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Conservatives should make no mistake: the Bush years were a disaster for the movement to limit government’s power. The Medicare Part D prescription-drug law represented the largest growth of the federal entitlement system since Lyndon Johnson himself. No Child Left Behind was an incredible federal intrusion on state, local, and individual prerogatives. The deficits he created — in the midst of prosperity, no less! — were jaw-dropping. The unconstitutional McCain-Feingold law helped entrench our already-aristocratic incumbents even more. He failed utterly in foretelling or staving off the economic crisis — and then enacted a sweeping round of bank bailouts when it hit.
Four years later, Obama is still blaming Bush for the mess our nation is in — but he’s governing right out of Dubya’s playbook.
After promising to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term, Obama has carried on George W. Bush’s legacy by doubling down on his predecessor’s willingness to saddle my generation with crushing, insurmountable debt. The Obama administration’s annual deficits have gone into thirteen-digit territory. It is utterly unprecedented.
President Obama debased the integrity of his office by publicly scolding the Supreme Court during his State of the Union address. He was slamming them for their decision in the Citizens United case, which restored political speech rights to corporations. Corporations had previously been financially limited by law in their ability to influence the political discourse. Like George W. Bush, who signed the unconstitutional McCain-Feingold law that authorized this offense against free speech, Obama thinks that the federal government should pick and choose favorites, even when it comes to something as fundamental as the First Amendment’s guarantees.
Following up on George W. Bush’s near-trillion-dollar bailout of the banks, Barack Obama bailed out the withering American auto industry, continuing the policy of ‘Too Big to Fail’ — on the taxpayer’s dime.
After promising on the campaign trail to respect states’ rights when it comes to drug laws, his administration has overseen sweeping — and useless — federal crackdowns on California’s medical marijuana dispensaries. Regardless of one’s opinions about drugs, it’s a clear violation of a campaign promise — and a continuation of federal intrusion into matters that the Constitution left to the states.
After slamming George W. Bush’s record on civil liberties during wartime, Obama approved the NDAA, which granted him the chilling power to detain any American citizen, indefinitely, without charge.
Just like George W. Bush, Obama is in denial about Medicare’s role in our entitlement-driven debt crisis. Although Bush tried — rather courageously, actually — to reform Social Security, he abdicated his duties as president by overseeing the largest expansion of the entitlement state since Lyndon Johnson in the form of the Medicare Pt. D prescription-drug benefit law — a shameless attempt to try to court seniors into the Republican Party. Obama is also using Medicare to pander to seniors, playing the demagogue when it comes to Paul Ryan’s bold efforts to reform the broken system.
These are no small matters. Every day, Obama goes after George W. Bush on the campaign trail. But when he returns to his desk at the Oval Office, he smooches the man’s picture while dreaming up new ways to involve the federal government in your life.