Monday, September 19, 2011

Time to get the Federal house in order

Obama has found something to run on.  I was stumped as to what he was going to do.  Run as the guy who could reach across the isle and create a post-partisan era of government?  He kind of ran on that in 2008, and he failed miserably, to put the kindest light on it.  Run as the guy who would take it to the Republicans and force good government down their throats?  He didn't seem to have the temperament to engage in the battle.

Well, he seems to have decided to try option B, run as the guy with the good ideas and fight the obstructionist Republicans and take it to the people to back him and win the fight of good vs evil.  That seems to me to be his only hope.  

Bill Clinton was interviewed this week and made an excellent political point.  Right now Obama is running against himself, and people are scared, angry, and frustrated, and they are taking it out on the president.  Just looking at his presidency, he looks bad, especially if you ignore foreign policy and focus on the economy.  As we all know, the economy is in bad shape and looking worse all the time.  So, if the election were only about re-electing Obama, he loses.

Fortunately for him, he has only one chance of winning, and that is if he runs against a Republican.  Especially if he runs against a right wing Republican like say, Perry.  Then, he starts to look better.  If he runs against a RINO, Republican in Name Only, like say, Romney or Huntsman, he will have a very tough time being re-elected.  

His biggest weakness seems to me to be competence.  It is strange that a man we all believe to be so smart's biggest weakness seems to be making mental mistakes, mistakes of choices, mistakes of strategy, mistakes of thinking.  

I believe he made a terrible mistake on the first massive stimulus bill that ceded strategy and power to congress, meaning he gave the government over to the Pelosi Democrats, i.e. the left wing of the Democratic Party, who turned the stimulus into a boondoggle of left wing goodies that had been waiting in the wings for decades, rather than targeted, temporary, job creating investments in the future.  Or, to say it another way, he didn't spend the money smartly.

I believe he then made another terrible decision, a not very smart decision, when he decided that he was done with creating jobs and reviving the economy after a catastrophic financial crisis, and he decided to go for another left wing fantasy of decades - massive health reform.  And he did so by pointing the direction and handing it over to Congress again. Back came the Pelosi Democrats while he seemed to be mostly watching on the sidelines and giving fairly meaningless speeches along the way. He seemed to be mostly helplessly watching the terrible people doing terrible things to his lovely ideas without any real notion of how to take charge of the situation himself.

His last very not smart decision came when the Simpson-Bowles commission came out with their report as to how to revive the catastrophically damaged economy with a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases for the Federal Government.  He took that powerful document, and the powerful proponents of the thinking behind it, and ... made a nice little speech, offering a few fairly meaningless tidbits out of it, none of it amounting to much at all.

Well, now he has at least come up with an actual bill, his "jobs bill", that he is actually promoting.  Too bad it is so transparently a campaign strategy rather than an actual bill that he is trying to pass through Congress. It is pretty obvious to me that he has decided that he cannot get anything passed through a congress that has any Republicans in it and has decided that what he must do is put forward a pretend bill that the Republicans will obstruct so that he will have something to campaign on over the next fourteen months.  

I think his bill is actually a pretty good one.  It has the basic approach that I think is obvious and necessary, i.e. it cuts spending and raises revenues.  But it just doesn't seem to be serious to me.  What would be serious would be a major tax reform, that raises revenues, and entitlement reform that cuts the real spending in government, the entitlements, and oh, yes, by the way, cut the massive defense spending that neither party wants to touch while you are at it.    

We are becoming Greece, or at least becoming Europe.  We need to come to grips with the obvious notion that we need less government and need to pay more for it.  As it is, we are borrowing forty cents of every dollar that the government is spending.  So many of us have tried that in our personal lives and have found out what it means to have our credit cards, mortgages, and other debts eat up all of our financial, mental, emotional, and spiritual energies. 

The American people have already made the adjustment to get their own houses in order, i.e. cut spending and raise revenues if they can.  It seems to me that if a leader were to step forward to lead the country in doing that same thing on a national level, the response would be very favorable indeed.