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Washington - Karl Rove: Obama and the Fiscal 'Road to Hell'

Published on: July 1, 2010 06:57 PM
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President Brack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper chat before the start of opening session at the G-20 in Toronto,President Brack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper chat before the start of opening session at the G-20 in Toronto,

Washington - At last week’s G-20 meeting, President Barack Obama achieved a two-fer. He suffered a significant international defeat, and he increased the chances his party will suffer a major domestic one this fall.

Mr. Obama’s international defeat was self-inflicted. He went to Toronto to press other major nations to do as he has done: Expand government spending, or suffer, in the president’s words, “renewed economic hardship and recession.”

Canada, Germany, Great Britain and most other countries declined Mr. Obama’s invitation. The German economic minister “urgently” prodded America to cut spending at a press conference on June 21, prior to the G-20 meeting. The president of the European central bank took direct aim at Mr. Obama’s argument, telling the Italian newspaper La Repubblica on June 16 that “the idea that austerity measures could trigger stagnation is incorrect.”

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The European Union president, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, tore into Mr. Obama’s stimulus and other spending policies in a stunning address to the European Parliament in March 2009, calling them “the road to hell” and saying “the United States did not take the right path.”

If it sounds strange to have European leaders lecturing the U.S. about fiscal restraint, it should. But that is where America finds itself after Mr. Obama’s 17-month fiscal orgy.

The other flaw in his G-20 appearance is domestic. The president’s statements that more deficit spending was “necessary to keep economic growth strong” and his cautioning against “the consequential mistakes of the past” when stimulus spending “was too quickly withdrawn” puts his administration and party squarely in favor of policies unpopular with most Americans.

Since 2000, the Gallup organization has asked voters what they believe will be the most important problem for the U.S. in 25 years. This year Americans are saying the challenge will be the deficit. And last month, almost eight in 10 voters surveyed by the Associated Press called the federal budget deficit an “extremely” or “very important” issue.

There was more bad news Tuesday for Democrats from recent focus groups conducted in battleground congressional districts in Iowa, Ohio, New Jersey, Arkansas and Florida.

A report on these focus groups issued this week by Resurgent Republic (a group I helped found) showed that both political independents and tea party participants passionately denounced federal spending and deficits, using words like “reckless,” “out of control,” “unnecessary” and “unhelpful.” The evidence suggests that both groups remain deeply skeptical of Mr. Obama’s stimulus package and are unpersuaded by the administration’s arguments in its favor.

The authors of the Resurgent Republic study concluded that both independents and tea party voters believe “nearly unanimously” that reckless government spending, not lack of tax revenues, is responsible for the deficits. This goes to the very heart of the modern Democratic agenda with its guiding philosophy of bigger government and higher taxes.

All of this negative news is wearing on the president. At the G-20’s concluding news conference, Mr. Obama—brittle and petulant—attacked GOP critics “who are hollering about deficits,” saying he would be “calling their bluff” next year by “presenting some very difficult choices.” Then “we’ll see how much of . . . the political arguments they’re making right now are real, and how much of it was just politics.”

The president’s problem is largely a mess of his own making. Deficit spending did not begin when Mr. Obama took office. But he and his Democratic allies have supported, proposed, passed or signed and then spent every dime that’s gone out the door since Jan. 20, 2009.

Voters know it is Mr. Obama and Democratic leaders who approved a $410 billion supplemental (complete with 8,500 earmarks) in the middle of the last fiscal year, and then passed a record-spending budget for this one. Mr. Obama and Democrats approved an $862 billion stimulus and a $1 trillion health-care overhaul, and they now are trying to add $266 billion in “temporary” stimulus spending to permanently raise the budget baseline.

It is the president and Congressional allies who refuse to return the $447 billion unspent stimulus dollars and want to use repayments of TARP loans for more spending rather than reducing the deficit. It is the president who gave Fannie and Freddie carte blanche to draw hundreds of billions from the Treasury. It is the Democrats’ profligacy that raised the share of the GDP taken by the federal government to 24% this fiscal year.

This is indeed the road to fiscal hell, and it’s been paved by the president and his party. Voters will have their chance this November to render their verdict on the Obama years. No wonder Republicans feel confident these days.


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Read Comments (20)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jul 01, 2010 at 08:33 PM Anonymous Says:

I didn't know Karl Rove was an economist too? Many economists disagree with Mr Rove and think we need to continue spending or risk repeating the same mistakes we did during the great depression.

2

 Jul 01, 2010 at 08:58 PM anonymous Says:

Karl Rove paved the fiscal and economic road to hell by caving in to big oil companies and now the rooster came flying home with BP

3

 Jul 01, 2010 at 09:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Article was spot on.

4

 Jul 01, 2010 at 09:33 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

I didn't know Karl Rove was an economist too? Many economists disagree with Mr Rove and think we need to continue spending or risk repeating the same mistakes we did during the great depression.

What took us out of the Great Depression was WWII, not overspending. Can you name 1 Economist who thinks that increasing the government budget will stimulate private investment and job growth?

5

 Jul 01, 2010 at 09:47 PM Barry Says:

Karl,
Terrible. I mean really bad. Don't you feel any guilt when you're done writing such an article??
During the Clinton years, there was no deficit, actually there was a surplus!
Ever since your friend Georgey took control of this Country's finances things turned ugly.
2 wars, the 1st stimulus and no regulations on hedge funds and banks are the cause of the problem.

6

 Jul 01, 2010 at 09:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

I didn't know Karl Rove was an economist too? Many economists disagree with Mr Rove and think we need to continue spending or risk repeating the same mistakes we did during the great depression.

Interesting. So government deficit spending is actually good for the economy? Can you please explain how this works?

Because at the current rate of gov't deficit as percentage of gdp, this country will be in a state of bankruptcy in 9 years.

7

 Jul 01, 2010 at 10:31 PM Anonymous Says:

This president is taking us down the road to hell in many ways. The question is, will it be possible to reverse it in time, before it's too late? I fear November will be too late. Something has to be done to get rid of him as soon as possible. There is no time to lose.

8

 Jul 01, 2010 at 11:26 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

This president is taking us down the road to hell in many ways. The question is, will it be possible to reverse it in time, before it's too late? I fear November will be too late. Something has to be done to get rid of him as soon as possible. There is no time to lose.

Agree 100%!!! V'Yufeh Shoo Achas Koidem!!!

9

 Jul 02, 2010 at 01:43 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Interesting. So government deficit spending is actually good for the economy? Can you please explain how this works?

Because at the current rate of gov't deficit as percentage of gdp, this country will be in a state of bankruptcy in 9 years.

Well, normally you don't want the government to overspend and run up high deficits, but you also don't want the government to worry about the deficit at a time when all the business' are tightening their belts. 75% of our economy is driven by consumer demands. If no one is spending, how will things go back to normal? How did WWII get us out of the depression? Cuz the government spent with no limits, because they had no choice.

10

 Jul 02, 2010 at 07:49 AM anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

What took us out of the Great Depression was WWII, not overspending. Can you name 1 Economist who thinks that increasing the government budget will stimulate private investment and job growth?

Maybe you check who the economic team is in the present government, Harvard economic professors are as well versed in economics as you

11

 Jul 02, 2010 at 07:50 AM anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

This president is taking us down the road to hell in many ways. The question is, will it be possible to reverse it in time, before it's too late? I fear November will be too late. Something has to be done to get rid of him as soon as possible. There is no time to lose.

why don't you voice your ideas how to get rid of him,

12

 Jul 02, 2010 at 08:00 AM cool masmid Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

This president is taking us down the road to hell in many ways. The question is, will it be possible to reverse it in time, before it's too late? I fear November will be too late. Something has to be done to get rid of him as soon as possible. There is no time to lose.

Its not just getting rid of him but getting rid of his policies which I fear will take years to reverse and many more years to put this country back on track. I mean he is spending our grandchildren's money before they even earned it- not that I have grandchildren yet.

13

 Jul 02, 2010 at 08:31 AM anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Barry Says:

Karl,
Terrible. I mean really bad. Don't you feel any guilt when you're done writing such an article??
During the Clinton years, there was no deficit, actually there was a surplus!
Ever since your friend Georgey took control of this Country's finances things turned ugly.
2 wars, the 1st stimulus and no regulations on hedge funds and banks are the cause of the problem.

The promise of the free market self-adjustment did not work because casino gambling with people's investments and thievery was not part of the free market system

14

 Jul 02, 2010 at 08:36 AM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

What took us out of the Great Depression was WWII, not overspending. Can you name 1 Economist who thinks that increasing the government budget will stimulate private investment and job growth?

Paul Krugman, for one. He won a Nobel Prize in economics a few years ago. And his insights to the current crisis have proven to be well founded; he predicted a year and a half ago that the economic stimulus wasn't big enough and he was right.

Furthermore, it was in fact the government spending that accompanied WW2 that ended the depression: The government hired millions of people and borrowed money to do it: Soldiers! The depression might have ended earlier but in 1937 everyone listened to the Roves of the day and the government cut spending. The depression immediately got worse.

15

 Jul 02, 2010 at 08:39 AM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #5  
Barry Says:

Karl,
Terrible. I mean really bad. Don't you feel any guilt when you're done writing such an article??
During the Clinton years, there was no deficit, actually there was a surplus!
Ever since your friend Georgey took control of this Country's finances things turned ugly.
2 wars, the 1st stimulus and no regulations on hedge funds and banks are the cause of the problem.

He is just proving that he is a hypocrite. During his time as the #1 advisor to President Bush, we passed huge tax cuts that were not paid for with spending cuts, we started two wars that were not paid for, we passed the Medicare Part D that was not paid for, and we passed the TARP that was not paid for. And now the Republicans are objecting to an unemployment extension that is so small compared to those programs that it is almost roundoff error.

Would that Al Gore hadn't had the election stolen from him. We would probably still have a surplus, and would not be facing this depression.

16

 Jul 02, 2010 at 09:40 AM anonymous Says:

Reply to #15  
Charlie Hall Says:

He is just proving that he is a hypocrite. During his time as the #1 advisor to President Bush, we passed huge tax cuts that were not paid for with spending cuts, we started two wars that were not paid for, we passed the Medicare Part D that was not paid for, and we passed the TARP that was not paid for. And now the Republicans are objecting to an unemployment extension that is so small compared to those programs that it is almost roundoff error.

Would that Al Gore hadn't had the election stolen from him. We would probably still have a surplus, and would not be facing this depression.

Amen and lucky the Senate bipartisan passed the finance reform bill, written by democrats

17

 Jul 02, 2010 at 10:09 AM anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

This president is taking us down the road to hell in many ways. The question is, will it be possible to reverse it in time, before it's too late? I fear November will be too late. Something has to be done to get rid of him as soon as possible. There is no time to lose.

Something is being by your friends invest bankers and hedge fund managers investing money in the atheist, communist abortion permitting People's Republic of China instead investing domestically and by funding the tea party. The money flows to China like the mighty Wolga river and upstart American enterprises [renewable energy] are ;lacking funds. The choking of investments is the answer of Karl Rove et.al

18

 Jul 02, 2010 at 10:10 AM PMO Says:

Reply to #15  
Charlie Hall Says:

He is just proving that he is a hypocrite. During his time as the #1 advisor to President Bush, we passed huge tax cuts that were not paid for with spending cuts, we started two wars that were not paid for, we passed the Medicare Part D that was not paid for, and we passed the TARP that was not paid for. And now the Republicans are objecting to an unemployment extension that is so small compared to those programs that it is almost roundoff error.

Would that Al Gore hadn't had the election stolen from him. We would probably still have a surplus, and would not be facing this depression.

Charlie, you and I hardly agree on much politically. However, on this issue you are spot on. Karl Rove was the architect of the worst financial management plan this country had seen in nearly a century. Obama is a liberal, and that puts me in direct opposition to him. However, Rove was no better. He talks a good game now that Faux News is paying him a salary to repeat their talking points all day, but the reality is that he is just another corrupt politico trying to rewrite history.

Rove (frequently referred to as 'the architect' by Bush's people) was responsible for such a big portion of our economic collapse, and yet it seems that so many are too quick to forget.

While working in the white house, Rove was responsible for orchestrating the biggest increases in deficit spending EVER. Rove, like Cheney felt that rising deficits were inconsequential as he stated time and time again.

He is right about most things in this article, but that doesn't change the fact that he is a disgrace to Conservatives everywhere. As low as Obama should hang his head in shame, Rove's should be at the same level.

Does Karl really think that intelligent people don't know what a fake he is?

21

 Jul 02, 2010 at 10:36 AM anonymous Says:

Pure capitalism is amoral. Banks[capitalists] funded Lenin, later American and German capitalists funded Hitler and now they invest in atheistic China and in the country of avodah zorah India. This for all those righteous rightist who dislike the socialist democrats or worse. The fact is amorality and immorality sometimes intertwine and the kunst is to be able distinguish amorality from immorality and sometime they amalgamate. Esso or Standard Oil of New Jersey in the 40's sold petroleum to Nazi Germany via Venezuela

22

 Jul 02, 2010 at 10:57 AM anonymous Says:

The most dangerous fact to pure capitalism is China. A government controlled economy is working and the Chinese currency is solid and they manufacture although by polluting the country which in America would be the same if not for the interference by EPA which should be dismantled according to the Tea Party

23

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