Washington’s Biggest Deficits – Responsibility and Accountability

You want to talk about deficit under the Obama Administration?

Deficit of experience.
Deficit of responsibility.
Deficit of trustworthiness.
Deficit of accountability.

There is, however, a surplus of blame coming from Washington. If we have learned anything from the failed leadership of Barack Obama, it’s that he sure does know how to point the finger. Rather than assume responsibility the President’s favorite trick has been to blame his White House predecessor.

Consider his response to the Gulf oil crisis. In the same speech in which he showed genuine anger over the “ridiculous spectacle” of companies “falling over each other to point the finger of blame at somebody else,” he blamed former President Bush! The hypocrisy is astounding. Doing a little finger pointing himself Obama said,

“For too long, for a decade or more, there has been a cozy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency that permits them to drill.”

His administration on the other hand deserves no share of the blame.

“Now, from the day he took office as Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar has recognized these problems and he’s worked to solve them.”

Just another example of President Obama working tirelessly to uphold his image of virtuosity and innocence while doing very little to get our economy back on track. Should be clear what his priorities are. But leering beyond the echoes of helplessness are cries of “not guilty, wasn’t me, didn’t do it.” From day one the President has vehemently insisted that the mess he intercepted in Washington was not one of his creation.

For instance:

“When I showed up after inauguration, they had left a big mess on the floor. So I got a mop, and I started cleaning up their mess.” – 10/27/09

“Now, if we had taken office in ordinary times, I would have liked nothing more than to start bringing down the deficit. But we took office amid a crisis.”—1/27/10

“When Interior Secretary Ken Salazar took office, for example, he found a Minerals and Management Services Agency that had been plagued by corruption for years.” – 6/1/10

All of this superfluous talk about the horror that came before him has one thing in common: no solution. Obama constantly condemns prior administrations (including Bill Clinton’s) for their response to the deficit, the economy, or the oil spill. If there’s a problem you can pretty much guarantee he’s got an excuse. A solution, not so much. But an excuse, definitely.

Far from simply passing blame, Barack Obama’s hypocrisy is a defining trait. In Michigan this past Monday the President gave a commencement speech to a graduating high school class.

He proclaimed:

Don’t make excuses . Take responsibility not just for your successes, but for your failures as well,” he told the graduates. “The truth is, no matter how hard you work, you won’t necessarily ace every class or succeed in every job. There will be times when you screw up, when you hurt the people you love, when you stray from your most deeply held values”.

I’m sorry Mr. President, did you just say don’t make excuses? Those words may have resonated throughout a starry-eyed audience in Kalamazoo, but they aren’t fooling me. And you can bet they aren’t fooling the rest of the country. When was the last time you heard the President apologize for anything? He has screwed up countless times. From a scandal plagued and fraud-ridden stimulus, to the politics as usual spoils-system uncovered in the Sestak scandal, the President refuses to say “sorry.” And frankly, his inability to apologize is the primary thing he should apologize for.

Mr. President, take your own advice; take responsibility for your successes and failures. If something didn’t go as planned, say so. If you didn’t handle something properly, say so. If the end product didn’t live up to the promises you made, say so. Such candor will be refreshing. We don’t expect you to be right all the time. We’ve entrusted you with the most difficult job in the world and although we expect you to be better than us, we don’t demand perfection. Replace humanity with hubris. You’ll find we’ll like you a lot more.

by Brandon Greife and Samantha Cohen