Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Audacity of Hype!

Watch out! The squaws are off the reservation. Just listen:

"In one of his disturbing spells of passivity, President Obama decided not to fight Congress and live up to his own no-earmark pledge from the campaign. Team Obama sounds hollow, chanting that 'the status quo is not acceptable,' even while conceding that the president is accepting the status quo by signing a budget festooned with pork."

Who’s that? You ask. Could it be John McCain? No, it’s none other than Team Obama cheerleader Maureen Dowd in the New York Times. Mo, even had the audacity to give Johnny Mac a left-handed kudo for his diatribe in the Senate over the pork laden Federal Budget.

“There was a bit of King Lear in the scene on the Senate floor, a stormy, solitary John McCain on 'this great stage of fools,' as the Bard wrote, railing against both parties and the president in fiery speeches and rapid-fire tweets.

'He’s mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse’s health, a boy’s love, or a whore’s oath,' the Fool told Lear. And he’s truly mad that trusts in the promise of a presidential candidate to quell earmarks."

Methinks squaw speaks truth.

I have to admit to underestimating President Obama. Not that I believed his promise to strike earmarks out of Federal budgets or to reduce the deficit. And I expected an abrupt move to the left in his domestic policy. What floored me was the astounding audacity of his socialist move.

First, he handed over the "stimulus" bill to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reed who filled it with rewards for every Democrat interest group in the country and a massive expansion of government largess. Really, how does $1.7 million for pig odor research in Iowa stimulate the economy?

Next he raised the specter of government controlled health care. Then the cap-and-trade “solution” to climate change. And the changes to the tax code reducing mortgage interest and charitable deductions.

And the effect on the economy has been nothing short of disastrous.

Since Obama’s election the Dow Jones index has dropped over $2200 or 25%. Every politician has voiced the concern that we are suffering from a crisis of confidence, in the economy, our jobs, the value of our homes, our retirement accounts, in the rising cost of health care and the threat of tax increases. The stock market reflects the national malaise. Obama promised to restore national confidence by addressing these issues. So why is the stock market so sour?

Could it be that massive government spending will only make the problems worse? Take health care, which is outrageously expensive already. The market knows that government mandates will only increase the costs. It is simply the law of supply and demand.

When the government pumps money into the consumer side of the health care industry, or any industry, demand goes up and prices rise. It is inevitable. The only solution to increasing costs is rationing, which occurs in all the enlightened European nations, and Canada, that live with universal health care.

According to Investor’s business Daily: "The economic stimulus bill will create an entity called the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research, which will decide which treatments you should get, whether you should get them, and whether they should even be available. It is modeled after a British board which helps to run the notoriously inefficient and bureaucratic National Health Service."

The cause and effect of demand-side economics is exactly what has happened to the cost of education, as costs increased when institutions were able to raise fees knowing that government would supply the excess. The Department of Education “stimulus” will only make a bad situation worse.

Could it be that the market knows hype when it sees it?

Be not afraid, though, “Obama has come to redeem us with his far-seeing program of universal, heavily nationalized health care; a cap-and-trade tax on energy; and a major federalization of education with universal access to college as the goal. Amazing! As an explanation of our current economic difficulties, this is total fantasy. As a cure for rapidly growing joblessness, a massive destruction of wealth, a deepening worldwide recession, this is perhaps the greatest non sequitur ever foisted upon the American people.”

It all makes perfect sense. "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," said Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. "This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before."

Yes, there is a crisis of confidence in America. But there is also another crisis, a crisis of irresponsibility. When more than 31 million people depend on the Federal government for food stamps to feed their families, while three quarters of Americans (and over three quarters of the poor) are fat, well something is seriously wrong.

Yesterday the President bristled over an assertion that, perhaps, he is a socialist—and, thereby, deserves the adoration of the lefty intelligentia.

To quote Roger Cohen in his Times op-ed: "I love France, but I don’t want there to be two of them, least of all if one is the United States. … There is a touch of France in (Obama’s) étatisme — the state as all-embracing solution rather than problem — and there’s more than a touch of France in the bash-the-rich righteousness.

"For everyone from the oil and gas industry to drug companies, the message was clear: Off with their heads! I’d thought of Obama as less Robespierre than Talleyrand."