The Five Most Catastrophic Hidden Costs of the Obama Presidency
We well remember candidate Barack Obama’s ’08 throngs laying in breathless wait for the “Lightworker” to appear and speak as “sort of like God” from his teleprompter on high. Now, with nearly everything this president has touched lying in shambles, a shrunken Obama whines from town to town, transported in a taxpayer-purchased bus that resembles a big, fat hearse -- the perfect symbol for the harbinger of economic death that Obama’s presidency has become.
It’s painfully apparent now that the American people were scammed in ’08 by Barack the Bamboozler in what will be known historically as the most audacious scheme of fraudulent branding the world has ever seen.
I would just love to see a crackerjack team of litigation attorneys put together a class action suit with a dollar amount on both the tangible and intangible “pain and suffering” costs of the Obama presidency. In fact, if I were a Republican strategist, I would commission a legal team to devise such a case and put it in a PowerPoint presentation for voters by next fall.
The all too apparent costs, of course, are those numbers economists lob forth every day, to a mouths-agape public:
- The staggeringly high unemployment rate – 9.1%, not counting the Americans who have given up looking for work or who are underemployed.
- The still-tumbling housing values, now worse than the Great Depression.
- The inflation indicators, with uncounted sharp inflation in food and gasoline.
- The debt and the deficit, now too big to even fathom without an advanced degree in mathematics.
- The unfunded future liabilities --Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, public worker pensions, and the like.
- When the S&P downgrade is thrown into this cliff-hanging mix, our fiscal situation goes from bad to worse.
But as all litigators worth their salt wind up telling every claims-award jury, the most catastrophic costs to victims are those which are less tangible and remain hidden from cursory view. We recognize this litigious category as “pain and suffering.”
So, on behalf of my fellow Americans, here is my list of the 5 most horrendous hidden costs of the Obama presidency:
5. President Obama’s pass-the-buck, blame-it-on-the-other-guy, it-was-just-bad-luck performance as a no-account “leader” sends a horrible message to our youth.
His is an example so bad that it will reverberate for a generation at incalculable cost.
Well, should we really have expected more from a guy who freely admitted to doing “blow” and smoking “weed,” who never released a single transcript from a single school he attended, who never wrote a law review article, who voted “present” over 130 times as a state legislator, and who thought listening to hate-whitey political speeches qualified as going to “church”? Probably not.
But these were the facts intentionally glossed over by fraudulent brander David Axelrod and his client, Barack Obama. These were the facts given short shrift by a mainstream media with tingles up their legs and pants-crease fetishes. These were the facts hidden from view by the hope, hype, hoopla, glitter, glamour, and celebrity poppycock.
When the president of the United States cannot accept responsibility for his own decisions (or lack thereof), then he sends a message to every young person in this country that “the dog ate my homework” is an acceptable excuse for doing nothing.
Yes, the president’s own blame game in his own heralded “new era of responsibility” has become so ubiquitous that Investor's Business Daily is waiting for the expectable Obama excuse: “Bo Ate My Recovery.” From IBD’s list of already-worn-very-thin Obama excuses we remember the blame targets: 24/7 Bush did it – all of it; ATMs steal jobs; Republicans stole the cookies; businesses that “sit on piles of cash” and refuse to hire are the bad guys; “splintered” media not totally under Obama’s control confuses people. And, finally, last week, the fallback excuse of no-accounts throughout the ages: “a run of bad luck.”
The cost to this country for electing a man with the work ethic of character Maynard G. Krebs is truly incalculable, not only in terms of work undone and opportunities lost, but also in the message of non-accountability hammered home to a whole generation of American youth.
4. ObamaCare Lawsuits by more than half the states at a combined hidden cost of thousands of dollars per hour – per hour!
ObamaCare mandates are forcing states to sue to protect their own solvency. While most of the media attention, of course, is on the unconstitutionality of ObamaCare’s individual mandate, 27 states – more than half! – are actively entwined in a lawsuit to stop this debt-forcing law. As the Heritage Foundation documents, the future funding forced upon every state in its provisions for Medicaid will quite frankly push many states into either bankruptcy or a shutdown of basic services.
While ObamaCare will pay for all of the benefit expansion for the first three years of the law, and 90% of it after that, ObamaCare never pays for any of the state administrative costs for adding those 18 million Americans to their welfare rolls. That amounts to billions in unfunded federal mandates the states must absorb. That is why 33 Republican governors signed a letter to the White House and Congress making an emphatic appeal that ObamaCare’s Medicaid provisions be repealed.
Look carefully at the list of states. They are not all “Red” states. It’s not political; it’s fiscal. In fact, 11 of the 27 states suing over ObamaCare voted for the president in 2008: Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maine, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado, Washington, and Nevada. Harry Reid’s own state – Nevada! -- is on the list, having filed suit a mere two months after passage of ObamaCare.
The point here is that lawsuits are very, very expensive. And state taxpayers are footing the bill for all of this hidden cost of the Obama presidency. As the president glibly dismisses the Tea Party with ridicule and says they “ought to be thanking him,” the real costs mount at an alarming rate.
Obama thinks he is cute to mock those disputing the constitutionality of his big-bleeping-deal health-care law. Last week on his campaign bus tour, the president declared that it is fine for folks to call it “Obama cares.” “I do care,” he affirmed, though failing to mention that he “cares” with other people’s money. He concluded this folksy little chit-chat with his even-cuter punch line: “If the other side wants to be the folks who don’t care, that’s fine with me.” He comes off sounding like the dependent spouse berating the family breadwinner for stinginess when her credit card bills threaten the family with homelessness and starvation.
If Obama had had an ounce of responsible forethought he and his cabal of Democrat enablers would have thought through the health-care bill instead of marching on without a care in the world except their highfalutin, shallow claims to “care.” The cost is already in the billions and that’s before a single act of real “caring” comes to pass.
3. Obama’s federal regulations, growing like kudzu in uncontrolled, maniacal frenzy, form a stranglehold on American business.
Once again, we turn to Investor's Business Daily for the heavy-lifting on Obama’s wretched big government stranglehold. From John Merline’s detailed IBD article last week, we learn that one of the very few “businesses” actually booming in Obamaland is the “Regulation” industry, which has seen its combined budgets grow by a whopping 16% since 2008. This meteoric rise in regulatory budgets coincided with a pitiful increase of only 5% in overall economic growth.
Employment at these regulatory government behemoths has grown a staggering 13%, while private-sector jobs shrank by 5.6%.
Merline puts this picture into pitch-perfect perspective for even economics-challenged citizens like me:
If the federal government's regulatory operation were a business, it would be one of the 50 biggest in the country in terms of revenues, and the third largest in terms of employees, with more people working for it than McDonald's, Ford, Disney and Boeing combined.
The obvious take-away from this profoundly disturbing reality is that while McDonald’s, Ford, Disney, and Boeing create real products/services for real people, and have the added advantage of self-sufficiency as opposed to being supported by taxpayers, the federal regulatory “do it like this” pencil-pushers actually cost us not only their bloated salaries and benefits but also cost the businesses they regulate billions more to ensure “compliance.” Every dollar spent by business to follow federal busybodies’ new rules is a dollar passed on to consumers.
In Obama’s America, big government is running its own protection racket aimed at consumers and taxpayers. They play; we pay.
2. The specter of uncertainty haunts every American in Obama’s Changeopoly Blitzkrieg.
Overwhelming uncertainty sits there quietly as the ever-present silent partner in big-ticket spending decisions, business start-up meetings, and hiring discussions. The S&P downgrade merely said aloud what all sentient Americans already knew quite well. The only change Obama brought to Washington was bigger government, higher deficits, and even less will to strive for a balanced budget.
My favorite brief summation of business uncertainty came from a new member of Congress, Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC), speaking to Treasury Secretary Geithner in June:
Overwhelmingly, the businesses back home and across the country continue to tell us that regulation, lack of access to capital, taxation, fear of taxation, and just the overwhelming uncertainties that our businesses face is keeping them from hiring. They just simply cannot. (Emphasis added.)
Due to uncertainty as to what cockamamie, economy-killing idea will strike the feds next, consumer confidence is in the tank – at its lowest since President Carter’s infamous “stagflation” years. These things don’t just happen and no, it isn’t the fault of “bad luck.”
The elephant in the room of all this despair and uncertainty is the president himself. Everywhere Obama goes with his whiny “me-myself-and-I” excuses tour, it becomes more and more obvious that the president himself is oblivious to real economics. The man is completely out of touch and out of his depth on the reality of American enterprise. Yet, it is in his own powerful hands that the entire behemoth federal government lies and from his own lips that agencies take their marching orders. This is a recipe for disaster and the people know it, which is why every homemaker, breadwinner, business owner, and entrepreneur has overwhelming uncertainty as his Obamaland unwelcome bedfellow.
- The Great Demoralization of America under Obama.
If Barack Obama were a football coach, rather than president, his glaring lack of leadership skills would be contained to a single 100-yard field once a week. But a president who thinks highfalutin speechifying substitutes for genuine leadership has put a pall of demoralization over the citizenry, from coast to coast and in every hamlet in between. The agony of Obama’s defeated economic policies has become a palpable presence throughout the country.
While president and Mrs. Obama have partied hardy, running up exorbitant tabs for such public folderol as useless foreign travel, vacations to Martha’s Vineyard, Hawaii, and Spain, and celebrity fests at the White House, the American people have become more and more demoralized by the profligate spectacle. As the president goes from one golf course to another, making light of real Americans’ suffering under the yoke of his own policies, the people have become discouraged, resentful, and downright angry.
How much has this ubiquitous “downgrade” in the national psyche cost us in terms of recovery unrealized? How might the first couple’s putting their “own skin in the game” have helped the country to get back on our feet? Boy-oh-boy, would I love to see some zealous lawyers put a price tag on the Great Demoralization factor of this presidency. It might actually come close to the national debt number.
Oddly enough, Barack Obama presciently explained in his book, The Audacity of Hope, why he should not be elected – though no one in the mainstream media paid attention to it. Writing on the mess in D.C., Obama declared:
Moreover, most people who serve in Washington have been trained either as lawyers or as political operatives – professions that tend to place a premium on winning arguments rather than solving problems.
President Obama – the lawyer – has proven his own theory beyond all possible measure in his utter failure to solve a single problem and in his unwavering insistence upon shackling America’s genuine problem-solvers with overwhelming regulations and class-warfare demagoguery.
In President Obama’s very first meeting with then-minority Republican congressional leaders, efforts at real bipartisanship were met by Obama’s gleeful assertion, “I won.”
And Obama’s thrill of victory has become America’s agony of defeat. Can anyone anywhere put a dollar figure on this mountainous hidden cost? I would love to see someone try. In fact, I’m quite certain that you readers can think of vast uncounted costs I haven’t even thought of.
Now, what does our Community Organizer in Chief do to quell the roiling flood waters? He pouts and goes out to play golf at the Vineyard. Have we actually seen the moment when the real sea of debt began to stop its threatening rise? In a word, No. In two, hell no.
Obama lied; hope died.
You just can’t put a price tag on so many opportunities lost.
I’m closing this piece with the very best Obama-debt analysis I’ve seen to date. This video comes from the down-to-earth Political Math genius who explains astronomical numbers to math-challenged people like me. Don’t deny yourself the opportunity of seeing this National Debt Road Trip in full. It’s worth your gas – pun fully intended.