A.J. DiCintio
Obama's vanishing hope-effect
By A.J. DiCintio
July 8, 2012

It's no wonder that in 2008 the American public handed Barack Obama a 53%-46% win over John Cain.

After all, in addition to their anger and worry over the nation's biggest economic free fall since the Great Depression, millions of Independents, Reagan Democrats, and even some Republicans felt they couldn't risk the consequences of continuing the "conservative" policies that under George Bush and Alan Greenspan not only helped create the financial debacle but also sent the national debt rocketing $4.9 trillion or 85% over eight years.

So it was that Obama won not because of but despite conducting a vacuous campaign whose only substance consisted of the teleprompters that flashed the words of his airy speeches and the posters adorned with a picture of the far-off-gazing candidate as a messianic avatar of hope.

Now, the American people are always right to hope for presidential policies that lead to a better life, including, in these hard times, economic policies that vigorously produce good jobs; honestly attack the suffocating incubi that are the nation's deficits and debt; and courageously structure trade agreements with American workers in mind, not managers of multi-national corporations or power loving ideologues devoted to foolishly dangerous dreams of a New World Order.

But not long after the inauguration ceremony of 2009, the public's hope for effective economic leadership by the most liberal president in American history began to evaporate as citizens increasingly became aware of realities that speak not of an innovative, transcendent leader but a merely expedient politician wedded to the decrepit ideology and corrupt methods associated with the Chicago Political Machine as exemplified by. . .

. . . the destined to fail, nearly trillion dollar pork-stuffed-for-political-friends-only stimulus bill

. . . the one trillion dollars of fiscal lies contained in the 2,000 pages of the Obamacare bill

. . . the devastating economic consequences certain to result from fiscally profligate, politically corrupt, ideologically foolish energy directives

. . . the dreadful price that ultimately will be paid because of a failed promise to cut the federal deficit in half by 2012

. . . the social and economic catastrophe looming all the more fearfully because a cowardly and irresponsible president chose to bow to the extremists of his party and summarily dismiss the recommendations of his own debt commission

. . . and the pain of reduced economic opportunity and diminished standard of living that is unavoidable when anti-Jeffersonian arrogance further bloats an already bloated federal government.

Further adding to the heat that is evaporating the hope-effect is the context within which Obama's feckless economic leadership has occurred, a context whose realities the public expects its president not simply to be aware of but to do something about.

Following are some salient details about those realities, with thanks to investigative reporter David Cay Johnston ("America's Long Slope Down," reuters.com).

. . . IRS data shows that average adjusted gross income decreased $2,699 between 2000-2010, for a cumulative loss of $26,000 per taxpayer over the decade.

. . . Social Security tax data reveals that the median wage in 2010 fell to its level in 1999, with half of workers grossing less than $507 a week and the 50 million workers in the bottom third of earners averaging $116 a week.

. . . Social Security and Census Bureau data expose that while the total number of people with any job increased by 1.5% between 2000-2010, the U.S. population grew 6.4 times faster.

. . . Bureau of Labor Statistics figures disclose that in May of 2012, 14.8 percent of workers were jobless or underemployed, a number economist John Williams argues rises to 19% when people who have given up hope of a finding a job are included.

. . . Finally (but far from the last of the downward sloping statistics Johnston presents) shocking Federal Reserve data reporting that in the period 2000-2010, household debt per capita rose 42% and adjusted gross income per capita only 9%

The frightening truth is that although Barack Obama must be aware of those facts, he has chosen to pursue policies dictated by the demands of radical liberal ideology and rank political expediency, notwithstanding that by January of 2013, the national debt will have increased by an astonishing $5.9 trillion or 56% during his four years in office.

But there is good news.

The American people are painfully aware of the swamp that is the nation's real economic situation. Moreover, they realize that instead of directing America on a sensible, effective way forward, this dogmatically ideological president is determined to sink the country deeper into the mire.

That's why, during this middle month of summer, the Obama hope-effect is vanishing faster than a chunk of ice exposed to the unremitting rays of the noontime sun.

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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