Two years after he took the oath of office, Barack Obama is finally learning to be president.
Obama’s support of moderate legislation during the lame duck session of Congress and his comments about the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords show that he recognizes he is the leader of the country rather than a community activist.
Extending the Bush tax cuts was crucial to boosting the economy. Conservatives Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, and Fred Barnes all said on Fox News they had no problem with repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
In commenting on the tragedy in Tucson, Obama made it clear he rejected the notion advanced by many Democrats that Republicans’ rhetoric was somehow responsible for the act of a madman.
As Dick Cheney pointed out on NBC’s “Today” show, Obama seems to have learned that if he closes the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, he will have to create a new prison camp.
“I think he's been through the fires of becoming president and having to make decisions and live with the consequences,” Cheney said. “I think he's learned that what we did was far more appropriate than he ever gave us credit for while he was a candidate . . . I think he’s learned from experience.”
But at what cost?
Obama’s approach to ending the recession has been a failure and has weakened the country. Rather than creating more jobs, Obama’s stimulus plan has merely churned money between taxpayers and the government. Unemployment remains at more than 9 percent.
In 2007, before the recession, federal expenditures were $2.73 trillion. By 2009, expenditures had increased to $3.52 trillion, pushing up the deficit as a percentage of GDP to levels not seen since World War II.
On top of that, Obama has pushed through a healthcare bill that will reduce the quality and availability of healthcare and is already increasing costs.
Prince William County in Virginia is one of the few jurisdictions that refused to accept stimulus funds — a total of $249.5 million. Corey Stewart, the Republican chairman of the Prince William board of county supervisors, says the reason is that the measure would have provided funds for ongoing expenses like hiring teachers for one year. Then the county would have been left with a choice of either firing the new hires or adding their salaries to the county budget.
Instead, the county government reduced its size with $143 million in cuts.
“Real leaders must have the courage to reject federal money which obligates you to hire new employees or create ongoing liabilities,” Stewart says. “When you blindly take stimulus money without incorporating the ongoing expenses into your future plan, you are driving off a funding cliff.”
Now that Obama is moving more to the center, he seems more like an American president rather than the man who described the Rev. Jeremiah Wright as his mentor. But the cost to America of his education has been staggering. The grief experienced by one unemployed family is difficult to imagine.
Multiply that by millions and you have the reason Obama will be defeated in 2012.
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.
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