The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Third World

In the classic pattern of political demagogues, President Obama recently suggested that those of us who want to see substantial spending cuts across all federal programs and meaningful steps to reign in the enormous (and growing) federal deficit are defining a path that will lead the United States to “third world” status. Really?

Investor’s Business Daily recounts the current status of the economy and the President’s role in it:
  • Real earnings have fallen for five straight months, and are down 1% since the end of last year.

  • Consumer price inflation is growing at a 6.1% annual rate over the last three months, while producer prices are rising an even-faster 13%. According to John Williams of the Shadow Government Statistics website, if we measure consumer prices the way we did before 1992, inflation is now running at 10% a year.

  • The U.S. has added $6 trillion to its debt under Obama, a sure sign of being on the road to Third World status. Three years ago, the U.S. had $7.9 trillion in debt. Today, we have $14 trillion. Bankrupt, hyperinflated Zimbabwe couldn't do any better.

  • The U.S. dollar has fallen so much and foreign nations have so little confidence in our ability to run our fiscal affairs that the "BRIC" nations — the mostly fast-growing former Third World nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China — are talking about replacing the U.S. dollar in foreign trade with the Chinese yuan.

  • Just 45.4% of Americans had jobs last year, the lowest since 1983, according to census data crunched by USA Today. Among men, just 66.8% had work last year, the lowest ever.

  • Obama touts the "recovery" that supposedly began in June of 2009, but a look at the data show that last year's real private sector GDP was in fact still down 1.1% from its peak in 2007 — so all of the "expansion" has been in government, not the private sector.

  • While we're at it, under Obama, spending has risen farther and faster than under any president in history. At current rates, government at all levels will take up more than half of all economic activity by 2050.

Can't happen here, you say? In 1920, Argentina was one of the five richest countries on Earth. Then it followed policies similar to Obama's — kowtowing to unions, government control of industry, price controls. It crashed, burned and never really recovered.
We're headed down that road. Today, government spending is at a record 25% of GDP, while government regulation costs the U.S. economy $1.7 trillion a year.

Yeah, I know, the President’s supporters argue that he inherited this mess from the evil George Bush. They argue that nefarious banks and Wall Street types are to blame, and that Barack Obama is an innocent victim in it all. Sorry, although there is some truth to those statements, the President has adopted an economic view that is unhinged, and it’s beginning to hurt the country.

Barack Obama, not GWB, added $6 trillion to our debt and did this without any discernable improvement in jobs, government services, or the housing market. He, not GWB, paid little attention to his own debt reduction commission until forced to do so by a debt reduction plan proposed by Paul Ryan while at the same time trashing Ryan and his plan in a hyper-partisan manner that does not befit a President of the United States. He, not GWB, stayed on the sidelines while the 2010 majority Congress spent in excess.

And now he has the audacity the couch himself as a deficit hawk. Please.