By a slight majority, a bitterly divided country reelected President Barack Obama — a man who promised to unite the country and spent four years pitting the poor against the rich. The balance of the United States House and Senate will remain roughly the same as before this election.
The Gazette’s editorial board congratulates Obama and his family and we wish the president far more success than he had during his first term.
We are unimpressed by a record 46.3 million Americans subsisting on food stamps under Obama’s watch. We are troubled by an increased deficit, under the leadership of a president who promised to cut it in half during his first term. We worry about a national unemployment rate that has risen to and hovered at nearly 8 percent, even after Obama administered $825 billion in stimulus spending and promised to fix the economy in just three years.
We are scandalized by information emerging in the wake of a terrorist attack on our Libyan consulate that killed four Americans, including the president’s own ambassador, in Benghazi. We are oppressed by gas prices that flirt with $4 a gallon. We are troubled by the president’s decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline and his reluctance to permit more drilling on federal land.
We are discouraged by Obamacare, under which we have already seen an increase in health care costs and a hesitance by businesses to hire new employees. We dread the massive and looming tax increase that will pay for it.
We could go on. For too many Americans, the past four years have been miserable. We do not place blame squarely on Obama. Among Democrats and Republicans, most notably former President George W. Bush, plenty of blame can go around. We blame Obama for taking the wrong approach to fixing problems he inherited and for creating new dilemmas.
It is hard to imagine how a majority of Americans want four more years of heavy redistribution that does not facilitate prosperity, but enables politicians to pander with heaping helpings of government aid. Obama’s message has been simple: Let’s all blame and tax the rich, which includes Mitt Romney.
Failure of Republicans to take control of the Senate and White House in this sluggish economy should prove the Republican Party has a major problem. As this column has explained, Republicans have undermined their own cause by alienating Hispanics with needless and careless tough talk and inaction regarding immigration. If Republicans had the support of Hispanics, who Ronald Reagan called natural Republicans, they would have won the Senate and the White House with ease.
The president of the United States and the Congress cannot fix the economy or create jobs for most Americans. Only the market can do that, and it does it best when minimally regulated and taxed. Americans voted on Tuesday for redistribution, higher taxes and more regulation of their lives. They will get what they asked for, and get it good.
Mr. President, we want you to succeed in your second term. Please work with Congress in ways that will allow the market to succeed. Please create a legacy of success.
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