Obama's Springtime of Discontent
Spring is the most idyllic time in Washington, D.C. It is marked by not only the blossoming of the cherry trees along the Tidal Basin, but also the greening of the grass and trees along the Mall as an influx of awestruck high school students and tourists circulate amid the museums, memorials and monuments that dominate the landscape. However, this year an unusual scent has permeated the atmosphere; it is the air of desperation emanating from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
This has not been a spring of promise and renewal for the Obama administration; rather, it has been one of threadbare political tactics and demagoguery dying on the vine and the reality of three years of Barack Obama taking root in the American consciousness.
A centerpiece of Obama's re-election strategy is class warfare personified by the promotion of the Buffett Rule -- legislation to compel Americans earning $1 million or more annually to pay a minimum 30% in income taxes regardless of the income source.
Last September the president claimed that this tax was needed to "stabilize our debt and deficits for the next decade." However, it turned out that the total amount of revenue raised by this tax over the next ten years was a mere $46 billion, while the projected deficits in the Obama ten year budget would amount to more than $9,600 billion.
Undeterred, Obama next claimed the Buffett Rule necessary, as it is "about growth...about being able to make investments we need to strengthen the economy and create jobs." As the stimulus -- which passed in February of 2009, amounting to nearly $900 billion -- did absolutely nothing except enrich Democratic Party allies, what are the odds that $46 billion over ten years will accomplish anything?
Finally, the Obama administration was forced to admit that the proposed tax was simply a campaign ploy under the guise of "fairness" even though the less than two tenths of one percent of all tax filers this proposal would affect pay nearly 21% of all income tax revenues. The proposal was eventually shot down in the Senate, as the transparency of Obama's cynicism was there for all to see.
Every week brings forth a new story about another government-funded "alternative energy" company going into bankruptcy. The loss to the American taxpayers is now into multi-billions of dollars. Further, nearly all these companies and their investors have a direct or indirect connection to either the Democratic Party or the Obama White House and re-election team.
The scandal at the General Services Administration (GSA) revolving around lavish and unconscionable spending on parties reveals more than just the greed and ineptitude of various government bureaucrats.
During the financial crisis of 2008, a phrase often bandied about was "too big to fail" when describing the need to rescue various banks and financial institutions. The GSA debacle and the irresponsible funding of now-bankrupt "green companies" have brought to the fore the undeniable truth that the federal government itself has become not only too big to fail, but a leviathan impossible to control.
In fiscal 2012, the federal government is slated to spend in excess of $3.8 trillion. Only two nations on the face of the earth (China and Japan) have a national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in excess of that amount. Further, all the nations of South America combined have a GDP of $4.1 trillion with a total population of 386 million, as compared to 310 million in the United Sates.
The bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. administer a budget which amounts to $12,258.00 per American, whereas the total economic activity in the entire continent of South America is the equivalent of $10,621.00 per person. There is no possible way to stop fraud and abuse with this unfathomable amount of spending combined with a convoluted, unanswerable, and bloated bureaucracy.
So what is the president's solution? Propose a budget that accelerates spending to $5.8 trillion within ten years and seizes more control over the economy through regulations, mandates, and a further expansion of the bureaucracy. The result: the national debt will be $26 trillion by 2022, as compared to $10.6 trillion when Obama took office in January of 2009, and waste, fraud, and abuse will be more rampant than ever.
The shenanigans of the Secret Service in Colombia and those of the GSA are not directly traceable to the White House, and they reflect poorly on the individuals involved. However, what Barack Obama fails or does not care to understand is that he and his administration set the tone for those who work in the government. It has become painfully obvious to the average citizen that Barack and Michelle Obama view the presidency as their personal fiefdom and are thus entitled to all the perquisites that go with royalty.
Be it the 94 rounds of golf since becoming president or the innumerable lavish vacations and White House parties or the general air of entitlement, one thing is clear: there is little regard for the taxpayers' money or how hard they work to earn it. This mindset has permeated the bureaucracy, and what has happened at the GSA is in all likelihood being repeated throughout the government. A government that has hired over 174,000 since Obama assumed office. And a government whose total compensation package for its employees averages $119,982.00 per year, as compared to $59,909.00 in the private sector.
The backdrop for all this is the ongoing economic malaise and intractable unemployment situation. The published unemployment rate of 8.2% in March does not include those who have dropped out of the job market. If the labor force participation rate (that part of the overall civilian population in the labor force) were the same as when Barack Obama became president, the actual unemployment rate would be 10.6% -- as those not in the labor force have increased by nearly seven million.
The American people, regardless of the statistics reported by the government or the propaganda put out by the Obama White House, know, through their own day-to-day experience, that the economy is not improving, nor will it anytime soon.
Hanging over this landscape is a trifecta of potential economic crises: the never-ending European debt debacle, an ongoing housing depression, and skyrocketing energy costs. Meanwhile, a global disaster resulting from Obama's mishandling of the Middle East could be ignited at any time.
These myriad factors are why Barack Obama has focused all his attention since Labor Day on campaigning for re-election (he has attended nearly twice as many fundraisers as George W. Bush in a comparable period of time). And why he has reverted to the now-threadbare tactic of pitting American against American using race, ethnicity, religion, or income as a catalyst. Additionally, as he is devoid of a sense of decency or honor, Obama is willing to portray his opponents as the worst of mankind, out to subjugate the people and pillage the nation.
However, this attempted demonization and societal upheaval are happening much too soon. The election is almost 200 days away, and the Obama re-election cabal will not be able to maintain this level of vitriol for that long a period of time, as the citizenry will soon tire of the rhetoric and falsehoods. Particularly when the opposition, which will raise as much or more money than the Obama machine, begins its counter-offensive together with the somnambulant but about to re-awaken Tea Party movement.
Similar to 2008, the Obama re-election campaign is being built on a flimsy foundation of image and propaganda. It will not succeed, as the record and inevitable campaign faux pas (which have already begun) of a no longer unknown candidate will be their Achilles heel.
Actions and events have shown this to be the springtime of discontent and the beginning of the end of the Obama regime.