April 29th marks President Obama’s first 100 days in the Oval Office. To be sure Americans still marvel in the election of President Obama, but this milestone also provides us an opportunity to reflect on the President’s achievements to date but more significantly the "change" he is bringing to America. Make no mistake, the policies we’ve seen come out from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue represent some of the most reckless spending, borrowing and taxing America has ever seen, with a fair share of broken promises thrown in for good measure.
But I believe President Obama’s first 100 days in office is more than simply an opportunity to provide a report card on his term thus far. I believe his first 100 days offer us a frightening glimpse of what a "changed America" could look like: trillions in debt, suffocated free markets, diluted forms of capitalism, and individual liberties sacrificed at the altar of collectivism.
Led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, liberal Democrats have demonstrated an arrogance of power that uses the fear and concerns Americans have about the economic recession as justification to enact their policies designed to unravel the very fabric of our way of life. In addition to their irresponsible spending and dangerous borrowing, the Democrats have already taken steps to nationalize our banking and automotive industries and have their sights set on America’s health care system and energy industry. While they hope the American people won’t notice, they have. And their response has been nothing short of a resounding "No More!" However, such concerns have fallen on deaf ears by the White House and Democratic leadership on the Hill. In fact, what passes as a response has been dismissive at best or just plain rude. Their arrogance toward those who dare to dissent illustrates that there clearly is another side to the high-minded rhetoric and feel good sentiment.
My question at day 100 is: Is this the “change” America voted for?
I’ve already touched upon some examples of the Democrats’ arrogance of power during the past 100 days. Let’s recap:
First came the Democrats’ $787 billion economic stimulus package. It was intended, first and foremost, to help create much-needed jobs. What it became was a bill larded up with billions of dollars in pork-barrel spending — including a $30 million earmark from Pelosi herself to protect San Francisco mice — that offered American families little hope in terms of direct job creation (unless that job was to protect the mice). And let’s not forget, the Democrats’ stimulus bill also contained the loophole allowing millions of dollars in bonuses to be paid to executives at American International Group.
Then came Nancy Pelosi’s $410 billion in spending on a fiscal year 2009 omnibus package that contained 8,000 earmarks. President Obama signed it, even though he promised voters during the campaign that he would “go line by line through every item in the federal budget and eliminate programs that don’t work and make sure that those that do work, work better and cheaper.”
Next came the President’s jaw-dropping $3.6 trillion budget that would raise taxes on the very job-producing small businesses our economy needs right now. It will leave a $9 trillion deficit hanging over the heads of our children and grandchildren and leave them indebted to China and countries in the Middle East for generations to come.
Republicans understand that maximizing our resources to get our economy back on track has to be the top priority, not spending those resources on mice or studies to determine why pigs stink. Congressional Republicans have offered to work with the President on bipartisan solutions only to be shut out of the process by Pelosi and Congressional Democrats. The Democrats’ approach — endless spending, borrowing and taxing — is not smart fiscal policy and is not in the long (or short term) fiscal health of our nation or our voters.
The most obvious expression of voter frustration with the spending policies of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats could be seen in the many “Tea Parties” that took place across America on April 15. These were true grassroots events attended by concerned Americans, yet Pelosi and the far-left dismissed them as out of hand.
While Speaker Pelosi simply shrugged off the Tea Parties, President Obama made an empty gesture that was good for TV but would accomplish very little, if anything, to bring spending under control. His request to his cabinet to trim $100 million in spending would be laughable if it weren’t so insulting to American families who are struggling today to make ends meet. Even The Washington Post ridiculed it, saying Obama’s plan was “like trying to deal with a $5,000 credit card debt by forgoing a pack of gum.”
I’m not one to dwell on the negative; there are a couple of promises made by the President during the campaign that Republicans are glad he broke as President. For example, he was right not to immediately and completely withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq and leave the fledgling democracy exposed to various threats from within and from the region. And his decision last week not to reopen negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement is smart for America’s economic recovery and our relations with Canada and our Latin American neighbors.
But these are fleeting highlights overshadowed by a dangerous liberal agenda. The cornerstone of which is more spending and more borrowing. The American people expect better from the President, the Speaker, and Congressional Democrats. The true question on day 101 is will they do better than the first 100 days.