Conservative Political Commentary

...anti-socialist, anti-globalist, and usually with an attempt at historical and economic context

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Debt Overshadows Other Urgent Problems


Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
The liberal establishment has embarked on a phony campaign about a made-up issue, the so-called GOP War on Women. Only those Rush calls feminazis, i.e. the feminists who want to assure that as many abortions as possible are performed, (and now want every woman to get “free” birth control pills, courtesy of the insurance companies, Catholic institutions, etc.), really think there’s any such “war.” This whole dreary mess has been drummed up to conceal President Obama’s colossal failure on the economy, failure which threatens to make most other political issues moot.

When the next collapse hits, and it will unless things are reversed soon, there will be more widespread financial failure, which will be much more difficult to remedy than it would be to fix these things now. But what does Obama propose? More spending and higher taxes. That’s his answer for the economy. Don’t bother with the Keystone XL pipeline, or opening up more drilling, ANWR, deep water, fracking, or anything else, other than heavy subsidies and guarantees for Chevy Volt and the Solyndras of our country and other Obama cronies, and more crippling regulations for everyone else.  There is no way this qualifies as anything better than bad judgment. Obama’s economic policies are indefensible, no matter what the Administration says.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu says they’re trying to get gas prices down now, instead of up to European levels as Chu recommended in 2008. Maybe that’s true, until after the election. As Rush Limbaugh says this in his program transcript for 03/13/2012:

So in 2008, Chu said, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.”  That's what he said in 2008.  He was reminded of that comment today during his congressional testimony, and he backed away from it. “I no longer share that view,” said Chu to Senator Mike Lee, Republican, Utah.  Chu said, “When I became Secretary of Energy, I represented the United States government, and I think right now in this economic very slow return these prices could very well affect the comeback of our economy.” It sounds like he's not sure that gasoline prices might have a deleterious effect on the economy. 

So Chu is now saying his previous statements are no longer operational.  That's how the Democrats characterize their gaffes.
This just in – Rush Limbaugh site headline 03/15/2012: “Report: Obama to Release Oil from Strategic Reserve in Response to National Emergency of His Falling Poll Numbers.”

Mitt Romney has a great point about what we might receive from a re-elected Obama with no constraining concern about re-election. Of course, the global warming alarmists still want gas prices to increase so as to “force” development of “green” energy. (How’s that going lately? Hmm, Chevy Volt, Solyndra, and more recently, the Massachusetts state-aided -- by millions of dollars-- Evergreen Solar, which moved its manufacturing operations to China, and is now in federal bankruptcy court, as described by John Hayward at HumanEvents.)

Obama insists that oil is the “fuel of the past.”

Obama said that because the United States accounts for 20 percent of the world's consumption of oil but has only 2 percent of its petroleum reserves, “we're not going to be able to just drill our way out of the problem of high gas prices. Anybody who tells you otherwise either doesn't know what they're talking about or they aren't telling you the truth.”
Conservatives beg to differ. Just check Newt.org for an opposing view. Newt’s policy for getting gasoline to $2.50 per gallon or lower is certainly possible.

What Obama is saying is that he (Obama) is not going to be doing anything about it because in his view, nothing can be done. So don’t bother him with complaints about it.

Meanwhile, liberals are aghast at his drop in the polls, which can primarily be explained by the price of gasoline and the continuing high unemployment rate – about which nothing can be done either, apparently, other than vast increases in government spending, and stretching out unemployment payments even further.

According to Michael Barone, the president’s sinking numbers should not be surprising in spite of a temporary boost from the anti-Rush Limbaugh comments, etc.:

But the economic news has not been all that striking. We had a quarter in which economic growth reached 2.8%. We've had two months with job growth of better than 200,000.

Peachy. But in 1983, the year before Ronald Reagan's re-election, the gross domestic product rose 8.9% not just for one quarter but over the whole year. There were two months when job growth was 729,000 and 660,000.

That's the kind of economic recovery that enables an incumbent president's campaign to run a credible "Morning in America" ad. If the Obama campaign ran one now, it would be fodder for "Saturday Night Live" and Jon Stewart.
But as bad as the gas prices and unemployment numbers are, there’s an even bigger threat to our economy: the massive and increasing debt.

In February, the government posted its highest monthly deficit in history, $229 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

We are on track for another trillion-dollar-plus deficit this year, with no letup in sight. Our national debt now substantially exceeds our GDP. This cannot be sustained, and unless decisive and large measures are taken soon to correct it, we will face economic consequences which would be hard to believe. Many things would be at risk: national security, the dollar, and freedom, let alone Social Security and any general prosperity. Four more years of Obama would bring us to the very edge of the cliff, and most likely over it.

This is not intended to create fear, but simply to call attention to current realities that urgently need correction. When failing companies, banks, states, or countries are bailed out, it means debt is taken on by the government (i.e., taxpayers), debt which should have been liquidated through bankruptcy. Let failing entities fail, and the resources they misapplied can be reallocated to something more useful. When private businesses are subsidized by the government because they can’t make it in the marketplace, a serious error takes place. Everything the government subsidizes is a money-losing operation headed for failure unless the government continues to bail it out, throwing good money after bad. It’s like betting on a racehorse that has a bad leg. It’s unlikely to win no matter what you do.

Greece gives us something of an economic example in miniature. But there is no one to bail out the United States. Not Europe, Russia, China, India or Brazil. We need not experience the worst-case version of this, but we seriously need to stop all bailouts and government subsidies and stop this foolish spending. Only Republicans speak with any seriousness about cutting spending. With Democrats, it’s a little talk and no action. Any “cuts” they speak of are just slowing down the rate of growth, and even that never happens.

Until our fiscal house is in order, and some control is exercised over monetary policy, we should not expect great growth. Four more years of Obama practically guarantees more and worse economic decline.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) addresses the debt problem in this brief video from his CNN appearance prior to CPAC 2012:


His CPAC speech is here. Ryan’s budget proposal is perhaps the only serious attempt to address the problem. The Democrats are offering nothing but more debt.

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