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

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


The other day, I ran across a simple, but very troubling graph depicting the percentage of national debt to gross domestic product (GDP) as a function of time (in years).

The ratio has gone up and down in the 50-odd years since the 1960s, but the slope of the curve during the last three years has been unprecedented. During the Obama presidency, the percentage of national debt to gross domestic product (GDP) has increased from 70 to 100 percent, about 10 percent per year. As I have mentioned in other posts, if Barack Obama is re-elected and continues his profligate spending (there is absolutely no indication that he will not), and if he and other Democrats continue to demagogue any attempt to control spending and reduce the growth in entitlements, the national debt to GDP percentage will be about 140% toward the end of his second term. Greece’s current debt to GDP ratio is about 120%.

The United States has had uncontrolled spending under almost every president, but the situation under the current president is frightening. He seems either unwilling or unable to understand the (now) short-term ramifications of his actions.

When our lenders (e.g., China) demand higher rates of return, federal interest payments to service the debt will skyrocket. Increasingly larger percentages of federal revenue (taxes) will be allocated to service the debt. With less money available to run the government, draconian budget cuts will impact the very people that President Obama purports to care about—the poor, the elderly, the infirm. As the government prints money in a futile attempt to remedy the situation, inflation will increase.

The president loves to deride “trickle-down” economics. He seems incapable of understanding that as bond rates rise, higher interest rates trickle down to all borrowers, suppressing consumer purchases like cars, houses, and appliances. The economy tanks.

But no worries, the President has a plan—“tax the rich” so that they pay their “fair share” and just keep spending, “stimulating,” and using federal tax dollars to bail out select demographic segments who have behaved irresponsibly but now demand government assistance to remedy their indebtedness. No matter that confiscating all of the wealth of “the rich” would do little to change the slope of the debt curve—it sounds oh-so-sweet to the President’s economically-challenged supporters.

Take a hard look at the curve. It’s a dire warning that no responsible citizen can ignore.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Only Sometimes

The most interesting aspect of the run-up to the presidential election will be the behavior of the main stream media. Will CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, the NYT, the LAT, NPR, Time, Newsweek and dozens of other media outlets continue to serve as an adjunct to the Obama re-election campaign? Or this time around, will they do their job—vetting claims made by both parties and both candidates? Will they look into the background of both candidates and report their results accurately, without bias. The evidence so far is not encouraging.

As one of many examples, consider the recent spike in gas prices. The President claims repeatedly that oil drilling under his administration has increased during his three years in office, implying that he is doing everything possible to increase the flow of oil into the USA. In fact, he’s purposely misleading the public. Private drilling on private land has increased because of policies implemented by the Bush administration, but drilling on public lands, under the control of this President has decreased precipitously. That may be a reasonable policy decision, but the MSM should report that Barack Obama has made it. The public should be allowed to decide whether his judgment is good or bad.

A commenter at The Belmont Club, “Anonymous Mike,” states:
Most people are not interested in politics and pay a glancing attention to the news. They depend on institutions, whether the media or parties, to keep an eye on things for them and to bark when things deviate from normalcy. So when the dog doesn’t bark, they continue on as before with nothing to worry about – there is a comfortable normalcy in that because America was a fairly depoliticized country. However that strategy only works when the media and politicians act as our agents. The dog isn’t barking, not because there aren’t things to be barked at, but because it has been bought off with something more interesting.

In 2008, the dog didn’t bark, even though there was ample opportunity to do so. In fact, rather than barking, the media actively tried to obscure any information that might reflect badly on Obama the candidate. They were "bought off" by their fantasy of hope and change.

For example, few bothered to look into Obama’s community organizing endeavors in the late 1990s and early part of the 2000s. Few examined his politics as a state senator prior to his elevation to the national stage. Few did in-depth investigative reports about his backers, his associations with extreme elements of his own party, and with known felons (Tony Resko). Few examined his affinity for the Palestinian cause. In fact, to this day, the LAT refuses to release a video of a speech Obama gave at a 2003 banquet where he spoke of his friendship with Rashid Khalidi, a leading Palestinian scholar and activist. Why is that? Obama should be proud of his words, and voters should be allowed to assess them on their merits.

But I suspect the 2012 will be a re-run of 2008. The MSM will do everything possible to run interference for Barack Obama, through omission and commission. Questioning and interviews of candidate Obama will be gentle while questioning and interviews of the Republican candidate will be aggressive. The Republican candidate’s past will be examined with a fine tooth comb, but Obama’s past will be off-limits, old news, already discussed.

The “journalists” at MSM outlets love to defend their intrusive probes of matters both trivial and important with the sanctimonious statement: “The public has a right to know.” They forget to add the qualifier—“only sometimes.”