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Works and Days

Questions from Oceania

May 1st, 2009 - 7:09 pm

4.) What exactly is the current status of the war on terror? (1) Obama has so demonized the Bush administration (despite 8 years of successful homeland security and freedom from 9/11-like attack), and so rejected its very protocols, that he even has changed the very nomenclature of the fight: terrorism is now “man-caused disasters”, enemy combatants at Guantanamo are “detainees”, “Overseas Contingency Operations” mean the  ”war on terror”; OR (2) Nothing has changed: renditions, wiretaps, email intercepts, Predator attacks, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue and Guantanamo is still open; he’s simply Bush III, pacifying his leftwing base with apologies abroad and euphemism at home; OR (3) He has no idea of what he’s doing, and sort of makes it up as he goes, screaming “Bush did it” now, and then ordering “Follow what Bush did”. He simply assumes that whatever he does and whoever dies in the ongoing conflict, the media most certainly is not going to scream, as it did the last eight years, “murder” and “shredding the Constitution.” The days of movies, plays, and novels slurring the President are over.

Brave New World of Federal Recipients, Federal Workers, and Non-taxpayers

5) Given that the 1964 LBJ landslide quickly led to Nixon, the 1976 New Carterism led to Reagan, and the 1992 Clintonism was followed by GWB, Obama must know that his gargantuan spending and borrowing and regulation will lead to mega-taxes which will lead eventually, as is always the case, to stagflagation: low growth, high unemployment, high inflation, and high interest. He must know that near-trillion dollar experiments like cap-and-trade and socialized health care will not create new productive potential, only tens of thousands of new regulators that will hamper economic growth, and he must know that on social issues his base will drive him on for gay marriage, an end to ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’, abortion on demand, more, not less, affirmative action, veritable open borders, and abroad UN/EU transnationalism—and that eventually all that will provoke a furious backlash?

He knows that, and that is why in the first 100 Days, he hoped to so scare us into ”Bush did it” and “Great Depression” that the panic allowed him to rush through $1.7 trillion deficits, federal take-overs of finance and manufacturing, national health care programs, cap-and-trade, and new federal bureaucracies—and the result will be a vast new constituency of those who work for the ever larger government, of those who receive vast new entitlements, and those who are excused from income taxes (for a while)—coupled with the popular rhetoric that “they” who made out like bandits, who did not pay their fair share, who go to Vegas and party at the Super Bowl, who are unpatriotic in avoiding taxes must make long overdue atonement for their past greed.

So we are in a race—a race to get the dependent constituents permanently in place and institutionalized before the proverbial (fill in the blanks) hits the fans. If he succeeds, we will end up like a Greece, France, or Belgium— weekly strikes by government workers and unions, rampant cynicism as everyone seeks to land the federal job for base salary and taxes and benefits, and then moonlights to get untaxed cash and barter for necessary goods and services, all coupled with a culture of blame at various foreign and domestic “thems” who make us so unhappy.

Final thought: without the Old US who will be blamed? Who will keep the global sea-lanes open?Who will buy the world’s exports? Who will deal with Milosevic, Saddam, the Taliban, and the other global nuts and psychopaths? Who will attract the world’s more daring and desperate?

So we end with a whimper, after all?

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