Obama and the Fear of Government

With a social democratic kiss, Obama has awakened the Republicans.

Life isn’t fair, not even for those who have messianic status. If there’s anyone responsible for the outbreak of the financial crisis, it’s certainly not Barack Obama, but his predecessors. It took George W. Bush to succeed in the masterful endeavor of inheriting a budget surplus in good economic times and turning it into a mountain of debt by way of two wars and tax cuts. Obama added a few hundred billion dollars because he had no alternative but to do a massive injection of capital to keep the recession from becoming a full-blown depression.

In spite of that, it’s Obama who is now considered the guy who got the country into debt, and not George W. Bush. The Republicans found their mantra of opposing big government. That’s been in their DNA ever since the Reagan years and it found resonance with the American people.

In his State of the Union Address, Obama handed them additional ammunition on a plate. He promised to create jobs by way of government infrastructure projects. That’s government intervention that may go over well in Europe, but not in America. The Republicans used that issue to ensure the failure of health care reform.

It won’t get easier for Obama. The loss in Massachusetts was just the beginning and it may get worse with the midterm elections. Obama missed the opportunity to use a large majority in Congress in order to achieve quick successes.

What goes around comes around; a Republican backlash is sure to follow.

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