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

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Now that the celebration of Barack Obama's re-election has died down just a bit, one rather sobering fact remains. Our debt continues to grow by $1 trillion per year and our newly re-elected President provides no concrete plan for reducing it. Sure he offers us his usual pap—a "balanced" approach that includes "taxing the rich" and ... well, he's a lot less specific on spending cuts, entitlement reform, and tax reform, but why should he be ... after all, he was re-elected, wasn't he?

Worse, the new (and likely, permanent) majority that re-elected Barack Obama doesn't seem to give a damn about trivial matters like deficits and debt, and if you think about it for just a moment, why should they? Obama's unbeatable coalition includes large voting blocks who are dependent on the federal government for direct income (a considerable majority of government workers), indirect income (many recipients of social security and medicare), government assistance (everything from ADC to welfare to foodstamps to Obamaphones), millions of the unemployed (recipients of years of unemployment compensation followed by record numbers of "disability" claims) and of course, the Left wing who just love to see major modifications to the capitalist system.

So we get four more years. Barack Obama tells us he's willing to "compromise," that he'll be "bipartisan," and that the infamous "fiscal cliff" is nothing to worry about. Here's Mark Steyn's take:
In the weeks ahead, Democrats and Republicans will reach a triumphant “bipartisan” deal to avert the fiscal cliff through some artful bookkeeping mechanism that postpones Taxmageddon for another year, or six months, or three, when they can reach yet another triumphant deal to postpone it yet again. Harry Reid has already announced that he wants to raise the debt ceiling — or, more accurately, lower the debt abyss — by $2.4 trillion before the end of the year, and no doubt we can look forward to a spectacular “bipartisan” agreement on that, too. It took the government of the United States two centuries to rack up its first trillion dollars in debt. Now Washington piles on another trillion every nine months. Forward!
Yeah, forward. Unfortunately, buying off the new majority simply can't sustain itself. Leftist economists like Paul Krugman or Robert Reich insist that it can, but Greece, France, Britain, Portugal, Spain,and Italy—real places with real people and real, albeit struggling, economies, with real existing tax-the-rich schemes—tell us that big government eventually hits a wall. Reality is a bitch. Again, Mark Stein comments:
The good news is that reality (to use a quaint expression) doesn’t need to swing a couple of thousand soccer moms in northern Virginia. Reality doesn’t need to crack 270 in the Electoral College. Reality can get 1.3 percent of the popular vote and still trump everything else. In the course of his first term, Obama increased the federal debt by just shy of $6 trillion and in return grew the economy by $905 billion. So, as Lance Roberts at Street Talk Live pointed out, in order to generate every dollar of economic growth the United States had to borrow about five dollars and 60 cents. There’s no one out there on the planet — whether it’s “the rich” or the Chinese — who can afford to carry on bankrolling that rate of return. According to one CBO analysis, U.S.-government spending is sustainable as long as the rest of the world is prepared to sink 19 percent of its GDP into U.S. Treasury debt. We already know the answer to that: In order to avoid the public humiliation of a failed bond auction, the U.S. Treasury sells 70 percent of the debt it issues to the Federal Reserve — which is to say the left hand of the U.S. government is borrowing money from the right hand of the U.S. government. It’s government as a Nigerian e-mail scam, with Ben Bernanke playing the role of the dictator’s widow with $4 trillion under her bed that she’s willing to wire to Timmy Geithner as soon as he sends her his bank-account details.

If that’s all a bit too technical, here’s the gist: There’s nothing holding the joint up.
But no worries, Barack Obama is leading us forward.