Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Conservative's Wishful Thinking
By Alan Caruba
One of the themes running through conservative forums and blogs these days is the question of just when Barack Obama will resign from the presidency.
Secondarily, the concern is that he would do this before or after the November midterm elections, thus leaving the nation in the hands of Joe Biden, a longtime Washington insider and goofball.
The thinking of grass-roots conservatives is that Obama is just so over-whelmed and under-equipped to deal with the daily events, foreign and domestic, that he will run home to Chicago to work on yet another autobiography.
This is not going to happen. Obama is the casebook study of a pathological narcissist and everything that happens is always about him and is always somebody else’s fault.
This is what makes the BP oil disaster so delicious at the same time it is so awful. Like a giant oil slick from which he cannot free himself, this event will indelibly stain his presidency. He was too slow to respond to it and, during his belated press conference, strove to both assert that he was in charge “from day one” and that it was up to BP to solve the problem.
Compounding his problem is his announcement a month before the rig blew up that he favored offshore drilling. In politics, timing is everything and Obama’s is astonishingly slow and tone deaf. His announcement managed to anger a big part of his base, the Greens who hate oil everywhere except at the pump when they fill up their tank. Where that gasoline comes from remains a mystery to many of them who think it is a biofuel product made from soy beans and corn.
If you look closely, you will see quite plainly that Obama’s hair is turning white. He’s been in the Oval Office for a year and a half and he is aging before our eyes. This should surprise no one because he has never really had to deal with the challenges that tend to toughen up ordinary people.
Any president’s job is a daily series of domestic and foreign crisis. The skill-set most needed is leadership, followed by management. Americans know it when they see it and, so far as Obama is concerned, they are not seeing it.
What they have seen is one big mess after another made even bigger by a president who thinks big government is the answer to every problem. Most people, except for the 30% hard core of extremist liberals, have long ago concluded that big government is the problem.
A Marxist, Obama’s instinctual response was to nationalize every sector of the economy he could. Along with fellow Marxists, Nancy Pelosi in the House and Harry Reid in the Senate, the long-sought goal of a Democrat-controlled Congress was too golden to pay any attention to the people who showed up at town hall meetings or who gathered in the hundreds of thousands outside the Capitol building.
This is why there will be a heedless rush to impose an increase in every kind of tax imaginable before they are turned out of office and political control returns to the Republican Party. The GOP lost power precisely because it too jacked up the cost of government. They have some good people in office who, after the midterm GOP victory, will take the painful steps to save the nation. Just like Bill Clinton, Obama will take the credit.
Consider this, however. President Bush ran $2.9 trillion in deficits in the wake of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. On top of that, he was fighting two difficult wars in the Middle East. In his first twenty months in office, President Obama’s spending exceeds Bush’s one hundred months in office. Obama is spending $5 for every $1 Bush spent.
The U.S. government under President Obama has spent or lent $12.8 trillion to date and the annual GDP of the nation is just about that amount or, in other words, equal to the value of everything the United States produced last year.
As noted in a recent book, “Killing Wealth”, “the private sector comprises five million companies and 115 million employees, while the public sector comprises 89,000 taxing authorities and twenty million public servants. Private sector employees earned an average $49,935 in 2008, while federal civilian employees earned 50 percent more---$79,197 for the same kind of work.” Some would argue that it really isn’t the same kind of work because making a profit is not part of the equation.
Others might point out that Obama has surrounded himself with people who are academics or full-time government employees who have never, like himself, had to run a business, meet a payroll, or satisfy investors. They are totally ideological. They are totally clueless.
Some weeks back, I asked if the United States of America was “too big to fail?” The answer is no. Greece is close to default and Spain and Italy are not far behind. The European Union is likely to dissolve as the only nation member that has any money or the prospect of making any is Germany. Bailing out the others is not a popular option for Germans and the French will not want to either.
Bailing out the United States will eventually become an equally bad idea for China, Japan, and other sovereign investors in our treasury notes unless Congress can or will staunch the insane borrowing and spending that has characterized the past decade.
Conservatives will get their wish about Obama when the 2012 elections roll around. Until then, he’s not going away.
(a) Alan Caruba, 2010