President Obama thinks he deserves a “good, solid B-plus” for his first year effort as leader of the free world. No doubt, Democratic congressional leaders would offer themselves the same wild grade inflation for their stewardship of the people’s business.
Mostly, however, last year’s Congress will be remembered for two efforts that will damage the economy for years to come: government health care “reform” and the $787 billion stimulus plan.
The federal deficit ballooned to $1.4 trillion and national debt increased to over $12 trillion in 2009. The binge of deficit spending is all but guaranteed to be the excuse for coming tax hikes that will have to hit a far wider swath of Americans than those fabled rich Mr. Obama promised to target. Indeed, the Democrats’ health care plan already includes numerous and onerous tax increases.
The deceptively named stimulus plan contained a decade’s worth of pent-up Democratic spending wishes on everything from $50 million in National Endowment for the Arts grants to $500 million for “leading edge biofuel projects.” Even if administration claims that this immense deficit spending “created or saved” more than 640,000 jobs through October were based in reality (which they are not), that would amount to more than $246,000 spent per job based on more than $157 billion doled out so far. A more inefficient application of taxpayer dollars is hard to imagine.
The twin disasters of government health care “reform” and the “stimulus” tend to blot out some of the other sins of last year’s congressional session, but here are 11 more reasons to remember this Congress less than fondly:
c Failing to protect the public from terrorism by punting the reauthorization of the Patriot Act until next year.
c Boosting funds for international “family planning” (i.e. lots of abortions) by $100 million after President Obama rescinded the Mexico City Policy.
c Hurting D.C. children by suffocating the District’s Voucher program, which is slowly dying as no more students are allowed to join.
c Damaging the economy and costing us jobs by leaving the U.S.-Korea and U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreements in limbo.
c Further crippling the U.S. auto industry by interfering with General Motors Corp.’s and Chrysler’s reorganization plans.
c Shredding the Constitution by failing to stand up to the Obama administration’s power grab in appointing a record number of policy czars.
c Slashing the Congressional Budget Office’s (already dubious) credibility by forcing it to laughably proclaim that Democratic plans to expand spending will lower the deficit.
c Undermining faith in democracy by refusing to hear their constituents’ fears at town hall meetings in August.
c Gumming up the courts with a “hate crimes” law that will force judges, prosecutors and juries to search criminals’ minds for unauthorized thoughts, but won’t put criminals in jail any faster.
c Socializing yet one more aspect of the U.S. economy by taking over the school loan business.
c Making the rest of their failures that much more appalling by raising their own budgets in the midst of a recession when everybody else has to cut theirs.
This Congress will go down in history for the damage it has done to America with wild deficit spending and the takeover of one seventh of the U.S. economy. Unless and until the Democratic majority is overthrown, these disastrous policies will prove to be only the beginning of the perfidy on Capitol Hill.
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