Thursday, August 6, 2009

OPINION: Trying To Keep Up With The Obama Blitz

By Rick Coddington
The Right Side

Ever since Obama took power, I have found that I can’t keep up with all the stuff that is happening to us. It seems to me that before any issue can be dealt with, there are two new (and usually worse ones) coming at us.
In the past, I would do the research for a column, sometimes over a couple of weeks and then do the writing. Now, before there is a definitive answer to anything, we face a new crisis that is bigger than the last two or three, none of which has been resolved. It’s a political blitz. I’m sure you are familiar with the blitz in football, where the defense sends multiple linebackers across the line of scrimmage to disrupt the offense.
What you may not know is that the name of the play is taken from Blitzkrieg (“Lightning War” in German). It was their favorite strategy during World War II. The technique consisted of surprise attacks and multiple, rapid advances into enemy territory, along with massive air attacks, which made the enemy feel like they were struck by lightning. The tactic accounted for most of Germany’s great victories in World War II.
That’s what I feel like us lowly taxpayers are going through under Obama’s regime. It’s like this … we get hit with a jillion-dollar bailout. I use the silly word “jillion” because there is no real total available for the cost of this disaster. For sure, the costs are staggering. Have you noticed that as the CEOs loot the bailout, we keep hearing that “next time” the government is not going to allow the CEOs to pay themselves bonuses from our (borrowed) taxpayer dollars, next time?
When I tried to come up with a true-dollar bailout amount instead of a “jillion,” I found that it evidently costs “around” $7.5 trillion. Isn’t it funny that when you put 12 zeros after a number, it always becomes “around” or “about.” Either the number really is beyond comprehension, even for the “experts,” or this has all become way too casual.
To try to put that number in perspective, the bailout will cost more than the Marshall Plan, the Louisiana Purchase, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and all the NASA funding, including the space program, put together. The $7.5 trillion bailout is about twice the cost of World War II, which gave us the blitz thing in the first place.
Speaking of the blitz, lest we have time for our heads to stop reeling from the bailout cost, we were then hit with the “stimulus.” That will cost us another $3.3 trillion over 10 years (Congressional Budget Office Web site). That figure is porked up by the “Making Work Pay Tax Credit,” Head Start, the Earned Income Tax Credit and such. Those things will cost “about” $2.5 trillion plus $744 billion in interest costs.
Remember, all these trillions are borrowed. And even though the stimulus evidently did nothing, we are facing the promise of another! Blitz! In the middle of a blitz, with financial time bombs falling faster than you can follow them, who has time to think about the long-term consequences of all this? Like this one, for instance: Obama’s budget plans will increase the national debt to 80 percent of gross domestic product! What does that mean to you? You will be $17 trillion in debt in 10 years. That exceeds the burden that we faced at the end of WWII, which was the previous record.
Another way to look at it is that Obama will double the already atrocious 40 percent debt-to-GDP ratio that we have come to accept during the blitz. If you happen to be an economist, you know the debt-to-GDP ratio is the prime indicator of economic health, or in this case, economic suicide. By the way, these figures come from analysis of the Congressional Budget Office data, not some crackpot.
The effect on you will be that interest rates will go through the roof, further crippling business and private borrowers alike. It will kill productivity and any chance of economic growth. As the interest for all this eats up the rest of the budget, you will see higher taxes and fewer workers to pay them. That means Social Security cuts as well as Medicare, which is already on the chopping block courtesy of “health care reform.”
If you think I’m imagining all this, we already have a pronouncement by the Federal Reserve of these consequences. If you missed it, you shouldn’t blame yourself; during a blitz like this, it is only natural to miss “little things” like the Fed announcement projecting unemployment over 10 percent in the coming months, and even worse, no net new jobs over the next five years.
These things add up to the kind of news that should be causing headlines everywhere screaming for a reckoning. I’m sure if any other president were in power during such an economic crisis, there would be an outcry for his removal. These days, not only is there not even a whimper of protest, the blitz has us blinded. After all, we are facing health care reform also. A “reform” that will turn out, in my opinion, to be another gift for the CEOs. The only difference is that in this case, the beneficiaries will be health care execs instead of financial execs.
That at is the best-case scenario, since it will just cost us money. The worst-case scenario is that the government will take charge of health-care rationing under the guise of “cutting costs” and take it upon themselves to decide who lives and who dies.

Rick Coddington is a third-generation native New Mexican. He attended UNM and studied political science. He has lived in Socorro since 1974. His opinions do not necessarily represent the Mountain Mail.

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