The Obama Way: Selling Failure as Success
Bob Dylan once wrote, "There's no success like failure [we learn from our mistakes], and failure is no success at all." So what has Mr. Obama learned from his mistakes? Admitting to no mistakes during the past three years, "success" is exactly the way the Obama administration explains away the more than 5 trillion taxpayer dollars that have so far been spent. While "success" is most often measured by its return, benefit, or gain, with no way to prove otherwise, this administration chooses to measure its success by "how much worse the recession might have been" if they had not spent the $5 trillion. In fact, as we get closer to the election, these same experts are now telling us that the $5 trillion they spent actually saved the world from another Great Depression. They base this conclusion, of course, on...well, their failure. How noble. Having gained nothing from our $5 trillion somehow proves that they were right to spend it and save us all from "much worse."
The last time such success was measured by the depth of its failure was The Great Depression. As my friend Alan the Liberal recently told me, "if there's one thing we learned from the Great Depression, it's that we need to spend more." The fact is that in 1933, unemployment was 18%. By 1938 (just prior to the WWII draft), despite billions of dollars injected into the economy via the First New Deal, the National Recovery Act, the various federal work programs, and the Second New Deal, unemployment was 12.5%, while the federal government, through its various work programs, was employing an additional 10.5%. Despite all the government spending, unemployment had effectively increased. Compare that to the Marshall Plan, during which some $26 billion, or 10% of our GDP at that time, was spent through private industry. Unemployment during those years (1946 to 1952) ranged between 3.9% and 5.3%, despite millions of our servicemen and women returning home from the war and joining the work force.
Barak Obama, in 2008, won the presidency on the platform that (among other things) he understood the country's economic problems and, more importantly, knew how to solve them. Three-plus years later, the administration is now telling us that "The economy turns out to have been far worse ... than we knew at the time," "we are moving in the right direction," and that he now "needs more time to fix the economy."
"The economy turns out to have been far worse ... than we knew at the time" simply tells us that Mr. Obama never understood the problems to begin with.
"Moving in the right direction"? Despite more than three years and some $2 trillion spent on bailouts, handouts, and so-called stimulus, there are approximately three million fewer people employed today than were employed in 2008. Approximately three quarters of a million fewer women are employed today than were employed in 2008. Several million others have given up looking for employment entirely, gone into retirement, taken permanent disability, or taken jobs in the underground economy. Few if any of these people will ever again contribute to our tax base.
Despite the failure of this administration's policies, Mr. Obama now claims to "need more time." Having no plan in hand while simultaneously claiming that we are moving in the right direction, Mr. Obama is clearly telling us that if he is re-elected, we can expect more deficit spending to pay for the same failed policies over the next four years.
If these three statements tell us anything, they tell us that Mr. Obama campaigned in 2008 with no understanding of the problem, has chosen the old liberal solution of throwing money at the problem while hoping things improve, and worse yet, cannot come up with a new plan because to do so would not only admit failure, but concede that he never had a clue to begin with.
Only in the liberal Democratic world is failure proof of success. We see it not only in the White House, but in Congress, at our universities, and in increases in compensation for fewer hours and less productivity demanded by our municipal unions.
Dylan told us that "There is no success like failure," but in fact, Mr. Obama has learned nothing from his failures during more than three years of on-the-job training. And failure is no success at all.