Retirement and Social Security Reform
Of Obama To Carter Are Inapt And Unfair (To Carter)
Investor's Business Daily
January 6, 2010
By Ernest S. Christian and Gary A. Robbins
Because of President Obama's outrageous profligacy
with the public purse, strong policy tilt to the left and
weak performance on the world stage, some commentators foresee
a failed presidency that does profound and permanent harm
to the nation.
Others, although not predicting Armageddon, point to the failed
presidency of Jimmy Carter when, like today, there was a confluence
of economic crisis at home and dangerous timidity abroad.
But comparing Obama (and his potential destructiveness) to
Carter (and his failure to achieve) is neither apt nor fair
to President Carter.
Carter was mostly a typical Democrat of his time: naïve
about the economy, enamored with government-engineered solutions,
meddlesome by nature and weak on national defense. On the
other hand, he was steeped in the traditions and values of
middle class Americans. It was probably they who Carter-the-Baptist-Sunday-school-
teacher had in mind on Inauguration Day when he swore to "preserve,
protect and defend."
In contrast, Barack Obama's connections with mainstream America
are slight. Before moving to Washington, his main experience
was at Harvard and in the Hyde Park district of Chicago, both
sui generis and certainly atypical of America.
Judged by his life record, his regard for the ways and worth
of the American middle class is low.
Early in life (at about the same age Carter was when he joined
the U.S. Navy), Obama joined the hardcore left in the "community
organizing" business. He honed his skills and instructed
his constituents in the techniques of using government power
to gain money and wealth for themselves - at the expense of
other people. He has since put this technique to good use
Obama played in Chicago politics, sometimes aligning with
practitioners of "grievance" politics who take a
critical, often race-based view of America and its past, demanding
redress, condemning market capitalism and, in some cases,
disparaging America's Anglo-Saxon traditions of civil governance.
When he ran for president, Obama concealed his left-wing ideology,
but true to its principles, eschewed the normally obligatory
campaign obeisances to middle-class values and America's exceptional
place in the firmament of nations. Instead, he talked about
"transforming" America and gulled 60 million voters
into thinking that change meant restoration, not destruction.
Once elected, he lurched back to the left and has spent his
first year in office assiduously laying the foundation for
dismantling much that most Americans hold dear.
Somewhat reminiscent of Carter, Obama has failed to stand
up to Iran, tends toward being neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict (except when prodded vigorously) and has taken a
weak, apologetic stance on behalf of America in world affairs.
Carter's dovishness in the 1970s reflected his own piety and
humility, as well as his near-messianic belief in his anointed
role as world peacemaker.
In Obama's case, the evidence suggests a very different explanation
for his behavior: He simply is not an admirer of America and
its longstanding ethos. He wants to change America's economic
system, redistribute its wealth, recast its essentially middle-class
Judeo-Christian culture and switch its foreign alliances.
Obama seems not to have his heart in the war on terrorism.
In Afghanistan, he's phlegmatically gone through the motions,
sending more troops to be killed while he's planning to withdraw.
In the meantime, military commanders still fighting to win
are cautioned not to "overreach."
Obama either doesn't understand, or doesn't like, free market
capitalism. He continues to prescribe high-risk government
elixirs that, when administered in greater quantities, will
permanently damage the economy.
Obama does, however, understand how to loot the American middle
class with his onrushing combination of monetary, tax and
spending policies designed to rob them of $5 trillion to $10
trillion over a decade.
When Jimmy Carter ran for president, he said, "I'll never
lie to you." And he didn't. He was honest to a fault,
once confessing to a journalist that he "lusted in his
heart." From day one, Barack Obama has been the Great
Pretender, spinning webs of half-truths calculated to deceive.
The ObamaCare monstrosity, stuffed with pork and deception,
claiming to do what it does not and pretending to do good
while inflicting harm, is a national disgrace, an insult to
the intelligence of every American and a fitting monument
to President Obama's first year in office.
Jimmy Carter was not the greatest, but he wasn't the worst
president America has had. Barack Obama is so far winning
the race to the bottom.
Christian, an attorney, was a deputy assistant secretary
of the treasury in the Ford administration. Robbins, an economist,
served at the Treasury Department in the Reagan administration.