By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 03/01/2009
Reality is sometimes so ironic you don’t have to do a thing to embellish it to make it more so. Fresh off the signing of the biggest spending bill in U.S. history, laden with pet projects, President Obama this week hosted, prepare yourself, a “Fiscal Responsibility Summit.” But wait, it gets better!
This comes on the heels of his “Mortgage Rescue Plan” which rewards those who have been fiscally irresponsible at the expense of those who have been fiscally responsible. But wait, it gets even better!
Obama’s new budget features a $1.75 trillion deficit, four times larger than any in American history. You’re right: no fiscal responsibility there. Maybe he should have had the summit before all of these spending announcements. But wait, there’s more!
After denouncing lobbyists and special interests and claiming they would have no influence in his administration, would you hazard a guess who the participants were at his “Fiscal Responsibility Summit?” Go ahead, guess. You’re right! According to Raw Data, aside from those from his administration and Congress, the remaining 56 participants were all lobbyists and special interest representatives! In short, nearly all the participants in Obama’s “Fiscal Responsibility Summit” represent organizations that are feeding at the public trough and undoubtedly looking for more! You just can’t make this stuff up! The participants were split into breakout groups and were to come back with recommendations. Apparently none of the groups recommended that he curtail his profligate spending.
With all his excessive spending, Obama advancing the notion of fiscal responsibility would be as ironic as Russia telling the U.S. not to socialize our economy. But wait! That happened too!
Last month, speaking at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin uttered some substantive and wise counsel. Not just to the U.S., but to the rest of the world. He said, after denouncing protectionist trade policies in challenging economic times, “Excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state's omnipotence is another possible mistake.”
“True, the state's increased role in times of crisis is a natural reaction to market setbacks. Instead of streamlining market mechanisms, some are tempted to expand state economic intervention to the greatest possible extent.
“The concentration of surplus assets in the hands of the state is a negative aspect of anti-crisis measures in virtually every nation.
“In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state's role absolute. In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated.
“Nor should we turn a blind eye to the fact that the spirit of free enterprise, including the principle of personal responsibility of businesspeople, investors and shareholders for their decisions, is being eroded in the last few months. There is no reason to believe that we can achieve better results by shifting responsibility onto the state.
“And one more point: anti-crisis measures should not escalate into financial populism and a refusal to implement responsible macroeconomic policies. The unjustified swelling of the budgetary deficit and the accumulation of public debts are just as destructive as adventurous stock-jobbing."
At his summit, Obama proclaimed that he would cut the federal deficit in half in four years. I think that’s Obama-speak for, “We’ve already mortgaged our country to the hilt, now come the taxes to pay for it.” Brace yourselves for increased or new taxes on everything from to energy. His budget proposes increased taxes to the tune of $1.3 trillion!
Speaking of irony, some Journal readers have been disturbed over something Rush Limbaugh recently said. Contrary to what most have alleged, his actual words were, “I support the president, but I don’t support his policies.” Those most critical of Limbaugh apparently fail to see the irony in his remark, for they have undoubtedly been the ones most vociferous in declaring for the past six years, “I support the troops, but I don’t support their mission.”
After seeing what Obama’s done in his first month, it’s obvious that he has no intention of “governing from the middle.” I throw my two-bits in with Limbaugh: I support the president, but I don’t support his socialistic policies. And to Newsweek magazine, “No, we are NOT all socialists now!”