Barack Obama’s Disastrous First 1,000 Days

Nile Gardiner
The Telegraph

If recent polls are any indication, it is doubtful that President Obama will enjoy another 1,000 days in the White House. And looking at his track record over the course of his first 33 months in office, it is not hard to see why. It is hard to think of a presidency in modern times that has done more to damage the United States both at home and abroad than the current one, with the possible exception of Jimmy Carter’s. Like his Democratic predecessor in the 1970’s, Barack Obama has left the world’s dominant superpower on its knees, with faith in US leadership now being questioned across the globe.

Since taking office in January 2009, President Obama has ushered in a period of relentless economic decline for the United States. His administration has added $4.2 trillion to the national debt (now standing at $14.9 trillion), lost 2.2 million jobs, introduced a vastly expensive health-care albatross, and spent nearly $800 billion on a failed stimulus package. At the same time, house prices across the country have tumbled at an unprecedented rate, consumer confidence has plummeted, and millions more Americans are now dependent upon food stamps. International confidence in the US economy has fallen to its lowest levels in decades, with credit agency Standard and Poor’s downgrading of America’s AAA credit rating for the first time in 70 years in August this year. As I noted in a piece at the time:

Since President Obama took office in January 2009, the United States has embarked on the most ambitious failed experiment in Washington meddling in US history. Huge increases in government spending, massive federal bailouts, growing regulations on businesses, thinly veiled protectionism, and the launch of a vastly expensive and deeply unpopular health care reform plan, have all combined to instill fear and uncertainty in the markets.

Is it any wonder that just 17 percent of Americans now believe the country is moving in the right direction, according to RealClear Politics? Or that 81 percent of Americans “are dissatisfied with the way the country is being governed”, according to Gallup? As a series of major Gallup polls have shown, public disillusionment with the federal government has now reached an all-time high, with 69 percent of Americans now saying “they have little or no confidence in the legislative branch of government”, with 46 percent believing “the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.”

And President Obama’s record on the world stage has also been poor. Despite two high-profile successes in taking out al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and more recently Anwar al-Awlaki (both upon the foundations of President Bush’s war on terror), US foreign policy under Obama has been a confusing mess. The shameless appeasement of Iran has allowed the rogue state to advance perilously close to nuclear weapons capability, while the naïve “reset” approach towards Russia has only encouraged a more aggressive and assertive Moscow. At the same time, traditional alliances with Great Britain and Israel have been downgraded, and key allies in eastern and central Europe thrown under the bus to feed the Russian bear. While America’s defences have grown weaker, China’s military might has grown significantly stronger, as have the offensive capabilities of hostile regimes in both Asia and Latin America, including Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela.

As Barack Obama approaches the remaining 14 months of his presidency, there is a distinct air of US decline. It is of course a state of decline that can be reversed with the right policies and leadership in place. There is nothing inevitable about the demise of the United States, but its renewal must rest upon a dramatic reversal of the most Left-wing agenda of any American presidency since 1979. As Gallup’s polling has emphatically demonstrated, Americans are overwhelmingly rejecting the Big Government agenda of the Obama presidency, which has spectacularly failed to create jobs, generate wealth, and instill economic confidence.

The biggest failure of this administration, and there have been many, has been its central belief that government knows best, and that the way to prosperity is to spend ever greater amounts of taxpayers’ money on the backs of hard-working Americans. As a result, the United States is a nation on a precipice, facing towering debts and the threat of a double dip recession at a time when 14 million Americans are already out of work. Ultimately, it is economic freedom, minimal government intervention, and greater individual liberty that can put America back on its feet, rather than endless bailouts, higher taxes and suffocating government regulation, all hallmarks of the Obama experiment. Ultimately, the world needs a powerful United States that is a beacon of hope to the world, rather than a basket case of failed liberal policies.

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