Living the LBJ Legacy

Several weeks ago I had suggested  President Obama thought that he was patterning himself after Lincoln.  But after doing some more thinking, I realized that the President’s channeling of former presidents does not stop with Lincoln. Now he thinks he’s LBJ.

Not since LBJ in 1965 has any president attempted to pass so much of its agenda in one Congress.  LBJ called his plan The Great Society, during which major spending programs addressed education, health care (Medicaid and Medicare) , urban problems, and transportation.   Every social program under the sun got money thrown at it, as if that was the answer.   And the result was out of control spending and a greatly weakened presidency.

Now President Obama is racking up unprecedented deficits by trying to initiative in a matter of months his vision of an American welfare state. Government takeovers rule the day. It’s not only too many take overs, it costs too much money.

But while President Obama tackles every social program on his agenda, he has ignored the most pressing problem of all: job creation.   Priorities must be set.   Trying to do everything is not the hallmark of an effective leader – it’s the sign of  someone who can’t stay on task.

If President Obama  learns one thing from the LBJ years hopefully it will be there is an ultimate price to be paid.  LBJ did not run for re-election.

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