The President’s IrresponsibleWritten by Tim Higgins | | email@example.com
Irresponsible (def.): “said, done, or characterized by a lack of responsibility”
Back in 2008 while running for President in an appearance in Fargo, ND, then Senator Obama told the nation that, “The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children … #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that now we have over $9 trillion in debt we are going to have to pay back… That irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.” Now however, after accumulating some $6.7 trillion in debt in just his first four years in office (more than his predecessor in eight), the tone was somewhat different in a recent interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos: “We don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt. In fact, for the next 10 years, it’s going to be in a sustainable place.”
Wow. Not only is this a complete reversal on his debt position before becoming the guy in charge of it (something similar to his reversal in 2006 about raising the debt ceiling); it also appears to be a rejection of any responsibility for this increase in the national debt. But this after all, is something to which we have long been accustomed.
A couple of weeks ago it was all about Sequestration, a Doomsday financial device that went off March 1st because the House and Senate could agree on a budget. To hear the President since it’s gone into effect, the Armageddon which has occurred since is entirely the fault of a Republican Congress that will not raise taxes enough to cover increases in government spending. That Sequestration was originally proposed by the President’s National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, was originally proposed but the White House and the final version was signed (not vetoed) is not relevant, making the President not responsible.
But the nation’s financial affairs since this President took office in January of 2009 has, at least according the POTUS himself, not been his fault. This dismal economy, the 10.25 trillion in debt, the Stimulus Plan, and the bailout of GM and Chrysler were all the fault of his predecessor, George W. Bush. Even though his party carried majorities in both Houses of Congress while all of this was passed, as well as for the first two years of his Administration, there was apparently nothing that he could do. What the President called the worst economy since the Great Depression, which was over a year old when he took office and which history tells should have lasted 10-16 months, did not significantly improve in his first four years; but the President told us he was not responsible.
In the mid-term elections of 2010, the President and Democrats lost control of the House, but kept it in the Senate. The economy continue to drag along, and did so without a National Budget. Republican control of the lower house was declared to be the cause of the problem in spite of the fact that while the House was passing annual budgets, the Democratically-controlled Senate failed to do so (in spite of their legal responsibility to) for some four years. While usually late in doing so himself (again a violation of law) the President usually managed to get a proposed budget of his own submitted eventually. The fact that his proposed budget failed to get a single vote in a Senate controlled by his own party meant that having done his due diligence, now the President was not responsible.
Four years of failure to achieve a rebounding economy, a failure to substantially improve unemployment, and the inability to even get an annual budget approved were seen as the result of the rancor between Democrats and Republicans in Congress. Of course when the President wasn’t ignoring members of his own party, he was insulting the opposition at every available public opportunity. Such behavior was hardly likely to foster any of the cooperation that he desired, as he derided those apparently unwilling to conform to the form of compromise that he all but demanded, but the President wasn’t responsible.
“We’ve set some achievable but ambitious goals,” the President said in a speech last week about energy at Argonne Nations Laboratories. True enough Mr. President, but looking back objectively, you’ve done little to achieve them. You always seem unwilling to get specific on the details when laying out those goals. You likewise seem unwilling to work with anyone on either side of the aisle to advance them. And when critical deadlines occur, your response is often to take a vacation. As in your second term, you try to establish your legacy, history may call you many things. One that easily comes to mind however, and by your own admission is that you’re irresponsible.