But, no kidding, I heard a voter in New York interviewed on the street last week, and that's exactly what she said. For every intelligent person out there, I wonder if there isn't someone else who totally cancels out their vote. Very disheartening. Why? Because there are some cold hard facts associated with this president that are just difficult to ignore, even if you aren't the brightest bulb in the closet.
I know the state of the Union is currently "dismal," as Curl suggests in today's article, and I know it's complicated, and I get really tired of people who blame the president for everything that's wrong under the sun; but seriously folks, what president in his right mind would proudly boast of this record and ask Americans for a second four-year term? This president has NOT submitted a budget to Congress, nor has Congress passed a budget for over 1,000 days now. Such dereliction of duty would have once been considered an impeachable offense. For heaven's sake, Congress impeached Bill Clinton for a semen-stained blue dress!!
It used to be "the economy, stupid," and it's what unseated the first Bush presidency and put Clinton in the White House. Now I wonder if even that stratagem resonates anymore with people. Here's the deal - the entitlement nanny state is where we now reside.
Capitalism and free markets are virtually dead. The government has been enthroned as the solution to everything, it seems. And there are people out there who actually believe our socialist economy is more fair, provides a more level playing field, and that redistribution of income from the wealthy to the poor is desirable. They will tell interviewers it solves all our ills, which are routinely touted as the "nasty side-effects" of capitalism. So when Obama says he's going to "win the future" for all Americans in this campaign cycle, beware of how he applies words. What he means and what you think and hope he means are two very different ideas.
But I digress. Here's the record, and some would say Obama has been more successful in accomplishing his agenda than any other U.S. president in history. The real question remains - is that what we all wanted? If it is, vote for the man again. If you believe as I do the country is in need of a swift surgical correction in direction, then vote for someone else.
When Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) exited the presidential sweepstakes last week, he asked rhetorically, "Are you better off today than you were $4 Trillion ago?" I hope his question resonates, but I fear nobody really understands it. Some will say national debt and deficits really don't matter, while military leaders will tell you our staggering national debt is the biggest security threat we face today.
And notice, please, I make no mention here of the largest entitlement program in the history of the world, Obamacare, since the way it's being paid for resides in the borrowed public debt listed below:
- The unemployment rate when Mr. Obama was elected was 6.8 percent; today it is 8.5 percent — at least that’s the official number. In reality, the Financial Times writes, “if the same number of people were seeking work today as in 2007, the jobless rate would be 11 percent.”
- There are now fewer payroll jobs in America than there were in 2000 — 12 years ago — and now, 40 percent of those jobs are considered “low paying,” up 10 percent from when President Reagan took office. The number of self-employed has dropped 2 million to 14.5 million in just six years.
- Regular gasoline per gallon cost $1.68 in January 2009. Today, it’s $3.39 — that’s a 102 percent increase in just three years. (By the way, if you’re keeping score at home, gas was $1.40 a gallon when George W. Bush took office in 2001, $1.68 when he left office — a 20 percent increase.)
- Electricity bills have also skyrocketed, with households now paying a record $1,420 annually on average, up some $300.
- Some 48 percent of all Americans — 146.4 million — are considered by the Census Bureau either as “low-income” or living in poverty, up 4 million from when Mr. Obama took office; 57 percent of all children in America now live in such homes.
- Since December 2008, a month before Mr. Obama took office, food-stamp use has increased 46 percent. Total spending has more than doubled in just four years to a record high of $75 billion. In 2011, more than 46 million people — about one in seven Americans — got food stamps. That’s 14 million more than when Mr. Obama took office.
- Median household income has dropped nearly 7 percent in the last six years, taking inflation into account. What’s more, nearly 20 percent of males age 25 to 34 now live with their parents.
- Low- and middle-income Americans 65 and older now hold more than $10,000 in credit card debt, up 26 percent since 2005.
- The average age of the American car is 10 years; in 1990, it was 6.5 years old (by the way, in 1985, Americans bought 11 million cars; in 2009, less than half that, 5.4 million).
- On the macro side, America’s annual budget has jumped to $3.8 trillion — and yet the United States brings in only about $2.1 trillion in revenue.
- The U.S. trade deficit for 2011 was $558 billion.
- America’s total public debt stands at $15.23 trillion.
- In January 2009, the debt was $10.62 trillion. Mr. Obama is on pace to borrow $6.2 trillion in just one term — more debt than was amassed by all presidents from Washington through Bill Clinton combined. The debt is rising by $4.2 billion every day — $175 million per hour, nearly $3 million per minute. (See the attached debt clock at the top of this page).
That's an abysmal record. We'll see, beginning with tonight's debate in Tampa, and forward to the election in the fall, who can best draw the distinctions between socialism and capitalism. Whoever that ends up being will have my vote.