Every time I hear Barack Obama point to the George W. Bush years and claim “We tried it your way and it didn’t work” I have to shake my head.
The economy didn’t crash because Bush was a staunch defender of a limited, Constitutional government. It crashed because Bush embraced the idea of “Compassionate Conservatism” or as I like to call it, “Progressive lite”.
While Bush was president, the Progressive left correctly pointed to the National Debt and massive budget deficits as ruinous to America.
But what caused the budget deficits and additional debt that resulted? Wars?
Perhaps. But not so much the wars themselves. People trained in Afghanistan and attacked America. That war was completely just. And Iraq violated the terms of their surrender that ended the first Gulf War. Forget the presence or absence of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Justifying deposing Saddam Hussein did not require finding WMD’s. The justification already existed by virtue of Hussein’s constant refusal to allow the inspections he agreed to as part of the surrender.
No, that much spending was necessary. If a country is allowed to surrender, then the United States must hold them to the terms of the surrender or we will be seen as weak.
But what happened after the successful actions in both of these countries was Nation Building. That is where most of the money we didn’t have went. And far more lives were lost as a result of trying to set up a Democratic form of Government in countries that neither want nor deserve Democracy. Especially a hybrid Theological bastardization that occurs when you try to mix Islamic Laws which are repressive of freedom with a form of government that is built on freedom. There is no middle ground and it is inevitable that the most repressive and brutal form of government will eventually win. And we all know that is not Democracy.
Nation Building is nothing more than welfare for foreign nations. Welfare for a people who do not pay into the US Tax system. And it is unsustainable.
Bush not only spent hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions, on foreign welfare, we lost American lives as well.
And on the domestic front, Bush expanded food stamps, began a whole new entitlement for Prescription Drugs, and presided over a massive increase in Federal Government power and intrusion into Education with “No Child Left Behind”.
All of this spending coupled with the “Affordable Housing” push that Barney Frank was behind pushed us off a financial cliff.
It wasn’t Bush’s Conservatism that failed. It was his Progressivism. Foreign and Domestic welfare, expanded government and additional entitlements that added to the already bankrupt and unsustainable entitlement programs we already faced.
So it is laughable to hear Obama point to Bush and say we tried it “their” way and it didn’t work. No. Bush tried it Obama’s way and it predictably failed.
And what Obama has done is not only expand more of the entitlement spending that caused the Bush economy to fail, he has attacked businesses, success and anyone who dare disagree with him. He has taken the disasterous failures of the Bush Administration and started a war with businesses and domestic energy production and pitted men against women, blacks against whites, Christians against Atheists and Secularists, Success against failure, rich against everyone else, and divided almost every conceivable segment of our population against one another while he works to complete the financial destruction of America.
And he points to the Clinton era as proof “his” ideas work even as he guts Clinton’s Welfare Reform than played a part in that success. Obama’s policies are nothing like Clinton’s policies. And truth be told, it was the Republican Congress that pushed entitlement reform and other austerity measures.
But more than anything else, the Clinton Presidency benefited from the massive and unprecedented spending caused by Y2K – or the Year 2000 “bug” when everything technological was replaced or upgraded in a 2 year time span.
Spending was simply unable to keep up with revenue. They couldn’t spend it as fast as the heated economy produced Federal Tax Revenue. But Clinton adjusted and increased spending to match and outstrip revenue and when Y2K finally ended on January 1, 2000 the nation was facing an economic slowdown as technology sales crashed – everybody had brand new stuff. There was a recession at the end of Clinton’s second term as the economy returned to pre Y2K reality – minus the normal flow of replacement purchases.
Clinton had nothing to do with the balanced budget and the spending correction – the attempt to burn through the massive increase in Y2K revenue – initially set us on a trajectory we couldn’t sustain.
And with lower revenues starting in 2000, we went to war and increased entitlement programs. The era of Progressive lite had arrived with George W. Bush. The nation demanded more free stuff and Bush gave us lots of free stuff we couldn’t afford, ut not as much as the fully Progressive left wanted. And it only took 8 years for the inevitable to happen.
And now, Obama has spent trillions of dollars in the name of “stimulus” which has led to no jobs and less revenue as the interest on the debt has risen beyond what we can sustain. And the Progressives believe we need even more debt to stimulate economic growth. Another cash advance on our national credit card will not help.
Nobody can prosper on payday loans. The deck is stacked against you.
Paul Ryan proposed a mildly responsible budget as a starting point for negotiations. He was demonized and attacked by the left to create fear and panic in anyone dependent on government to survive. This was all to drive votes to the Progressives who are fully aware that we are rapidly approaching the point where the tidal wave of debt will drown us all.
That much is inevitable. It is not even known if Ryan’s budget will go far enough to prevent the collapse of the economic society as we know it. But the Progressives don’t care about the inevitable. They live for today only. And for votes and power.
We are headed for a society where there will be no money for law enforcement, no local government and no rule of law. And if we have such a meltdown, and it becomes more likely every day that we will, then heaven help us all. The petty arguments the Progressives make about throwing Granny off a cliff and letting children fend for themselves will actually come true. But not because Republicans tried to fix unsustainable entitlement programs, but because we will run out of money.
The Democrats are the only party willing to actually allow the elderly to die because the day we run out of money, there will be no plan to help anyone.
Democrats either need to put up a plan to save entitlement spending, or just move out of the way and let Romney and Ryan try to fix their mess.
We tried it the Progressive way.
Now let’s try it the right way.