Dick Morris: Speech Won't Undo Obama's Damage

Wednesday, 27 Jan 2010 11:25 PM

By Dave Eberhart

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Political guru and regular Newsmax contributor Dick Morris says that President Barack Obama’s first State of the Union Speech may give him a short-term bounce, but as long as unemployment remains high, no mere speech -- no matter how eloquent -- can reconnect him to the American people.

Indeed, says Morris, the economy may simply be shaping up as Obama’s inescapable political Waterloo.

“Obama has destroyed the American economy. His stimulus package did it. His supplemental appropriations did it,” Morris said in an interview with Newsmax.TV's Ashley Martella. “His ballooning of the deficit to $1.4 trillion did it. But that’s past tense: there’s nothing he can do right now. The increase in spending will just add to the deficit. If he decreases taxes, it’ll be a little bit helpful but not a great deal.

“You need a complete across the board change in the tax code. That’s not going to happen under this administration,” he concluded.

See Video: Dick Morris talks about Obama’s State of the Union speech and his devastating economic policies - Click Here Now

While conceding that Obama did a better job with connecting to the rank-and-file in the State of the Union – better than in his doctrinaire speeches of the past – history is not on his side, Morris told Martella. He compared Obama’s plight with that of a couple of previous occupants of the White House.

“With Bush, as long as the casualty rates in Iraq continued high, it made no difference what he said. With Obama, as long as the unemployment rate is as high, nothing he says will make a difference,” Morris said.

While lauding the President’s proposed tax cuts for small businesses – the biggest employer in the nation -- Morris laments that it is too little, too late.

Going back to Obama’s initial weeks and months in office, Morris suggested that the President should have gone with dramatic tax cuts rather than a stimulus – “first of all they would have worked, and, secondly, they would not have added to the deficit.”

Describing the President’s tax cuts proposal as “a step in the right direction,” Morris qualified that they were but a tiny sliver of the overwhelming tax reform really needed to jump-start the economy and revive employment.

As to Obama being seemingly deaf to the message of the GOP victory in the Massachusetts special Senate election and relentlessly pushing healthcare reform in the State of the Union, Morris was adamant:

“His push for healthcare has completely destroyed his presidency.” The healthcare debacle has been far more ruinous to his presidency than the Lewinsky affair was to President Clinton’s presidency, Morris said, and far more damaging than Iraq was to President George W. Bush.

The only reasonable course open to Obama, Morris said, is to keep only those parts of the healthcare reform bill that do some good -- and nix all that smacks of socialized medicine. Some examples: keeping insurance rates from rising after sickness, blocking coverage for preexisting conditions, and eliminating lifetime caps on benefits.

As to the president’s mention of immigration reform, Morris described it as mere lip service to attract the Latino vote. He noted, “while immigration has been falling off because of the recession, the move against amnesty is still at a fever pitch.”

Morris charged that the President fully well knows that any immigration reform will be dead on arrival. And as to the play for Latino votes, the unemployment rate is so high among Latinos that their votes will be hard to attract.

The president’s pitch to ease greenhouse gases is more lip service, Morris told Martella. The president included it because he “feels a responsibility to the international community.” Cap and trade is anything but popular with Americans. Furthermore, greenhouse gases are reducing in the U.S. without any economy-draining cap and trade programs.

Morris noted that while the President promised a 17 percent reduction by 2020, there is already a measurable 10 percent reduction – indicating that draconian programs are not necessary.

In sum, Morris said that the president’s speech would result in “nothing significant and nothing long term.”

It’s a losing battle, he argues. “What he’s losing now is Democrats – those blaming him for not getting healthcare past, blaming him for the recession and unemployment. His populist rhetoric was indulging them.

“If unemployment goes down, he’ll be okay; if not, no speech will save him. If unemployment goes down, he’ll keep Congress and he will get re-elected.

See Video: Dick Morris talks about Obama’s State of the Union speech and his devastating economic policies - Click Here Now

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