Back in 2008, in a fruitless attempt to dissuade as many people as possible from voting for Barack Obama, I laid out 7 major reasons why his presidency would be a disaster. In looking back, I must say that I was very prescient. However, I take no solace in that. These predictions were quite easy, given the principles the man espoused and the people he learned from and admired such as Saul Alinsky and Jeremiah Wright. Still, it may be instructive to take a look at my predictions and see how they played out for our country. Yes, your vote does matter.
Reason #1: He will take more of our money, and further destroy our economy, by drastically increasing taxes and regulations.
Check. Obama has drastically increased taxes across the board as you can see here. Many of the taxes are on businesses and the healthcare industry, but keep in mind those are indirect taxes on all of us, because those costs are always passed on to the consumer. If you work, there is a much bigger tax bite under Obama than previously. A huge portion of Obama’s billions in tax increases have been on the middle class. Despite his campaign pledges to the contrary, he has heavily increased taxes on the middle class, raised the capital gains tax, increased the death tax, removed various retirement account deductions, and even decimated 529 College Savings plans by taxing them so heavily.
Speaking in Dover, New Hampshire on Sept. 12, 2008, candidate Obama said:
“I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” [Video]
Did you really believe him?
As far as regulations, it has been central planning on steroids…
Did you know that under Obama, there have been 20,642 new regulations added? What is a “regulation?” The best way to think of it is as an unconstitutional law — in other words, the government interfering where it shouldn’t. All of this regulation has been a huge drain on our economy by burdening businesses and crushing their ability to innovate, grow, and reinvest in their companies and workers.
More than $22 billion per year in new regulatory costs were imposed on Americans last year, pushing the total burden for the Obama years to exceed $100 billion annually. As the Heritage Foundation put it, “That’s a dollar for every star in the galaxy, or one for every second in 32 years.”
A discussion of the regulations themselves is obviously beyond the scope of this article, but if you are interested, the Heritage Foundation put out a comprehensive report you can read called “Red Tape Rising.”
Last but not least, let us not forget his crowning achievement. Mr. Obama has amazingly managed to spend more money than all of the other Presidents combined! That means from George Washington, up to and including George W. Bush. When he got into office, the national debt was at $10.6 trillion, it now sits at $20 trillion! That means the debt will have very nearly doubled during his eight years in office, and there is much more debt ahead with the abandonment of “sequestration” spending caps enacted in 2011.
This is a “debt bomb” planted for future generations to have to deal with and we should all be ashamed of ourselves for allowing it to happen.
Reason #2: He will ruin the quality and increase the cost of health care by socializing medicine.
Check. But “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. ”
Nothing will be more indicative of Obama’s economic legacy than the so-called Affordable Care Act, a socialist monstrosity shoved down our throats by corrupt machinations in Congress, while it was opposed by the majority of the American people.
In attempting to sell this albatross to the American people, Obama claimed it would save money and require no real changes to your current medical situation. Again, the results of getting the government even more heavily involved in 1/6 of our economy had predictable results. Mr. Obama promised Obamacare would provide “more choice, more competition, lower costs.” Instead, Americans have less choice, less competition and higher costs.
First, the costs of healthcare for everyone have gone up, not down. In fact, a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office says that healthcare costs for the average family will balloon over 60% over the next ten years. The report states that private health insurance premiums will increase by about 5 percent annually — a rate that outpaces the gross domestic product by 2 percentage points. By 2025, employment-based coverage (health-care insurance an employer offers) will cost 60 percent more than it does today. For an average family, that means an increase of $24,500 per year! For those with an individual plan, that’s still a $10,000 per year increase. For this current year, it’s already an average $4,500 increase per taxpayer.
But it gets worse, because you have to remember that all of these increases in cost due to government meddling also come with another cost — TAXES.
The CBO also reports that Obamacare will cost taxpayers $1.34 trillion over the next decade, an increase of $136 billion from the CBO’s predictions in 2015. In 2016 alone, Obamacare will cost taxpayers a total of $110 billion. So not only are you suffering huge cost increases with a lower quality of care, you also get stuck with a trillion dollar tax bill over the next ten years.
Somebody must be profiting from this though right? What about those evil insurance companies, they must be the ones sticking it to us? Actually, they are also getting crushed by this. As this Washington Post article explains…
UnitedHealth Group announced that, after estimated losses of more than $1 billion for 2015 and 2016 under Obamacare, the company was pulling out of most of its ill-fated exchanges. In fact, commercial insurers across the country are hemorrhaging money on Obamacare at alarming rates. Health Care Service Corp. (which owns Blue Cross and Blue Shield affiliates in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas) has lost “well north of $2 billion” in its first two years — twice as much as UnitedHealth. Highmark, the nation’s fourth-largest Blue Cross plan, lost nearly $600 million in 2015. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has projected it will lose more than $400 million in the first two years, and the company has said it may leave the exchanges entirely next year.
As far as those on the Obamacare plans, rates are climbing drastically and the deductibles are so high they have become almost useless. In addition, 8.1 million Americans have been hit with $1.7 Billion in Obamacare penalties, according to Investor’s Business Daily.
So who is the winner in this? Nobody. Unless you want to count corrupt and foolish politicians like Mr. Obama who are able to pull the wool over the eyes of so many people with “feel-good” policies like this that are a disaster in practice. But it’s not his problem now, he’ll be out of office in a few months and will be laughing all the way to the 19th hole, while the rest of us suffer from this monstrosity for decades.
Reason #3: He will weaken the military and leave our children less safe by retreating in the war vs. radical Islam and generally trying to appease our enemies.
Check. Except I never imagined he could be in office for 8 years without uttering the words “radical Islam.”
Not only has weakened our national security by engaging in what Charles Krauthammer rightly calls “serial appeasement,” of our enemies, he has completely retreated in the ideological war against radical Islam by being an apologist for Islam at every turn and failing to even name the enemy.
It was easy to tell that he would do very little to pursue anything like a victory over our enemies, but who could have predicted he would precipitously pull all of our troops out of Iraq and create a vacuum to be filled by the likes of Isis (who he naively called the “JV” team of jihadis)?
Who could have predicted that he would cut a deal with Iran that would give them the financial shot-in-the-arm they needed to ramp up their nuclear ambitions — and then send them over $1 billion in a “cash for a hostages” deal?
And who could have known we would have so many terrorist attacks on our own soil, primarily because of the loose immigration policies and the incompetence of an FBI that has been hamstrung by Obama’s Justice Department. For example, in the recent bombings in NY, the perpetrators own father had turned him in to the FBI two years ago!
While the Middle East is on fire and the jihadi threat looms larger than ever… with daily attacks against civilian targets all over the world… what has our Commander-In-Chief been doing to strengthen and inspire our military?
Nothing. Actually, he’s cutting our troop levels. They are expected to fall to 450,000 this year, down from 570,000 in 2010. With the Jihad growing exponentially, plus a hostile North Korea and aggressive Russia, this is hardly the time to be cutting troops. While the threats continue to mount, Obama continues to reduce the capability (not to mention morale) of our military. According to The Washington Times:
The U.S. military is shedding so many troops and weapons it is only “marginally able” to defend the nation and falls short of the Obama administration’s national security strategy, according to a new report by The Heritage Foundation on Tuesday.
Again, given his anti-American view of America and our place in the world this was entirely predictable…. yet is very dangerous for Americans.
Reason #4: He will increase the cost of energy – and limit our choices – by strangling production and increasing regulations.
Check. There’s no better example of this than the Obama Administration’s war on the coal industry via the EPA. According to a recently released report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), more than 80 percent of the nearly 18 gigawatts of electric generating capacity retired in 2015 was conventional steam coal. This represents 4.6 percent of the nation’s coal capacity at the start of 2015. Regulations such as the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards are costing the coal industry tens of billions of dollars per year. From 2008 to 2012 the coal industry lost more than 50,000 jobs.
The problem is not just for those in the coal industry. Reducing capacity drives up prices for all the rest of us. Although Mr. Obama and his cohorts on the left are under the delusion that subsidized energy from solar and wind will take the place of fossil fuels the facts say otherwise. Despite $150 billion in subsidies, the amount of “clean” energy has only increased from 2% to 4%.
In addition, we have the absurd regulations to reduce carbon dioxide in an attempt to combat the delusional theory of “manmade global warming.” Energy Ventures Analysis (EVA) just released its analysis of the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” (CPP), which mandates a 32 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels. While the EPA claims these regulations will be virtually cost free, this study finds:
- Consumers will pay an additional $214 billion by 2030;
- 45 states will see double digit increases in wholesale electricity costs; and
- 16 states will see a 25 percent or higher increase in wholesale electricity costs.
The bottom line: as with everything the government meddles with, you will pay more for energy and be left holding the bag.
Reason #5: Cocky Ignorance and laughable hubris.
Here I was talking about all of the over-the-top and egomaniacal statements candidate Obama made, such as this whopper:
Generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment…. when we provided healthcare for the sick, jobs for the jobless… when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal….”
Not quite, “the moment” actually resulted in this….
See the full charts over at Zero Hedge.
Translation: all of the bad things are rising and the good things are falling. The “Obama Moment,” set us into a downward spiral it may be impossible to climb out of.
Reason #6: A liberal supermajority in Congress.
Here is one that I got wrong but it didn’t really matter. There was no liberal supermajority in Congress, but the Republicans have been so pathetic there might as well have been. Despite that fact that the Republicans control more seats in Congress than any time since the 1920’s they have been completely feckless when it comes to opposing Obama’s policies.
I don’t have space here to get into everything they caved on, but here’s a 2015 article by Senator Ted Cruz, titled “The Republicans In Congress Are Surrendering To Obama,” that sums it all up very nicely.
First, shortly after taking the reins of power in the Senate, the GOP-led Congress fully funded President Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional amnesty.
Then, the GOP-led Congress institutionalized and expanded Obamacare policies by permanently surrendering on the so-called “doc fix.” To accomplish this feat GOP leadership broke with the long-established bipartisan practice of paying for the doc fix and added half a trillion dollars to our nation’s debt over two decades.
Then, GOP leadership confirmed Loretta Lynch, Obama’s nominee for attorney general, who told us all ahead of time that she intended to ignore the plain text of the law.
Next, Senate GOP leadership facilitated the approval of Obama’s disastrous Iranian nuclear deal. They did so via a convoluted, backwards disapproval process that was designed to fail, and then did nothing to prevent the deal’s implementation or stop more than $100 billion from going to Iran and its terror proxies.
Reason #7: Threats to free speech.
Here I was concerned about reinstatment of things such as the Orwellian “Fairness Doctrine,” which fortunately has not happened. However, free speech is dramatically on the decline due in large part to the tenor set by the Obama administration. It is common now for anyone who doesn’t observe the politically correct party lines of the left to be shouted down on campus, or even have their events shut down due to bomb threats and death threats as has been recently happening to Breitbart Editor Milo Yiannopoluis.
Despite Obama’s recent lip service to free speech when he speaks on college campuses, his actions over the past eight years show a hostility to free speech. In a good article at Reason Magazine covering this, Anthony Fisher writes:
The Obama administration has increasingly pushed for draconian speech codes on campuses, including ones that would allow people to be punished for offending any one for any reason at all, and his Department of Education’s aggressive enforcement of supposed Title IX violations regarding sexual harassment has led to professors such as Laura Kipnis being forced to sit through an administrative “inquisition” over an essay a few students didn’t like.
Following the January 2015 massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, President Obama defended the “universal belief in the freedom of expression,” adding, “The fact that this was an attack on journalists, an attack on our free press, also underscores that these terrorists fear freedom of speech and freedom of the press.”
Standing up for the right of free expression in the face of fanatical religious violence is to be lauded, but it runs counter to the administration’s leaning on Google to censor the Youtube video “Innocence of Muslims,” which was repeatedly and falsely blamed by Obama administration officials for sparking the deadly attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. Obama’s call to condemn a stupid, irrelevant, amateurish anti-Muslim movie trailer led to serious calls to limit freedom of speech for the good of humanity and “the need for order.”
Needless to say, this hostility the left has for freedom of speech has been on full display this election season, with Donald Trump’s supporters being continually harrassed, assaulted and beaten after his rallies, or even for simply wearing one of Trump’s “Make American Great Again” hats, as was caught in this video. Isn’t it interesting that the Wikileaks dumps just revealed that these agitators at Trump rallies were bought and paid for by the DNC?
Yes, given the basic philosophy and ideas of this President, the above developments were very predictable. As bad as the above is, there were several other development that were not as easily predicted but equally disastrous. For example, although it was predicted by some, I never would have thought the racial divisions would have become as bad as they are now… and who could have conceived of the extent of the left’s war against the police with the rise of Black Lives Matter? All of that has been made far worse by the tone and rhetoric of Mr. Obama, who has done nothing to attempt to stop all of this nonsense which is based on the false premise of systemic racism in the police force nationwide.
It’s true that some are not feeling the brunt of all of the economic destruction. If you are a rich Hollywood actor, or a pampered professional athlete, higher taxes and regulations and a stagnant economy have no serious effect on your life. If you have a lot of money in the stock market, it’s true that you have benefited by the fed keeping interest rates close to zero — but all that’s doing is creating a bubble and kicking the can down the road. If you are a government employee and on the receiving end of the gravy train, maybe you think this is all swell. But I believe a majority of Americans are waking up to the fact that all of these policies are making their lives more difficult and making their children less safe, while creating very ominous debts and threats for them in the future. The middle class is getting crushed under this as they always do under big big government socialist policies.
It is clearly beyond time to reverse course, which means we cannot double down on this mistake by electing Hillary Clinton. Stay tuned because that will be the subject of my next article….