It’s that time of year again. Polar vortexes are freezing the nation, banal award shows are all the rage in Tinseltown, and the president gives a speech that may provide a glimpse into America’s future but has no real bearing on what will actually happen in the coming year. Here are five things that President Obama plans on doing in 2014 that won’t get done, no matter how enthralling his speech is.
1. Put an end to congressional gridlock
It’s Obama’s plainte du jour: Congress is too darn divided and stubborn to allow the passage of any of his legislation. “I’ve got a pen,” Obama has said over recent weeks, “and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward.”
Constitutionally, sir — no, you don’t.
While the president does have the “power of the pen” in some less-than-fortunate areas, he does not have the ability to make laws willy-nilly when he doesn’t get his way. As Rand Paul put it to The Wall Street Journal, “He says, ‘Oh well, it’s hard to get Congress to do anything.’ Well, yeah, welcome to the real world. It’s hard to convince people to get legislation through. It takes consensus. But that’s what he needs to be doing is building consensus and not taking his pen and creating law.”
The Christian Science Monitor is asking if President Obama is an “imperial president.” Ted Cruz was edited out of a Meet the Press broadcast when he said that he believes the president is abusing his power. These aren’t signs of a climate that will foster bipartisanship, and stoking the flames doesn’t help President Obama’s cause.
2. Put an end to income inequality by reviving the economy
A dubious Internet video on “wealth inequality” was passed around quite a bit recently, especially among the left, for it reaffirms the tired cliché that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. (For another video on said dubiousness, click here. Or, for a well-researched response, click here.)
The president has regularly parroted a smiley-face version of what radicals like Elizabeth Warren, Bill de Blasio, and Bernie Sanders have been preaching when it comes to economics. Tax the life out of the rich — for they make too much money — and redistribute it back to the poor where it rightly belongs — for they inherit it just because…or something.
It’s hard to claim for the sixth time in front of the entire nation that you’re going to fix the economy once and for all, especially through class warfare. Consider the data:
- Official unemployment numbers don’t tell the full story — real unemployment is still very high. The number of people in the workforce hasn’t been this low since the late ’70s.
- Wages are stagnant across the country, which inclines people to rely more on government benefits. Food stamp use has never been higher. Poverty levels have broken a fifty-year record, i.e. since the beginning of the War on Poverty. New home sales fell seven percent in December.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average recently plummeted over 300 points due to a variety of uncertainties. The VIX, an index that measures the volatility of the markets, has topped over 15½, when any level over 15 gives cause for concern among investors.
There’s plenty for people to be concerned about, and plenty of reason for them to not trust the president and his decision-making skills.
3. Rebound from his devastating polling numbers
A new poll from Washington Post-ABC News shows that fully 63 percent of Americans have either little no confidence Obama will make the right decisions. The public is evenly split on whether Obama is honest and trustworthy, with 49 percent of Americans answering in the affirmative, and 48 percent answering negatively.
A bare majority of Americans, 52 percent, feel Obama does not understand the problems of people like them – a shocking downward turn for Obama on an important likeability issue on which he dominated in 2012. A majority of Americans, 51 percent, also believe Obama is not a strong leader. His disapproval rating stands currently at 50 percent, with 41 percent disapproving strongly – only 23 percent support him strongly. 50 percent of Americans have an unfavorable impression of the president.
That’s a fail that not even Bill Clinton can rebound from.
4. Dismiss and deflect away from his numerous scandals
5. Keep from becoming a lame duck
In all honesty, I hope the president doesn’t become a lame duck. I wish he would see the light and work with Congress. I wish he would realize the error of his ways and give some conservative and libertarian economic reforms a chance. I wish he wasn’t seen as an aloof, ineffective, Peter-principle president. I wish he wasn’t afflicted with scandal after scandal, because it makes the United States and it’s people look bad.
So here’s hoping to a fresh start for President Obama in the new year, because he’s going to need it.
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