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

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Failure in Leadership

When he was a very junior senator from IL, Barack Obama castigated President George W. Bush for incurring a deficit. Obama stated:
"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. . . . It is a sign that the U.S. government can't pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government's reckless fiscal policies. … Leadership means that 'the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit."
Hmmm. I wonder ... was Obama right when he said those words? I think he was, and that means what we're watching today is an abject "failure in leadership."

But now-President Obama has decided to do what he does best—use demagoguery ("social security checks will not go out") and untruths (e.g., "our administration will cut the debt by $4 trillion") when he castigates his opposition for having the temerity to suggest that a debt limit increase be tied to spending reductions.

In a way, it would almost be better if Obama actually believed that huge deficits and gargantuan and unsustainable debt were okay. At least he couldn't be accused of hypocrisy. But as a junior senator he demonstrated that he understands the danger—he just doesn't give a damn. And as a consequence, his cynical pursuit of ever higher taxes (even though they can't possibly solve the problem) and ever-increasing spending (even though it makes a very bad situation even worse) is the most irresponsible economic policy I have ever seen a President initiate.