savings are hoarded wealth. 

          I have food in my cupboards. You could take a fine point and say I’m hoarding. But I wouldn’t call that hoarding.

          On the other hand, if I have warehouses loaded with food and fuel while my neighbors are starving? That’s hoarding.

          • Is ‘horded’ wealth’ anything like ‘hoarded wealth”?  JNust like to get it straight.

          • Thank you for the correction. If I’m going to soap box the issue, I’d better get the spelling straight.

            I have to go back and fix it now. It’s driving me nuts.

            Anyone reading this, let it be known that I had misspelled ‘hoarding’ all through my post. 

            Hey black, what’s ‘JNust’?

          • Like JNust in time I did not notice it. Old black eyes.

          • In short, this would be left in the hands of enlightened people of good will and judgement who can’t quantify it but will know it when they see it.  No thanks.

    • Your inability to read is what’s really hilarious.

      • He is totally talking about other things. For Obama,  I just want to say who the next US president is.

    • Why are you not on topic?

  2. If the Republicans continue to hold the House, what Obama can do even if he wins is extremely limited. If a Republican wins the White House, chances are that they’ll be able to start pressing forward with some of their agenda. Barring a huge reversal of fortune that would see the Democrats winning back the House and Obama remaining President, I don’t see how the US is going to avoid a recession as the Republicans want no part of the kind of reforms that will be needed to turn things around.

    It could easily be another six years before the US elects a government with the will to change things for the better.

    • Pray tell, what has Obama, or any Democrat for that matter, proposed as a reform to ‘turn things around’?

      Overspending caused a lot of what is going on. The huge debt is what is making more ‘stimulus’ less probable. What Democratic policy has ever done anything to change it?

      • Overspending caused a lot of what is going on today? And here I thought the reason we’re at the point we are now is because there was a financial crisis, which in turn rippled throughout the economy as a whole. What part of that involved overspending again?

        Government overspending is a legitimate issue to discuss because it’ll definitely be a problem in the future (and believe me, I’m quite concerned about it over the longer term), but today’s problems are more about how to get people employed and how to avoid this recession turning into a depression.

        If you want to know what Obama has proposed, go check out his new jobs bill, or go read through any of his previous debt compromise suggestions. Google is just a few keystrokes away…

        • What part of that was caused by overspending? Let’s see: the total ‘growth’ in the US GDP for the 10 years leading up to the start of the recession, if you take out the increases in gov’t spending (federal, state, and municipal) was 0. Basically, the US economy has not been growing at all for quite a while, but has been masked because of the gov’t spending increases. This ‘financial crisis’ wouldn’t have happened if the respective gov’ts kept spending under control. Now that we are in the situation that we are in, the gov’t don’t have the ability to ‘spend their way out’. Gov’t spending will be a problem in the future, but it has already been a problem for many, many years. We have been living beyond our means, and now we shall reap the rewards.

          Nothing Obama has proposed will deal in any meaningful way with what is going on. He has spent the last 2 years acting like it is all under control, and we are almost out of the woods. He has no clue. The presidency is his to lose, and he is doing a great job of it.

          • Saying that government overspending led to the financial crisis is at best a dramatic (and hugely debatable) over-simplification and at worst a deliberate suspension of reality in order to fit it into your own preconceived world view.

            Either way, I’m not going to bother replying as you’ve effectively demonstrated that it isn’t worth my time and effort.

          • Sure. “I am right and you are wrong”. (sticking fingers in ears).

            You are right. The ‘financial crisis’ happened in a vacuum. If the Dems were in power, the recession would soon be over, and Santa will bring lots of gifts this year.

            If you have no points with which to counter valid statements, saying ‘you’re not worth the time’ sounds a lot like ‘I couldn’t counter that argument if I tried’.

            I am not saying that what the republicans are doing will stop any recessionary trend that the US is surely on. I am only saying that the Dem’s, and Obama twofold, have zero grasp on what is going on, and what has caused it. If you see the debt as a small, secondary issue, you are as blind as a bat.

            Obama has done everything up to this point almost exactly wrong. His new ‘jobs bill’ is nothing more than his platform for the 2012 election. He knows that it will not pass. If he cared about the economy, or jobless people, he would quit politicking, and start leading. (in the right direction).

  3. I wonder how many Obama supporters knew that the hope and change that they were promised meant the hope to find a job so they can stop asking for loose change.

    • The US public will be presented a choice between Obama,  a well-meaning, intelligent moderate republican-lite and some semi-literate, fundamentalist crazy tea-bagger for president.
      Gee, I don’t think that the majority of Americans are stupid enough to fall for that, are they.

      • Moderate? Maybe in Canadian politics.

        •  You mean, only in crazed teabagger America would Obama be seen as not moderate.

      • Silly post.

      • No, but they will probably do so anyway.

  4. Yup. Next rhetorical question?

  5. if he doesn’t get re elected we may be facing armagaeddon

  6. I actually think O getting reelected could be good for Canada. If he continues to sink the American economy, and we start to sell more and more to other countries, all of the money and talent will flow north. :)

  7. Most of Obama’s problems are inherited from George Bush and were in place when Obama took office. Economy: Outrageous gifts to banks and financial houses.  A stimulus program that was misdirected. Personality: Trouble with Obama is he’s too nice a guy to take the gloves off.  His speech to Congress should have been given weeks ago ajnd followed up by action under 14th Amendment. His lacklustre performance at the time of the debt ceiling crisis.  He is too professorial and should go for the juglar in his relations with the Republicans, particularly the crazies (Tea Party).  

    • Can this be interpreted that he is not a good president? Good orator – yes. But Executive director – not.

      • That’s about it.  Incidentally, I had my amendments mixed up. I meant emergency powers – the debt crisis and Republican intransigence was an emergency.

  8. Is it possible that American voters be so dumb as to elect a Republican president in ’12, considering their slate of candidates?

    •  It’s a lose or lose situation.
      Seems almost pointless to vote at all. At least if the Repulicans are voted in they have the power necessary to reverse the USA’s decline. (If not the intelligence) While Obama would just preside over more slow decline and increased regulation as the deficiet ballons.

  9. If Obama stays on track twofold: by proposing a jobs plan consisting of raising money by raising taxes on those who can afford to pay and cutting spending programs as the Republicans want to do, in other words a balanced program, he will gain most of the support he seems to have lost but if the teabagger party says no vociferously then he will in effect be running for reelection now. Either way he can’t lose. Also in his favour are the pre-primary road shows which should prove to anyone with half a brain that the participants are doing each other in and making Obama look better every debate so my money (if any left) is definitely on the Democrat.

  10. Small wonder that Obama is in trouble – he is half white!!

  11. Wilkinson and Pickett show in “The Spirit Level” that the US and Canada and in fact all developed economies that growing the economy will do virtually nothing for the health and social situation in any of these countries. Health and social conditions are tied to inequality of income. Thus Canada is a better place in which to live than the US or Portugal.

    So we need to change our sights from the economy to inequality of income. Warren Buffet’s suggestion to tax investment earnings the same as other earnings is a move in that direction. Then give the poor money, not programs, so that they with some help as required can live as we do. We all gain. The Spirit Level.

    • We all gain, until people figure out that they can do nothing, and still have a decent living. “The Lazy Level”.

      • Modster99
        Would you cut off a program that is of benefit to all Canadians because one person decides to sponge off the system? 10 people? 100 people? 1,000 people?
        Lets say that 20% of Canadians say they are poor and thus “need” help. What % would be in the sponging category? Say 20% again or 50%. Anyway you cut it, it is a number that we can afford to support. We are a wealthy country. It is better that 100% of Canadians benefit by supporting the poor including the sponges than 100% of Canadians live in less healthy and social conditions by not supporting the poor including the sponges.
        My apologies for the awkward explanation.

        • No need to apologize.

          First of all, while I applaud your heart, I don’t think that there is any program in Canada that helps all Canadians. I also don’t think there ever will be.

          I have no desire to see people live in poverty. I also have no desire to see a program that rewards people who do nothing. You are talking about the inequality of income. You are also talking about taking income from some people and giving it to others. Socialism has been tried, it is still being tried, and there always will be folks who want to keep pushing it. It will not work, because it does not take into account human nature.

          You throw out a few %’s, and ask what is acceptable. 0% is acceptable. A social safety net is a great thing, retraining programs are great to have, and a lot of other social programs are great as well, but when we start paying people to stay at home and do nothing, we are killing them. The whole ‘teach a man to fish’ deal. Your plan of attack also seems to want to make living off of the public money socially acceptable. Basically, you would then see your % rise with each generation.

          There is also not something necessarily wrong with income inequality. Why should someone who never risked, suffered, or worked for something be paid the same as someone who did? Quite frankly, I have nothing against Doctors making more than me. They sacrificed time and put in effort to get their training. Who would do that if pumping gas paid the same? Who would risk their life savings to start a business, only to have his earnings taxed and paid to his neighbor, so that he can sit in front of his TV and play video games?

          • Let me repeat my first para, for convenience:
            Wilkinson and Pickett show in “The Spirit Level” that the US and Canada and in fact all developed economies that growing the economy will do virtually nothing for the health and social situation in any of these countries. Health and social conditions are tied to inequality of income. Thus Canada is a better place in which to live than the US or Portugal.
            The data in the book shows that the higher the inequality in developed countries, the more health and social problems. From Wiki:
            It claims that for each of eleven different health and social problems: physical health, mental health, drug abuse, education, imprisonment, obesity, social mobility, trust and community life, violence, teenage pregnancies, and child well-being, outcomes are significantly worse in more unequal rich countries.[
            That is factual. It is not the result of having a socialist approach or a capitalist approach. It exists. It is the world today. The challenge to me is how to get there, to have less health and social problems without socialism. We agree communism does not work. As a Libertarian it is a real challenge to determine a way to get less inequality.
            You state “There is also not something necessarily wrong with income inequality.” Agree however the data shows that the higher the inequality, the higher the health and social problems in developed countries.

          • I agree that striving to get rid of all social and health problems is good. I would question, however, what came first. Is the income inequality a result of the social and health problems, or is it the other way around?

  12. As expected, the Canadian perspective on what is occurring in the U.S. is not quite accurate (this is by no means meant to be derogatory … I am probably less in tune with the Canadian or U.K. political scene).  Please allow me to share my perspective as a fairly conservative person – and news junkie – living in a rather liberal state (Minnesota).

    The average person now believes that the legislative “achievements” of President Obama and the 111th Congress (i.e. supermajority Reid and Pelosi) have been unmitigated failures.  Every day people read of further surprises found in the 2,000+ page Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that will impoverish small business and individuals in the coming years.  As the federal agencies begin to roll out regulations pursuant to the  Dodd-Frank financial reform act, it is becoming more apparent it is nothing more than another dagger in the heart of U.S. private enterprise.

    Meanwhile the orgy of regulation writing continues apace in the various federal departments (most notably Interior, which is eviscerating any remaining domestic oil production, and the EPA, which is hastening the demise of domestic manufacturing and the skyrocketing of electric and natural gas prices all to combat the mythical blight of climate change nee global warming).  The fed has abandoned its mandate of ensuring the value of the currency in favor of enabling obscene amounts fo federal spending.  Most conservatives I know where aghast at the spending done by Obama’s predecessor while that was going on (I know, nobody down here heard it on our news either), but He-Whose-Ears-You-May-Not-Mock has taken spending to obscene levels.  Our debt is now almost (if not more) than our annual GDP, and our deficit spending alone exceeds what our entire annual budgets were only a few years ago.

    These are the things U.S. businesses and people see as they assess their prospects over the next few years, and the job creators are not liking what they’re seeing (incidentally “business” has now become a derogatory term in today’s domestic parlance; this administration has now made it shameful for a business to succeed and be profitable in the eyes of too many Americans.  Somehow the connection between our business’s success and our country’s prosperity is utterly lost on a growing segment of the populace).  When you read stories about how U.S. companies are “hoarding” cash, it’s because they’re scared about what the future has in store and they fear they’ll need the liquidity to stay afloat for what they predict will be tough times ahead.

    Finally – and I can only speak for myself here – I am indignant as heck at the Democrats’ – including Obama’s – attempts to stand around and bemoan their circumstances as though they are mere spectators to our economic malaise.  In reality these are the very ARCHITECTS of it.  Yes, like his predecessory, Obama came into a fairly significant downturn in the economy.  Instead of focusing on economic growth, however, he has been taking us in the exact opposite direction.

    This, I hope, adds a little context of what we Yanks fear are the consequences of having this man as president, and why so many hope for his political defeat next year.

    • Apologize in advance for the innumerable typos I’ve found in rereading my screed above.

    • I certainly agree with your concern over health care in the US. The US made a major mistake in Medicare – is that the one that takes care of old guys? I suspect the US is the same as Canada in that many, maybe most, of us seniors have enough money to take care of ourselves. So by including us in a government funded health care program you are ensuring inefficiency. Further seniors will be able to leave more money to their “estate’. Health care is best left in the private sector. Canadians have been so propagandized that they don’t look around at all the goods and services provided by the private sector. Most important, and unlike government run programs, if shortages or other faults develop they are quickly fixed.
      Re your economy. If you want better living conditions, look at my post just before yours. Building your economy will not improve living conditions.

  13. Obama was dealt a raw hand? Bull puckies!

    He volunteered. And one would think one of his crack advisory team might’ve mentioned it to Marxist megalomaniac community-organizer Obama?

    On second thought: No. They probably didn’t know about those issues, either.

  14. TO: blacktopold: We in the Tea Party may be some of the sanest left in the American electorate.

    That you call the Tea Party “crazies” simply reveals your ignorance of what the Tea Party is and your fear of what it represents. And the source from which you get what you probably call news.

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