On Christmas Day, terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab slipped through the cracks of our nation’s security and attempted to bomb Northwest Flight 253 on its way to Detroit. Because of the bravery and quick actions of the passengers on the Northwest flight, a major tragedy was averted.
President Obama and his administration were slow to react. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, in the first few hours after the attempted bombing, claimed “the system worked.” This sounded a lot like former President Bush in the days after Hurricane Katrina struck and destroyed much of New Orleans when he said, “Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job.” No one believed President Bush then much as no one believes Secretary Napolitano now.
And while President Obama was on vacation in Hawaii and didn’t have a lot to say in the first few days after the event, he recently called the lapses and breakdowns of the federal government and intelligence agencies a “systemic failure.” But as we look back on the first year of the Obama administration, much of what President Obama has attempted and achieved has been a “systemic failure.”
From national security, to the handling of our economy, and to several foreign policy missteps, we have witnessed this administration and the Democrats in Congress fail to protect our national interests and instead usher in a new era of more taxes, more spending, more government and less freedom.
President Obama and his administration’s actions have threatened our national security and diminished our standing in the world as a beacon of freedom. Just look at how he has approached U.S. foreign policy during his first year in office: the botched announcement of the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison last January (and, one year later, he still has no plan in place to deal with the displaced terrorists); hugging and chumming it up with Latin American thugocrats like Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez; failing to support the rule of law in Honduras after a Chavez-backed leader was removed from power; failing to speak out against the atrocities of Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after he won the Iranian presidential “election”; and dithering on the decision to increase troop levels in Afghanistan.
The list of President Obama’s “systemic failures” is long on Big Government blunders and short on free-market solutions. Take, for example, the President’s handling of our economy, which is in the midst of one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression. We have borrowed too much money and now it’s time to pay for the overborrowing and overspending.
Republicans in Congress and the American people were ready to work with the President to pass a strong investment package that would allow small businesses and entrepreneurs to restart the economic engine of America. But instead, President Obama allowed Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid to pander to special interests and hand out Big Government giveaways that enriched a few at the expense of the nation’s taxpayers.
President Obama claimed that we had to pass the so-called economic “stimulus” immediately so that we could stave off unemployment passing eight percent. But here we are, nearly a year after Congress passed the stimulus bill, and unemployment has skyrocketed to 10 percent; factor in underemployment figures, and the national unemployment rates actually rises to 17 percent.
In addition to throwing money at our economic problems, the Obama Administration has vastly expanded the federal government’s reach into the private sector. They have bailed out the auto companies with not one but two bailouts (does anyone honestly think that the “Cash for Clunkers” program revitalized the American auto industry?); taken over our nation’s financial sector; raised the debt limit to pay for their spending sprees; and decided how much executives can receive in compensation at financial companies.
And, to top it all off, President Obama and the Democrats in Congress want to dictate what kind of health care you will receive. On Christmas Eve, they crammed through a package of billions of dollars in gifts to health insurance companies and other sweetheart deals to secure the votes of wavering Senators. They have passed bills that will put bureaucrats and politicians — not doctors and patients — in charge of your health care. And they are leaving our children and grandchildren to foot the bill.
One thing is for sure: the Nanny State was alive and well in 2009, and with the Democrats running Washington, it won’t be going away anytime soon in 2010. One thing President Obama hasn’t failed at is thinking up Big Government solutions to our nation’s problems.
Perhaps President Obama’s first New Year’s resolution should be to turn that list of systemic failures into a list of free-market accomplishments that preserve our freedoms, limit the size and scope of government, and allow the free market to flourish. That’s the kind of change we need in 2010.