This was a highly defensive speech, with President Obama in full campaign mode. There were no fresh ideas, just a tired rehash of earlier campaign rhetoric. It was also another love letter to big government, with a clarion call for yet more federal spending on environmental measures, infrastructure, manufacturing, and a laundry list of liberal pet causes. There was not a word about reducing the burden of government regulation, and getting bureaucracy off the backs of entrepreneurs. His speech promised more government spending at a time when America’s national debt is approaching a staggering $17 trillion. He rejected tax cuts, and bashed the rich, at times sounding more like Francois Hollande than the leader of the free world.
Once again, Barack Obama demonstrated why he has built an unenviable reputation as a perpetual campaigner in chief, with an overwhelmingly partisan agenda. Obama is no Ronald Reagan, who always sought to bring the country together based on the common ideals of the Founding Fathers. President Obama’s message will do nothing to reassure a sceptical American public. With unemployment still above 10 percent in 27 major US metropolitan areas, and nearly one in six Americans living on food stamps, the economic record of this administration leaves much to be desired. Today in Illinois, President Obama spoke the language of decline, promising more of the same left-wing policies that have weakened US competitiveness, eroded economic freedom, and have saddled the world’s superpower with historic levels of debt. Americans deserve better than the failed statism that has bankrupted cities like Detroit, and threatens to do the same to the rest of the country.