“Democracy,” said the great Baltimore journalist H.L. Mencken, “is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”
So the people of the United States have decided they want four more years of President Barack Obama in the White House. And that is what they are going to get.
We congratulate the president on his victory over Mitt Romney and, for the sake of our country, we wish him success. But based on the first four years of his administration, there is reason to doubt he is up to the task.
Obama has spent much of the last four years blaming his predecessor, President George W. Bush, for the nation’s economic woes. Obama may have inherited a country toppling into recession. But his own mismanagement has prolonged the malaise. As the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto notes, there’s no one left for Obama to blame but himself.
We are $6 trillion deeper in debt than when Obama took office, with little to show for the expense. Unemployment continues to hover around 8 percent, higher still if one accounts for those who have given up looking for work. Under Obama’s stimulus plan, the jobless rate was supposed to be approaching 5 percent by now.
Businesses can cope with hard times, but they cannot handle uncertainty. Faced with confusion in tax policy and runaway regulation, they will sit on their money — it’s the least risky option.
The lack of clear direction from Washington over the last four years has left our business community fearful and uncertain. Business leaders have been afraid to take the risks needed to expand their companies, launch new ventures and create new jobs.
When Obama cannot persuade Congress to enact his policies on the environment, energy and other matters, he unleashes his regulatory agencies. Americans can expect more job-killing edicts coming from the Environmental Protection Agency and other unelected bureaucracies.
Massive new tax increases are coming in 2013 with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the payroll tax cut and new costs associated with the “Obamacare” health plan. And it won’t be “the rich” alone who will pay them. The average household earning between $40,000 and $60,000 annually will pay $2,000 or more in additional taxes.
Any hope of repealing Obamacare has now vanished. The country is now on a path toward fully socialized medicine and nothing will stop it.
It seems likely that, at some point in Obama’s second term, Iran will achieve its goal of constructing a nuclear weapon. Surely there will be other foreign crises that threaten our national security as well. We want to believe Obama will be up to these challenges. But his recent inaction as terrorists overran our consulate in Libya and slaughtered our ambassador offers little cause for optimism.
Domestically, President Obama will need to act quickly and decisively to avert an economic crisis.
The president and Congress need to stave off the massive tax hikes coming in 2013 and keep the nation from falling off a fiscal cliff. They must stop the $100 billion in automatic spending cuts scheduled for the first of the year in favor of a more thoughtful approach to deficit reduction.
Again, we wish President Obama the best, for his sake and the country’s. Nothing would make us happier than to have our doubts proven to have been misplaced. He is the leader the American people have chosen. The fate of our nation is in his hands.