In his recent economic speech at Georgetown University, President Obama quoted the Sermon on the Mount to illustrate his approach to the American economy.
He recounted the parable of the two men who build houses. The foolish man (read everyone who came before him, especially Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush) builds his house on sand that quickly crumbles. But the wise man builds his house on a rock that endures the storm.
Needless to say, like the wise man, President Obama pledged to build the American economy on a rock. And he has been true to his word.
But the essential truth of President Obama's first 100 days is this: The rock he wants to build the American economy on is the great mass of government. The foundation of his house is the leaden, immovable force of big bureaucracy. The supports are big unions and big politicians. And the payment is being stolen from our children and grandchildren.
In just 100 days, President Obama has been devastatingly effective in swiftly moving forward the most radical, government-expanding agenda in American history.
In the name of "economic stimulus," he passed a $787 billion gift for his liberal special interest base that no member of Congress read before voting on.
He has orchestrated unprecedented bureaucratic power grabs at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Reserve, allowing these unelected government entities to seize control of vast swaths of the American economy.
He's on the cusp of passing a budget that would remake our health care system, remake our energy system, raise taxes and forecast an amazing $9 trillion increase in the national debt.
Barack Obama has been the most successful Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson in getting Democrats in Congress to give him things that undermine their own power. And the robotic party discipline of House and Senate Democrats has allowed President Obama to pass massive parts of his government-expanding agenda with literally no Republican assistance.
Exhibit A is the plan Democrats just cooked up to ram health care reform through Congress by cutting Republicans and moderate Democrats out of the process. They propose to remake 17% of the American economy by shutting down debate. Talk about audacity.
But as the old adage says, success can breed its own failure.
President Obama's first 100 days of house building have been so thoroughly successful that he now owns the place. If the roof springs a leak or the framing collapses, he can no longer blame President Bush and the Republicans.
After 100 days of successfully advancing his radical agenda, President Obama is officially accountable. The questions for the next 1,000-plus days in his administration are:
• Can an economy built on the rock of government produce prosperity?
• And can 100% of America be transformed with just 50% of its votes?
Newt Gingrich is a senior fellow at AEI.