Politicians tend to believe that the power they wield is almost magic. They get elected by giving energetic speeches with nice words like "hope" and "change" and often get wrapped up in the throngs of loyal believers that follow them to Washington. Once they are in office, they ask "what do we do now?" How they answer this question will ultimately determine their destiny and the fate of the nation.
When I came to Washington, I knew exactly what my constituents expected of me and the number one issue facing all Americans: jobs. For whatever reason, this has taken the president two and a half years to figure out.
So on Thursday, President Obama came before Congress once again to speak on the issue with which he was entrusted and which he has failed at time and time again. Two and a half years after his inauguration we heard another speech and more excuses for why our economy is not responding to his treatment. The message stays the same and the proposals never change, they just get new names such as "stimulus" "shovel ready" and recently "fixing our infrastructure."
Now the president is calling for more spending, more gimmicks and more of the same policies that have failed to create jobs since he was sworn in two and a half years ago. This president just doesn't get it. Running up the debt and deficit to "invest" in these stimulus programs does not sustain lasting growth or job creation - they merely create more bills for future generations to pay. At times like these, I'm often reminded of the old saying "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
President Obama is trapped in an ideology that has been proven decade after decade to fail. He is creating a culture of dependence where Americans are encouraged to rely on the government for their daily bread instead of encouraging them to create, innovate, and prosper. Rather than support small business growth and entrepreneurial innovation, the president instead punishes their success with tax increases and bullies their submission with threats of fines, mandates, and regulations. Is it any wonder why the economy did not create not a single job in August?
So once again we are left with another speech, another stimulus, and more excuses.
Is this the best we can do? No! Not in the America I know. We are a nation of do-ers. We have little patience for leaders who do not "walk the walk" after talking the talk. This lies at the heart of our frustration with President Obama's handling of the economy - he's either unwilling or unable to do what it takes to fix the problem.
Two polls out this week show that the American people have had enough. On Tuesday, a Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that more than 60 percent of those surveyed say they disapprove of the way the president is handling the economy while a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 73 percent say the country is headed in the wrong direction, a level not seen since the financial crisis began in 2008.
These are the moments when great leaders rise to the occasion and offer bold solutions. These are the struggles that test our will to move forward and strive for a better tomorrow. A failure to succeed is human, but the unwillingness to try is a deficit in courage.