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Rebuilding the Economy Taking a Backseat to Building-Up Big Government

In 2009, in his very first address to Congress, President Obama promised an “agenda that begins with jobs.” “Now is the time to act boldly and wisely,” he said, “to not only revive this economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity.” It was a great thought. Jobs and economic growth should have been the main, nay only, focus of President Obama’s term. But it never has been. Instead Americans have had to endure endless pivots, as the president promises to refocus his attention to jobs. In the 2010 State of the Union Obama tacitly acknowledged that his…

Partisan Tone Poisons Obama’s Second Inaugural Speech

The Louisville Courier-Journal mocked the stump speech of presidential candidate Thomas Dewey, summing it up, “Agriculture is important. Our rivers are full of fish. You cannot have freedom without liberty. Our future lies ahead.” The critique is true of many inaugural speeches. They are full of trite clichés gussied up by tried and true speechwriting techniques to sound important. A little repetition here. A dash of anaphorism there. And boom, speech! We must move forward, not backward! Together we can overcome the challenges we face! We must learn from the past and build towards a better future! Sigh. But four…

Is New, Meaner Obama What Voters Really Asked For?

President Barack Obama was officially sworn in to his second term on Sunday around noon. And in so doing kicked off a tsunami of “what will he govern like this time around” posts and predictions across the interwebs. The consensus, by and large, is that over the course of his first term and reelection Obama has morphed from a goes-along-to-get-along schlub of a leader to a fearless shit-kicker who won’t back down from a fight. This wasn’t exactly an unplanned change of persona and tone. As one of Obama’s top advisers explained to CNN’s David Gerson, “Just watch, he will…

Republicans Will Use Debt Limit to Expose Democrats’ Budgetary Dishonesty

Republicans have emerged from their annual retreat refreshed, revived and with a plan. Over the past several years, emboldened by their 2010 midterm surge, Republicans had used an aggressive approach to governance. They would utilize every lever at their power and use every opportunity to arose to push the nation toward a more fiscally sustainable course. The problem is that Republicans only control one chamber of the legislature. This, as Charles Krauthammer explains in National Review, leads to a question that has divided the party. “Can you shrink the government, restraint spending, and bring a modicum of fiscal sanity to…

Constitution, Not Crises, Should be the Foundation for Governance

“[W]e’ve got to break the habit of negotiating through crisis over and over again.” That’s what President Obama had to say in recent remarks about whether or not he’ll negotiate with Republicans over increasing the debt limit. As with much that comes out of President Obama’s mouth, it was apparently nothing but hot air. Just days later, in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, President Obama went back to the axiom that guided much of his first term – “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Rahm Emanuel may no longer be darkening the halls of the…

Sensing Lack of Leverage, Obama Takes His Ball and Goes Home

President Obama is trying to play tough on the debt ceiling. One may say he’s even doing his best Dirty Harry impression. Go ahead Republicans, make my day. The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein helpfully compiled a list of Obama’s recent rhetoric on the issue: On Dec. 5, he went to the Business Roundtable and said: “We are not going to play that game again next year. We’ve got to break that habit before it starts.” On the 19th, he held a news conference where he was no less emphatic. “I’ve put forward a very clear principle: I will not negotiate…

Jack Lew Nomination as Loopy as His Signature

There are many arguments against confirming current White House chief of staff Jack Lew as the new secretary of the Treasury. Not least of which is that his signature looks like this: Given our profligate spending and devil-may-care attitude about deficits the world is already more than a little skittish about the value of our currency. It’s not going to engender much respect when you have that, uh, loopy thing, plastered over every dollar. As Jon Stewart joked, “the only way you’re allowed to have that as your signature is if your name is boi-oi-oi-oing.” Jokes aside, the Lew pick…

Democrats’ Eschew Constitution, Common Sense in Quest to Avoid Cutting the Deficit

The national debt is a very serious problem. How to reform Washington’s spending habits is a very serious question. And our bondholders, who are very serious people, are watching closely to make sure we are seriously going to pay off our debts. To this point, we have. Despite much hand-wringing, partisan wrangling and a general sense of “how long can we wait before compromising,” Congress has always, for better or worse, come together to pass something. No, we haven’t cut spending nearly as much as we should have, we haven’t even touched the massive entitlement problem, and by and large…

IMF Study: Under Obama U.S. Has Become One of Developed World’s Most ‘Profligate’ Nations

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Lord Acton wrote those famous words after the First Vatican Council moved to promulgate the doctrine of papal infallibility – the Catholic dogma which states that the Pope is preserved from the possibility of error when acting as the ruling agent in determining the formal beliefs of the roman Catholic Church. Acton was, for lack of a better word, pissed. As a historian Acton had carefully studied past rulers and noticed a divergent trend – societies tended to grant them a favorable presumption of doing no wrong, and yet the more…

The Affordable Care Act Proving to be Anything But Affordable for Young Adults

During the fiscal cliff debate President Obama tried to frame everything in terms of people paying their “fair share.” So long as you “worked hard and played by the rules” the federal government would be there to make sure you had a decent life. It’s rhetoric that resonates with many Americans. Who could be against paying their fair share? And certainly, working hard should earn you something, right? Of course, there’s the significant problem of President Obama getting to be arbiter of what is and isn’t fair, and who is and isn’t working hard. Sadly, redistributionalists are more than happy…