On crisis after crisis, the president is taking a “barackwards” approach, rejecting immediate actions that would solve problems now, help people quickly, and win him trust with the majority of Americans. Here are seven examples:
1. Regarding his $900-billion health care fix President Obama says, “Reducing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid will pay for most of this plan.” If that’s true, why not show that government can actually do that first, before we drastically increase spending, the nation’s debt, and government control over our health care?
2. Regarding the “achievement gap,” high dropout rates, and violence plaguing many schools, why not give those mostly black and Hispanic students and their families the hope and change they desperately need? Why not defy intransigence by the teachers’ unions and allow school choice, charter schools and privately-funded opportunity scholarships?
3. Regarding energy independence and lowering energy costs, why not permit more nuclear power plants to be developed in our own country as soon as possible, as France and Japan have already done—safely? Why not consent to more environmentally responsible domestic oil drilling now, whether onshore or offshore, even while we test the feasibility of alternative sources of energy?
4. Regarding economic revival and the development of world markets for U.S. goods, why repeat the mistake that helped trigger the Depression—the imposition of trade barriers, such as the cap and trade bill’s carbon tax on imports and a new 35 percent tariff on Chinese tires? Instead, why not buck the labor unions, special interests and Democrats in Congress by fast tracking more free trade agreements with other countries?
5. Regarding job creation, with national unemployment at a 26-year high (and expected to rise), why not immediately cut taxes and regulations much more on small businesses which, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce and Bureau of the Census, created 78.9 percent of the nation's net new jobs?
6. Regarding terrorism, why not investigate terrorists more aggressively rather than going after the CIA?
7. Regarding government ethics, why not have a single—rather than a double—standard? Elected and appointed officials need to abide by the same laws they require regular citizens to follow.
The true test of leaders is how they use power. President Obama will either be just another mediocre politician or an historic statesman depending on whether he shifts his power levers forwards or “barackwards.”
Communications consultant Jon Kraushar is at www.jonkraushar.net.