Only now -- five years into his presidency -- are we seeing some cracks in the protective shield surrounding President Obama, and then only after the abuse of reporters' privacy has been threatened. Mainstream journalists have not scrutinized his controversial policies, nor have they held him accountable for questionable actions that have caused outrage among fair-minded critics and produced irreparable harm to the nation.
Some facts are irrefutable, but the president has, by and large, deflected all blame and few in the media have dared question his policies and actions. Investor's Business Daily reports that we are becoming a welfare state. The Census Department reported this week that almost half (49 percent) of Americans (151 million) are on federal aid. The U.S. has spent nearly $4 trillion ($3.7) on welfare over the past five years -- that is five times greater than the money spent on transportation, education, and NASA, combined. Further, more than 70 percent of all federal spending goes to assistance programs, and the Congressional Budget Office projects that welfare spending will rise 80 percent over the next decade. Even with all that spending, though, 46.5 million Americans live in poverty and nearly half of all Americans pay absolutely no federal income tax. It doesn't take an economics genius to realize that with the nation's debt at $17 trillion and with more than $50 trillion in unfunded liabilities, we are in deep economic trouble. In short, the buck stops with President Obama when it comes to assessing blame for "the weakest recovery from a recession in modern American history."
In the face of such dire statistics, it is instructive to review the president's economic performance to date. President Obama has been late in turning in a budget to Congress in four of the past five years. Current "solutions" to the fiscal crisis are to print more money, raise taxes, and, in the process, weakened the American dollar, threatening its status as the sole world reserve currency.
The president's signature legislation -- his legacy, if you will -- is ObamaCare. This massive health insurance legislation, taking over one-sixth of the American economy, was forced on the nation through a straight party-line vote. While the president constantly chided the Congress for not "negotiating" or being unwilling to be "bipartisan," President Obama himself was unwilling to talk with Republicans and repeatedly stated that "He Won" the election and "shouldn't have to offer anything."
The president has engaged in a pattern of lying to the American public. He has often repeated the ObamaCare mantra, "We will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your doctor you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your healthcare plan. Period." He added, "Nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have." Now, NBC News, no less, informs Americans that the president knew that he was not telling the truth about his healthcare plan. The NBC report quoted healthcare experts who expect more than half and perhaps as many as 80 percent of those with individual plans will have their policies terminated and have to buy new policies with expanded coverage they don't need or desire due to the requirements of ObamaCare. So how many single 27-year-old guys really need a policy that covers maternity costs?
Bob Woodward, one of the journalists famed for breaking the Watergate story, called the Obama Administration a "rat's nest of concealment and lies" and described it as a "secret government." That secret activity includes using the Internal Revenue Service to spy on and intimidate opponents. After he spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast, including critical remarks about President Obama's leadership, the famous Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Benjamin Carson joined a long line of conservative who have been audited by the IRS.
Some of the worst lying from the Obama Administration is related to the Benghazi tragedy; the president called it a "phony scandal." But four Americans, including an American ambassador, were murdered, and there was remarkably little willingness from the Administration to investigate. Instead, the public received "misinformation, confusion and intense partisanship." From the outset, the administration blamed the attack on an obscure anti-Muslim video that hardly anyone had seen. It quickly became clear that the video had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack; instead, there were numerous warnings ahead of time (including pleas from the ambassador himself for better protection) and time for rescue teams to provide assistance to the victims. All were told to "stand down" and, thus far, no one has accepted responsibility or been willing to seriously investigate the tragedy. That is, until Lara Logan, a reporter for CBS' 60 Minutes declared that numerous authorities "saw it coming" and "Benghazi was a planned, sophisticated attack by al Qaeda against a barely protected American outpost." Amazingly, even a year later, the administration stonewalls, concealing the identities and whereabouts of survivors to prevent them from testifying before Congress and attacking anyone who dares ask penetrating questions.
I have written previously about the president's demagoguery; he has often chosen inflammatory and divisive rhetoric over being a leader of the whole nation. He has operated in campaign mode throughout his presidency instead of focusing on bringing the nation together to work together on our financial, economic, and other problems. Not only are we a nation more divided than ever, as former Vice President Dick Cheney said, "Our allies no longer trust the U.S., our enemies don't fear us." In a stinging indictment of the president's leadership, Dennis Prager declared that the "United States is at its weakest, has fewer allies, and has less military and diplomatic influence than at any time since before World War I." All of that can be laid at the president's feet and finally a few brave investigative reporters (national and international) are holding him accountable for his failed policies, stunning arrogance and betrayal of the American Constitution. When a president's egregious actions yield a deterioration of conditions to the degree we face today, it is time for that leader who has presided over such a pathetic administration -- albeit from the golf course -- to be called to account for his empty hype of "hope and change" and claims of "Yes, we can."
Janice Shaw Crouse, Presidential Speechwriter for the first President Bush, has written extensively on presidential rhetoric and debating. She is a spokesperson for Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.