Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Spending Our Way To Utopia

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

Barack Obama has been president for only six months. Last November the American electorate handed him an overwhelming victory in hopes Obama would deliver the “change” he promised. It appears even by the most objective of standards, Obama may be over-reaching.

Much was expected from the great orator from Illinois; perhaps too much for a man without executive experience. In just four years Obama has gone from being a state senator, to the U. S. Senate, to winning the Democratic nomination for president and to the presidency.

In my many years in sales and marketing, I witnessed countless young, personable, talented and overly ambitious stars fall from grace all too soon. Initially dazzling customers with seemingly flawless sales presentations and personality, buyers became transfixed, often losing any sense of objectivity.

As a result, once good and reliable clients who previously bought within their means, found themselves burdened with inventory they could neither sell nor pay for. Tensions mounted as many long-standing business relationships began to sour. The rising star became a pariah, not only with his customers but within his organization. This often happens when someone oversells and under-delivers.

I’m not suggesting that Obama will become a pariah. But his lack of understanding of how Washington and the presidency work is apparent. Obama is showing no patience or restraint when it comes to pushing his agenda including finding the means to pay for it. That’s not the way it works in the business world or government.

The stimulus bill had to happen “now” we were told to insure unemployment wouldn’t top eight percent. With unemployment now approaching 10 percent, that’s not good news for those that think this stimulus bill had any chance of working in the first place.

According to the Congressional Budget Office only 6.2 percent of the stimulus package had trickled down into the economy through the middle of June. Worse yet, they project less than 25 percent of the total “stimulus” money will be spent before year’s end. The bulk of the $787 billion stimulus is scheduled to be distributed over the next three years.

Obama and the Democrats are rushing to pass a radical climate bill along with legislation that will completely overhaul our healthcare system. Is this another imminent crisis? Democrats are telling us these bills must be passed before Congress recesses in August, with or without Republican support. For me, this pending emergency stuff is wearing a little thin.

The Democrats in Congress are trying so hard to cooperate with Obama, they’ve forgotten our government derives its power from the consent of the governed. Our elected representatives are not sharing with us the “devils in the details” of pending legislation. In fact, they’re not even reading the bills before casting their votes.

Two weeks ago, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, (D-Md.), told that the healthcare reform bill now pending in Congress would garner very few votes if lawmakers had to actually read the entire bill before passing it. Let Freedom Ring, a conservative organization, is asking members of Congress to sign a pledge to read any bill that comes before them in its entirety and to make it available on-line 72 hours before voting. This is the kind of transparency Obama promised once he became president; to date, we’ve seen little.

When Rep. Hoyer was asked to support this pledge, he laughingly answered, “I don’t know how long this bill is going to be, but it’s going to be a very long bill.” You’re spending our money, congressman. Regardless of how long it is-read it before you vote!

President George W. Bush and a Republican Party that was AWOL from fiscal responsibility for eight years didn’t help. If irresponsible government spending under Bush was a good thing (and it wasn’t), why is our economy in the tank? Yet incredibly, Obama is continuing on the same course-but even more so.

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute said, “Obama is spending money like Bush on steroids,” turning an economic downturn into an economic disaster. Unbridled spending got us into this mess. How can even more spending get us out?

Obama and the Democrats are further increasing the size of government; tactics that didn’t help Presidents Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt or George W. Bush. Japan did the same thing in the 1990s with a stretch of infrastructure spending, resulting in economic stagnation that became known as Japan’s lost decade. Henry Morgenthau, FDR’s secretary of the Treasury said in 1939 when speaking of the economy, “We (the government) have tried spending money and it doesn’t work.” We still have just as much unemployment along with an ever-growing enormous debt, he added.

No one is advocating another World War to bring an end to our financial woes; but fiscal responsibility will. We can no longer continue to bail out states and failing corporations. If Congress doesn’t get the message soon, voters should send the culprits home.

Canceling the balance of the stimulus package would be one indication our representatives are finally listening. A Rasmussen poll taken last week showed 45 percent of voters surveyed agreed stimulus spending should be stopped now, while 36 percent want the spending to continue. The $700 billion in unspent money could be used to reduce this year’s $ 2 trillion deficit.

Liberals and progressives often speak of how much better things would be if our government was run like that of Western Europe, with its many government social welfare programs. Well here is something to consider. According to Stanford University Professor of Economics Michael Boskin, the standard of living in these “nirvana states,” is 30 percent less than the U. S. If our government continues spending the way it has, can our very own “liberal utopia” be far behind?

What Obama will deliver is the same disaster that FDR delivered and that Carter delivered. Zimbabwe is another example of this kind of wild spending for the purpose of Utopia. Obama is coming closer to the disastrous level of Zimbabwe than he is to FDR and Carter. How soon will it be before the catastrophe he is causing is understood by the man in the street?


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