Originally Published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Yes, I did vote for Barack Obama for president. What else to do after eight years of George W. Bush? With "Yes, we can!" ringing in the ears of so many disappointed, angry Americans, many independents leapt onto Barack's bandwagon.
Yet Obama's first term is discouraging. We got a decent man of extraordinary oratorical gifts who obviously is not a leader who can face facts and make hard decisions in his country's best interests.
First, he got his priorities all wrong in making health care reform No. 1. This supposed triumph will add unmanageable costs to impending Social Security and Medicare bankruptcies. As the U.S. printing presses roll, our principal competitor, China, might be getting worried about our solvency. Or is China just pleased to see us keep digging our hole deeper, increasing our growing impotence?
Second, we are in two wars we can't win. Ike—who pledged, "I shall go to Korea," if he were elected president—understood the folly of military operations in Asia or elsewhere at long range and correctly judged Americans were ready for a "decent armistice." Bringing democracy to the Muslim Middle East was and is true lunacy.
Yet Obama echoes Bush's fear of terrorism in our homeland. We have killed enough Muslims to guarantee further efforts by the jihadists there to repay us here. Keeping Defense Secretary Robert Gates showed Obama would continue Bush's dismal, failed waste of precious lives and treasure. Still, the media daily evoke the memory of Bush's invasion idiocy, most recently with the Taliban killing 10 dedicated, innocent aid workers in Afghanistan.
The prospect of terrorist blowback on U.S. soil is now set in stone. Continuing to kill Muslims, often innocent women and children, in pursuit of the Taliban won't help. Trying to change how, for example, women are treated in those places is impossible. The Russians learned. We will, too—if not now, soon. And the horrific costs of treating our own wounded will last for decades.
Third, Obama shows utter disregard for our Constitution with his overt and covert efforts to keep U.S. borders open to legal and illegal immigration. Amidst our worst recession since the 1930s, his administration this past year allowed another 1 million-plus work visas to be issued, while unemployment, counting those no longer looking for work, remained at more than 15 percent.
Further, substantial money flows from our elite ruling oligarchy, the industrial-military complex, to elect open-border candidates. Abetted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, they will try to keep real reform from even being discussed, with Obama and his Congress cooperating fully.
One sure way to cut border violence and America's excess incarceration of drug offenders would be to legalize drugs, as we did booze in 1933. Cutting the drug cartels' cash flow would allow drugs to be taxed—and made safer in the hands of large, legitimate U.S. businesses, such as tobacco and liquor firms. Hey, our Treasury needs the money, which was the real reason behind stopping Prohibition.
Fourth, basic business law and practice were ignored with the so-called TARP bailouts under the mistaken rubric of saving the entire system from collapse. Yet lots of venerable entities did collapse, such as Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, which were embraced by other entities that had sweetheart deals from Uncle Sam.
This ridiculous (and suspiciously selective) "too big to fail" policy ignores the fact that if, for example, General Motors had failed, its assets simply would have had new owners and its employment numbers likely would have been maintained because without its excised debt, it would have been able to attract new capital.
Ford took no TARP money and is doing just fine. The same "let 'em fail" treatment should have applied to Citigroup and others that deserved to go bankrupt. In March, Connecticut's attorney general properly sued rating agencies Moody's and Standard & Poor's for their parts in abetting the real estate bubble's collapse.
The indebtedness piled on by the above discouraging policies puts America well on the slippery slope to nowhere. I see no likely letup from this "please every power bloc possible" Obama reign.
We are broke and going broker! And still, our elitist leaders in Congress declare open season on American taxpayers' piggy banks. They apparently regard our money as "other people's money," as they wildly continue their bipartisan spending spree. Could it be worse if Republicans got control again? I simply don't know. Would I vote for Obama again? Depends on the Republican pick and what he or she promises about changing the inanities listed above.
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.