Dear Average American: It’s All Your Fault – Jonah Goldberg – Townhall Conservative

Dear Average American: It’s All Your Fault – Jonah Goldberg – Townhall Conservative.

Congratulations, average American! It’s your turn to be blamed for President Obama’s — andAmerica’s — problems.

This is the biggest honor you’ve won since Time magazine named “you” the Person of the Year.

Being the root cause of our dire national predicament puts you in some very august company indeed. You are joining the ranks of George W. Bush, the Japanese tsunami, the Arab Spring, Wall Street fat cats and other luminaries, both living and merely anthropomorphized.

Last week at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Obama explained that, “We’ve been a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted — ‘Well, people would want to come here’ — and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new businesses into America.”

The White House and its proxies insist that Obama wasn’t talking about Americans per se. He just meant we’ve been lazy about attracting foreign investment.

We’ll come back to that in a minute. For now, let’s take him at his word.

Still, you can understand the confusion. In September, the president reflected in an interview that America is “a great, great country that has gotten a little soft, and we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades.”

Shortly after that, he told rich donors at a fundraiser that “we have lost our ambition, our imagination and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam.”

So, Obama thinks Americans lack ambition and are soft, but don’t you dare suggest that he also thinks they’re lazy.

The point of all this is pretty obvious. Obama has a long-standing habit of seeing failure to support his agenda as a failure of character. The Democratic voters of western Pennsylvania refused to vote for him, he explained, because they were “bitter.” He told black Democrats lacking sufficient enthusiasm for his re-election that they needed to “Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying.”

And in the context of the country’s economic doldrums, Obama sees a lack of ambition, softness, laziness, etc., in anyone who doesn’t support his agenda. He’s spent several years now exhorting Americans about how we have to “win the future” by doing what he says. He’s told us repeatedly that this is our “Sputnik moment” when all Americans must drop their selfish, cynical or foolish objections to his program. People who disagree aren’t putting their “country first.”

He’s constantly stoking nationalistic and quasi-paranoid fears of China to goad Americans into supporting ever more “investments” in green energy and high-speed white elephants.

Indeed, China always seems to be on the man’s mind. He’s even reportedly expressed envy for Chinese President Hu Jintao. “Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China,” the New York Times reported last year. “As one official put it, ‘No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao’s words in Tahrir Square.'”

What’s so pathetic here — other than the obvious grotesqueness of envying totalitarian tyrants — is that Obama’s objections are so baseless. Americans remain the most productive workers in the world. As Obama himself notes, we attract more foreign investment than any other country.

Meanwhile, it’s Obama and his allies in Congress who’ve been at the forefront of the effort to make America less competitive. Obama delayed free trade deals for years, until he could lard them up with Big Labor giveaways. He’s thrown roadblocks in front a multibillion-dollar U.S.-Canada pipeline project, which many ambitious and imaginative people see as something like this generation’s Hoover Dam or Golden Gate Bridge. He did postpone those new job-killing smog regulations his EPA administrator wants, but he’s also let everyone — including foreign investors — know that he’ll put them back on the agenda if he’s re-elected.

In 2008, Obama said Bush’s deficit of $9 trillion was “unpatriotic.” Now he questions the patriotism of those who think the Obama deficit of $15 trillion argues against spending even more money we don’t have. And of course, there’s that giant unfunded disaster known as ObamaCare, which Nancy Pelosi claimed was a “jobs bill” because it would lead to “an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance.”

But, yes, by all means, let’s blame our lack of competitiveness on the American people.

DECKER: Obama: China’s stooge – Washington Times

DECKER: Obama: China’s stooge – Washington Times.

President blames America while running economy into the ground

By Brett M. Decker – The Washington Times

President Obama is overseas on a nine-day Blame America First tour. He’s ostensibly spending time on the other side of the Pacific to explore ways the United States can work better with Asian economies.  Instead, he’s using his time in the spotlight to criticize the nation he’s supposed to be leading. 

“We’ve been a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades,” Mr. Obama said at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Honolulu over the weekend. “We’ve kind of taken for granted — ‘Well, people would want to come here’ — and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new businesses into America.” This is the height of chutzpah from the elected official who has done more than anyone else to undermine the competitiveness of U.S. industries. Economic uncertainty is the chief reason businesses aren’t hiring or investing in new projects. The main causes for corporate uncertainty are out-of-control government regulation, spending and taxation – problems Mr. Obama has exacerbated.

With unemployment stuck at 9 percent and an election around the corner, the president is also talking tough about China, at least a little but. “What I have said since I first came into office and what we’ve exhibited in terms of our interactions with the Chinese is we want you to play by the rules. And currency is probably a good example,” Mr. Obama huffed at APEC on Saturday. “For an economy like the United States – where our biggest competitive advantage is our knowledge, our innovation, our patents, our copyrights – for us not to get the kind of protection we need in a large marketplace like China is not acceptable.”

This rhetoric is all bluster. No steps have been taken against Chinese corporate espionage. And while Mr. Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner bellyache a lot about Beijing’s currency manipulation, they have never lifted a finger to do anything about China’s practice of letting the yuan float freely, giving products from the Middle Kingdom a huge cost advantage. The reason U.S. leaders can’t make any moves against the People’s Republic is that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has them handcuffed behind their backs, leaving our leaders diplomatically defenseless. The Obama administration has exploded the national debt to an unsustainable $15 trillion. Of that, more than $1.3 trillion is held by Beijing, which controls more U.S. debt than any other foreign government.

China’s massive U.S. debt holdings effectively give the CCP a veto over any U.S. policies that might try to force more honest Chinese practices. An America on the brink of default needs Beijing to keep buying our debt and cannot risk having the Chinese dump the U.S. bills they already have. The Obama administration likes to paint this as a partnership, or perhaps mutual interdependence, but it’s clear the rising power is in the driver’s seat, not the declining superpower. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made this painfully obvious during her first foreign mission in 2009, when she publicly begged Beijing to underwrite the Obama stimulus package. “By continuing to support America’s treasury instruments, the Chinese are recognizing our interconnections,” she said. In other words, if Beijing doesn’t loan America more money, we’ll be too poor to by their imported junk.

The president’s approval ratings are at historic lows because voters know he’s not interested in doing what it takes to turn this nation around. The solution is simple: Washington needs to end deficit spending which makes us dependent on borrowing money from Red China to subsidize entitlement programs we can’t afford. Mr. Obama tries to talk tough, especially in front of captive foreign audiences, but talk is cheap and no one is buying his false bravado.

Brett M. Decker is editorial page editor of The Washington Times. He is coauthor of the new book “Bowing to Beijing” (Regnery, Nov. 14, 2011).