Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama’s Coronation

Today, people in all parts of the political spectrum should briefly set aside politics and reflect on the moment in history Obama’s inauguration represents. His victory represents a significant movement towards an end to racial divides. For that reason, everyone can be proud of America for the great strides that have been made over the past four decades to allow this moment in history. However, as historic as this inauguration is, it is possible to go overboard. It is as equally important to not lose sight of the growing problems facing America.

The manner in which the media has portrayed Obama would lead one to believe that the coronation of a monarch was taking place in America as opposed to swearing in its 44th President. The masses couldn’t be happier. People have gone to great lengths to be a part of this historic event. From school closings and vacation days from the jobs that they once feared they would lose to opening up tight budgets to allot for the purchase of all of that special Obama paraphernalia. The most expensive inauguration in America’s history (makes Sarah Palin’s $150,000 wardrobe look like pocket change) would lead one to believe that the economy may be recovering. If only that were the case…

The day after Obama’s victory, I wrote a column titled “America’s Impending Hangover: How it’s Love Affair with Obama Will Be Short-lived.” Today’s inauguration will mark the peak of “Obamamania.” It is now time for him to deliver on the mountain of promises in which he campaigned. He has roughly one year to blame George W. Bush. However, after that time period, the Kool-aid will run out; and people will expect results. Let’s go through some of the highlights of Obama’s promises, and the ones he has already broken…

Foreign Policy

I predicted that this would be the area in which Obama would deviate off his campaign rhetoric the most. Remember his promises to end the Iraq war? Remember how he said he would begin withdrawing troops on his first day in office? We’ve gone from that analogy to his retention of Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense – whose team he harshly criticized throughout the campaign. Obama never acknowledged that the surge allowed exactly what he wished – a responsible transition to the Iraqi army. One had to dig deep for this information, as the mainstream media would never report any kind of success in Iraq. However, the media will be changing its tune shortly on this topic in order to give Obama credit for the victory in Iraq – something that was well in hand long before he took office. For all of you anti-war folks out there - don’t be too disappointed when he escalates the war in Afghanistan. That’s one promise I believe he’ll keep.

Obama’s pledge to close Guantánamo Bay is sheer political rhetoric to please his left-wing constituents that donated big money to his campaign. The bottom line is he cannot close this camp without a plan for its detainees. What kind of a plan could be devised on our soil to incarcerate suspected militant combatants - dangerous enough to the point where their home country will not take them back? Obama knows if he leans too far left on matters of national security, and America suffers an attack under his watch; the love affair is over. He has a second term to think about.

Economic Policy

In my last column, I have already outlined the major flaws in Obama’s so called stimulus plan. In this column, I’ll focus more on what is absent from the plan that should be part of that plan.

Let’s begin with the housing debacle. Nowhere do I see a call to repeal the Community Reinvestment Act.

- The act that forced lending institutions to loan money to people who had no financial means to repay (so much for the deregulation argument)

- The act that artificially drove the cost of housing “through the roof” by adding droves of buyers to a market in which they did not belong

- The act that is largely responsible for the rapidly declining housing prices and foreclosures

Stay tuned for a more detailed analysis, as this topic deserves a separate column.

The number keeps changing, but as it stands now, Obama plans to create 3 to 4 million new jobs within the first two years of his presidency. Last I checked, the private sector creates jobs; and the government makes it more difficult, but we’ll roll with this for illustration purposes. If we go with the conservative estimate of 3 million, that’s roughly 4,110 new jobs per day. Our unemployment rate is currently 7.2 percent. If we net 28,770 new jobs per week, he’ll have that number back down to a stable 5 percent in no time! If that is the case, then there is no need to extend unemployment benefits, as it would be counter productive.

Obama has championed the age-old failed tactic of borrowing and spending to prosperity. It’s never worked in the past; it’s not going to work now. Instead of multi-billion dollar bailouts for individual states, the banking industry and other failed politically connected businesses, absent are reduced tax rates and government spending. Real change would have been proper implementation of supply side economics which has NEVER been done. President Reagan was close; but he failed to restrain government spending and reduce the size of government to sustain long-term success.

In summary, our new President has come to a crossroad. In order to be successful and continue to ride the wave of adoration and idolization, he must abandon his extreme left-wing ideology. Otherwise, when the world feels the effect of America’s 1+ trillion dollar deficits, this “slobbering love affair” (as Bernie Goldberg accurately describes it) will soon be over.

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