Monday, October 19, 2009
This process began, at the latest, during the Clinton administration (remember the "peace dividend"?) and continued at a diminished rate during the Bush administration, but in the past the instrument used might be likened to a political scalpel, whereas now the Obama administration favors a chainsaw.
Let's look at the record. In a little under 10 months the Obama administration, with its allies Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, has enacted legislation and adopted policies that has tripled or quadrupled (depending on whom you believe) the deficit for FY 2009 and which has given rise to a projected annual deficit of $1 trillion(!) for each year of the coming decade. That means the national debt will increase by $10 trillion over that period (the annual deficit being the amount that must be borrowed in order to pay for government programs that cannot be paid for using tax revenues). And this doesn't count whatever the health care "reform" now going through the Congressional sausage factory will cost.
At some point, either taxes will have to be raised to confiscatory rates to pay the interest on the accumulated debt (not to mention the principal) or the debt will be monetized, which will result in extreme inflation. I won't go into the decrease in the confidence in the dollar in international markets, which will have its own unpleasant effects on both the US economy and US stature among the nations of the world.
Politically, Mr. Obama has to all reports gained immense popularity in other countries as a result of his globe-trotting campaign of apology for America's success over the last 200 years, and especially since the end of WWII. Unfortunately, none of this is reflected in improved relationships with other nations. Rather, it has given rise to fear among our allies and contempt among our enemies.
Our allies fear that the US will abdicate its role as defender of freedom (the US military being the only one that can stand up to Russia;s and China's) and that they will finally either have to take responsibility for their own defense or kowtow to the likes of Russia and China now, and perhaps Iran and Venezuela later. The willingness, and maybe even ability of the US to maintain the strongest military in the world is now in question for the first time since 1950.
Our enemies now believe that the United States is unwilling to do what it takes to deter them from acting to the detriment of the United States and its allies. For example, Obama canceled the ABM installations in Poland and the Czech Republic, but has received no quid pro quo from Russia in terms of the Iranian nuclear program nor anywhere else. Russia is embarked on a program to make Western Europe dependent on Russian natural gas, which will give it immence leverage over our NATO allies. Even Iran itself seems convinced that the Obama administration has no stomach for military intervention and so is willingly engaging in useless negotiations to keep us busy while it continues its enrichment and weapons programs, including both bomb manufacture and delivery systems.
I could go on and on with examples of how the Obama administration is seemingly embarked on a program to sap the economic, military and diplomatic strength of the United States. The result is not going to be pretty, either in terms of our standard of living or our security.
Realizing that Mr. Obama will not be running in next year's Congressional elections, I believe that the only thing that will rescue the United States from a very bleak future is to unseat the enablers in Congress who are either actively pursuing or going along with Obama's programs. This includes Republicans as well as the perhaps more obvious Democrats. But if Obama's supporters lose their majorities, then a lot of the damage might be aborted before the programs take root and begin to grow.
The problem is, as Glenn Reynolds has pointed out many times, our present political class is the worst in our nation's history. I personally suspect that a majority of them would have been bunko artists, but they're too incompetent to make it in the marketplace, so they ran for elective office instead, where they commit a form of bunko every day and it's legal. The honorable members of Congress are in the minority, and in my observation it's difficult to attract people who both have talent and honor to run for office.
To quote C3PO, "We're doomed!" Where are Luke Skywalker, Obi-wan, Yoda and Han Solo when we need them?