State of the Union Address on Foreign Policy: Careful Phrasing Conceals Disasters
As for the Taliban, again there is a cute formulation: its “momentum has been broken.” In other words, the Taliban has survived, it is still launching attacks, and it might even take over large parts of Afghanistan after American troops leave. Momentum has been broken is just a fancy way of saying that its gaining power has been slowed down. Of course, after American troops leave, that momentum will probably speed up again.
In his second mention of foreign affairs, Obama spoke of economic issues:
My message is simple. It is time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America. Send me these tax reforms, and I will sign them right away.
Obama’s policies don’t — in the strict sense of the term — reward businesses for shipping jobs overseas; they merely punish businesses for remaining in America. Taxing executives more while adding to the regulatory and cost burden will make things worse.
We’re also making it easier for American businesses to sell products all over the world. Two years ago, I set a goal of doubling U.S. exports over five years. With the bipartisan trade agreements we signed into law, we’re on track to meet that goal ahead of schedule.
And soon there will be millions of new customers for American goods in Panama, Colombia, and South Korea. Soon, there will be new cars on the streets of Seoul imported from Detroit, and Toledo, and Chicago.
This sounds good, but it’s a fantasy. To speak of doubling U.S. exports is insane except for one point. If Obama’s policies lead to massive inflation and the decline of the dollar, foreign customers will want to unload their dollars and take advantage of relatively falling American prices. This will not, however, benefit the American people much.