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Obama fails by even his own standards

Posted by: Barthélemy Barbancourt

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President Obama is a failure by almost every standard including his own.

Let’s recall the meta-narrative of the Obama 2008 campaign, which he laid out in the first couple pages of the Audacity of Hope. Contrasting the “dirty and nasty” elements of politics, Obama praised its more noble side:

…a tradition based on the simple idea that we have a stake in one another, and that what binds us together is greater than what drives us apart, and that if enough people believe in the truth of that proposition and act on it, then we might not solve every problem, but we can get something meaningful done.

Obama’s purpose was to “excavate” the lost nobility of American politics, emphasizing the public good over special interests. In Obama’s estimation, it is the dominance of such interests – be it partisan absolutists, lobbying groups, or whatever – that has driven us apart, and eroded the public faith in our institutions. Obama would change all that, and restore confidence in the government.

By the looks of this graph, Obama has brought trust in Government to new lows. He has driven Americans further apart than GW Bush which is quite a feat when you factor in that the MSM hated Bush and loves Obama.

So in the end, health care reform was very good for plenty of special interests. But what about the public interest? Consider the following:

1) To lure the special interests to the table, they had to enact an individual mandate, which Obama opposed during the campaign (owing no doubt to its massive unpopularity) and is of questionable constitutionality.

2) To create the illusion of cost control, they had to implement Medicare reforms that the chief actuary of Medicare & Medicaid Services says are completely unsustainable.

(3) They implemented a watered-down employer mandate that will drive people off their current health insurance, even though the president promised again and again that wouldn’t happen. If the worst case scenario turns out to be true, the budget deficit will explode as tens of millions would be dropped from employer insurance and become eligible for federal subsidies on the exchanges.

(4) They created a scheme in which most Americans will see no substantial reduction in their insurance costs, and millions will see substantial increases.

(5) They created a completely unsustainable long-term care entitlement – known as the CLASS Act – that might cost the government billions down the road, but is magically considered a deficit reducer in the bill. [It was via similar hocus pocus that they could claim that the bill cost less than $1 trillion.]

(6) They junked 18 million more people on to Medicaid, a program that many doctors already won’t participate in.

(7) They created terrific uncertainty in the business community, inhibiting the recovery

(8) They emphasized cost control during the campaign for passage, but when the dirty deed was finally done, a key Senate aide admitted, “This is a coverage bill, not a cost reduction bill.”

So, I would say that Obama has done the exact opposite of what he promised. Rather than restore confidence in the government by pursuing the public good over special interests, he has sacrificed the public good for special interests, and public confidence in the government has accordingly plummeted.

So Obama can't even meet his own standards. So was he lying on during the campaign or is he just incompetent? I lean towards the latter as it is obvious that Obama had no idea what he was getting into when he ran for President.

Comments (3)add comment
By the looks of this graph, Obama has brought trust in Government to new lows.
written by Woody , August 31, 2011

Really Bart? This is all due to President Obama? Have you seen Congresses approval rating lately? Here's a clue; it's a hell of a lot lower than President Obamas right now. Obamas not without blame in Americans current distrust of government but your broad brush statement shown above simply is not true.

written by Nobody , August 31, 2011

I'm so sick of "public good" I could just puke. PBO is IMHO just clueless. I will agree, Woody, that Congress is just as bad.

written by Elmer , September 02, 2011

Whatever happened to the old T&A Friday features on this website. I know, get it elsewhere, Elmer. But it was a chance to be a little un-serious and often provoked interesting comments.

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