While watching the Republican candidates fight like hungry dogs about who will most certainly lose to our president in November, I am struck by their false assumptions.
Since the Iowa campaign, pundits say President Barack Obama was mentioned 20 times more than his predecessor. May we infer these guys are trying to distance themselves from the disaster of the George W. Bush years? I think we may.
The Bush legacy of unfunded wars, unfunded spending, torture and massive debt, plus the Medicare Part D giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry, is shameful.
The candidates keep telling us the recession is made worse by Obama’s policies, yet data from the Congressional Budget Office shows jobs are increasing and overall economic growth is actually rising, though it is below hoped-for expectations.
The facts are that the banks have almost paid back their loans. The auto industry was not only saved by the government’s support, General Motors is once again leading the world in auto sales. Before Obama was elected, we were losing 750,000 jobs per month. The drop in economic growth in 2008 was 9 percent, the most since the 1930s. The stimulus stopped the job collapses by 2010 with 2.4 million net jobs added since and prevented the Great Depression II.
In 2011 alone, 1.9 million jobs were added in the private sector while more than 280,000 government jobs were cut. In fact, government employment has dropped 2.6 percent in the past three years, more than in President Ronald Reagan’s first term.
The Bush administration spent $5.07 trillion, most of it borrowed because of massive tax cuts for the wealthy. The Obama administration predicts total spending increases for two terms in office will be about $1.4 trillion. Bush’s non-defense discretionary spending doubled what Obama spends.
The Heritage Foundation took Newt Gingrich’s idea and turned it into the infamous Medicare Part D that put the cost of medication on the back of the taxpayer. Brilliant. “Obamacare” will eliminate waste, reduce the deficit by paying for emergency room treatment and making 44 million uninsured people pay into the system. The Republicans fail to mention more money is coming into Medicare than leaving.
Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Gingrich all sounded like they couldn’t wait to bomb Iran back to the Stone Age. Now there’s a foreign policy the whole Middle East can get behind: We will scare the daylights out of all those countries that supply us with oil. Since Obama became president and made the command decision to add the extra helicopter in the bin Laden mission, the popularity of al-Qaida in the Middle East has collapsed. Obama’s long-term strategy of being asked to help other countries instead of forcing our way in has even brought the Taliban to the table.
Of the 508 promises Obama made before being elected, one-third have been fulfilled. Politifact shows only two of them have received no action. The scorecard shows that with the fiscal, foreign and economic disaster Obama inherited from perhaps the worst president in my lifetime, he deserves a second term.
Now, if we can elect a cooperative Congress, we might really make some progress.
Turner is a retired teacher and industrial engineer who lives near Marble Falls. He is an independent columnist, not a staff member, and his views do not necessarily reflect those of The Tribune or its parent company. "The Voter’s Guide to National Salvation" is a newly published e-book from Turner. You can find it at www.barnesandnoble.com/ebooks. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.