There’s No There There

by Michael Walsh

My New York Post column today examines President Obama’s sad, wan, pathetic speech yesterday. For a hoops-obsessed president who once boasted that he had “game,” there’s really nothing left for Obama at this point. All he ever had was the ability to read the teleprompter, but now even that Wizard of Oz parlor trick has failed him.

With the left starting to edge away and even the compliant national media finally noticing that he’s the Oakland of national politics, it’s the beginning of the end of the Obama presidency:

So much for any hope that Obama would give us something besides his class-warfare, redistributionist ways — which have brought us soaring debt, high unemployment, a falling dollar and the humiliation of S&P’s downgrade of the nation’s credit.

Even as President Downgrade spoke, the stock market continued to crater, losing more than 600 points and signaling a continuing vote of no confidence in the administration’s economic policies.

But, then, where would he get a new approach? He’s been abandoned by every one of his main economic advisers except hapless Treasury Secretary/punching bag Timothy Geithner. So don’t go looking for him to make good anytime soon on his airy promise to have some concrete “ideas” for the special congressional debt-reduction committee.

Instead, he persists in continuing to advocate the same ruinous policies.

It’s bad enough that he can’t deal with the big picture. But even his small-ball “policy positions” are dead wrong:

Yesterday, for example, he called for an extension of the so-called “payroll-tax cut” — which sounds good until you actually think about it.

For the “payroll tax” (as Democrats have taken to calling it) is in this case merely another name for Social Security taxes. And Social Security is set to go completely bust within 25 years or so and is “not sustainable under currently scheduled financing,” according to its own trustees — so reducing receipts hardly seems like a good idea, even if the Social Security system gets “credited” with an amount equal to the tax cut to go into its imaginary lockbox.

Why this madness? It’s not enough that the rich must be forced to pay their “fair share” — although the top 20 percent of filers already pays 70 percent of federal income taxes. Having managed to create an income-tax system in which fully half of the “taxpayers” pay no tax at all, the left is now trying to decouple the failing entitlement from its taxpayer base as well — and no matter that such fiscal follies are what produced the S&P downgrade.

An even worse idea is extending unemployment benefits. Many employers are now telling job-seekers who’ve been unemployed for more than six months to not bother coming in for the interview — the folks getting the jobs are those who already have jobs or who’ve been laid off for only a few months. In other words, extending benefits reduces the chances the “beneficiary” will ever find work again. Is that what we want?

By now it’s clear to all but the bitter-clinger dead-enders that Obama is in way over his head. Yet still they flail about, pointing fingers in all directions while the president dances the night away in the White House or swans off to Martha’s Vineyard. Who’s kidding whom?

“No matter what some agency may say, we have always been and always will be a AAA country,” Obama said. Too bad we don’t have a AAA president.

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