Why? Congress typically likes to take its time approving nominations for your new team to afford themselves maximum opportunities for posturing and false moralizing on national TV. And, like it or not, your new budget is largely inherited from the previous Congress and White House, since the budgeting process is actually begun the previous spring. Ergo, it takes the better part of your first six months just to feel like you live in the White House. Actually getting something done is hard to do in your first semester.
But things have been different this time around. First of all, with a Democrat-led Congress with one of their own guys in the White House, nominations sailed through the approval process, unlike Bush's, which were balked at every opportunity by the Dems, even in a Republican-led Congress. Of course, the Obama-ites weren't so good at their own vetting process and several of their own top picks (like Governor Richardson and Idiotarian Tom Daschle) had to pull out due to alleged skeletons in their closet.
Nonetheless, and here was the surprise, the Obama-ites didn't let this stop them. Imagining themselves to be somewhat like FDR's original crash solution team back in 1933, this intrepid crew of insiders dove right into the fiscal mess from the get-go, hoping to make a big splash. Undaunted by the difficulty of this task, they also decided to restructure the entirety of America's medical insurance industry and, overnight, put an end to "global warming" forever.
Caesar may be ambitious, but we're not sure he's an honorable man. As ObamaNation enters its fall semester, let's see what "The One's" team has accomplished in the last 10 months or so:
Housing crisis: Obama's people are pushing various flavors of mortgage relief for those who are more or less underwater and in danger of foreclosure. Did it work? Nope, too much red tape. If you don't believe me, check out this current story via CNN, known for its adulation of all things Obama. You'll find, in spite of the reportorial spin, that for most of the interviewees, the program never really worked. Typical government assistance: job security for the bureaucracy (both the Feds and the banks), and not much coming out of the other end for actual people. The $8000 subsidy program for first time buyers has "succeeded" at the time, but now its gone, so the vaunted increasing housing sales will tank again, since no one can borrow money. A band-aid is not a solution. Package Grade: F.
Employment crisis: The Obama-touted, Democrat Congress constructed "stimulus plan"--derided in Republican circles as the "porkulus plan"--has proved to be precisely that. Obama promised that circa 3.5 MILLION jobs would be created or saved. According to Larry Summers (who was quickly silenced), the porkulus bill has, in fact, "created" no more than 30,000 jobs. The rest of the total, presumably, were "saved." Which ones? Public service union jobs in states famous for overspending on them, like California, Michigan, and Ohio. Payback time for 2008 union support, no doubt. The Fed money backstop for these thieves is perverse. Public service employees are paid by the taxpayers. But, of course, there are less taxpayers every month, which is why many states are starting to go bankrupt paying ridiculous public employee union salaries and benefits. The Federal government is merely delaying the inevitable day of reckoning. Meanwhile, the average working Joe is, well, outta work. Do the math. This will end badly. Total failure. Grade: F.
Economy: See above. For better or for worse, we've allowed our country to become primarily dependent on consumer indebtedness--not genuine employment and production of goods--in order to drive economic development. The Dems, over the past 30 odd years, have increasingly made it easy for unqualified people to obtain mortgages. This resulted in the housing bubble for which the Bushies were unfairly blamed. Congress and the administration are, in fact, trying to reignite the "consumer" once again by subsidizing mortages to the credit unworthy (see above) which means they're essentially attempting to solve the problem by re-creating it. How dumb is this? The country either has to start reviving solvent consumers and letting the impecunious bear some blame for their own complicity in the credit bubble. Or we're going to have to create a new version of contemporary capitalism that doesn't involve everyone getting in hock up to his or her eyebrows. Won't happen. This crew is trying to kick the can down the road. Nothing has gotten close to being solved on the consumer front. Grade: F.
Health Care: It's common wisdom, and actually true, that if a new prez wants to get his plans enacted, he'd better act early in his administration while he still has loads of political capital. Problem is, if you're in the middle of an epic economic mess, you have to solve that first in order to fund your grandiose plans--later. The Obama-ites, however, are focused, and actually don't give a damn about the economy, since they're all socialists anyway. They figure that by printing money and paying off their supporters, eventually the economy will reflate itself out of trouble, providing them with the money to socialize healthcare. They weren't willing to solve the economy first. So they've been chasing at windmills on the healthcare issue even as the unemployment rolls grown, making socialized medicine, in fact, a current fiscal impossibility. This won't stop them, however. They don't care. The debt burden will, in turn, further burden a decaying economy. It's a mess. While you need to give these guys an A for keeping their eyes on the prize (socialized medicine), their battle plan is fatally flawed from an economic point of view. Grade: F.
Global Warming: I.e., the "carbon tax." First of all, more and more people, even the Euro-freaks who started it, are beginning to realize that "global warming" is a gigantic hoax, driven on by socialists who've intimidated the scientific community into supporting the results of questionable, one-sided "research" on the issue. EVERYONE has backed away from the idiotic Kyoto protocols, and China, India, and Russia have stated flat out that they don't give a rat's ass about any of this. But "global warming" and its purported solution, carbon taxation, has become a core belief of the socialist mantra since it will enable immense control of companies and economies by the anointed in control of government. People are looking at the horrendous costs of this nonsense and are backing away--except for the radical Democrats who are driving the agenda. Which, in fact, proves they don't care about the economy. They want to replace capitalism with a new religious dogma that will, ultimately, keep most people impoverished and unemployed since it will needlessly drive up costs for everything. Thus, everyone will need "help" from the state, which, of course, will be run by the radical left. Grade: F.
So, 10 months in to government by "The One," we have no real stimulus, growing unemployment, and an entire Federal government more interested in socializing medicine and in destroying what's left of the economy with a "cap and trade" regime that has, I guarantee it, the Chi-coms, the Russians, and maybe even our friends in India rolling on the floor with laughter as their greatest competitor disembowels itself willingly.
I've now been on this planet for nearly 61 years. I've spent roughly 38 of them in Washington. And let me guarantee you: this is, by far, the most arrogant, ignorant, ideologically-driven White House and Congress I've ever seen. At this point, I'd even take Clinton back. The man had the moral scruples of a hyena. But he still had enough sense to help out his pals while keeping intact the system that enabled him to do so. And as to Obama himself. More in my next post.