EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

October 20, 2012

Column: While promising deficit cuts, Obama has become the king of debt

(Continued)

Obama also inculcates a culture of spending. If he tightened his belt, and demanded accountability among federal employees, Washington might emulate his model. Instead, the bacchanal roars on. Among infinite examples of this obscenity:

The Agriculture Department spent $2 million to launch an internship program. And then it hired precisely one intern. This breathtaking sum included $192,500 to house that intern.

Obama has expanded the Lifeline program, which now gives poor people free cellphones. While started under President Ronald Reagan, Obama has exploded Lifeline’s budget 107 percent — from $772 million in 2008 to $1.6 billion today.

The Obama administration gave A123 Systems a stimulus grant to manufacture electric-car batteries. Obama predicted at a 2010 Rose Garden ceremony that A123 would hire “more than 3,000 by the end of 2012.” He added: “This is what’s possible in a clean-energy economy.”

A123 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday. It already burned through $132 million of its $249 million allocation. It also had received money in 2003 and 2007 from the profligate Bush-Rove administration. Sadly, Obama turned his predecessor’s spending fever into fiscal pneumonia.

A123 is now at least the 14th Obama-funded green bankruptcy. As GOP nominee Mitt Romney told Obama in their first debate: “I had a friend who said you don’t just pick the winners and losers. You pick the losers.”

Some of these eco-fiascos are tragicomic. According to one Abound Solar employee, “Our solar modules worked, as long as you didn’t put them in the sun.” The Daily Caller also reported that Abound’s solar panels had a bad habit of bursting into flames.

Awash in red ink, President Obama seems to be sinking in the Red Sea.

Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University.

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