As more and more Americans have become dependent upon the government as a source of income, we’ve gradually been trained to stop viewing ourselves as the owners of the company – and thus obligated to help run it – and instead view ourselves as the government’s customers, who have to buy what the government is selling because we have no real alternatives.
Jonathan Alter recently requested some information: “Tell me again why Barack Obama has been such a bad president?”
Peter Wehner explains:
* The unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent v. 7.8 percent the month Obama took office.
* July marked the 30th consecutive month in which the unemployment rate was above the 8 percent level, the highest since the Great Depression.
* Chronic unemployment is worse than during the Great Depression.
* The youth employment rate is at the lowest level since records were first kept in 1948.
* The share of the eligible population holding a job has declined to the lowest level since the early 1980s.
* The housing crisis is worse than in the Great Depression. (Home values are worth roughly one-third less than they were five years ago.)
* Fiscal year 2011 will mark the third straight year with deficits in excess of $1 trillion. Prior to the Obama presidency, we had never experienced a deficit in excess of $1 trillion.
* During the Obama presidency, America has increased its debt by $4 trillion.
That is to say, Obama has achieved in two-and-a-half years what it took George W. Bush two full terms in office to achieve — and Obama, when he was running for president, slammed Bush’s record as being “unpatriotic.”
Right now the public is still buying the whole “it’s all Bush’s fault” meme. Obama himself is watering that down by also blaming the tsunami (not the tsunami of debt incurred by the Democratic-controlled Congress from 2008-10, but the actual tsunami that struck Japan), the Tea Party, ATMs, bad luck, the “Arab spring,” and the European debt crisis. (Hey, if debt crises are so bad, why are we creating one here?)
But the public isn’t going to buy that forever. When you call customer service about something that’s not working, you ultimately are a lot less interested in blaming the right person for the problem than you are in getting someone to fix it, and fix it NOW. Obama has had nearly three years to fix it, and it’s not fixed. It’s not even improved. It is worse. Next year, millions of voters are going to the polls to rate their customer service experience with Obama. And no amount of blameshifting is going to make them satisfied customers.