Shocking Newsweek Cover: 'Hit the Road, Barack - Why We Need a New President'

After some of the recent Obama-loving/Romney-bashing Newsweek covers, the one hitting newsstands Monday is guaranteed to turn some heads.

Under the picture of our dear leader are the words, "Hit the Road, Barack: Why We Need a New President."

The article is written by Niall Ferguson, a British historian and economist that backed John McCain in 2008.

After an introduction, Ferguson made his case:

In his inaugural address, Obama promised “not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.” He promised to “build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.” He promised to “restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.” And he promised to “transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.” Unfortunately the president’s scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful.

He continued:

[T]he total number of private-sector jobs is still 4.3 million below the January 2008 peak. Meanwhile, since 2008, a staggering 3.6 million Americans have been added to Social Security’s disability insurance program. This is one of many ways unemployment is being concealed.

In his fiscal year 2010 budget—the first he presented—the president envisaged growth of 3.2 percent in 2010, 4.0 percent in 2011, 4.6 percent in 2012. The actual numbers were 2.4 percent in 2010 and 1.8 percent in 2011; few forecasters now expect it to be much above 2.3 percent this year.

Unemployment was supposed to be 6 percent by now. It has averaged 8.2 percent this year so far. Meanwhile real median annual household income has dropped more than 5 percent since June 2009. Nearly 110 million individuals received a welfare benefit in 2011, mostly Medicaid or food stamps.

Welcome to Obama’s America: nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return—almost exactly the same proportion that lives in a household where at least one member receives some type of government benefit. We are becoming the 50–50 nation—half of us paying the taxes, the other half receiving the benefits.

And all this despite a far bigger hike in the federal debt than we were promised. According to the 2010 budget, the debt in public hands was supposed to fall in relation to GDP from 67 percent in 2010 to less than 66 percent this year. If only. By the end of this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), it will reach 70 percent of GDP. These figures significantly understate the debt problem, however. The ratio that matters is debt to revenue. That number has leapt upward from 165 percent in 2008 to 262 percent this year, according to figures from the International Monetary Fund. Among developed economies, only Ireland and Spain have seen a bigger deterioration.

Ferguson also took aim at the media's coverage of Obama:

Yet the public mistakes his administration’s astonishingly uninhibited use of political assassination for a coherent strategy. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London, the civilian proportion of drone casualties was 16 percent last year. Ask yourself how the liberal media would have behaved if George W. Bush had used drones this way. Yet somehow it is only ever Republican secretaries of state who are accused of committing “war crimes.”

Indeed. As we've seen in the past three and a half years, Obama can do virtually anything he wants and his media will either applaud or look the other away.

That said, after spending the bulk of his lengthy piece chronicling the current White House resident's missteps, Ferguson spoke glowingly about Paul Ryan:

He is one of only a handful of politicians in Washington who is truly sincere about addressing this country’s fiscal crisis....But one thing is clear. Ryan psychs Obama out. This has been apparent ever since the White House went on the offensive against Ryan in the spring of last year. And the reason he psychs him out is that, unlike Obama, Ryan has a plan—as opposed to a narrative—for this country. [...]

The voters now face a stark choice. They can let Barack Obama’s rambling, solipsistic narrative continue until they find themselves living in some American version of Europe, with low growth, high unemployment, even higher debt—and real geopolitical decline.

Or they can opt for real change: the kind of change that will end four years of economic underperformance, stop the terrifying accumulation of debt, and reestablish a secure fiscal foundation for American national security.

And this is actually Newsweek's cover story this week making one ask a simple question: Why?

Since Tina Brown's Daily Beast took over the failing magazine, it has been one of the most left-leaning publications in the country.

So why with less than three months to go before Election Day would they publish a 3,200-word cover story severely criticizing Obama whilst basically endorsing his opponent?

Could it be the Daily Beast/Newsweek combination has not been attracting the kind of readership they expected, and they believe a little objectivity was in order?

Or is this just a tiny dose of conservatism before a deluge of the most biased Obama-loving/Romney-bashing imaginable?

As the late Ed Hart used to say, we will know in the fullness of time.

(HT NB reader Dave Smith)

2012 Presidential Newsweek Paul Ryan Niall Ferguson Barack Obama Joe Biden Mitt Romney
Noel Sheppard's picture

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