To a large degree the 2012 Presidential election will be a referendum on the leadership of Barack Obama, so lets look at that record, its successes and failures.
The leadership successes of President Obama:
- President Obama has succeeded in redefining what is normal in the economic condition of the country. Whereas in the past the normal rate of unemployment was typically in the 3% to 5% range, the accepted range is now 8% and above. Further, as more and more people give up on finding employment, they are removed from the official un-employment rate and disappear from discussion; that is they disappear from the conversation except for FoxNews and other conservative outlets who prefer to tell the whole story of the actual un-employment rate being much higher.
- President Obama has succeeded in convincing many Americans that the American Free-Enterprise Capitalist System has failed and needs to be replaced by a socialistic top-down command driven economy. This success(?) is evident in his constant and long term demonization of all manner of business segments, and it’s alignment with Occupy Movements across the country. The crowning jewel in this mantra is his recent pronouncement that “If You’ve Got a Business, You Didn’t Build That. Somebody Else Made That Happen. If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”
- President Obama has succeeded in growing the number of people who rely on some sort of government assistance; such as food stamps, extended unemployment benefits and disability claims. Additionally, with his gutting of the work requirement of the Clinton era welfare reform, more people will be added to the dependency rolls in the future; precisely what he is after.
- President Obama has succeeded in passing a landmark universal healthcare law. However, the problem with this law is that it will cost three times more that he originally promised. And, having been down this road before, my own personal projection is that it will cost 5 to 6 times more (or it will cost $0.00 when the whole house of cards comes tumbling down on all of us.)
- The ObamaCare bill has generated on the order of 13,000 pages of new regulations with 10 years to go.
- It is estimated that the ObamaCare bill will create 159 new agencies.
- If anyone thinks the health care cost curve will turn downward they must be smoking a lot of that “medical” marijuana that’s all the rage these days around the country.
- President Obama has succeeded in passing Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This law has set in place the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, a bureau with no Congressional oversight and one whose funding comes from the Fed, not the treasury via Congress; in other words, a bureau that is unaccountable to the American people and has great potential for extreme abuse. This is a prime example of what Glenn Beck meant when he said several years ago that Obama will make Congress irrelevant (i.e. we will no longer have a republic.)
The leadership failures of President Obama:
(In preparation for a future essay, I have been reading “Implosion: Can America Recover From Its Economic & Spiritual Challenges In Time?” Chapter 9 stopped me in my tracks as it so clearly summarizes the fact that we have had no leadership from the Presidency on an issue that is of enormous importance to us all, let me begin this section with some of Mr. Rosenberg’s observations. )
- “These deficits are like a cancer [and] they will truly destroy this country from within if we don’t take care of them.” Erskine Bowles, Democrat co-chair of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform: 2010
- “We are accumulating debt burdens that will rival a third-world nation within 10 years. … Once you end up losing the confidence of the markets, things happen very suddenly and very dramatically. We’ve seen that in Greece, we’ve seen it in Ireland, and we must not see it happen in the United States.” David Walker, Controller General of the United States from 1998-2008 Appointed by President Clinton: 2010
- “We are steadily becoming more venerable to economic disaster on an epic scale.” Simon Johnson, economist at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and advisor to the Congressional Budget Office: 2010
- “America is on an ‘unsustainable fiscal course’ after going through the ‘worst economic crisis since the Great Depression … the US is headed for a ‘fiscal train wreck’ and the risk is that something on the fiscal side will snap.” NYU economist Nouriel Roubini: 2010
- The United States cannot go on borrowing at projected rates, … Without major policy changes, we risk a debt crisis that could severely our economy and weaken our influence in the world. … We face the prospect of debt crisis and economic disaster if we do not act.” Alice Rivlin, A Democrat on the president’s Debt Commission and the founding director of the Congressional Budget Office: 2011
- “It is only a matter of time until our financial house collapses, … We are living on borrowed time and risk an economic catastrophe unless somebody in government exercises real leadership to reduce spending and borrowing.” Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation: 2011
- “We know we’re going to have an economic collapse if we stay on the path we are on, … And so to me it’s unconscionable as an elected representative of people to know that it’s coming and not try to do something to prevent it from happening.” Wisconsin Republican congressman Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee: 2011
And reflect on a sampling of the collective wisdom of the founding Fathers:
- “No pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt.” – George Washington, Fifth Annual Message, speaking to the House of Representatives, December 3, 1793;
- “The consequences arising from the continual accumulation of public debts in other countries ought to admonish us to be careful to prevent their growth in our own. The national defense must be provided for as well as the support of Government; but both should be accomplished as much as possible by immediate taxes, and as little as possible by loans.” – John Adams, First Address to Congress, November 23, 1797
- “I suppose that the received opinion, that the public debts of one generation devolve on the next, has been suggested by our seeing, habitually, in private life, that he who succeeds to lands is required to pay the debts of his predecessor; without considering that this requisition is municipal only, not moral, flowing from the will of the society, which has found it convenient to appropriate the lands of a decedent on the condition of a payment of his debts; but that between society and society, or generation and generation, there is no municipal obligation, no umpire but the law of nature.” – Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1789
- “All that seems indispensible in stating the account between the dead and the living, is to see that the debts against the latter do not exceed the advances made by the former.” – James Madison, letter to Thomas Jefferson, February 4, 1790
- “When you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty.”– Benjamin Franklin
- “Persuaded, as the Secretary is, that the proper funding of the present debt will render it a national blessing; yet he is so far from acceding to the position, in the latitude in which it is sometimes laid down, that ‘public debts are public benefits,’ a position inviting to prodigality, and liable to dangerous abuse, that he ardently wishes to see it incorporated, as a fundamental maxim in the system of public credit of the United States, that the creation of debt should always be accompanied with the means of extinguishment. This he regards as the true secret for rendering public credit immortal. And he presumes that it is difficult to conceive a situation in which there may not be an adherence to the maxim.” – Alexander Hamilton, “First Report on the Public Credit,” January 9, 1790, presented to Congress on January 14, 1790
- “The payment of debts may well be expensive, but it is infinitely more expensive to withhold the payment. The former is an expense of money, when money may be commanded to defray it; but the latter involves the destruction of that source from whence money can be derived when all other sources fail. That source, abundant, nay almost inexhaustible, is public credit.” – Robert Morris, Superintendent of Finance, speech upon leaving office, 1784
- “As parents, we can have no joy, knowing that this government is not sufficiently lasting to ensure any thing which we may bequeath to posterity: And by a plain method of argument, as we are running the next generation into debt, we ought to do the work of it, otherwise we use them meanly and pitifully. In order to discover the line of our duty rightly, we should take our children in our hand, and fix our station a few years farther into life; that eminence will present a prospect, which a few present fears and prejudices conceal from our sight.” – Thomas Paine, “Common Sense,” January 10, 1776
And in more recent years a warning from a top ranked military leader:
- “Just because there’s a deal to raise the federal debt limit doesn’t mean the United States is any safer. … I haven’t changed my view that the continually increasing debt is the biggest threat we have to our national security.” Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen said during a meeting with reporters in Baghdad.
And a prominent Senator in 2012.
- “Why is the modern Republican Party so opposed to allowing the rich to pay just a little bit more in taxes to help solve the debt and deficit problem in this country that they would prefer no deal at all?” Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., asked at The Brookings Institution.
So what has the President of the Untied States of America, Barack Hussein Obama, done to address these grave issues and warnings?
He has set up commissions and then ignored the findings; instead he has chosen to be a full time employee of the Democrat Party rather than being the leader of the nation, he has become the head of the marketing department of the Party, selling his ideology rather than raising the banner and attacking the debt problem with a vengeance. He is fiddling while Rome burns.
So What is the Solution?
I don’t think it is much of a stretch to believe that the founders mentioned above would call for an immediate impeachment of such a president. This won’t happen, and there is little hope of a bi-partisan approach to saving the nation for our grand-children.
So the only hope and tool we have left is the votes of informed citizens. Votes that will unequivocally chase these scoundrels out of town with an overwhelming defeat at the polls.
There are many good politicians, men and women of character, and we should support them. Men and women like Paul Ryan and Gov. Scott Walker who seek to address the debt problem as Americans concerned about the preservation of our great republic.
Unfortunately I see few Democrat politicians having the knowledge or vision to reach back to the first principles of this great republic; few that are willing to join the battle against this evil destruction of a nation. Therefore, our only choice is to vote Republican.
The problem with voting in Republicans across the board is that we then face the danger of a one party system and a slide to tyranny from a different direction.
When I study and research this debt problem, what I see, and what I agonize over, is that the full fury will hit when my three grand-children are in their twenties, a time in their lives when opportunity should be in their horizon, and not economic chaos!
The real long term solution is education. An education in the schools and the culture; in the media and in the political parties. An education that will teach the next generations the truth about America, the “last best hope of earth.”
Don Johnson — July 2012