How (and Why) Obama has Impeded Recovery – Tea Party Nation

How (and Why) Obama has Impeded Recovery – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

During and after his 2008 campaign, Barack Obama was hailed as the second coming of Franklin D. Roosevelt. History records that Roosevelt presided over the Great Depression, begun in the previous administration of Herbert Hoover who got most of the blame. Roosevelt’s policies extended it well beyond the normal recovery from a recession.

In his book, “Dupes”, historian Paul Kengor, wrote “Roosevelt won in a landslide in November 1932. To liberals and traditional Democrats everywhere, he was more than just a new face at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He was a kind of political savior at the most desperate time in their lives.”

Roosevelt was immediately assailed by the Communist Party USA as he launched his New Deal stew of programs intended to reverse the effects of the economic crisis. As Kengor notes, “No president had ever moved so far to the left, and so quickly, but it was not enough for the comrades.” They portrayed Roosevelt “as a warmonger bent on wreaking havoc on the poor USSR (Soviet Russia)” because they feared the U.S. might go to war against it.

As we now know, some of Roosevelt’s closest advisors were either Communists or extremely sympathetic to Communism. Harry Hopkins was one of them and was later exposed as a likely Soviet agent. The Venona transcripts of secret communications between U.S. Communists and their Soviet handlers revealed this.

Obama came into office following the 2008 financial crisis which, as we know, he blamed entirely on George W. Bush. Triggered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government sponsored enterprises, the crisis reflected the many “subprime” mortgages they had pressured banks to make. Bush’s efforts to rein them had fallen on deaf ears.

Like Roosevelt, Obama initiated a number of policies and legislation, not the least of which was his “stimulus” package to turn around the economy, but which has left it with a higher level of unemployment today than in 2009-10. His other initiative, stimulating Green energy has cost taxpayers billions.

In “New Deal or Raw Deal?” historian Burton Folsom, Jr., wrote of Roosevelt’s National Industrial Recovery Act (NRA) documenting that it and other measures did nothing more than balloon the federal government while interfering with the normal action of capitalism to recover—as it had many times before—from financial crises.

Oklahoma Senator Thomas Gore, first elected in 1907, summed up Roosevelt’s efforts saying at the time, “No depression can be ended by gifts, gratuities, doles, and alms handed out by the Federal Treasury, and extorted from taxpayers that are bleeding from every pore.”

As Folsom put it, “Capitalism had failed in Roosevelt’s view of the world and that opened the door for new experiments in government ownership and government direction of the economy. Private enterprise would become public enterprise.”

Why anyone would think that Barack Obama, a “red diaper baby”, raised by leftists and mentored in his youth by a card-carrying Communist, Frank Marshall Davis, would act any differently than Roosevelt, repeating all his mistakes, is to be ignorant of history.

The Worst Recovery Ever

Writing in the April 3rd Wall Street Journal, Edward P. Lazear, 2006-2009 chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, wrote about “The Worst Economic Recovery in History.” Assessing Obama’s policies, Lazear said that “our current recovery pales in comparison with most other recoveries, including the one following the Great Depression.”

“The Great Depression started with major economic contractions in 1930, ’31, ’32 and ’33. In the three following years, the economy rebounded with growth rates of 11%, 9%, and 13% respectively…According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recovery began in the second half of 2009. Since that time, the economy has grown at 2.4%, below our long-term trend by either measure. At this point, the economy is 12% smaller than it would have been had we stayed on trend growth since 2007.”

“It would be difficult to argue,” wrote Lazear, “that government policies over the past three years have enhanced confidence in the U.S. business environment. Threats of higher taxes, the constantly increasing regulatory burden, the failure to pursue an aggressive trade policy that will open U.S. exports and the enormous increase in government spending all are growth impediments.”

Like Roosevelt, Obama has impeded a rebound in the growth of the economy and he has done it by applying all the wrong Socialist “solutions” that extended the Great Depression from 1929 to 1941.

For Obama, this has truly been a crisis that would not be allowed to go to waste. What he has done has been to impose Obamacare in the face of massive rejection, overseen the loss of two million jobs, and increased the national debt to levels that put the U.S. on a crash course to financial collapse.

It would be naïve to think he did not know what he was doing. If one wanted to bring the United States of America to its knees, he would pursue Obama’s policies of the past four years. His “open mike” gaff, speaking with Russia’s President, Dmitry Medvedev, confirms his intent to work closely with America’s longtime adversary if reelected.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

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KUHNER: Being anyone but Barack – Washington Times

KUHNER: Being anyone but Barack – Washington Times.

President has more in common with Vladimir than Teddy

By Jeffrey T. Kuhner – The Washington Times

President Obama has been reborn as a populist. At a major speech this week in Kansas, Mr. Obama outlined the themes of his 2012 re-election campaign. He is a champion of the middle class, which he claims is under siege. Their enemies are big business, corporations and the rich.

He chose Osawatomie as the site of his address. It was there in 1910 that President Theodore Roosevelt unveiled his New Nationalism. Mr. Obama directly linked himself to Teddy Roosevelt. In his view, like Roosevelt, he is battling entrenched special interests. Like Roosevelt, he is calling for shared sacrifice on behalf of social justice. And like Roosevelt, he is a populist reformer who seeks to rein in corporate plutocracy.

There is only one problem with the White House’s narrative: It’s completely false. Mr. Obama is not a defender of the middle class but has been its mortal enemy. His policies have impoverished working- and middle-class Americans.

His massive stimulus failed to restore economic recovery. It dispensed hundreds of billions to cronies and political constituencies – public-sector unions, government bureaucracies and the green lobby. His trillion-dollar deficits and skyrocketing debt have mortgaged the future of our children. Our $15 trillion national debt threatens to bankrupt the country, ensuring years of austerity, painful budget cuts and crippling taxes. Obamacare suffocates businesses, stifles job creation and adds another unsustainable entitlement. It is creeping socialized medicine, which is wrecking the world’s finest health care system.

In addition, his administration’s anti-business regulations – discouraging offshore oil drilling, sanctioning Boeing for building a big plant in South Carolina, onerous labor and environmental mandates – and virulent class warfare have undermined economic growth. His cynical decision to delay the Keystone XL pipeline has cost more than 20,000 jobs. The private sector – the engine of prosperity and upward mobility – has been savaged by bureaucratic sadism. If Mr. Obama truly cared for working Americans, he would end his experiment in European-style socialism.

Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, rightly said that debauching the currency was one of “the surest means to destroy capitalism.” Nothing destroys middle-class savings and consumer purchasing power better than inflation. It is the silent thief. Mr. Obama’s spending-and-borrowing orgy has led to the massive printing of money. The Federal Reserve, under his direct encouragement, has systematically reduced the value of the dollar. The result is growing inflation and the steady erosion of America’s standard of living. For Mr. Obama to claim he is a populist – a tribune of the 99 percent against the hated 1 percent – is akin to Madonna declaring she is the defender of chastity.

Moreover, Roosevelt was a real opponent of industrial capitalism’s excesses. He was a trust-buster, breaking up numerous monopolies. He brought the powerful railroad conglomerates to heel. He was a genuine populist. Mr. Obama, however, demonizes corporations and millionaires and billionaires, attacking them rhetorically in order to galvanize his liberal base. Yet he is in bed with them politically. He has bailed out Wall Street, the big banks, major insurance companies and the financial sector. In fact, the Dodd-Frank law enshrines the pernicious principle of “too big to fail” – guaranteeing that the federal government will prop up major banks and financial institutions with taxpayer funds. Mr. Obama’s crony corporatism is embodied in two words: Timothy Geithner. The treasury secretary has protected his former friends at Goldman Sachs as well as perpetuate bailouts. Contrary to myth, some of Mr. Obama’s biggest supporters and fundraisers come from Wall Street. He attacks them in speeches, but he loves taking their money. He is a classic liberal hypocrite.

Ironically, there is some truth to Mr. Obama paying homage to Roosevelt. TR was many things – a beloved president, an exponent of American nationalism, a gifted man and a brilliant orator. He invented the concept of the presidential bully pulpit. But for conservatives there was also a dark side. Roosevelt created the regulatory state, for which he has been deified by liberal historians. He praised government intervention in the economy. He helped to found modern progressivism. TR sought to empower labor unions, raise taxes on the rich and erect a centralized bureaucracy. He put forth the basic blueprint of liberalism: a society based on big government, big labor and big business. He despised the old constitutional republic; TR believed it to be an antiquated relic of the past, irrelevant in the new era of industrialism and empire.

He was also an imperialist who believed in nation-building and the warfare state. Finally, he was an ardent advocate for eugenics, arguing that “inferior races” – Eastern and Southern Europeans, blacks and Asians – were destined to be “absorbed” by Northern European, Anglo-Saxon civilization. Eventually, liberals such as Margaret Sanger would champion widespread contraception and abortion in the 1920s. She hoped to diminish the growing number of “undesirable races.” It was population control through racial genocide – a policy continued by liberals to this day. TR was part of this ugly movement; he fostered and unleashed many of its destructive impulses. He was the harbinger of liberal fascism – otherwise known as national socialism.

Mr. Obama is a direct ideological descendent of TR. His push toward social democracy, his appetite for imperial meddling abroad and fervent defense of abortion, contraception and homosexual rights represent the culmination of progressivism. TR was its founding father. Mr. Obama is its destructive grandson. The middle class does not need this kind of help.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute.