The Great Unraveling
By Bill Wilson
The following two pieces succinctly summarize what an incompetent administration can do to a great nation in just a few short weeks. Below, writing for The Hill, Dick Morris does a great job of listing in clear, crisp language what damage has been done to our economic freedom. In the Washington Post, there is a column by Charles Krauthammer that reviews the weakness of Barack Obama's foreign policies so far. Taken together, the two are chilling. I encourage you to read them in full.
First, Morris reveals an administration seeking to perpetuate an economic emergency to enact a radical agenda:
A crisis Obama won't waste
By Dick Morris
This economic crisis is too useful for Obama to want it to end. When Rahm Emanuel — and later Hillary Clinton — spoke of never letting a good crisis “go to waste,” many people were shocked. But now Obama seems to embody the corollary: that the crisis should continue until he has thoroughly milked it to reshape American politics, society and the economy. Like Faust, he seems to wish that this “given moment” will “endure forever.” Unlike Faust, however, he will not lose his “life and soul” to such a wish. He'll sacrifice ours instead.
First came the “stimulus package.” With only about $185 billion of its $800 billion in spending to be spent in 2009, Obama clearly never intended the spending to be about stimulus but wanted the need for a stimulus to trigger the spending he wanted anyway.
Then came the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funding, often forced down banks' throats. Now comes word that even as banks want to return the money, the Treasury is making them keep it. One source at a TARP bank reports that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is insisting that banks go through their “stress test” before refunding the TARP money. As Stuart Varney speculates, in The Wall Street Journal, Obama wants the banks to keep the money so he can enforce his regulations on them.
Now comes Geithner's plea for extra regulatory powers and Obama's concession to global economic regulation at the G-20 summit. Both moves are game-changers for any major American business. Geithner wants the power to take over any business — presumably in any field — whose failure would imperil the national economy. Today it's banks, brokerage houses, car companies and insurance firms. Tomorrow? Who knows?
It's Your Country Too, Mr. President
By Charles Krauthammer
In his major foreign policy address in Prague committing the United States to a world without nuclear weapons, President Obama took note of North Korea's missile launch just hours earlier and then grandiloquently proclaimed:
"Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something. The world must stand together to prevent the spread of these weapons. Now is the time for a strong international response."
A more fatuous presidential call to arms is hard to conceive. What "strong international response" did Obama muster to North Korea's brazen defiance of a Chapter 7 -- "binding," as it were -- U.N. resolution prohibiting such a launch?
The obligatory emergency Security Council session produced nothing. No sanctions. No resolution. Not even a statement. China and Russia professed to find no violation whatsoever. They would not even permit a U.N. statement that dared express "concern," let alone condemnation.
Having thus bravely rallied the international community and summoned the United Nations -- a fiction and a farce, respectively -- what was Obama's further response? The very next day, his defense secretary announced drastic cuts in missile defense, including halting further deployment of Alaska-based interceptors designed precisely to shoot down North Korean ICBMs. Such is the "realism" Obama promised to restore to U.S. foreign policy.
He certainly has a vision. Rather than relying on America's unique technological edge in missile defenses to provide a measure of nuclear safety, Obama will instead boldly deploy the force of example. How? By committing his country to disarmament gestures -- such as, he promised his cheering acolytes in Prague, ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Really, now. How does U.S. ratification of that treaty -- which America has, in any case, voluntarily abided by for 17 years -- cause North Korea to cease and desist, and cause Iran to turn nukes into plowshares?
Obama's other great enthusiasm is renewing disarmament talks with Russia. Good grief. Of all the useless sideshows. Cut each of our arsenals in half and both countries could still, in Churchill's immortal phrase, "make the rubble bounce."
There's little harm in engaging in talks about redundant nukes because there is nothing of consequence at stake. But Obama seems not even to understand that these talks are a gift to the Russians for whom a return to anachronistic Reagan-era START talks is a return to the glory of U.S.-Soviet summitry.
Not only does Obama want an economic emergency to put his socialist agenda on the fast track, he also apparently wants to downgrade America's defense capabilities and elevate her enemies. And in the process, two institutions of American society, a free market economy and national security, are unraveling rapidly. This is actually worse than the 1970's.
Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government.