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The Insiders
Posted at 07:24 AM ET, 06/04/2012

For Obama, investing=spending=buying votes

When I wrote last Friday that President Obama was going to pursue reelection by promising to be Santa, with a bottomless gift bag, I had not seen a column by White House adviser Valerie Jarrett that appeared in the Huffington Post on May 31. Ms. Jarrett comes down boldly on the side of disadvantaged children and pretty much anyone else who would appreciate some additional government spending. She lists many new or expanded areas where the Obama administration has spent more money than any previous administration. Of course she never uses the word "spend"; it's all labeled "investing." Ironically, Valerie Jarrett is the White House liaison to private business, where "investment" has a different meaning. Whatever; her designation as the president's ambassador to the private sector has usually been greeted with rolling eyes and bewildered shrugs from real business people.

The lack of effective economic policies has forced the Obama campaign to undertake a two-part reelection strategy that the shallow, predictable Jarrett piece makes clear. First, try anything to buy votes with money from the U.S. treasury and then publicly attack Republicans, making clear they would stop the spending. This isn't class warfare, it is just old-fashioned out-promising the other side. There is no longer any suggestion of jobs for "shovel-ready projects" or even improvements to the business climate.  Plain and simple, Obama wants voters to know there will be more freebies, not less, if he is reelected; and if your neighbors are getting theirs, you might as well go ahead and get yours, too.

From New Hampshire's motto of "Live Free or Die" to California's "Don't Tread on Me" flag, throughout this country’s history, more Americans have wanted to be left alone by the government than have wanted to get something from the government. Obama is betting that the lines have crossed, or that at the least he has created enough new dependents that he can frighten into turning out on Election Day to protect their benefactor.

By  |  07:24 AM ET, 06/04/2012

 
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