As we enter the final month before the election, it’s appropriate to look back over the last 4 years and take stock of the Obama presidency as a whole. We will focus in the 3 primary areas of the economy, energy and foreign policy.
Our economy has been an unmitigated disaster since the reins of Congress were handed to the Democrats after the 2006 elections. Instead of getting better after the election of President Obama, it has gotten exponentially worse. One must wonder whether Obama is simply incompetent to navigate the economy or whether he is intentionally collapsing the system in accordance with the Cloward-Piven strategy and the desires of George Soros. Let’s enumerate:
The bailout was supposed to stabilize the financial industry. Costing over a trillion, it turned out to be a payoff to Obama cronies and contributors, but had little effect on the economy – and was also the impetus behind massive increases in regulation, including the oppressive Dodd-Frank which is burdening if not crippling many businesses.
Next was the Stimulus. More government largess was lavished upon friends of Obama. “Investments” were made in “green energy” (we’ll talk about that more, later). Payoffs were made to Obama bundlers and supporters. Sold as an “investment” of $787 billion ($700 billion more than the annual cost of two wars that only a few years earlier John Kerry had voted for before voting against!) the economy benefited not a whit! There was virtually no return on that “investment”! http://investorplace.com/investorpolitics/ugly-truths-obama-stimulus-jobs-economy/ Instead, we started a 4 year path of trillion plus deficits – and began accruing debt that added $6 trillion over the Obama presidency; but the CBO’s own figures indicate that the stimulus accomplished virtually no positive results!
Passing the Stimulus was also sold as necessary to keep unemployment under 8%. The results? 42 consecutive months of unemployment over 8%!
Remember the takeover of GM and Chrysler? The Unions got a payoff, but the stockholders were shafted in violation of bankruptcy laws. Chrysler dealerships were closed, losing their franchises. Interestingly it turned out that the dealerships selected for closure tended to have been less than supportive of Obama.
Then Cash for Clunkers forced the destruction of many usable and affordable used cars, taking them off the market. This simply raised prices of available used cars – having a negative effect on those who need affordable used vehicles!
We’ve seen the Fed pumping monopoly money into the system with “quantitative easing” which devalues the dollar. The result of that was the downgrade of the credit rating of the United States. Twice! Once the “full faith and credit of the United States” was the greatest guarantee on the planet. Is it still?
Then came ObamaCare. Opposed by every single Republican, and requiring every single Democrat vote or it would have failed, it was rammed down the throats of the American public despite massive opposition. While the Stimulus was the genesis of the Tea Party – Obamacare was the mother’s milk of the grassroots’ movement. By any and every measure, Obamacare accomplishes none of what was promised and costs at least twice what was predicted. As IL State Senate candidate, Dr. Barbara Bellar pointed out in a now viral video, Obamacare adds coverage to 10 million people without adding a single doctor. http://quadrust.com/article/dr-barbara-bellar-illinois-senate-candidate-blasts-obamacare-viral-video?no_cache=1349524434 As she says, ‘what the blank could possibly go wrong?’
On taxes, the Obama administration has spent years promoting the termination of the Bush tax cuts. They even have gone so far as terming the extension of current tax rates as the granting of a “cut”, when this is simply the maintaining of rates in place for 9 years.
Also, whenever the administration speaks of tax increases or cuts, they monetize this into a dollar amount rather than speaking of rates. This is fallacy based on the zero sum myth. In the Keynesian mind, if you have a tax that currently generates 100 billion, and you cut the rate by 20%, that’s a $20 billion cut! But in the real world, tax cuts GENERATE revenue. This has occurred every time it’s been tried. Kennedy cut tax rates. Revenues increased. Reagan cut tax rates. Revenues doubled. Bush cut tax rates. Revenue increased and reduced the 2003 deficit (of around $425 billion – a blessing by today’s standards!) each year until the turnover of Congress in January of 2007. At that time the deficit was reduced to under $150 billion – 1/3 of the deficit of just 3 years earlier. Of course Pelosi/Reid started spending in a way that would embarrass the most drunken of sailors, and tripled it back to $450 billion in their first year, and exceeding every prior Bush deficit. In their 2nd year, the final year of the Bush presidency, they tripled it again to over a trillion for the first time in history. Yet Bush is blamed.
So when Obama spoke of Romney proposing a $5 trillion tax cut, the term itself is a fallacy. You don’t cut tax DOLLARS, you cut tax RATES. Tax rates affect behavior. They create an environment stifling to or conducive to business expansion. They encourage or discourage investment. They result in growth or contraction of the economy. As demonstrated above, reducing rates INCREASES revenues, so a rate CUT is not a dollars cut, it’s a revenue ENHANCEMENT. The converse is often true. Raising tax rates cannot correlate to increased dollars. Let’s go back to that example of the tax currently generating $100 billion. In the Keynesian, zero sum view, increasing that tax rate by 20% would generate an additional $20 billion. And of course, they would also immediately count on that increase and allocate $30 billion in new spending! The problem is that people respond to taxes with behavior modification to minimize their exposure to new taxes! Increased rates do not translate into increased revenues! They translate into a contracted economy.
A classic demonstration of the failure of punitive taxation was the Yacht tax of the 80s. Sold as a “luxury tax” on the rich which they could well afford, and which would generate revenue, a significant tax was placed on the sale of large pleasure boats.
So the wealthy found other toys for their money. They stopped buying yachts! Who was hurt? Employees of the boat builders were laid off. Marinas closed. Revenues weren’t generated because yachts weren’t being sold. A cry went up from the non-rich who were getting squeezed by the tax, and it was repealed. Lesson learned? Not likely.
Now we’re hearing Joe Biden acknowledging he want to increase taxes by a trillion dollars! Well, if they increase rates, they will hurt the economy further, but they won’t generate those trillion bucks!
Turning to Energy Policy.
We’ve witnessed the administration’s nearly neurotic obsession with “green energy”, investing in losers like Solyndra, Light Squared, Beacon Power, Abound Solar, Solar Trust, Brightsource and more! http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/09/15/despite-stimulus-funding-solyndra-and-4-other-companies-have-hit-rock-bottom/
Meantime, traditional energy sources like oil and coal have been under attack.
There is a concerted war on coal. Coal-fired electricity generation plants are closing around the country because of regulatory demands. Coal mines are being shuttered. Coal miners are losing their jobs. The USA is the “Saudi Arabia of Coal” and this is an important facet of our energy posture, yet Obama is kicking that leg out from under the stool!
Another leg of our energy stool is oil. Obama takes credit for the increased production being generated by private investment on private lands, however the administration has essentially put a halt to issuing permits for production on leased sites owned by the government. He’s opposing drilling offshore, in deep water, and on the north slope of Alaska. He’s opposed the Keystone Pipeline project. Meantime he gave billions to assist Petrobas to develop deep water drilling for Brazil – and made the statement that he wanted the US to be their biggest customer! Why can’t we drill our own resources, and be less dependent on foreign sources?
On Obama’s watch we have seen gas prices double! There is no commodity that has skyrocketed as severely, and none with as wide-ranging an effect on every American. As gas prices rise, not only does it cost every driver more to get to work and around town, but the cost of shipping virtually every product to market goes up. This is an inflationary pressure on the price of everything. Obama’s energy policies have directly contributed to the decreased standard of living of every family in America.
Finally, let’s take a brief look at the Obama Foreign Policy.
First, let’s give kudos for his one real accomplishment. Bin Laden is dead. When the Seals assembled sufficient intelligence (much garnered from the maligned Bush policies!) to know where he was and came to Obama with a plan of attack, after multiple delays, and many “tell me what to do” sessions with Valerie Jarrett, he finally made the decision to say, “OK, go.”
Obama started out his early foreign policy with an “apology tour”. He has insulted and discounted our longtime allies like England, even selling out British secrets to the Russians! http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/did-obama-sell-out-our-closest-ally-to-get-new-start/ He has slighted and maligned Israel. He prostrated himself before the Prime Minister of Japan and the King of Saudi Arabia and others.
Obama famously stated in 2007 that if he were elected, Muslim hostility would cease! http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2012/09/14/FLASHBACK-Obama-The-Day-Im-Inaugurated-Muslim-Hostility-Will-Ease We’ve seen how well that worked out in Libya and Egypt.
Obama supported the “Arab Spring” with our money and material, and with military strikes. Despite warnings from the Right that doing so would only empower the Muslim Brotherhood. This warning fell on deaf ears, as Obama is friendly with the Muslim Brotherhood! He’s inculcated many of them into his own White House staff. He doesn’t view them as a threat. Unfortunately, Ambassador Stevens and others paid the ultimate price for that naiivity! Of course, the embassy attacks were covered up and explained away as the result of some obscure You-Tube video, and dismissed as merely “bumps in the road”.
When Obama took office, Egypt still had a working treaty with Israel, and Khadafy was feeding us intel on Al Qaida. Today all of North Africa is falling to radical Islam.
Throughout the Bush years, as the war in Iraq was being maligned, the daily body count was aired in the mainstream media. Afghanistan, at the time, was seen as a “righteous” or “good” war and we heard little about it.
So now we’re out of Iraq. And the Afghanistan campaign is being prosecuted under the policies and rules of engagement of our current Commander-in-Chief. How’s it going?
While you won’t hear it in the mainstream media, 70% of all fatalities in Afghanistan have occurred on Obama’s watch. Let’s put that in perspective. Under Bush’s 6+ years of the war he oversaw 30% of the fatalities, while under Obama’s 4 years of the war, he oversaw 70%.
In summation, Obama’s Foreign policy, Energy Policy and Economic Policy have all been unmitigated and undeniable failures. These are the same 3 legs of the stool of Jimmy Carter’s failure. Perhaps the election will have a similar outcome.