It reaches the point, after hearing or reading President Obama's stump speech, that you want to bang your head against the wall just to see if it will hurt, thereby proving that not all the laws of reality have been repealed just yet. Consider the phrasing from the President's speech just a few days ago in Poland, Ohio, where he descended from a Canadian bus and said:
We learned this morning that our businesses created 84,000 new jobs last month, and that overall means that businesses have created 4.4 million new jobs over the last 28 months, including 500,000 new manufacturing jobs. That's a step in the right direction. (Applause) That's a step in the right direction.
Well yes, and if I start pushing my 18 wheeler to Michigan tonight instead of using the engine, every excruciating step north would be a "step in the right direction," but the stupidity of the undertaking would be so insurmountable as to be worthy of a government mandate complete with a constitutional stamp of approval from John Roberts.
Piercing the fog of the President's presentation, the indispensable James Pethokoukis reminds us that the June 2012 numbers the President lauded represented a precipitous drop from the 105,000 jobs added in May. Still, the man who promised an unemployment rate of 5.6 percent by this point in his term but who has instead bestowed upon the nation the longest period of 8 percent or higher unemployment since the Great Depression hopes we will pay no attention to the facts behind the curtain.
Data such as the shrinkage in the percentage of Americans participating in the labor force, from 65.7 percent when Obama was inaugurated to 63.8 percent today, is to be excluded from mainstream media discussion of Obamanomics. Who among CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, or the Washington Post has reported that, had Obama not shrunk the labor force, the unemployment rate would be 10.5 percent? Who among these tepid, weak-kneed and dull-minded stenographers for the state has the honest mettle to point out that by this point in Ronald Reagan's first term, an average of 273,000 jobs were being added monthly for an overall increase of 9.8 million jobs, versus an average of 75,000 per month and a total of 2.5 million jobs under the heavy hand of Barack Obama?
But here, the President switches the fog machine into overdrive, saying that the principles of free market economics have been tried before and found wanting. "I mean, if we hadn't tried it before you might say, okay, let's give that a shot. (Laughter) But we just tried it, and it didn't work," he says, while presumably checking the skies for stray lightning bolts. And then comes the whopper: "And you know, if you look throughout our history, that kind of top-down economics has never worked."
Hold on just a Keynesian second here. Yes, of course free market economics have worked throughout our history, ….but did he really just use the term "top down economics" as if it were a bad thing? The man who just seized one sixth of the US economy with a 2,700 page law that launches 159 new agencies and over 16,000 new IRS agents to enforce 13,000 pages of shiny new regulations disapproves of "top down economics?" The man who signed a law that states that his powerful, unelected and unaccountable Independent Payment Advisory Board cannot be dissolved before 2017, and even then only by means of a three-fifths vote in the House and the Senate isn't fond of "top down economics?" The guy who forbids states to defend their own borders, whose administrative agencies now employ SWAT teams and drones against the citizenry disapproves of "top down" anything? What's next? Will Fidel Castro endorse free speech? Will Bill Clinton come out for monogamy?
The President likes to say that he is betting on America when, in truth, he is betting on what he hopes is the ignorance of America. He is betting that Americans won't look across the ocean to Great Britain where they will see that the future of "universal health care," is one in which just last month a top British doctor reported that the government's National Health Service is euthanizing 130,000 elderly patients annually, "...because they are difficult to manage or to free up beds…" He is betting that you haven't read that the British government has decided to close three out of ten children's heart surgery units because, after all, government knows best, right? Such is the "top down" management of life and death toward which Obama blithely drags us. Such is fundamental transformation.
The President is betting that enough Americans won't notice that by spending money to the tune of our descendants' savings, he has yielded nothing less than the second term of Jimmy Carter. He's betting that his foggy rhetoric will mask the accumulated failures and misery of collectivist experiments throughout history. Ultimately, Barack Obama is betting that Americans will value the illusory promise of government-provided free false teeth over the hopes, dreams, and freedom of generations yet unborn, who will be required to subsidize the failed grand designs of this misbegotten politician.