Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Still Waiting to be Impressed

I've heard it literally dozens of times, from friends of the President and foes alike:
"What do you think of President Obama?"
"Well, he is clearly a highly intelligent man..."
Really? Forgive me if I'm not impressed. Intelligence, it seems to me, would be the ability to respond appropriately to problems, or at least to figure out ways to deliver on one's promises. So far, I've seen neither from this "highly intelligent" man. It suggests that he is either not at all intelligent, or that he is intentionally underperforming in order to achieve some other objective of which we are not aware.
Just a few examples of what I mean...:
1. The country is plunged into economic chaos, resulting in a weakening of the dollar. His response? To increase spending to the point that it is unsustainable by our own efforts - borrowing one half of our budget from the Chinese Communists and printing more money to cover the other half. The result? A critical weakening of the U.S. Dollar, causing inflation, raises in interest rates, and massive unemployment.
His other response? To raise taxes on the productive - the only people who can produce, spend and hire our way out of this mess. Not exactly the actions of a man who bases his entire governmental power on the foundation of his intelligence. In this case, he is doing the exact opposite of what is intelligent.
2. The U.S. Auto Industry is poised on the brink of bankruptcy. His response? To pay six-figure severance packages to laid-off union employees (the cause of the problem in the first place), to give a controlling interest in the auto makers to the unions (foxes guarding the hen house), to raise emission standards to make U.S. cars even more expensive and less competitive in a global market, and to nationalize the means of production at two of the largest auto makers (a move right out of Marx's Das Kapital). Intelligent? I defy you to show me how it is.
3. The limited socialized health care we have in this country, exemplified by the VA medical system, Medicare, and Medicaid, are insolvent, infamously inefficient, and provide care that is envied by no one. His response? To build on this horrible failure by expanding government's role in health care. To shamelessly quote many of my predecessors: "Think health care is expensive now? Just wait until it's 'free'". The socialization of the last liberated health care system in the world, at a time when those who already have socialized medicine are seeking desperately for a way out of the mess they've made, is the hallmark of stupidity, hubris, and the worst sort of pandering to a demented, blindly ideological, and naive political base. But it's not the sign of any sort of intelligence.
4. Government spending is so far out of control, it boggles the mind. Obama ran on a promise to review spending "line by line" to remove wasteful expenditures. His response? After announcing a $4 trillion budget for the next fiscal year, he makes the big announcement that he's been able to cut a measly $21 billion/year through methods that are as inscrutible as the man himself. I won't bore you with the math, but this amounts to about one half of one percent of the budget. In other words, if you had a budget of $100, you would save less than one penny. Intelligent? How exactly?
I await the singing angels announcing the return of intelligence and sanity to Washington. Instead, I only hear the gentle trickling of my will to continue contributing to this failed system, as it goes down the drain, and to quote Ross Perot, the "giant sucking sound" from this liberal dream team as they drive the final stake into the heart of our country's productive class.