By Alan Caruba
Does it strike you odd that everyone knows the nation is deep in unsustainable debt, millions are unemployed, et cetera, and yet those elected to the highest offices in the land cannot seem to find an answer to this looming disaster?
Instead, we are besieged hourly by news of charges flying back about the President’s “position” and the House Majority Leader’s dismay. Millions of words pour forth about Barack Obama’s insistence on increasing the rate that millionaires should pay and the fact that it would barely cover the cost of running the government for more than a few days, let alone the fact that they already pay over 40 percent of all the money collected from income taxes.
To add to the absurdity, in June the Federal Reserve announced that the median net worth of families had plunged by 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. Need it be said that the largest drops occurred among middle class Americans?
By midyear 2012, U.S. housing prices were down 35 percent from the peak of the housing bubble. The official U.S. unemployment rate had been above 8 percent for 40 months in a row.
The statistics are very depressing and I will not burden you with what is a very long list. I will, however, remind you that none of this can be solely blamed on George W. Bush who had the misfortune of spending his final months of two terms in office when the housing bubble burst.
The result of that was the bailout of Wall Street and the banks with the exception of the investment firm of Lehman Brothers. The big banks got gobs of taxpayer money, but lots of small banks did not. As Obama kept reminding us throughout his first term, he “inherited” the mess without mentioning that the mess came with the job he relentlessly campaigned for.
There is no one else to blame for the current dismal economic state of the nation except Obama. We have had presidents who did a comparably bad job and they were all “progressives”, the nice name for Socialists and even nicer name for Communists. All believed that government was the answer and all were wrong.
What everyone knows is that the federal government is too big, too expensive, and too wasteful of our money. It is supposed to govern with the “consent of the people”, but those in office tend to think that getting elected is all the consent they need to keep doing the same stupid things.
Obama is the quintessential Big Government believer. As far as he’s concerned there is nothing that could possibly be cut from its operation and budget short of a draconian “sequester” that will kick in on January 2. There is no problem that cannot be solved by throwing more money at it. There is no more privileged class in America than government employees.
The worst part of all this are the lies being told about the Republicans who we are supposed to believe have offered no suggestions as to what could be cut from the budget. Here are a few of the forty items Rep. Paul Ryan suggested be cut. You may remember him as the running mate of Mitt Romney. They are Republicans.
Cutting the Corporation for Public Broadcasting subsidy would save $445 million annually.
Cutting the America’s Treasures Program would save $25 million annually.
Cutting the International Fund for Ireland would save $17 million annually.
Cutting the U.S. Trade Development Agency would save $55 million annually.
Eliminating 68 duplicating education programs would save $1.3 billion annually.
Cutting the subsidy to the Woodrow Wilson Center would save $430,000 annually. Wilson was the president who gave us the income tax and the Federal Reserve.
Cutting the Community Development Fund would save $4.5 billion annually.
Cutting energy grants to states for weatherization would save $530 million annually.
One of my favorites is the $1.565 billion annually in subsidies to Amtrak, a railroad system that has never turned a profit since it was created in 1971.
Rep. Ryan’s proposed cuts would save more than $2.5 trillion over ten years.
As this is being written there is a $2.2 trillion counter offer to the White House that does not raise taxes on upper income Americans ($250,000 or more), but does include $800 billion in tax reform, $600 billion in health care cuts, and $600 billion in other cuts in discretionary and mandatory spending.
If I was President, I would move to eliminate the Department of Education on the grounds that it has destroyed the quality of education in America, producing just enough morons to get Obama reelected. I have no idea why we have a Department of Energy when it has generally been federal government policy to obstruct any effort to actually mine coal or drill for oil and natural gas.
And, surely, I would close the doors of the Environmental Protection Agency which has become the single greatest source of economic destruction in the history of the nation.
But “we all know that”, right?
We all know that we are over-taxed and that lower rates, as in the days of Kennedy and Reagan, would jump start the economy.
We all know we are looking at a world of pain because the President refuses to even negotiate with the Republicans. The best we can hope for is an end-of-the- year deal to “kick the can down the road.”
By 2014 and the midterm elections, voters might decide to put legislative handcuffs on Obama by electing a Republican-controlled House and Senate. They did it for the House in 2010, but then forgot why. There are still left enough voters who thought Obama was so “cool” they preferred to keep him in office instead of a guy whose life has been a testament to success and clean living.
But we all know that, don’t we?
© Alan Caruba, 2012