Many eons ago, long before he became king of late-night TV, Johnny Carson hosted a game show titled Who Do You Trust? “In the quiz portion” of the show, Wikipedia writes:
Carson would tell the male contestant the category of the upcoming question; the man would then have to decide whether to answer the question himself or ‘trust’ the woman to do so.
The show, which ceased production in 1963, has been resurrected by one of the presidential candidates, albeit in a more PC form. The Weekly Standard’s Andrew Ferguson has a column on the sequel, whose host, Barack Obama, told an audience of Midwesterners on Friday, “There’s no more serious issue in a presidential campaign than trust. Trust matters!”
It’s hard to fault the president for scrabbling for ways to recast the election as one of choice, rather than as a referendum on his record, and this appeal may actually have legs. It is axiomatic among political scientists—if not students of human nature—that people prefer a known quantity to an unknown one. This sensibility is encapsulated in the idiom “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”
Ferguson goes on to note that the “trust” strategy was implemented 20 years ago by another incumbent, George H. W. Bush. You can check the history books to see how it worked out.
But the more pressing question is who do you trust in this election? Obama would have you trust him. Whether you do comes back, paradoxically, to his record. Since 72% of Americans identify the economy as the most critical issue facing the nation, an examination of his stewardship of the economy seems to be in order.
In 2009, he said he’d halve the deficit in four years. Instead, he has increased it by more than 50%.
In the same year, he threatened that the rate of unemployment would rise above 8% if his $831 billion stimulus bill was not passed. The bill was passed, and unemployment rose above 8% anyway, reaching at times into double digits, and stayed there for 43 consecutive months.
He subsequently claimed that the “Great Recession” (as he is now calling the “mess he inherited”) was worse than he had predicted. That may well be so, but it’s hardly a ringing endorsement for re-election. Besides, why should anyone trust his predictions of “better times ahead” under his leadership if he so missed the mark the first time around?
He boasts to this day that his administration created 5 million jobs. The claim is false, but even it were true consider how much it set the American taxpayer back to make those new jobs a reality. Remember that a month after Congress passed the $831 billion American Recovery and Investment Act, they passed a second $410 billion omnibus spending package. That brought stimulus spending just for fiscal 2009 up to $1.24 trillion. Divide that amount by 5 million, and you get $240,000—the cost per job created. Applying that kind of math, the president can find gainful employment for the 23 Americans still out of work. And all it will take is another $6.2 trillion in taxpayer money and/or loans from China.
Apart from the economy, Obama has violated another sacred trust American voters placed in him in 2008, when he promised to bridge the ideological rift in the nation, ushering in a new era of bipartisanship. His latest actions on the campaign trail, which include immature name-calling, suggest he’s the last person to be trusted with mending fences.
- Why would anyone believe Obama will focus on jobs in a second term?
- If Obama does win, how will he quell the intense bitterness he has created?
- Obama: Kids can tell Romney is a ‘bullsh***er’
- Obama campaign received $4.5 million from residents of fake zip codes
- For Obama 10% of the buck stops here
- LA V.I.P. yacht ‘renovated’ with stimulus money
- Obama’s biggest mistake is not having told ‘his story’? Surely he jests
- Another Obama-backed green company goes belly up
- Obama arranging deck chairs on the Titanic: Says ‘EPA regs create jobs’
- Obama’s car czar: ‘We never said taxpayers would get auto bailout money back’
- Obama campaign’s phony jobs numbers
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