Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Obamagram WHD's weekly newsletter

Obama's Budget Comes Up Empty

Let me ask you a question. What does President Obama plan to do if he is reelected this year? Off the top of your head. Do you really have much of an idea? I mean, other than raise taxes on rich people?

If you can't answer quickly, it isn't because you haven't been paying attention.

Because President Obama has no agenda. This he made perfectly clear in the budget he released Monday. No plans to cut entitlements, no serious plan to reform the tax code, no cuts in spending that will have a significant impact on the deficit that is threatening to ruin the economy. Nothing.

His agenda is getting reelected, and so he has played it safe by producing a budget designed to float some boats without rocking any.

Basically, the message of the budget is that he supports education, clean energy, and the middle class, and thinks the wealthy have it just too good. This is what he hopes will resonate with the public.

I don't think this works. Americans want to believe in their president, to think he is going to lead them somewhere, not just run out the clock. Obama's failure to achieve much of significance on Capitol Hill since the 2010 health law, and his lack of ambition this year, will sap the enthusiasm of voters who last time backed hope and change.

This was not the path to victory for the last Democratic president to be reelected, Bill Clinton. Amid memories of Clinton's turmoil with his own batch of House Republicans, it's mostly forgotten that he did some tough things and took some risks with his base, actions Obama resolutely refuses to take.

In August of 1996, less than three months before Election Day, Clinton signed a landmark welfare reform measure. Then on Sept. 21, 1996, he signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which declared marriage to be the union between a man and a woman.

He infuriated many Democrats, but he also reassured many other voters that he was not a doctrinaire liberal.

What's more, he demonstrated that he could get things done and work with Republicans who hated him. He told voters they could expect achievements in his second term, which they got in the form of free trade bills, a massive budget and Medicare reform deal, and other items, despite a year-long battle over impeachment.

Obama's message to voters is more like, "Trust me, I'll take care of things." It's not enough. Republicans should be delighted.

Keith Koffler
Editor, White House Dossier
See White House Dossier for more News

NOTE: Please check out the piece I have running today in Politico, titled "Obama's High Price for Birth Control." It's about how Obama's decision to require Catholic institutions to cover birth control will harm him with all voters, as well as the six Catholic voters who sit on the Supreme Court.

You can find it here.