The politicians and bankers of this nation have historically been quite content to enjoy the inflationary good times brought on by easy money; particularly if the deflationary crunch will happen on someone else’s watch. These days it doesn’t raise an eyebrow when the President announces a budgets that shows deficits as far as the eye can see, but that furnish a projection that the deficit can be cut dramatically cut in half a few years down the road… on someone else’s watch. Every President in modern history has done the same, and making excuses for our financial irresponsibility has just become part of the political process.
By that measure, Obama’s budget is hardly a surprise. It has lots of government spending on pet issues while not making any hard choices about where to cut back in order to pay for it. Like other Presidents before him, Obama is promising that once the investments that his budget is making in this country come to fruition, that America will become a great nation once again. It comes as no surprise to anyone that Obama will be long gone by the projected time that these “investments” come to fruition and therefore he has no accountability in the outcome. Taking action that seems like a bad idea at the time, but claiming that history will show your wisdom in the long run is just part of being President. Bush did it so much you’d have thought that the historians of the future were his main political base. So much of Obama’s budget just seems to be politics as usual.
What does strike me as strange is the fervor and hype with which the Democrats are touting it. To read what Moveon.org is saying about it, and you are left scratching your head as they describe the budget in revolutionary terms. Obama’s investing in America’s future with green energy, socialized healthcare, education while reducing wealth disparities in terms of taxation. Paul Krugman says that it will take our nation in a “fundamentally new course.”
I have to once again disagree with Dr. Krugman. The budget is taking our nation closer to bankruptcy, and that’s a path its been on for sometime. Nothing fundamentally new there. Furthermore, the Johnson Administration was the real pioneer when it came to using Washington to fund programs to make society more fair. Unfortunately, LBJ’s “Great Society” did not turn out so great. Medicare did little to make healthcare affordable for all. Instead it left the government with obligations that it increasingly can’t manage while actually making healthcare less affordable for those who aren’t under the Medicare umbrella.
Since it didn’t work the first time, I don’t see how it’s going to work this time. Sure, healthcare is important, to important to be left for government. The main reason healthcare is so expensive to begin with has to do with the government in the first place. The government empowered the American Medical Association to greatly limit the number of medical schools in the nation thereby creating a cartelization of the industry in a naked attempt to garner more profits. Then as healthcare costs began to rise government sought to fix the problem by having the taxpayer pick up the tab. Prices rose again. Anyone want to wager on where healthcare costs are going to go as more government money enters the picture?
You see the same situation with college educations. Government has gotten involved to give students access to government backed credit and colleges have expanded by raising tuition. As Libertarians have often said, government only exacerbates the situations it endeavors to fix. Unfortunately it seems we haven’t learned this lesson. Instead we are continuing to make the same mistakes.
I don’t understand why we can’t learn from history. Deficit spending did not end The Great Depression, nor did it end Japan’s Lost Decade. Government has endeavored to use the power of the printing press to make society a better place and all they have to show for it are a bankrupt nation and bureaucracy. Now that we have finally arrived at the end of the inflationary road, Obama is promising us to lose records amounts of money for as long as it takes to make us prosperous again. Meanwhile, he is increasing taxes to pay for all of this government spending. It’s a recipe for disaster.
I can already tell you how this is going to end. The economy will continue to deteriorate as the government piles on more debt. The US Government hasn’t been able to afford its last attempt at healthcare and I sincerely doubt this attempt will be any different. The inflationary practices of the Federal Reserve will just drive down the value of the dollar and eventually foreign lenders will decide they’d rather engage in their own brand of Socialism rather than backing ours. That’s when the wheels will come off of the wagon.
I can see it all coming. It’s a shame it seems few other people can. Instead of Obama’s budget being looked at with derision as hugely flawed mistake we can ill afford, it is being heralded as the key to a better society. Democrats are hyping Obama and his policies as the elixir that will cure our ailing economy and they applaud his speeches to Congress as though he announcing the cure for cancer.
The American people are already distrustful for what they see, but they want to give the new President a chance. If anything, I feel that we the people give too much leeway to our politicians. As long as they promise us desirable results, we give them the broad latitude to do it however they want. We indulged President Bush a Facist agenda if he would make us safe from terrorism. Now we seem content to allow President Obama a Socialist agenda if he can return us to prosperity. That we did not become a prosperous nation by way of Socialism seems lost on us. I can only hope that one day we will stop allowing politicians broad latitude to tinker with our nation and return to government to the role the Constitution first put it in. That is one idea that history tells us worked out well.