A.J. DiCintio
January 26, 2013
Reality and the inaugural address
By A.J. DiCintio

Responding to the dogmatic commitment to collectivism which permeated Barack Obama's inaugural address, David Brooks (NYT) makes two insightful points that will be appreciated by every American other than the 21% who represent the nation's hard-core liberals.

First, Brooks criticizes Obama's "tour through American history" for omitting the truth that America prospered because it rejected the imperial European nanny state in favor of a decentralized system that produced "innovations and commercial blessings [which] emerged, bottom up, from tinkerers and business outsiders who could never have attracted the attention of a president or some public-private investment commission."

Then, he asserts that Obama misunderstands the current moment in American history, arguing that the now over-institutionalized United States faces the daunting problems of "an aging population, a bloated political system, a tangled tax code, a byzantine legal code and a crushing debt."

If to those five troubles we add the deterioration of morality; the decline of the middle class; the poison of profligate spending; the failure to conduct a cautious, America first military and foreign policy; and the money-induced corruption that plagues Washington, we will have identified the most crucially important problems that threaten this nation's liberty and prosperity.

To the country's detriment, however, Obama's devotion to leftist ideology and his eagerness to embrace the dirty expediencies of Democratic Party politics keep him from wisely addressing our most pressing problems, especially the fiscal ones, that, ironically, threaten the entitlement programs he evidently believes can be preserved for future generations merely with words, words, words, pronounced in a speech.

Here, then, are some fiscal realities the president should have mentioned and commented upon, instead of using his speech as an opportunity to turn JFK's line on its head to say to an America already up to its nostrils in the perverted act of eating away the lives of its children and grandchildren, "Ask not what you can do for your country; ask what your country can do for you."

We begin with information easily found, for example, at mauldineconomics.com, where Hoisington Investment Management's latest quarterly review enlightens us with several profoundly important charts compiled by the federal government's own nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

One of those charts reveals that the federal spending to GDP ratio has risen to its highest levels since the 1940's, when the nation was fighting a world war on two horrifically enormous fronts.

Another more important and more chilling chart shows CBO forecasts regarding the federal debt to GDP ratio, which now stands well above the 90% danger point, predicting an unthinkably mad 344% ratio in 2050 and an impossibly insane 947% ratio by 2084 – with entitlement spending a very important component of a curve that, in truth, becomes life threateningly schizophrenic well before 2050.

Liberal politicians may babble nonsense about the CBO's warning, but not honest people in the know, the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare programs, for instance, whose recent annual report pleads with Congress and the president to agree on reforms regarding the programs as soon as possible, thereby giving themselves more reform options and giving citizens as much time as possible to prepare for their futures.

Returning to John Mauldin et al. we find plenty of information about the sick state of the economy and the plight of middle class citizens, who, ultimately, must pay for Barack Obama's collectivist state.

For example, another CBO chart presented by Hoisington informs us that the anemic economic growth of the Obama Recovery combined with the weak growth of the ten preceding years presents a picture so ugly that it is exceeded only by the economic scene of the 1930's, a reality, mind you, based upon statistics that go all the way back to 1790.

Moreover, as Hoisington puts it, the chart reveals this distressing and frightening fact:

"The 1960s was the last decade when the economic growth rate was above the post 1790 average. . . In the thirteen years of this century, the GDP growth rate has averaged just 1.8%, or half of the 3.8% average since 1790. . ."

With respect to the long, steady decline of the middle class, we again can turn for information to a number of truthful sources, including Ben Gersten (moneymorning.com) who points out that during Obama's first term, median household income declined by $3,850, bringing it to a point lower than where it stood in 2000.

Gersten further and more shockingly reveals the pernicious nature of the economic blows battering the middle class when he presents data showing that during Obama's first term, the growth rate of lower wage occupations surged ahead of that of higher wage work and mid-wage jobs, the latter having experienced and still continuing to experience a terrifying free fall.

Yes, things haven't been good and aren't good for a middle class that can look forward only to paying a heavy price for Obama's European style "social democracy" and a disastrous price for his silence and inaction regarding the problems posed by the nation's unsustainable fiscal path.

And, yes, a truly transformative president would transcend politics and ideology to speak with meticulous honestly about the realities surrounding the nation's fiscal situation.

But the willfully blind mind of a true-believer who cannot let go of his childish infatuation with the decrepit, liberty-and-prosperity-crushing notion of the good and prosperous collectivist state permits him to think only of moving "forward" in achieving his goal – the abject failure experienced and the horrors caused by every collectivist of the past be damned.

© A.J. DiCintio

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.

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