Thursday, October 17, 2013

Obama: The Anti-Reagan

Remember the Boston Globe article I wrote about yesterday? Evidently no one in the White House had the courage to suggest that Obama read it. Obama's press conference this morning was one more example of his failing to bridge the partisan divide. I could write pages about his remarks, but I'll stick to just two points.

Obama said it was time to return to responsible budgeting, adding, "Our deficits are half of what they were a few years ago."

Obama has zero claim to responsible budgeting. His Democrat allies in the Senate failed to produce a budget for four years. He also bragged about a $700 billion deficit this year. (In 2007, the deficit was $160 billion.) Government spending and deficits skyrocketed under Obama, and even now they still remain at historically high levels.

But I was particularly struck by Obama's jab at Ronald Reagan and his defense of Big Government. Obama said, "We hear a lot that government is the problem. Turns out we rely on it in a whole lot of ways." Liberals have written approvingly about Obama as the "anti-Reagan," and there's a lot of truth to that.

Reagan fought to cut taxes and shrink the size and scope of government. Obama has repeatedly raised taxes and given us Obamacare -- the biggest expansion of government in decades. Obama's government is collecting massive amounts of data on American citizens, punishing whistle-blowers and abusing the IRS in ways that would make Richard Nixon blush.

Reagan's economic agenda produced a booming recovery. Obama's recovery (if you can call it that) is the weakest in American history.

Ronald Reagan proudly defended American values abroad. He called the Soviet Union an "evil empire." Obama is weakening America's influence overseas, undermining our allies, telling Russia's leader just how "flexible" he can be and reaching out to the mullahs in Tehran.

Toward the end of his remarks, Obama decided to spike the football with this remark: "If you don't like a particular policy or president, go out and argue for your position. Win an election."

That's exactly what House conservatives, thanks to the Tea Party movement, did in 2010 and 2012. And that's exactly what I intend to do next year when we defeat liberal Democrats in key Senate races so that Harry Reid is no longer the Senate Majority Leader!

The Day After

House conservatives were not happy with the final deal that ended the government shutdown. Indeed, 62% of House Republicans voted against it. Nevertheless, there is widespread recognition that Speaker John Boehner did everything conservatives wanted. National Review reports that Boehner received a standing ovation from the GOP caucus at its last meeting before the vote.

All day yesterday, Senator Ted Cruz effusively praised House Republicans. During a press conference he said, "The House of Representatives deserves to be commended. They have taken a bold stance and listened to the American people." But he had harsh words for his Senate colleagues. Cruz continued, "Unfortunately, the United States Senate has taken the traditional approach of protecting the status quo."

The months ahead will be important. Last night's deal included an agreement to get a budget conference between House and Senate negotiators underway. Those talks will be led by Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray.

No doubt Republicans will come under pressure to raise revenues yet again in exchange for reforms in entitlement spending. I trust conservatives will resist the siren song of immediate tax hikes for the promise of future spending cuts.

More importantly, we must remain focused on the bigger picture. This morning, I had a number of email messages from folks ready to throw in the towel. That would be a terrible mistake. This battle began as fight to stop Obamacare and that fight will continue as long as Obamacare continues to hurt our economy and hardworking families.

In all the back and forth of Washington's blame game, we must not lose sight of who is bringing America down. It's not Ted Cruz. It's not John Boehner. It isn't Mitch McConnell either.

It is Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and the radical left that controls the Democrat Party. Unfortunately, a significant percentage of the country doesn't realize the damage that is being done by their radical agenda.

Obamacare's continued horrendous rollout (See next item) will likely cause the scales to fall from many eyes. Even some liberals are questioning Obamacare. [Warning: Graphic language.] We need to make sure that friends and family members who bought into the hype about hope and change know that it doesn't have to be this way. We can do better.

I want to share with you this excerpt of Senator Marco Rubio's speech on the Senate floor last night. As the son of Cuban refugees, Sen. Rubio has a unique perspective on American exceptionalism and why we must continue to fight the good fight.

"Over the last few months, I have been startled by the number of people who have told me they are ready to give up. … They are ready to give up on the idea that things will ever get better. But we cannot give up on America. And we cannot give up on the American Dream.

"We cannot give up, because where are we going to go? If this country declines, if we lose what makes it special, what is going to replace it? And so, no matter how long it takes, no matter how many disappointments lie ahead, we must never give up. And we must never accept that this way of life today is the new normal."

"Obamacare's Black Box"

CBS reporter Jan Crawford better start preparing for an IRS audit. For the second time now, she has panned Obamacare's rollout.

First she called it "nothing short of disastrous." Yesterday she went even further, saying, "Rough start could be the understatement of the year. It has been a complete disaster. …We can't even find anyone who's enrolled. The Miami Herald is now calling them 'urban legends.'"

Politico reports, "Two Weeks In, Obamacare Website Still Broken." The Wall Street Journal has an editorial today suggesting that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius should resign. The Journal argues that the Healthcare.gov website's failures "are the result of deliberate political choices, which HHS and the White House are compounding with secrecy and stonewalling."

Now members of Congress are demanding answers, launching an investigation into how $600 million was wasted on this fiasco.

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