During the 2008 campaign Barack Obama ran more against lame-duck President Bush than against his Republican opponent, John McCain. The campaign is now long over, and yet President Obama still seems haunted by the ghost of his predecessor. Last week, for example, he was railing at the Bush phantom, whom he blamed for his received economic mess. In the world of Barack Obama everything he inherited was someone else’s fault — unless he believes past policies offer him some advantage and thus are to be claimed as entirely his own.
The stock market is sliding. Gas and food prices are soaring. The housing market is as bad as it has been for the last three years. Unemployment is back over 9 percent. Economic growth is anemic. The national debt has risen $5 trillion in just three years. This year’s $1.6 trillion budget deficit is not stimulating anything but uncertainty and despair. Medicare and Social Security are not sustainable at present rates of payouts. Record numbers of Americans draw food stamps and unemployment insurance. An unpopular Obamacare has not even been implemented yet, and the administration has already granted 1,400 exemptions from it.