President Barack Obama hit the campaign trail, talking to his Union peeps over Labor Day. Obama pitched his usual commentary. He and his fellow Dems saved the jobs of teachers and firefighters. No one knows how the states will deal with the same budget shortfalls next year, but who cares?
The messaging came on the heels of White House Press secretary Robert Gibbs engaging in a Twitter war with conservative journalist Stephen Hayes. As if that wasn’t enough, the public got word the U.S. apologized for everything but the eruption of Krakatoa in a human rights report to the United Nations.
What Obama may realize but hasn’t admitted as the political milieu heats up ahead of November elections is that his weakest link is his Congress.
The House of Representatives headed by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pushed through legislation as though bills were being assembled on a conveyor belt. There was the little understood HR 1388, the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act reforming the national service laws. This was a feel good Democrat bill that in my opinion shuttled money to political cronies. CBO estimated that implementing programs with specified authorizations would cost $2.6 billion over the 2010-2014 period.
There was the Cap and Trade bill, HR 2454, an energy bill that if passed by the Senate, would have definitely caused electricity bills to “necessarily skyrocket,” as Obama wished publicly during the 2008 campaign.
Meanwhile, Democrats failed to renew an amendment prohibiting the UN from levying taxes on US citizens. Even President Bill Clinton agreed to that amendment.
And there was the healthcare bill, popularly called ObamaCare which somehow managed to also hand over control of student loans to the federal government. We don’t know what that bill will ultimately cost—the CBO said on the government’s website there’s no way to estimate discretionary spending.
Those are the high spots.
A deer in the headlights moment came when many congressmen admitted they had not read these bills. I am aware there are people out there who call themselves ‘progressives’ and those individuals will make all sorts of excuses for the sorry state of a Congress that passed drastically life-altering bills for us yet admitted they did not read them. Apparently they did not write the bills either. At least one Florida congresswoman publicly declared there was no individual mandate in the bill—it was just a tax. Nice verbal footwork that, with the foot heading directly for the mouth.
Now the taxpayer will fund hundreds of federal employees who are de facto healthcare cops to make sure that 25 year old with the sales job pays his fine if he doesn’t buy health insurance.
The Democrat Congress is headed by a group of longtimers (and old timers) who have been in Washington so long images of their footprints are seared into the capitol steps. They hail from a time when America was flush with money, when spending millions for an institute to honor a Democrat congressman via a perpetual earmark, as Obama did when he was in the Senate, was no big deal.
The Congress has set spending records exceeding every other in US history, yet at the same time, Democrats bemoaned the spending of Republicans who came before them. The Hill said Obama 'digs at the man with the plan to be Speaker,' as in Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio).
Obama’s weakest link is his Congress. He has only his own party to thank for that sorry state of affairs. (Commentary by Kay B. Day/Sept. 7, 2010)
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