Wednesday’s speech on the economy was lashed together from hackneyed phrases and recycled ideas and delivered from a state ruined by bad government. The address sounded more like a presidential last stand than a new start. Detroit would have been a better venue than Illinois if the president wanted to sell us on federal spending, but if the White House was seeking to go big it picked the best place imaginable. Illinois is a testament to government-induced economic ruin on a level that all states seeking to be destitute should emulate. When Illinois goes down we will forget that nickel and dime Detroit ever existed. Will states like Illinois and cities like Detroit be allowed to fail, or were threatening mentions of presidential powers in Mr. Obama’s speech more than the usual Republican-baiting?
Illinois is an equal opportunity state: everyone loses.
No one can deny Illinois lawmakers their single-minded determination to ignore the needs of everyone except themselves (see: Are Illinois Democrats the Worst Politicians in America?). Pension debt is equal opportunity exemplified. Everyone gets burned. Some will do better than others, though, and those that stand to benefit most from federal spending that keeps Illinois and other wayward states afloat are not the ones paying the bills.
Illinois is more than Obama’s home state. It is a paragon of economic blight that boasted 9.2% unemployment last month. Savvy Democrats know that there is more than one way to finesse a bailout. Is this why the president came to Illinois, to threaten Congress and the nation with the power of his office?
Was that a threat to abuse presidential powers?
No stranger to striking out on his own when he wants something Congress won’t give, President Obama is back on the horse again, threatening to do a little more Oval Office legislating:
That means whatever executive authority I have to help the middle class, I’ll use it. (Applause.) Where I can’t act on my own and Congress isn’t cooperating, I’ll pick up the phone — …¹
This one was a double-edged sword, putting executive authority and independent action on the table, the same powers that turned bad ideas like DACA into law. When the president talks about presidential powers and federal spending in the same speech one week after Detroit went belly up, anyone who pays taxes should be worried.
No more federal bailouts and handouts. Period.
John Boehner said that Congress should be judged on the number of bills it repeals. While voting to repeal a bill and repealing a bill are not precisely the same thing, we have to give House Republicans credit for tenacity in their efforts to get rid of Obamacare. There is one bill Boehner should think hard about passing, though. The House needs to join Senate Republicans seeking to block federal bailouts. Saving the middle class should not turn into handouts for struggling cities and states thinly disguised as other types of spending or even emergency disaster relief. When Illinois fails a lot of people are going to lose out, especially the underprivileged who depend on government sustenance to get by and like to vote for Democrats. Illinois isn’t worth much, but it might have some value as proof of how much damage government can cause when we let it spend us into the ground.