Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Obama in the Economic Shadow of Carter

There’s a wonderfully optimistic post over at Politico today: President Obama dashes 'Jimmy Carter' label. It’s optimistic only if you’re a far-left, progressive Democrat. (h/t to Instapundit)

This article gleefully reports that Obama’s approval numbers show a 12-point uptick in his popularity in the wake of the successful bin Laden operation. Noticeably absent is any mention of George Bush, whose policies Obama continued and to whom Obama owes his singular political success.

The author is saying, essentially, that the 2012 presidential election has already been decided in Obama’s favor and that Republicans may as well start waving the white flag of surrender.

Not so fast there, Sunshine. The folks over at CNBC are showing only a three point overall bump from his pre-raid approval numbers. That’s notable because they’re not a stronghold of conservative thought.

As the euphoria of bin Laden’s demise slowly wears off, we’re returning to the reality of an American economy on life support. Last Friday’s new unemployment numbers are but one indicator that Happy Obama and his Merry Economy Wrecking Crew are still busy doing their best to strangle the private sector and drive our federal debt to unprecedented and unsustainable levels.

Perhaps they need a few reminders that we still have all the wonderfulness of Jimmy Carter II in the White House.

The nation’s unemployment numbers rose back up to nine percent. Understand that this number is somewhat misleading due to the way the numbers are obtained. Those who have been out of work the longest aren’t counted. If you aren’t actively collecting state unemployment money, you’re not considered unemployed. As people exhaust their benefits after two years, they are simply no longer counted.

Similarly, the price of groceries and gasoline isn’t figured into the inflation index. It’s almost as the prime drivers of unemployment and inflation aren’t counted. Hmm, wouldn’t that make the numbers appear to be better than they actually are?

Why yes, yes they would.

It’s funny how the progressive, anti-American left seizes onto just one victory by their little hero and it’s game over for the Republicans. Until that event, Obama was on the express elevator to the bottom of popularity as his policies (along with those of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in the previous Congress, don't forget) chug along as planned. A drastic erosion of our standard of living will do that to a president.

Granted, taking out bin Laden was a feather in Obama’s cap. But how is that helping the growing number of Americans struggling to purchase gas, or groceries, or find a job? The answer is it can’t and it won’t. But you knew that already.

That doesn’t stop the wishful thinkers on the left from crowing from the barn roof that Obama is invincible and that all the GOP candidates should just go back home where they belong and let Obama work his magic for another four years.

Sorry, but we can’t take four more years of Obama. The first two have already been quite enough, thank you. How much longer can we continue our downward slide toward the gaping maw of the economic Sarlacc? How many more of your friends and family will lose their jobs? Their homes? Their self-sufficiency and sense of worth?

Almost everyone I know has lost either a job, or a home or both. Before you say I need a better circle of friends, understand that I know machinists, salesfolk, engineers, business owners, nurses, and degreed professionals of various backgrounds. They’re all hurting.

This economy and the policies that caused it are responsible for the greatest waste of intellectual capital this country has ever seen. Why should a degreed software engineer be forced to unload trucks for a living? That’s not me, BTW, but my situation is no different. The waste isn’t confined to one sector of the economy, it’s everywhere you look.

People want to work, preferably in their chosen field. In America, we once had that opportunity, but efforts to engineer our society have resulted in big policy decisions at the national level that have done little to expand our economy, still the world’s largest. I point to NAFTA as the beginning of these destructive policies, and they continue to this day.

Do you really think that Obama’s illegal moratorium on oil drilling in the Gulf isn’t contributing to high gas prices? If you think that, then I don’t know what to say to you. Your grasp of economics is tenuous at best. Get thee to the Interwebs and start educating yourself on the wonderfully simple Law of Supply and Demand. In five minutes, you’ll know more than all the president’s current economic advisors combined.

But if you see the economic truth, then you also see that it’s not the free market that’s causing our malaise. It’s a direct result of policy stifling that market. Our economy is being engineered by people who don’t know what they’re doing, unless, of course, they’re intent upon ruining it.

We grew to become the world’s largest economy precisely because we were free. This is called “organic growth” and led us to the top of the world in economic growth, technical innovation, and prosperity. There was diversity in the job market, and even if you didn’t have a college degree, you could still make a respectable living with your hands.

But in the mid-nineties, someone somewhere in Washington decided that we, as a nation, were to move to a “service oriented” economy. This simple decision was the beginning of the end of our free market. Have you noticed how many economic bubbles have formed and burst since then?

Ask yourself why anyone would want to suppress a vibrant, free market for any reason other than to cripple it. Any effort or policy that deviates from the principle of freedom doesn’t improve a free market economy. That’s why it’s called what it’s called.

The current president looks with wonder upon this nation and its economy. Having no experience in the business world, and surrounding himself with like-minded people, he is captaining the Titanic, hereafter renamed the Jimmy Carter. Brave and bold, full of himself, enjoying the view from the bridge while heading straight towards the iceberg. Even when the ship strikes it, the captain isn’t worried because he’s been assured that he’s at the helm of the most advanced ship ever to ply the seas. After all, it’s unsinkable, isn’t it?

And that’s a best-case scenario giving the president the benefit of the doubt. All of the benefit.

In a worst-case scenario, our economic demise is being planned and guided by someone with a track record of destroying entire countries’ economies and America would be the trophy he’d most like to mount over the fireplace.

Not that I’m into conspiracy theories, but I keep asking myself, as do many, if Obama were purposely destroying our economy, what would he be doing differently?

This period of history makes Jimmy Carter look positively stellar by comparison. There isn’t one traditional economic indicator showing us emerging from a very deep recession. Obama’s policies are directly to blame. I don’t employ the double standard the Progressive Pravda uses that pins the blame only on Republican presidents when the economy heads south. Obama owns this economy. There are no two ways about it.

We’ve reached the tipping point. Our federal government has grown so big and influential (in a negative way) that it now controls our economy. New laws and regulations, regardless of their intentions, are having a downward pull on us that’s rapidly exceeding the force of gravity.

Knowing what the problem is will go a long way towards fixing it. The solution is simple, but not easy: we need a reduction in government away from central command and control. It’s been tried before and has failed every time.

What’s needed is a change in the national mindset. A smaller, weaker government should be demanded by the American people. And when I say weak, I don’t mean that in a militaristic way. I mean that in the way that we shouldn’t be struggling under counterproductive rules, red tape and high tax rates. Washington is simply too big, too powerful and economically damaging to continue upon its current path. We have to rein it in if we are to ever have a hope of being the country we could be, where each person has the opportunity to set his or her own course through life, secure in the knowledge that some bureaucrat somewhere far away isn’t busy concocting ways to justify his salary by making up rules as fast as possible, rules that restrict the creation of wealth and prosperity.

In other words, it’s time for some change, only this time, the positive kind.

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