A self-proclaimed young man of great promise, Barack Hussein Obama, with the logo of a rising sun over the horizon of blue ocean waters and recognized, before he accomplished anything of significance other than winning an election, by the world community with the Nobel Peace Prize for his potential to bring the world together has, for all practical purposes, set the sun on his presidency of the United States of America on Friday, 08/05/2011.
Monday, August 08, 2011, is a new day for America, as twilight descends on a lame duck, if he is not impeached sooner for bringing infamy upon his country, the (last) bastion of open market economics, for the first time in its history since its founding in 1776.
This president and his party, beginning January 2008 when former Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers began advising the then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on economic recession and later − one month before the 2008 election − Senate Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid and Speaker Pelosi on the much critiqued Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), has consistently failed to heed the advise of sensible voices to deal with the financial crisis and economic decline differently.
The point of the political intransigence of the Democratic Party has been to save the legacy of Bill Clinton’s economic team which has been advising this president, including the former president himself, on all the reform efforts from the first day of transition in November. The budget and government reforms were no exception.
Brinkmanship in the United States, year after year, on government budgets is not new. It had worsened since 1993 when the Federal government was shut down in January 2006 in a battle over the budget between the then Speaker Newt Gingrich and president Bill Clinton, after which the Speaker had faced ethics charges in Congress and had to resign having paid a fine with money borrowed from former Senator Bob Dole.
Democrats during the Clinton presidency and later, claiming economic truth and salvation had, with an iron hand, consistently opposed reforming the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, defended financial innovation at the expense of sensible regulatory reforms, and preferred universal health care, a noble objective since the Republican and Bull Moose Progressive Teddy Roosevelt 100 years ago, at the expense of the capacity of the market place to be able to provide the same more affordably to the consumers rather than less affordably to the tax payers and their children and grandchildren because the Democrats want to save the Great Society programs of Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ).
Economic partisanship has put this president in the same predicament as LBJ who had decided not to run for his second term because of Vietnam. LBJ, a stalwart and a seasoned politician in Congress whom Kennedy had picked to be his running mate in 1960 because JFK wanted to carry the south in a tight election, displayed great political character. He kept, by not choosing to seek a second term, the principal Great Society accomplishments of the first family, namely, civil rights, voting rights and the beautification of America by his wife Lady Bird, intact. LBJ was wise.
Those who had marched against LBJ (and later Nixon) were the ‘60s hippy generation of Bill Clinton and John Kerry, from Yale and Oxford to Kent State in Ohio. The conservatives and Republicans such as Colin Powell and John McCain had served their country in Vietnam loyally while critiquing its failings from the inside and were tolerated and raised up the ranks in government by its establishment of the best and the brightest for doing so. Colin Powell went on to become Secretary of State and John McCain a United States Senator and the presidential candidate Obama had defeated in 2008.
Former president Clinton, and presidential candidate Kerry in whose convention Obama spoke in 2004 to make him senator from Illinois and president in 2008, having committed themselves to a philosophy of detente during the Cold War (Tim Geithner’s generation opposed Reagan in the Ivy League for the arms build up against the Soviet Union), carried that commitment to LBJ’s welfare state and universal health care by an expansionary government, while co-opting the financial markets since 1993 to be protectionist, not through tariffs or closed borders, but by raising American living standards at the expense of foreigners through economic warfare waged by Wall Street and FDR’s United Nations multilateral financial institutions such as The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
These economic policies of Bill Clinton’s White House and Alan Greenspan’s Fed have created mistrust and enemies abroad who want to use the US dollar against itself.
President Obama has consistently, in an effort to mimic Ronald Reagan from 1981 through 1989, has attempted to use his executive authority at a time of war since 9/11, to persuade members of Congress to push through his reforms, phased in beyond his presidency (including a possible second term) through 2016, and allocating budgets on borrowed dime to pay for them, trading off economic recovery for an unaffordable and big government, despite his rhetoric about borrowing from China to pay Saudi Arabia.
Obama’s political purpose is to inter the movement on the Reagan-Bush-Rove right to undo FDR.
The price of partisanship is a depression which was forecast in 2006 but still imminent despite the extraordinary fiscal and monetary efforts to prevent it and the temerity to risk the reputation and credibility of the United States to keep borrowing, insulting the memory and intelligence of foreigners, asking them to risk their living standards to uphold the lack of American economic discipline.
It is a pity that Barack Obama, wanting to unite the left and the right, blue states and red states, has fallen prey to the forces of ideological persistence, tainted by complacency and hubris, which he had inherited. He failed to use his better judgment to think anew for the new world he was meant to shape.
It would be a national disgrace should Barack Obama decide to run for a second term again.