The Gospel Truth

An American Crucible

February 18, 2011
9 Comments

There has been no other time in recent American history that has deserved the appellation of American crucible.

A perfect storm of economic, political and international forces has descended on the nation when it has been at its most vulnerable since 1941.

House Republican Leaders Unveil New Health Care Ad

Can they stop the storm?

And unfortunately the man in the White House has the presidential stature of a James Buchanan or a Jimmy Carter.

By that I mean, weak, unfocused and without a clue as what to do as the leader of the once free world.

A Middle East that is a tinder box of militant Islam notwithstanding, the most compelling issues have been economic.

The president seems to have slept through the past presidential election, when his party suffered one of the most devastating defeats in American political history.

If his recent proposed budget is any indication, his economic expertise was fostered in some Eastern Marxist school of self-destruction.

After three years of historic deficits that added $4.5 trillion to the national debt  the hope was that this reform-minded president had seen the light and was prepared to seriously address the nation’s serious fiscal short-comings.

While the president has been practicing the talk in front of his legendary tele-prompter, his walk was caught on a treadmill of incompetency.

The White House budget–and don’t forget this budget is merely his suggestion because according to the Constitution, all revenue bills must begin in the House–is spilling over with an addition $1.645 trillion in new debt. for 2011, due mainly to Obama’s new surge in spending, which will absorb 25.3% of the GDP.

According to the Wall Street Journal this amounts to more spending in any year since 1945.

Federal debt held by the public–the kind we have to pay back–projects to be at 75.1% of GDP in 2012, which is the highest since 1951.

According to the WSJ in 2007 it stood at roughly half this amount.

I think the president’s ability to accumulate enormous debt proves that his government retail therapy is about to overdose on steroids.

Although the White House trumpets an alleged $2.18 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years, the actual savings are so far out in the future that they appear as a dot on the horizon.

More than 95% of Obama’s alleged savings will occur months after his first term is over and about 65% after 2016.

The WSJ calls this Budget Flim-flam 101.

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Professor Flim-Flam

His budget ignores every recommendation of his own deficit commission.

Its Democratic co-chairman, Erskine Bowles said recently that this budgets goes nowhere near where they will have to go to resolve our fiscal nightmare.

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Worried about our fiscal nightmare

The Obama budget does not cut a red cent from the deficit in the remaining seven months of the current fiscal year.

As for the country’s largest expenditures Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security–the so-called third rails of politics, which account for about 60% of our total budget expenditures, the proposed savings are close to zero.

And if the past is any prologue for the future, I will bet on their never materializing.

Of course Mr. Obama is much smarter than his public performances indicate.

He is a seasoned politician who knows more about getting elected than governing.

His vain attempt at reform and his failed leadership masks the stark reality that all the hard decisions of actual fiscal reform will be left to the House leadership.

They are the ones who will have to clean up Obama’s mess and in the course of their real reform, they might make certain he will win a second term.

Many of the programs that will have to be cut are kin to large groups of vested interests, each with its own team of lobbyists.

As the movie said years ago, there will be blood and it is more than likely it will be Republican blood.

Republican blood in 2012?

The budget plan now emerging from House Republicans projects $80 billion in cuts immediately and $280 billion over three years, some 20x’s Obama’s plan.

And Obama’s budgets rests on the seriously faulty pillars of a projected 4% rate in annual economic growth, which is far more robust than anything his recovery has produced so far.

His economic projections have as much validity as random numbers tacked to a wall by darts.

His budget also includes more of his favorite things–new taxes.

This poor excuse for economic leadership and control includes almost $300 billion in new taxes on the usual suspects— energy companies, multinationals, and banks,

I wonder how this will affect his 4% annual growth projections.

The sad fact that makes this such a scary situation is that for the last 40-50 years, the nation has changed from one of hard work and responsibility to one of rights and entitlements–often at the expense of the next two or three generations.

As President Obama stealthily waits in ambush, the Republicans’ mettle will be severely tested these next 18 months.

The good news according to WSJ is that most American people want a president who will lead them.

Obama’s abject and cynical failure to heed the warnings of 2010 may help Republicans make their case in 2012.

If they don’t, no one else will!


About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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