Defending President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan on ABC’s This Week, National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers told George Stephanopoulos: “We need an approach that’s very different than the approach that we had that brought us to this point.” Summers is right; we do need a drastically new approach to fix our ailing economy. Problem is, the only thing new about Obama’s Trillion Dollar Debt Plan is the size with which it attempts to repeat the last Administration’s policy mistakes. Later on the show, New Gingrich explained:

What you actually have is not change you can believe in. What you have is the fourth act of the Bush-Obama spend more plan. [Vice President Joe] Biden voted for all three of the first spending plans. The stimulus which failed in the spring. The housing bailout which failed in the summer. The Wall Street bailout which failed in the fall. Now we’re going to get bailout number four and then on Tuesday we’re going to be told that we’re on the hook for some $2 to 4 trillion dollars, cleverly done through the Fed, but $2 to 4 trillion additional dollars on top of everything else.

Newt is exactly right except for one thing: he left out bailout number six which the New York Times reports “is not expected to” be announced “for days” and “involves spending billions of dollars more to prevent home foreclosures.” And this is just what Bush-Obama will have done to us over the past twelve months. As Newsweek details this week, our country has been drifting towards socialism for some time:

Bush brought the Age of Reagan to a close … it was, again, under a conservative GOP administration that we enacted the largest expansion of the welfare state in 30 years: prescription drugs for the elderly. … A decade ago U.S. government spending was 34.3 percent of GDP, compared with 48.2 percent in the euro zone—a roughly 14-point gap, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 2010 U.S. spending is expected to be 39.9 percent of GDP, compared with 47.1 percent in the euro zone—a gap of less than 8 points. As entitlement spending rises over the next decade, we will become even more French.

Is this really what Americans voted for in November? To become more French? That sure is not how Obama campaigned. National Review‘s Rich Lowry writes:

Obama didn’t campaign on a sprawling, nearly $1 trillion new spending plan. … The president should read the transcript of the third presidential debate. He claimed his program represented “a net spending cut.” He called himself “a strong proponent of pay-as-you-go. Every dollar that I’ve proposed, I’ve proposed an additional cut so that it matches.” Now, circumstances change, and no president can adhere to every jot and tittle from his campaign, but the “I won” argument only works if the campaign program matches the governing program.

Obama seems to realize this. That is why he is venturing out to Indiana and Florida this week to try and sell his plan to the American people. But the American people are skeptical and they should ask the President tough questions. They should ask how Obama can guarantee that the trillions of borrowed dollars will not be wasted when every government report says the unprecedented expansion of government spending in his plan will do just that. They should ask how any of his past claims to reduce government spending can be credible when his plan is a Welfare Spendathon that will permanently increase the welfare state by hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Most importantly, since it was borrowing and spending that got us into this mess, Obama must explain how borrowing and spending can possibly hope to get us out of it.

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