A Few of the Mendacities of the Year
- 27 December 2009 by Author 0 Comments
A Few of the Mendacities of the Year
By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, Published 12/27/09
This past year has yielded a bumper crop of prevarications. While it would take volumes to codify them all (heck, I think Harry Reid’s alone would rival “War and Peace”), there are a few that we should remember as we look forward to what the new year may have in store for us.
Perhaps the biggest whopper of 2009 was Obama’s assertion that his administration would usher in a new era of “fiscal responsibility.” After launching the budget deficit (year over year revenue minus the spending) from $250 billion to over $1.7 trillion, it begs the question, what exactly do they consider fiscal responsibility? The debt limit has been raised another $2 trillion to $14 trillion, as congress attempts to keep pace with the president’s insatiable appetite for spending.
To put that in perspective, it would be like someone making fifty grand a year running up a $300,000 credit card bill. And this is “fiscal responsibility?” The most amazing detachment from reality is manifested by Obama disciples who echo, almost in unison, “But it’s Bush’s fault for spending on the wars.” Yeah, kind of like it’s Michael Jordan’s fault that the Chicago Bulls have won no NBA championships since he retired.
At a small-business forum last month the president said, “While I believe that government has a critical role in creating the conditions for economic growth, ultimately true economic recovery is only going to come from the private sector.” We might well ask then, “Why are you seeking to destroy the private sector?” Not content with owning the auto industry and then gifting half of it as political payback to the unions, and not content with controlling the banking and financial services, he is now on the verge of taking over another one-sixth of the economy by controlling the health care industry. I guess based on the presidents’ own words, we cannot anticipate any “true economic recovery” since the government is taking over more and more of the private sector.
We have to include in this list the repeated efforts of majority leadership in Congress who have accused the Republicans of “blocking health care reform.” Excuse me, but don’t they control the House, the Senate, and the White House? The Republicans couldn’t do a thing to stop health care reform even if they wanted to! And not just based on votes, but with House and Senate leadership rewriting rules along the way to ensure passage, all the Republicans can do is make a lot of noise and attempt to mobilize citizens against the health care takeover.
On the global warming front, the biggest stretch of credulity of the year was stating that the “science is settled.” That declaration coming from the White House after one of the key climate research units establishing the “science” and the argument for man-made global warming was revealed to be “cooking the books” of environmental data and fraudulently misrepresenting it. So let me make sure I understand this properly. Because the pseudo-scientists at the Climate Research Unit manipulated data, controlled the “peer review” process for climate studies, and rigged their computer models’ code to depict global warming, regardless of the data input, we are to understand that the “science is settled?” Hmmm. Seems to me Bernie Madoff could have taken some lessons from the White House on “spin.” Heck, he could be a White House economic advisor by now! They’re going to need someone with his Ponzi-scheme expertise to handle all the questionable fiscal activity occurring in Washington these days.
One of the biggest has to be the health-care takeover itself. Are we really supposed to believe that we’re going to get better health care with the government running it? That it’s going to be “deficit neutral” after they cut over $400 billion in Medicare spending? After all, when has the federal government ever really “cut” anything, except military spending? And for it to get to “deficit neutral,” the Congressional Budget Office has to use trickery like 10 years of revenue against 6 years of implementation. They must be taking lessons from the Climate Research Unit in fudging numbers!
The president a few weeks ago held a banking confab where he pressured banks into lending more to stimulate the economy. I think I’m experiencing déjà vu. Isn’t that how the whole subprime lending crisis was created? Government pressuring banks to lend more, and to people who had no credit worthiness for the loans they got? Government just never seems to learn.
Space constrains me from delving into the satire of a non-stimulating “stimulus,” the “jobs created” and “jobs saved” claims of the White House, and how we’re going to be safer by reading terrorists their Miranda Rights and housing them in the U.S.
So what can we expect for 2010? I would bank on more of the same, unless our national leaders somehow stumble across some common sense and a conscience. Happy New Year! I guess.
AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.