Obama’s “light touch”
“I think the irony…is that I actually would like to see a relatively light touch when it comes to the government. And so it’s puzzling to me sometimes to hear the standard conservative critique of what we’re doing, when essentially every step we’re taking involves cleaning up the mess that we found when we arrived here at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”
“Light touch” in government debt and the taxes to pay for it
Apparently the “light touch” doesn’t apply to taxes. Mr. Obama has followed the lead of FDR to use a crisis to exponentially expand the role of government intrusion into personal freedom – the right to keep the property you have earned.
1791 – 1982 total accumulated federal debt $1 trillion
1982 – 2000 total accumulated federal debt $5.7 trillion
2000 – 2009 total accumulated federal debt $10.6 trillion
2009 – 2016 total accumulated federal debt $16.2 trillion
Note that 2000 – 2009 are the years George Bush occupied the Oval office – he increased the federal debt by $4.9 trillion in 8 years. This includes the war on terror, and most recently the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program – TARP.
Bush added almost $5 trillion to the debt in 8 years; Obama will add at least $6 trillion in 4 years – increasing the federal debt more than twice as fast as Bush. In 100 days, Obama’s budget for 2009 doubles the accumulated debt of the government from George Washington to Ronald Reagan. Said another way, in 100 days, Mr. Obama will increase the debt 41% of the total number it took Bush to do in 8 years.
These numbers do not include the President’s plan for the federal takeover of the nation’s healthcare. Estimates on that cost run from $1.4 trillion to over $2 trillion over the next 10 years. What’s crazy about these numbers is that healthcare including private insurance is $2.7 trillion this year alone! Private insurance will all but disappear when a tax-subsidized government plan comes on line transferring most of the remaining privately insured people to the government plan so you know it will go up more than estimates. Medicare spending is like 800% of estimates! How accurate can they be?
President Bush foolishly chose to spend $17.4 billion on GM, but Obama didn’t have to spend a dime on any failed car company. Instead of bankruptcy for the car companies, he chose to spend even more money on Chrysler, GM, and a number of GM suppliers – $62.6 billion more! This is $62.6 billion that the government didn’t have to spend. Mr. Obama chose to spend it for political purposes. He wanted to reward the unions, so he gave the UAW a huge equity position in GM securing ongoing money for Democrat candidates in the future, and stealing the money from GM bondholders (more than 100,000 individuals, not just big-time investors) who saw their retirement incomes transferred to the UAW.
Presently, Mr. Obama plans to borrow from communist China; Saudia Arabia, a Theocracy, and other assorted nations and wealthy individuals around the world to pay for his spending spree. He will have to raise the interest on those bonds because the U.S. is now a higher risk and may lose its AAA rating. What you know but don’t like to admit is that all this money plus interest has to be paid back, and it must be paid back with tax dollars. He is obligating our descendants for decades into the future, and he hasn’t gotten to spend money on healthcare, free college education, and other stuff yet. Does he really think he prefers a “light touch”, or is this just another instance of his saying one thing doing another?
“Light touch” in government regulation and control of the economy
Just yesterday the President outlined his proposed new constraints on the economy, “my administration is proposing a sweeping overhaul of the financial regulatory system, a transformation on a scale not seen since the reforms that followed the Great Depression.”
Mr. Obama’s proposals include taking powers away from the Security Exchange Commission and giving them to the Federal Reserve Bank. The Federal Reserve is a government-created private bank that makes loans to all federally insured banks in the U.S. The Federal Reserve makes money on this control of money, and since their creation almost a century ago, they have never been audited.
The Fed is a private group operating under a rotating Board of Directors appointed by the President to prevent political meddling. Central banks throughout the world, and for the entire history of the Federal Reserve in the United States, are responsible for controlling inflation. Period. But Mr. Obama is turning it into a political group operating under the direct orders of the White House through one man – Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury.
Think I’m kidding,? Obama’s proposal would permit the Federal Reserve, which would be able to independently use emergency powers to bail out failing banks, to first obtain Treasury Department approval before extending credit to institutions in “unusual and exigent circumstances.” In addition, President Obama will extend the power of the Fed to overseeemployment in the U.S., and the right to interfere with any company that has a financial component – any company that uses credit cards, makes loans, keeps bank accounts, and the like. It will be able to regulate any company it deems to be critical to the U.S. requiring it to increase reserves, overseeing sale of its assets and much more. Theoretically, the Fed could take over Wal-Mart, General Electric, small finance companies, and the list goes on.
Note the words “unusual and exigent circumstances.” This would mean that the circumstances are critical or dire. Problem is that it will be Timothy Geithner who gets to decide what is critical – there are no parameters outside of which he and the Federal Reserve would not be permitted to act. Political retribution for support of another political party, too much competition for a favored friend in business could all be declared “unusual or exigent” and there can be no challenge. But Mr. Obama thinks he is operating with a “light touch.”
”Light touch” for people Mr. Obama doesn’t like
Gerald Walpin – Inspector General of the Corporation for National and Community Service the agency which oversees AmeriCorps.
Inspectors General are tasked with insuring that the money allocated for a given agency is being spent for the legislated purposes. They are independent of the agency they ‘inspect,’ and are supposed to look out for corruption.
As is now widely known, Mr. Walpin investigated Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s expenditures of AmeriCorps money prior to his election as Mayor related to St. HOPE a non-profit run by Mr. Johnson and found that Mr. Johnson was spending government money for unauthorized purposes – getting his personal car washed, running errands, padding his staff’s income, and influencing local school board elections. Mr. Walpin proposed that Mr. Johnson, his assistant, and HOPE itself be barred from receiving AmeriCorps money. The Commissions compliance officer agreed, and suspension letters were sent.
Then last fall Mr. Johnson was elected Mayor of Sacramento and the city attorney suggested that since Mr. Johnson had been suspended that the City itself may not be able to receive AmeriCorps money. Hell broke loose. Mr. Johnson and his friends tried to negotiate a settlement paying back some amount of the money he stole, and lifting the suspension. Mr. Walpin agreed on the financial part but insisted on the suspension.
The Democrat U.S. Attorney refused to prosecute, and contacted the Commission directly cutting out Mr. Walpin who is in charge of financial oversight. In April Mr. Walpin and his aids wrote a 29 –page letter to Congress outlining the fraud and theft, and the political maneuvering that was bypassing his oversight. Nothing happened until a week ago when Mr. Walpin received a phone call from a White House lawyer telling him to resign within the hour or be fired.
President Obama co-sponsored legislation when he was in the Senate that outlawed this kind of act requiring a reason for the firing, and a 30 day notice for any firing of any Inspector General. The White House was exposed trying to cover up for a political crony – Mr. Johnson – and gave Mr. Walpin his 30 days. But it also had to give a reason for the firing.
Mr. Walpin wouldn’t shut up. Publicity ensued, and now the White House is changing its story saying that Mr. Walpin is senile and incapable. Mr. Obama calls this a “light touch.”
Neil Barofsky – Special IG for the TARP bailout of the financial institutions as of April had filed about 20 probes of criminal activity related to TARP, and new he is in serious trouble with the White House. Timothy Geithner is refusing provide documents required by Mr. Barofsky to carry out his mandate.
Judith Gwynne - acting IG over the International Trace Commission has been targeted by the Obama administration. There is a report that an agency forcibly took files from the IG. Three hours after a conservative Senator wrote a letter to the ITC regarding this event; Judith Gwynne was informed that her contract would not be renewed.
Bullying individuals, nationalizing private companies, extending federal powers of private activities – Mr. Obama has a thin skin and a clenched fist, not a “light touch.” Who does he think he’s kidding?