Vail Daily columnist Butch Mazzuca: Obama in over his head? |

Vail Daily columnist Butch Mazzuca: Obama in over his head?

Butch Mazzuca
Vail, CO, Colorado

In 1887, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, observed: “A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits … with the result that the democracy will eventually collapse due to loose fiscal policy.”

Was the professor prophetic? Judge for yourself.

The government now pays for 41 percent of all births and 60 percent of all elder care in America. Meanwhile, one in three lives in a household that receives food stamps, subsidized housing, cash welfare or Medicaid.

During the Reagan years (1981-89) the federal government added 12,000 employees and our economy created 15 million private sector jobs.

Since President Obama took office, the federal government added 130,000 employees, yet our economy still had a net loss of 440,000 jobs.

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During Reagan’s presidency, 19 percent of U.S. households paid no federal income tax.

Today that number is a staggering 47 percent. Measured as a percentage of the nation’s economic production, government spending has now reached its highest level since World War II, but as a percentage of the population fewer people are paying taxes.

Safety nets are necessary in a just and moral society, but the founders never intended for half the population to support the other half.

Three and half years ago, Barack Obama said, “If I don’t have this turned around in three years, it’s going to be a one-term proposition.” Three years has come and gone, and we’re $5.1 trillion further in debt while unemployment has increased to 8.3 percent.

We cannot begin fix the economy without addressing entitlements — the issues are inseparable. But as I’ve written before, this nation has a math problem because even if the taxes on every taxpaying American were doubled tomorrow, we still couldn’t reduce the debt and save Medicare, facts you will never hear from the Obama campaign.

Nonetheless, the administration continues its shell game. Now it wants us to believe the $716 billion it cut from Medicare to pay for Obamacare will only affect health care providers. What nonsense.

Medicare’s own actuaries estimate that one sixth of America’s health providers will stop accepting Medicare within seven years because of these cuts. If you doubt that, the next time you visit your doctor, ask him or her how long they will continue accepting Medicare patients.

It is truly naive to believe a cut of almost three-quarters of a trillion dollars from Medicare won’t affect the quality of seniors’ health care. Dig deeper into the issue and you’ll find that Obamacare’s Payment Advisory Board (the 15 unelected bureaucrats who will decide what medical care seniors can and can’t receive under Medicare) was designed specifically to enforce the rigid new Medicare price controls.

But cuts to Medicare are just one aspect of the administration’s governing philosophy. Perhaps we should look at the entirety of the administration’s economic record to more clearly understand what it has accomplished with the $5.1 trillion it borrowed during the past three and a half years.

Did it modernize our electric grid? Did it repair the infrastructure with shovel ready jobs candidate Obama promised? Did it dredge our ports to receive the larger ships soon to traverse a widened Panama Canal? Did it reduce oil imports? Did it improve our kids’ test scores versus the rest of the world?

No, of course it didn’t. What we received for $5.1 trillion was more debt, Solyndra, unemployment above 8 percent and a 56 percent increase in households that pay no federal income tax.

As a result of the administration’s indefensible economic record, the Obama campaign is doing everything possible to distract the voters’ attention from the real issues facing this country — high unemployment, a stagnant economy, the growing debt, and now using Medicare as a piggybank to fund Obmacare.

The president’s oratory skills are captivating, but the results of his policies provide pretty conclusive evidence that regarding the economy, he’s in way over his head. As Steve Jobs once opined, “It’s not about charisma and personality, it’s about results.”

Quote of the day: “If your child makes the honor roll, who should get the credit, your child or the bus driver who drove your child to school?” Mitt Romney in response to the president’s “You didn’t build it” remark.

Butch Mazzuca, of Edwards, writes regularly for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at

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