by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Of course, presidents want to be remembered positively, and Obama’s cheerleaders are eager to put a happy spin on things in his final year in office.
Michael Grunwald at Politico decided to help with a piece about Obama’s policy accomplishments, describing America as “the nation he built.” Obama once told us that if you have a business, “you didn’t build that,” so I guess now we know who does the building.
Grunwald praises Obamacare for expanding the number of Americans with health insurance and points out that, at the same time, the administration also sneaked through a government takeover of student loan debt. John Boehner was correct to complain that “the president will sign not one, but two job-killing government takeovers.”
But Grunwald says that sticking taxpayers with billions of dollars of student debt was part of the “relentless government activism” needed to give America “a profound course correction” that also changed “the way we produce and consume energy, the way doctors and hospitals treat us, the academic standards in our schools and the long-term fiscal trajectory of the nation.”
All that is true, if by changing how we consume energy he means shutting down pipelines while ignoring private industry’s wonderful fracking revolution.
If by changing the way doctors treat us he means locking still more people into bureaucracies instead of letting a true health market flourish.
If academic standards mean imposing weird testing regimens and teaching methods like Common Core.
And if “long-term fiscal trajectory” means nearly doubling our federal debt, now almost $19 trillion, and doing nothing to slow America’s coming entitlements bankruptcy.
Leftists can credit Obama with policy successes because Obama often outmaneuvered Republicans and got bills he wanted. Unfortunately, the left rarely looks closely at whether those bills really made Americans better off.