Ideas Have Consequences—Even Stupid Ones

When Barack Obama became president in January 2009, he began a campaign to weaken America. I’m not talking about military cuts; I’m speaking of America’s stature.  Barack Obama famously refused to acknowledge American Exceptionalism in 2009. He bowed to kings and princes, then denied doing so, then bowed again and again. His White House has driven down the dollar. Timothy Geithner, Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury, warns that the world economy must “rebalance” with less reliance on America.

Barack Obama is short-selling America.

The results of a US President talking down his own country are stark.  America is losing prestige, and the office of our president loses prestige right along with the rest of us. 

Asian Embarrassment

In the last week, Barack Obama got a taste of the new, devalued USA.  In South Korea and Japan, Obama was no longer treated as first among equals, but us the kid at the far end of the table.  Having trashed America’s swagger and replaced it with a lilting prance, Obama learned that it’s not so fun to be a relatively young leader of relatively young nation whose prestige has taken a major blow.

From a Wall Street Journal editorial, we see just how far the USA has fallen under Obama’s presidency:

Has there ever been a major economic summit where a U.S. President and his Treasury Secretary were as thoroughly rebuffed as they were at this week's G-20 meeting in Seoul? We can't think of one. President Obama failed to achieve any of his main goals while getting pounded by other world leaders for failing U.S. policies and lagging growth.

For Obama, now, there is nowhere to turn.  American voters have rejected his domestic policy. His base has turned against his handling of Afghanistan. The world leaders, seeing him as weak, are planning world economic policy more or less over Obama’s head.

Stagflation

But there’s more. Obama’s economic policies promise to do two things: 1) perpetuate high unemployment and 2) increase inflation.  In fact, the Fed’s stated policy, which Obama defended twice in Asia last week, is to use Demand-Pull inflation to grow the US economy. 

We’ve seen this before.  In 1978 to 1982, America suffered a malaise brought about by bone-headed economic policies from a president who believed America had gotten too big for its breeches.  Jimmy Carter’s policies produced high unemployment, flat growth, and runaway inflation.  The term for this economic condition is “stagflation.”

True, Bernanke is a Bush appointee and the Fed is independent from the White House.  But Treasury Secretary Geithner and President Obama are full participants in an economic policy that threatens to revisit the disastrous years of 1978 through 1982.  Being unemployed, underemployed, or underpaid is bad enough. When the cost of necessary goods and services rise quickly, things get worse fast for the economically challenged.  And signs of stagflation are everywhere.

Alan Reynolds of the Cato Institute wrote in a WSJ op-ed that several inflationary signals surfaced in October:

Producer prices rose at an annual rate of 5.5% in September and 4.8% in August. The broad price index for GDP rose at an annual rate of 2.3% in the third quarter, up from 1.9% in the second quarter and 1% in the first.

For ordinary folks trying to make ends meet, the prospect of inflation is frightening.  Already the weak dollar has driven up the price of gasoline and food—the two things we all need to survive.  The two things the government omits from its consumer price index.  In the past week, gasoline prices in the St. Louis area jumped $0.25 overnight. 

The Next Congress

There is little the 112th Congress can do to repair the economic damage, but it can lay the foundation for the next president and the 113th Congress. I encourage all members of the next Congress to follow Arthur Laffer’s prescription of extending the Bush tax cuts, repealing Obamacare, eliminating incentives for idleness, and push free trade. 

Obama Insults Americans . . . Again

obamasnob[1] An arrogant and distracted Barack Obama appeared at a press conference for the G20 Summit today. His purpose: to insult, threaten, and cajole the American people from an international stage.

I'm doing it because I said I was going to do it and I think it's the right thing to do. People should learn that lesson about me because next year when I start presenting some very difficult choices to the country, I hope some of these folks who are hollering about deficits and debt step-up because I'm calling their bluff. We'll see how much of that, how much of the political arguments that they're making right now are real and how much of it was just politics.

This childish behavior reminds me of a very young manager who is unfamiliar with the subtleties of working through others.  We all know the jokes about Second Lieutenants and Ensigns whose troops despise them. Unfit managers become tyrants, stealing the credit, passing the blame, and publicly humiliating instead of leading.

I have worked for such cretins.  They always fail, though they often last longer than expected. Many people will put up with a tyrant a long time before someone stands up.

Standing up is what the tea party movement has been doing since Feburary 27, 2009.  We’re the American people the president threatened today from Toronto. 

Remarkably, Obama is threatening to use the trillions of debts he generated to punish Americans.  He spoke in dictatorial terms, like Chavez or Mussolini, warning his countrymen to fear his wrath.

For those who believe Obama has no ill-will for the USA, let this be your wake-up call

Getting back to the implied antecedent in “I said I was going to do it.”  The “it” is clearly taking on massive government debt. In November, his party could lose control of Congress. So his strategy is clearly to induce economic collapse in 2011, blame it on the “bourgeoisie” Republicans, and hope the American people will give Obama even more dictatorial power in 2012. 

That’s the game, kids. Do you want a dictator?