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The Really, Really Bad Debt

By Bill Becker

Mar 23, 2009
Newt Gingrich

Commentary rarely gets more specious than that. Can we really compare Obama’s initiatives – improving education, investing in a new energy economy, dealing with climate change and addressing health-care costs, all of them important to U.S. prosperity -- with the Bush Administration’s unauthorized surveillance on American citizens, revocation of due process for detainees, torture and the costly fabricated war in Iraq?

In his TIME commentary, Gingrich shows he’s not above a little fear-mongering himself. He invokes Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and Global Communism to push a 12-point agenda he calls his American Solution for Jobs and Prosperity:

"Here in America, the unemployment numbers keep growing. Such icons of U.S. economic power as Citigroup, General Motors and General Electric are in trouble. The big-spending strategy employed by George W. Bush and now Obama has so far failed to turn around the economic decline. Congressional leaders are talking about the need for a second stimulus package. No one should underestimate the danger posed by these policy failures. Gigantic economic dislocations have gigantic noneconomic consequences. The Great Depression led to the rise of Nazi Germany and a militaristic Japan, the spread of communism and World War II."

If these commentators are disturbed by Obama’s agenda, they must be downright outraged at the American people. Obama is doing exactly what he was elected overwhelmingly to do: Change our course and put America back on a path that makes us hopeful and proud.

Surely Obama’s loyal opposition can muster better arguments than these. Or perhaps they can’t. Either way, we should all beware of special interests, soldiers of the status quo and ideologues who think they can treat us like dummies. Let’s don’t prove them right.


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