So the New Majority Agenda (aka Crossroads GPS), the U.S. Chamber and American Crossroads, all tell us that President Obama bares sole responsibility for the slumping Global Economy. Fanning the flames of economic armageddon and playing the “blame game” seem to be the only ammunition they have, that doesn’t fit in a 9mm Semi-auto or a AR-15, that is. Admittedly, they do present some interesting facts about the economy, unemployment, economic stimuli, the military and that pesky federal deficit. They may have gotten a few of their facts just a little bit lopsided or perhaps just incomplete.
A truth, President Obama has presided over the longest and deepest recession in U.S. history. However, T.V. and internet ads neglect to point out that the “Great Recession” began two years before Obama took the Oath of Office. And yes, The President did see unemployment peak at historic levels, but avoid the fact that it began the historic rise in 2007 due to a failing export market, the U.S. banking debacle and let’s not forget an imploding housing market. Now, about that horrid economic stimulus. Every credible economist agrees that if it were not for economic intervention our economy may have receded to depression depths and unemployment would still be in double digits. Keeping in mind too that TARP was a product of the Bush Administration. And about that damn auto bail-out: There are about 14 million people in the automobile and automobile related industries that might argue that it was a good idea. The auto industry makes up roughly 10% of the total U.S. economy.
Perhaps the most “taxing” element facing Obama is taking a country at war to peace. Most importantly getting our men and women out of Iraq and concluding a war that didn’t need to be. And now, transitioning responsibility for Afghan security from and international force (albeit mostly U.S.) to the Afghan Army and police forces. The real work lays in helping our military members to return to peacekeeping instead of war fighting and healing their wounds.
Note: During the height of our involvement in Iraq we spend nearly a Billion Dollars a day for operations. Today we spend a little over $300 Million a day for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hard to keep positive numbers in the general coffers when those who benefit most from a strong central government, and a military with global reach fail to pay their fair share.
Which brings up the big “D”. First of all according to our Constitution the only body of government that has control of the nation’s purse strings is the House of Representatives. So if anyone is to blame for crushing federal deficits it’s the U.S. House. For over ten years we have seen the supposed blessings of the Bush era tax cuts. Not a cent has “trickled down” to the middle class whilst corporate bank accounts are bulging. Not the mention the adds that suggest that China hold’s most of our Federal Debt. That is just plain false. Today the Federal Reserve of The United States holds paper on approximately 80% of the Federal Debt. It also holds debt of nations in Europe and Asia. Like any global industry the banking industry is not halted by borders.
The greater deficit that neither party has the nerve to discuss is the ever growing trade deficit. In the global marketplace if you buy more than you sell then you as a nation make no profit. Profit is how you fill empty job positions, expand business and yes, even support government programs. Part of decreasing the trade deficit has already begun by many U.S. manufacturing companies returning to America. Another step is long term investment by both the private and public sectors in infrastructure, transportation, energy and education.
We need also to encourage a culture that puts worth in vocations and degrees in science and engineering. One can still see Ronald Reagan’s “shining city on a hill , we just have to knock the dust of off the glass. Shalom/wpn