I am reproducing John C. Wright's latest post in its entirety because I desperately want my liberal readers to tell me why he is wrong, and many of you don't bother to click through when I merely provide links. Three things keep me from utter despair over the course we are following: (1) denial; (2) knowing that God—not the President, not the media, and not the corporate CEOs—is ultimately in charge, and will bring good out of even our most boneheaded mistakes; and (3) our children, and young people in general, are still enthusiastic and optimistic. Maybe they're in denial, too, but as long as they don't give up we will make it through.
Adding more to the debt than all previous presidents combined
In The Wall Street Journal, Michael Boskin writes:
Mr. Obama's $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, by his own admission, redefines the role of government in our economy and society. The budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents—from George Washington to George W. Bush — combined. It reduces defense spending to a level not sustained since the dangerous days before World War II, while increasing nondefense spending (relative to GDP) to the highest level in U.S. history. And it would raise taxes to historically high levels (again, relative to GDP). And all of this before addressing the impending explosion in Social Security and Medicare costs.
Mark Steyn makes this comment on Boskin:
What emerges from such a blueprint will not be America. The United States will survive as a geographical designation, a collection of zip codes, but what goes on within them will be a Euro-Canadian form of societal arrangement
My comment: With this amount of money, NASA could have built an Arthur C Clarkian space elevator. Out of one hundred dollar bills.
What astonishes me is the sheer economic illiteracy of this course and its defenders. During FDR's disastrous New Deal (which made the depression from a one-season market correction into a decades-long nightmare. Dow levels did not return to their 1920's figures until the late 1950's, a years after FDR was dead and WWII was over) at least FDR had two excuses: first, Keynes talked such charming goobledegook that anyone might get confused; and (2) a depression of this magnitude had never happened before, so experience was no clear guide.
The supporters of the current administration do not have those excuses. First, the current spending makes no sense even from a Keynesian point of view. Second, the lesson learned from the Great Depression is clear enough with anyone who has eyes to see.
Keynes suggested that massive public works projects would tax savings and increase borrowing, lowering the interest rate. This is a bone-headed idea, but it is not insane. It is wrong, but not evil. The current administration suggests that massive transfer payment from the most productive to the least productive sector of society, with moneys spend on consumption goods rather than investment, will somehow stimulate .... something. The rhetoric is a little vague on the intended consequences. The consumption goods in this case include socialized retirement savings (known as social security), socialized medicine, socialized education to the college level, socialization of the banking and lending industry (thanks, Bush!) and pork projects whose wastefulness beggars exaggeration.In the Wall Street Journal, Reason Foundation Founder Robert Poole’s op-ed lists just some of the pork our children and grandchildren, for the rest of their lives, will be making interest payments on.
A wish list that is 11,391 projects strong! What vital infrastructure projects would cash-strapped taxpayers get for their $73 billion? Here's a sampling: - Hercules, Calif., wants $2.5 million in hard-earned taxpayer money for a "Waterfront Duck Pond Park," and another $200,000 for a dog park.
- Euless, Texas, wants $15 million for the Midway Park Family Life Center, which, you'll be glad to note, includes both a senior center and aquatic facility.
- Natchez, Miss., "needs" a new $9.5 million sports complex "which would allow our city to host major regional and national sports tournaments."
- Henderson, Nev., is asking for $20 million to help "develop a 60 acre multi-use sports field complex."
- Brigham City, Utah, wants $15 million for a sports park.
- Arlington, Texas, needs $4 million to expand its tennis center.
- Miami, Fla., needs $15 million for a "Moore Park Community Center, Tennis Center and Day Care" facility. The city is also desperate for $3.6 million to build a covered basketball court and a new tennis court at Robert King High Park. Then there's the $94 million Orange Bowl parking garage you are being asked to pay for.
- La Porte, Texas, wants $7.6 million for a "Life Style Center." And Oakland, Calif., needs $1 million for Fruitvale Latino Cultural and Performing Arts Center.
At some point, this degree of economic irrationality tips over from good-hearted-but-wrong-headed eurosocialist nonsense, into corrupt-headed Soviet-style totalitarianism. After a certain point, a certain degree of negligence when it comes to how the world actually works is not longer excusible; and it is not negligence, but depravity.
In my judgment, we have reached that level of depravity.
This is not the normal back-and-forth of partisan politics. This is damage to the Republic which could spell the end of it. Nations do not survive as nations once they are bankrupt and addicted to government power. Oh, will no doubt continue to call ourselves the United States of America, with the same sincerity that Spanish and German princes were called The Holy Roman Emperor, long after the Fall of Rome.
Meanwhile, bank stocks bottom out, the Dow continues to plummet, unemployment in all sectors EXCEPT GOVERNMENT continues to rise (Big Brother is hiring), and the Conservative movement's main concern seems to be a name-calling match between Rush Limbaugh and David Frum. (For those of you who did not notice, President Obama used his vampire hypnosis powers learned from the Secret Masters of Tibet to declare Rush the leader of the Republican Party, and, for some reason not clear to me, Republicans scurried to agree with him.)
The sheer triviality of the media coverage of this is beyond belief and without parallel in history. Meanwhile we are at war with a ruthless, well funded, and highly motivated enemy, who operates from a decentralized power structure, difficult or impossible to locate and destroy. Meanwhile our defense budget is being slashed to levels (as percent of GDP) as low as it was between the Great War and World War Two. Those with long memories recall the sequel to that.
Instead of drilling here and drilling now, the new administration's energy policy ignores the three viable sources of energy on planet earth, coal, petrol, and nuclear. Instead the government will be replacing storm windows in all government buildings, on the taxpayer's tab.
While I support free trade as an economic matter, as a military matter, it is unwise to by oil from Middle Eastern regimes who fund our enemies. As a miltiary matter, it is unwise to borrow money from Red China. Whenever Peking decides it would be expedient politically to bankrupt their own rising (and unruly) middle class, they can sever trade relations with us, and call in their debts. Certainly they would suffer from this. But their Party elite would not suffer. We would suffer more. Again, our elite would not suffer.
Meanwhile, our European allies, far from being delighted to return to American alliance once the dreaded Darth Bush term expired, discover that protectionism is the order of the day. The collapse of our economy -- due in large part, perhaps entirely, to the Democrat party's socialist experiments in the housing market -- collapses their economy. The economically sane thing to do at such times is to lower trade barriers. A depression is the worst time for protectionism. But the new adminitration has rushed through protectionist schemes, tarriffs, and so on, in the name of the emergency, so our European allies are being left to fend for themselves.
Meanwhile, Iran is working on a nuke, and the Iranian leader promises to destroy Israel, a nation whom the new administration has no interest in supporting.
Meanwhile, in other topics, the corruption and degeneration of art, of literature, of morals, of notions of truth and beauty, vice and virtue, continue to degrade. Ignorance is rampant; the public school system has failed; the aesthetes praise only mind-jarringly grotesque and talentless rubbish; the nuclear family decays; and the California Supreme Court seriously debates whether to overrule the voter's sovereignty regarding Prop 8 in California. The only thing sacred to the Left is sexual perversion. Whatever is abnormal, sterile, morally empty and self-destructive, to them, looks fine and fair.
Meanwhile, the administration plans to make any and all state restrictions on infanticide unlawful. The administration seeks to appoint the most abortion-friendly candidate imaginable to the leadership of the department of health and human services. The billions of infants slain so far is not enough: Moloch is not pleased because the pyramid of tiny skulls is not piled high enough.
Call your Congressman. For each call they receive, the politicians calculate that a certain number of other voters feel the same, but did not call. In other words, if you make the effort to complain, the complaint is amplified in their ears.