OBAMA'S INSATIABLE APPETITE FOR MORE GOVERNMENT
The national debt will soon rise to $17 trillion with no end in sight. By 2016 as Obama leaves office, the national debt will be $23 trillion. By 2050 entitlement spending will consume the entire annual receipts of the federal government, leaving nothing for discretionary spending. Along the way, bit by bit, the federal government will falter, incapable of meeting its commitments to seniors and the indigent. Dysfunctional government will increasingly become non-functional government. The weight of the federal government, now the greatest government parasite in world history, will become so great that its private sector host will collapse in fits and starts, incapable of shouldering the combined tax and regulatory burden the federal government expects it to tolerate. Will federal authorities become so prideful and arrogant that they will follow the example of Cypress and confiscate private bank holdings? Perhaps.
The force of excessive taxation and regulation will one way or another forge even greater disparities between the rich and poor as small and medium sized businesses disappear incapable of surmounting the regulatory barriers to entry and affording the taxes imposed by, among other monstrosities, Obamacare. By any sane interpretation, those elements define a present and expanding fiscal crisis, yet for Obama, if he can just manage to avoid the brunt of catastrophe before he leaves in 2016, he is content to let the forces that lead to ruination to continue unabated. Unless his own ox is gored, Obama cares little if everyone else’s is.
In his now famous “Good Morning America” interview with George Stephanopoulos, the President pronounced confidently (as is his way with everything): “We don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt . . . In fact, for the next 10 years, it’s gonna be in a sustainable place.” Those few words speak volumes. Just how much debt must the nation amass before this President considers it a crisis? Apparently $16.7 trillion leaves him unmoved. Why would any responsible person with authority to make a difference wish to do nothing until the game is up and the United States dissolves into a sea of insurmountable red ink? Although by sheer magnitude federal spending commitments are fast approaching a level of debt that forces down America’s credit rating even further, fails to keep pace with the financial and medical needs of our aging population, and leads providers of federal services to start abandoning Medicare and Medicaid, this President is content to let the consequences flow, waiting until the impending disaster is felt by nearly all Americans before doing anything at all, let alone doing something extraordinary.
In short, because of the massive amount of debt being amassed, of stifling regulation being promulgated, and of new federal and state taxes hitting an overtaxed market, the squeeze is now on and will worsen into the foreseeable future. Rather than lead and define a path toward fiscal stability and economic revival through actual cuts in federal spending and elimination of barriers to market entry, this President refuses to budge, making clear in his “Good Morning America” interview that he would rather wait until the inevitable happens than do anything now, apparently electing to dig out from under a collapsing economy and government (something that is a Herculean challenge beyond him and perhaps beyond any future President) rather than avoid the calamity through major reforms today.
Surely this refusal to lead is not the product of a feeble mind. Obama is intelligent. His every move is calculated in advance. His principal problem is his love of the welfare state and state sovereignty and his disdain for the constitutional ideal of a limited federal republic and individual sovereignty. He fundamentally distrusts the American people and believes he knows better what is in their interest than they do themselves. He will not accept any change in the movement toward bureaucratization of everything (i.e., federal power over every aspect of our lives), and he expects the market to sustain him in that quest. He would rather raise taxes; ensnare more American business in a net of expanding federal regulation whereby federal bureaucrats decide the course for all private enterprise; and continue to expand entitlements, than do anything to save the nation from economic ruin even if that means ignoring business failures, higher unemployment levels, and fewer net gains in tax receipts.
In short, he would rather court disaster than avoid it, if courting disaster means that he can remain the leader of an all-encompassing, ever expanding welfare state. He would rather allow Obamacare to take hold, despite its extraordinary cost and tax effects even if those costs and tax effects mean maintenance of levels of the uninsured equal to the numbers that begat the argument for Obamacare in the first place and even if those costs and tax effects mean higher levels of unemployment, less quality care, and more suffering.
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In short, just as Obama is a person with no shortage of love for himself, he is also a person who believes that the nation needs to reflect the image he considers ideal rather than an image that hundreds of millions of Americans acting independently define as ideal. A friend of energetic government, so long as he dictates the direction of that energy, Obama is more like an arrogant dictator than a humble servant of the people. All of his decisions lead to more centralized power in the hands of the executive, i.e., in his own hands. For Obama, the United States truly is his country, not ours.
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