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Presidential Self-Adulation Hits New High


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American Spectator:

Presidential Self-Adulation Hits New High
By Andrew B. Wilson on 8.3.10 @ 6:09AM

Is there an antidote to such nonsense? Meet New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

THIS JUST IN from the Obama White House: Good news on the polling front. Even though the president's job approval ratings have plunged into negative territory in every other poll, his score on the all-important PSA Index continues to rise. The president's rating on this index (nothing to do with the prostate) has now reached an astonishing 97% - up from 87% in late 2009, and is now at its highest level ever, according to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

The PSA Index is the official measure of Presidential Self-Approval. It first came into existence in December of 2009, when the president appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show and awarded himself a B-Plus for his first year in office. To be strictly accurate, Mr. Obama provisionally awarded himself an A-Minus. He said that the slightly higher grade would be justified if, as he expected, he secured passage of his omnibus health care/income redistribution bill in early 2010. And of course he did.

So let's boost the president's PSA score for year one from the high 80s to the low 90s. Give the man a pat on the back (or stand aside as he does so himself).

At the time of the Oprah interview, the president stopped short of giving himself a full A because of high and persistent unemployment. But now he's conquered that problem. Well, kind of. So he says.

Since mid July, the president and vice president have been on the road crowing about all the jobs they have "created or saved" -- some three million to eight million jobs in all, depending on who's talking (Biden and the administration's top economist go with the more conservative three million figure, while the president jacks it up to eight million). Either way, the number is way up from where it stood when the president appeared before the nation on the Oprah Winfrey show (the administration was then claiming to have rescued only about a million jobs).

Now this is a remarkable accomplishment, given the fact that the economy (I mean the real economy) has suffered a net loss of 2.35 million jobs since the passage of the National Recovery and Reinvestment Act. To paraphrase Marx (Groucho, that is), as the Wall Street Journal did in a recent editorial, who do you want to believe -- the White House, or your own eyes?

The argument that the president makes about "saving" millions upon millions of jobs is best summarized by a simple analogy. Remember the Gulf oil spill? The president was unable to swim down and, in his words, "plug the damned hole." But he now claims to have performed essentially the same feat in plugging an even bigger leak -- the economic hole that was causing the loss of 750,000 jobs per month at the time he came to office. This is how he explained it to Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar and others on the day-time talk show The View, which aired last Thursday:

When I was sworn in, we were losing about 750,000 jobs per month, the economy was shrinking at a pace of 6.5%, which is unheard of since the time of the Great Depression, and so the last 20 months have been a non-stop effort to restart the economy, to stabilize the financial system, to make sure we're creating jobs again instead of losing them.

To continue with this line of reasoning, let us assume -- sans Obama and sans the supposedly great restorative effect of last year's $862 billion stimulus bill -- this gusher remained uncapped -- spewing forth economic distress and joblessness. Where would this take us in four years? By the time of the next general election, it would push the unemployment rate up to 25%, which is exactly where it stood at the lowest point of the Great Depression.

Having realized that they made a mistake in setting the bar too high originally, when they predicted that its stimulus bill would keep the rate of unemployment below 8%, Obama and the administration have now reset the bar to the lowest possible level: They are now ready to call anything a success which is even slightly better than the most dismal economic conditions in our nation's 200-plus year history. This is shows how much faith (next to zero) Obama, Pelosi et al. place in the ingenuity of American business and the power of what used to be known as the American can-do spirit.

With considerable help, it must be admitted, from the financial meltdown that preceded his arrival in office, Obama & Co. have been remarkably successful in lowering expectations. They have persuaded a large part of the American people that we should count ourselves lucky if what was once -- and indeed throughout almost our entire history -- the greatest and most dynamic economy in the world drifts along in a semi-comatose state -- without totally collapsing. They continue to promote the idea that the American economy is no longer capable of functioning without massive and ever-increasing government intervention. In their view, we should accept this as a permanent condition. And be glad for it.

According to a recent Pew / National Journal poll, nearly two-thirds of the American people think that "Barack Obama's economic policies" have failed. That includes 29% who think the president's policies have led to worse results and another 35% who think they have had little or no effect.

The poll numbers on Obamacare are worse still. A Rasmussen poll shows that a 2-to-1 majority of voters are in favor of repealing the president's landmark health care bill. That includes a stunning 46% who "strongly" favor repeal, against just 25% who "strongly" oppose repeal.

Though people have turned against his policies, Obama remains a reasonably popular president. According to Gallup, opinion is almost evenly divided between those who say that they approve (46%) and those who say they disapprove (47%) of the president's job performance. By contrast, only 11% of Americans have confidence in the job that Congress is doing.snip
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