The Two Faces Of Barack Obama

A long, long time ago – way, way back in January 8, 2009 – Barack Obama said some things about the economy and its profound dependence on the government.  Obama said (at George Mason University):

It is true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or long-term growth. But at this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe. Only government can break the cycle that is crippling our economy, where a lack of spending leads to lost jobs, which leads to even less spending, where an inability to lend and borrow stops growth and leads to even less credit.

But just a few days back Obama said:

In the end, the answer to our economic troubles rests less in my hands, or in the hands of our legislators, than it does with America’s workers and the businesses that employ them. They are the ones whose efforts and ideas will determine our economic destiny, just as they always have. For in the end, it’s businesses – large and small – that generate the jobs, provide the salaries, and serve as the foundation on which the American people’s lives and dreams depend. All we can do, those of us in Washington, is help create a favorable climate in which workers can prosper, businesses can thrive, and our economy can grow. And that is exactly what the recovery plan I’ve proposed is intended to do. Thank you.

The thing I think I hate most about Obama’s style is that he’ll talk out of both sides of his mouth, and then pretend he’s been consistent all along.  He can then say, “As I’ve been saying all along,” or, “Like I’ve said before,” and then say whatever he heck he wants to say that suits him at that moment with that audience.

And this is the thing that has consistently bugged me about Obama: he’s whatever he wants to present himself from one moment to the next.  Or, as Obama himself put it, “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.”  In the passive-aggressive co-dependent way he explains it, it’s everyone’s fault but his own.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that he tells a Jewish audience that “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided,” and a Palestinian audience that, “Well, obviously, it’s going to be up to the parties to negotiate a range of these issues. And Jerusalem will be part of those negotiations.”

Barack Obama is a self- confessed blank screen.  And I’ve “projected” a picture of a gigantic weasel on my view of him.

So here’s the question that every single American should deeply care about: does Obama believe that it is the government which creates and sustains economic growth, or does he believe that it is the private sector that produces economic growth and creates the jobs that come with it?  Is he FDR, or is he Ronald Reagan?

When Ronald Reagan took office from Jimmy Carter, inflation was at a meteoric 13.3% and the country was in the throes of a fierce recession.  There was a real question as to whether workers’ wages would keep up with the costs of living, which made people afraid to either spend or save.  And nobody knew how to control inflation – which had risen from 1.4% in 1960 to the aforementioned 13.3% in 1980 – causing a real erosion of confidence in the future.  Jimmy Carter answered a reporter’s question as to what he would do about the problem of inflation by answering, “It would be misleading for me to tell any of you that there is a solution to it.”

Reagan DID have a solution, and the result was the Reagan Revolution.

Unemployment had risen to 11%.  More businesses failed than at any time since World War II.  The picture of the economy was grim, indeed.

And then the Reagan policies – ridiculed by the very same liberal economic theorists whose policies created the inflation to begin with – began to work.  And the result – from such terrible beginnings – was the 2nd largest peacetime expansion in American history.  And now – to prove that there really is nothing new under the sun, liberal economic theorists are STILL ridiculing Reagan’s successful policy over twenty years after its success changed America.

In spite of Bush’s unprecedented 52 straight months of uninterrupted job growth that were bookended by two recessions – the one that Clinton left Bush, and the one that Bush is now leaving Obama – the economy is down in the dumps again.  Some argue it’s the worst since the Great Depression; others argue that the dot-com bubble of 2000-2002 (a lingering result of the Clinton recession) actually resulted in a worse market than we are seeing today.  But whether you want to use the phrase “worst ever,” or the phrase “really bad,” we can all agree that the current economy is really bad.

The question is, what do we do about it?  And another question – almost as important –  is which of Obama’s two faces should we believe?

I would submit to you that the “private sector” Obama face, the “Reagan face,” is a cartoon drawn on the back of his head to sway the particularly gullible.  But there’s little reason to believe that Obama is a Reagan (who famously said, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem” in his first Inaugural Address).  In fact, there’s little reason to even believe that Obama is a 2nd term Clinton (who famously said, “The era of big government is over” in his 2nd Inaugural Adress).  Rather, I would argue that Obama believes that big government is back with a vengeance.

Ronald Reagan would have had a big problem with Obama’s “Only government can” approach to our economic problems.

In what I believe was a giant Freudian TRIP, Obama lectured Wall Street, saying, “There will be time for them to make profits, and there will be time for them to get bonuses. Now’s not that time.”  Presumably Obama means that the time to get profits and bonuses is when bureaucrats like himself decide they should get them.  Which is the European model.  And of course, “now” is never the time.  Sing “Tomorrow” from the musical Annie with me (The profits come out… It’s only a day away!).

In a brief digression, I would argue that there are guys like John Thain who frankly deserve to have their financial testicles cut off.  But then there are the thousands of honest brokers and secretaries who worked 80 hours a week, and whose wages largely depend on bonuses, who should not be destroyed over the bad apples.  And I would also  point out that New York is losing $1 billion in tax revenues due to the reduced bonus money being paid out.

And Obama’s televised January 30 tantrum at Wall Street wasn’t like Reagan at all.

That leaves us with the FDR face.  The face of the Great Depression.

In his article, “Barack Obama and the FDR-Great Depression Myth,” Michael Fumento notes:

Even FDR Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau admitted the New Deal had failed. “We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work,” he declared in 1939. “We have never made good on our promises…I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started…And an enormous debt to boot!”

And the New Deal DID fail.  In fact, not only did it not help the economy, but it actually prolonged the Great Depression by 7 years.  The sad fact of the matter is that there are Great Myths about the Great Depression, as Thomas Sowell notes in his article.  FDR’s New Deal amounted to a costly and collosol failure with great PR.  Only World War II – which put unemployed men “to work” at the front even as it created demand for industrial production and innovation saved us.

While the rest of the world entered depressions, which lasted an average of about two to four years, the United States’ depression was the Great Depression because it just went on and on and on as FDR tried one massive government bureaucratic solution after another.  Death by bureaucracy is a painful, lingering death indeed.

Fumento argues, “The grotesque reality is that it wasn’t an American aristocrat who led us out of the Great Depression but a monstrous Austrian corporal.”  That is because our economy was being so disasterously managed due to continual government intrustion that this country was sunk into a cycle that it never would have been able to get out of on its own.

My question is, ‘Do we really want to be faced with the prospect of relying upon the global thermonuclear holocaust of a World War III to get us out of the next Great Depression as Obama’s bureaucratic solutions fail one after another?’

The euphemistically-named American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act will cost Taxpayers at least $1.2 Trillion with interest – and that’s if the current $819 billion plan doesn’t balloon even further.  Meanwhile, it isn’t going to get any cheaper under Obama.  Potentially we’ve got trillion-dollar deficits for years to come, even with the economic recovery that we are working on,” Obama has said.  Michelle Malkin noted that the word “even” should be replaced with the word “because.”  She says, “Washington will saddle future generations with unprecedented debt because of the economic recovery interventions Obama is planning, not despite them.”  And she has therefore re-dubbed the bailout “the Generational Theft Act of 2009.”

Most of the spending won’t take place until more than a year from now, and half of it won’t occur until over two years from now.

Assuming enactment in mid-February, CBO estimates that the bill would increase outlays by $92 billion during the remaining several months of fiscal year 2009, by $225 billion in fiscal year 2010 (which begins on October 1), by $159 billion in 2011, and by a total of $604 billion over the 2009-2019 period.

And if it’s not bad enough that most of the money won’t start becoming available until the 2010 election season (coincidence?), a whopping chunk of the money isn’t even stimulative.

Furthermore, the Obama “economic recovery act” will allow illegal immigrants to collect the same checks as citizens.  You might like that, but I sure don’t.

The Cato Institute has a video presentation (accessed via HotAir) outlining past failures of government spending to “stimulate” the economy, and notes that the Bush administration both massively expanded government spending, and offered several “stimulus” packages – all to no avail.

From Hot Air:

If government spending stimulated national economies, as Obama proposes, then “North Korea would be Nirvana,” Mitchell [Dan Mitchell from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity] exclaims.  In fact, we don’t have to go to those extremes to see the end result of massive government spending and jacked-up taxation.  All we need to do is study Western Europe, which has stagnated for years on those policies, and Eastern Europe, which has thrived on low tax rates and better fiscal discipline.

Having a two-faced President is never good, but it’s particularly bad if he wears the worst possible face at the worst possible time.  I don’t have a crystal ball, but I don’t need one to predict that if Obama puts his FDR face on, this economy – as well as our ancestors – will be paying for his mistakes for years to come.

A couple more articles:

Investors Tell Obama What They Think Of His Presidency

Renowned Economic Forecaster Says US Headed For Total Collapse

19 Responses to “The Two Faces Of Barack Obama”

  1. Coenraad One Says:

    Obama is the only guy who can dress a fraught cover-up as a bailout and present it as a stimulus.

    How many faces does he get for that?

  2. Michael Eden Says:

    The media will give him as many faces as he needs, without bothering to check on the veracity of any of them. Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin – on the other hand – will have their lives turned upside down looking for dirt and have their credibility impugned even when there’s no “there” there.

  3. ikejakson Says:

    Not as long as you and I are here my friend. I am going to keep on plugging at him, and I am sure Miss Sarah will. I am disappointed, of course I am, but he is mortal. He will hang himself and I am going to do everything I can to help him do that. I am sure that many others feel the same.

  4. Wellsy Says:

    Fantastic post, and on-target analysis.

  5. Michael Eden Says:

    Appreciate the praise, Wellsy. It’s always real encouraging to hear.

    I’m glad to hear you’re out there plugging away. Nice to know there are other “pluggers.”

    But we are rather like that Greek god (was it Sysiphus?) doomed to roll the stone up a mountain; the medis is so overwhelmingly biased, and has such a loud (and shrill) voice.

    But in a way, the media has itself set Obama up to fail with all its adulation of him. The expectations are so high, and the reality (that we elected a failure of a man, and certainly not a god), is going to make for a harsh wake-up. And the media – which has created a “gratify me right now!” mentality – is not going to be able to keep explaining why Obama isn’t fixing all our problems.

    That’s our opening.

    I also have come to believe that the media and liberals with their unrelenting naysaying and criticism of Bush brought him down. If you keep saying someone is a failure and predicting he’s going to fail often enough – and then point out and magnify every single negative thing (or thing you can make appear negative) and exclaim, “We TOLD you so!” – you can bring even a popular president down.

    And as I’ve said, “Do unto Obama as liberals did unto Bush.”

  6. Ike Jakson Says:

    That’s the spirit Michael!

    His own Media will greatly contribute to his downfall [that rock will be coming down from that thar mountain] when the Sheeple start to realize the fraud.

    I had a good laugh last night at the title of a new book out by Bernard Goldberg ‘’A Slobbering Love Affair: The True [and Pathetic] Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media’’ that is being promoted by the Fellows over at Human Events. Obama cannot handle ridicule, that’s for sure, and so/me people will by that book.

    He is great News Coverage at the moment and News Coverage is a lot of money to the Media. When the shine wears off the coverage wanes and we all know Obama is an empty shell underneath that shine. He will be rolling down that thar mountain man because he is not immortal, no way. I have read a bit of history in my Time.

    An interesting thing is happening in Tripoli right now. Old Goatmilk [Muamar] Gadaffi is now seriously promoting his idea of a new USA [the United States of Africa] and this will rub off on Brother Obama, make no mistake [watch this space] because Old Goatmilk does have a following although he is completely nuts and he is setting himself up for President of the new USA [and CIC of an army of two million he is boasting about]. Nobody can have friends like that and keep the public shine on. Obama will be called upon sometime to honor his brotherly obligations and I with some others will be waiting in the wings to ensure that he does.

    I am watching the development of Senator Judd Gregg with great interest. That thing will have repercussions somewhere. No matter what, it will hurt some feelings and cause some eyes to itch.

    Don’t despair.

  7. Michael Eden Says:

    I’m planning to get Goldberg’s new book. His old one sure was a punch in the fat, drooling face of the media establishment.

    All your points are spot on. I read the other day that Gadaffi is going to be in control of some UN-type organization (the 53 nation African Union), to the dismay of many (liberals especially, given that this depicts what a massive and hateful fraud “international diplomacy” truly is)

    I believe that we’re in the last days, which is why I am “pessimistic” as to our righting ourselves. I don’t see us getting out of all the dilemmas that liberals have created for us and the world. But I also believe that the same God who told us all about these last days is ultimately in control. So I see my job more as an “exposer” than a “reformer.”

    Interestingly, if we are, for instance, attacked again by terrorists, America will reject liberalism to a degree that will shock everyone. But it won’t be an embrace of conservatism, but rather it will be a knee-jerk reaction NOT to conservative principles, but to the very “right wing” that the left has always falsely accused us of being. And it will be the massive failures of liberalism that brought us there.

  8. hl Says:

    Interesting dialogue on this thread. Elsewhere on your blog we’ve discussed our responses and duties as believers in this battle we find ourselves fighting.
    I came across an article where the author put into words, far better than I could the issues. I wanted to bring it to your attention.

  9. Ike Jakson Says:

    You just never fail to amaze me with all the research results and how fast you find it. I got my previous knowledge from a radio source but I have now read the Net page you supply in your comment on Gadaffi.

    He has a number of faces too and I think the USA of Africa is very funny. I will send that Newspaper a comment to ask whether Old Goatmilk and Obama consulted on the use of the name and see whether they reply.

    I hope young stophate gets into this Box too and that he will learn something about the other USA.

  10. Michael Eden Says:

    Sadly, I would imagine that starthate is very much in favor of the “other” USA. It’s THIS one he’s had trouble with (at least until recently).

    I just use google for my searches, but there IS a knack to researching. The more you do it, the better you get.

  11. Michael Eden Says:

    Thanks for the link as it was an interesting read. It DOES bring up a lot of issues. But I think Chuck Baldwin is wrong in his conclusions. His last paragraph:
    The other caller represented the mewling pietism that passively allowed the deaths of 6 million Jews in Germany and 50 million children in America. These are the people who have Hal Lindsey and Jack and Rexella Van Impe DVD’s stacked high in their homes. They view the Left Behind series as seminal work on the subject of Bible prophecy. These are not the ones you would have run to if you were a Jew back in Germany, trying to escape the Nazis. These are not people that would intervene with offers of help for your mother at an abortion clinic where you were about to be cut to pieces. They would be at home, checking out the latest flip chart prophecy guru on Christian TV.

    I can tell he hasn’t watched Hal Lindsey (whom I watch regularly). He describes himself as a “watchman on the wall” sounding out the alarm as to what is going on. And his viewers – so informed – are active. I’m one of them.

    For Baldwin, to believe in the last days is tantamount to surrendering. Not so. Not at all. It was – for instance – my view that Obama as President would send us into the last days that so galvanized me. I didn’t lay down and die. I stood up and fought. And I’m still fighting.

    So, while Baldwin is raising issues that DO need to be raised, I think he’s flat-out wrong in his conclusion.

    ANYONE who lies down and does nothing is part of the problem.

    But there are a lot of ways to get involved. Are missionaries who go to other countries – such as my good friend Lindsey who went to Africa – to be blamed for “doing nothing”? Only a fool would say that. What about the person who fights for Christianity in America? Different mission. But we’re both trying to do what we believe God would have us do.

    The belief in the last days – and Hal Lindsey would immediately agree to this – should stimulate us to become more involved and battle harder in the war against the darkness of evil than we have ever been. It should make us think about how we live our lives. How much we truly love our Lord. The days are SHORT!!!

    But as we’re becoming involved, we need to think about what we’re doing with our time and energy, and make sure we are investing it in the name of the Lord.

    I should point out that I have questioned my own tactics, and asked how far I should go. But saying, “I’m not willing to be as petty, and mean, and hateful, and deceitful, as liberals” isn’t “doing nothing.” Nor does it come from my belief that we’re in the last days. Rather, it is the restraint that any genuine Christian should pursue.

    An example might be abortion. Should Christians target abortion clinics? Should we bomb them? Should we assassinate abortion doctors? I would argue NO!!! So it’s not a matter of, “Anything goes.” But what limit should we draw as Christians?

    I come across people like Chuck Baldwin from time to time. They are absolutely intolerant of the dispensationalism which has largely come to dominate evangelical Christianity. And present a lot of false arguments like this one. I wish that they would spend more of their time reforming the amillennial churches that have largely become bastions of liberalism. And I would also point out that the German churches that DID allow six million Jews to be murdered actually held BALDWIN’S eschatology, and NOT the dispensationalism that has resulted in Christians and Jews becoming profound friends and allies.

  12. hl Says:

    I should have clarified that I did not agree with all Baldwin wrote. I appreciated he brought up several issues I have become aware of and mystified by since the election cycle. And I think I have been afraid and discouraged when I have read or heard from Christians who either are not interested in what is going on or think because we are near the end we should not try and resist anything anymore.
    Your analysis is true and good.

  13. Michael Eden Says:

    I’m glad for your clarification. To be honest, I didn’t think – based on our earlier “chat” – that you bought into Baldwin’s positions. But I didn’t want to put words in your mouth.

    I agree. Right or wrong, Baldwin did bring up some of the issues we’ve addressed. Sometimes it helps to have someone say something just so you can say, “No. Not that.” It clarifies your thinking a little by elimination if nothing else.

    I think we’re both on the same exact page when we affirm the statement: “We’ve got to become galvanized as we never have been before in our lives.”

    If a Christian decides that he doesn’t want to fight for America’s political, social, and religious future, but instead goes out evangelizing and talking about the salvation of Christ, I’m not going to condemn him or her. But, you’re right. If someone becomes passive and weak and does so BECAUSE of Christianity or “the end,” he or she needs to be taken to the woodshed.

  14. hl Says:

    “I think we’re both on the same exact page when we affirm the statement: “We’ve got to become galvanized as we never have been before in our lives.”

    If someone becomes passive and weak and does so BECAUSE of Christianity or “the end,” he or she needs to be taken to the woodshed.”

    Yes, we are on the same page. Michael, your above statements perfectly express my convictions. Thanks!

  15. Michael Eden Says:

    Remember Falwell’s “Moral Majority” evangelical political movement in the 80s? Some years later, Cal Thomas wrote that “Christians are neither moral, nor a majority.”

    I don’t know if it was true when Thomas wrote it. But I think it definitely is NOW.

    And that brings me back to Bible prophecy and the last days. Jesus, in his letter to the 7th and final church Laodicea, said, “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:15). A lot of evangelical scholars view Christ’s 7 letters to the churches as representing 7 successive ages of the church. And the 7th and final church would be the one that witnessed the last days.

    And Jesus is so disappointed with them.

    The message: don’t be a Laodicean. Stand up. Get busy. And work like you’ve never worked. For the time is short, and the stakes are high.

  16. hl Says:

    I do not want to disappoint Jesus. If we are living through the last days of the end times, I want it recorded in heaven that I stood for truth and righteousness and resisted the onslaught of evil. I think it really matters. I will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account for how I lived my life. I do not want to be ashamed in that day.
    We live before Him from whom nothing is hidden.

  17. Michael Eden Says:


    And whether a Christian is premil or amil in his or her eschatology, that is the attitude that all should have.

    I truly don’t understand the mindset of a Christian who says, “Jesus is coming. Might as well sit back and have another beer while I watch the boob tube.”

    I guess part of it is the fear of the Lord. So many Christians have a view of Jesus as “Barney the Dinosaur.” On my understanding of Scripture, if Jesus appeared right now, Christians would be ducking for cover and crying over how they lived their lives. I mean, look at Isaiah – who was one of the most righteous men of his day. He said when he saw the Lord, “Woe is me! I’m about to be destroyed! For I am a man of unclean lips from a people of unclean lips.” And John (described as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”) fainted like a dead man when he saw the risen Jesus in His divine glory.

    The fear of the Lord and the realization that the time is short should make us MOVE LIKE WE’VE GOT A PURPOSE.

  18. hl Says:

    Amen!! LOL over the”Barney the Dinosaur” comment!

  19. Michael Eden Says:

    I get rather short with the “Barney the Christ” mentality that forgets the fact that Christ is first our LORD and our God.

    Barney the Dinosaur doesn’t impose His will on our lives. He just shows up so immature children can play with him and hug him. Jesus is our LORD; He has sovereignty over our lives, and how we live our lives.

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