I had been planning a post on Obama’s claims to be a skinflint, but other bloggers have easily disposed of the disingenuous claim that the Democrat has “has presided over slower growth in federal spending than any president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.”
Funny how he makes that claim when my Obama-supporting friends defend their guy, claiming we needed a macroeconomic stimulus to jumpstart the economy. “I thought,” writes Victor Davis Hanson,
. . . one Obama swore to us that borrowing $5 trillion was vital — Keynesian pump priming, stimulus, averting 8 percent–plus unemployment, and all that. But now another Obama claims that his serial $1 trillion deficits are proof not of “growth” of the sort that improved GDP and reduced unemployment, but rather of fiscal discipline that stopped reckless Republican spending. So Obama over the last four years brought both austerity that checked wild Bush spending, and also Keynesian growth that snapped us out of the Bush lethargy? Spending is saving? Record deficits are record fiscal restraint?
“These people are Keynesians“, quips one blogger, “Why can’t they say so?”
Maybe because part of Obama’s appeal in 2008 was that even as he reassured his liberal base by offering new spending plans, he reassured independent voters and libertarian Republicans dissatisfied with the spending record of the then-incumbent administration. They’re finding it difficult to admit that Obama can’t be all things to all people.
And that’s one reason he’s going to have a lot of troubling building a winning coalition again this fall. Coalitions built on amorphous appeals for hope and change tend not to hold together when the changes aren’t those many Americans hoped for.