July 30, 2013

Last night on Fox News’ “Special Report,” Charles Krauthammer eloquently exposed President Obama’s ability — or preference — to remain oblivious to the economic conditions he has created. Maybe the president is in denial, or maybe the bubble that he has constructed shields him from any unpleasant conclusions. Whatever the case, Krauthammer points out that as a direct result of Obama’s economic policies, “the median income of the middle class of Americans has declined by 5% in his one term,” and we are experiencing “growing income inequality, chronic unemployment . . . [and] the worst recovery since World War II.”

This is his pivot face. (Larry Downing/Reuters)
President Obama (Larry Downing/Reuters)

It is stunning that President Obama himself said “this growing inequality is not just morally wrong” but “bad economics,” as if he had nothing to do with it. In his recent “economic pivot,” which started with his speech at Knox College in Illinois on July 24, no one has mentioned that since Obama took office in 2009, he has created an economy of renters and part-time jobs while the number of billionaires in the United States has increased by more than 23 percent. The hypocrisy is remarkable. How can the president get away with railing against an economy of his own making?

Obama’s ability to remain so oblivious to reality is also convenient when one looks at how Obamacare’s implementation is unfolding. In an underreported, jaw-dropping exposure, Joel Gehrke of the Washington Examiner details how the National Treasury Employees Union — that’s right, the union that represents the IRS — is “urging members to write their congressional representatives in opposition to receiving coverage” through Obamacare.  In other words, Obama’s tool of choice for enforcing Obamacare and imposing it on the rest of us, the IRS, wants no part of Obamacare for themselves.

The union’s campaign follows House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp’s introduction of a bill that would remove lawmakers and federal employees from the current federal health benefits program and move them into the Obamacare insurance exchanges. Congressman Camp offered this bill, according to his spokeswoman, because “If the Obamacare exchanges are good enough for hardworking Americans and small businesses . . . they should be good enough for . . . federal employees.”  Hopefully, Republican members of Congress can seize on this idea and go agency by agency, legislating that all federal employees be subject to the Obamacare exchanges. Would President Obama veto that bill? Would Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid even let it come to the floor for a vote? Anyway, shout out to Congressman Camp.

Similarly, the president’s hypocrisy extends to the administration’s efforts to sell Obamacare. The National Review’s Eliana Johnson reports that Obamacare call centers in California are not offering health insurance benefits to their employees. And not only are the very people who are supposed to be selling Americans on the benefits of Obamacare not going to get those benefits themselves, but at least half of the call-center jobs are only part-time jobs, not full-time positions as originally advertised. Again, the glaring hypocrisy shines through.

Every part of Obamacare is a growing political burden on the Democrats. But it’s the hypocrisy that will fuel resentment among voters and drive turnout in November 2014. It will be interesting to see what August brings, and what vulnerable Democratic members of Congress, particularly those in the Senate, will witness for themselves in town hall meetings during recess, as victims of the calamity that is Obamacare begin to show up and vocalize their disapproval. Will they follow Obama’s lead and adopt the president’s “remain oblivious” strategy, or will they begin to demand some political relief?  For the Democrats on the ballot in 2014, it’s only going to get worse.