Hey Obama: You can’t get there from here!

by Ben Hoffman

In last night’s SOTU address, Obama offered a dungload of rhetoric but nothing that’s implementable. You simply cannot get to exceptionalism from the road we’re on.

All we need to do is look back in history to a time when America was prosperous. That time was less than a dozen years ago when we had budget surpluses, low unemployment, and we were the leading innovators in the world (with the possible exception of the auto industry).

So what changed in just 12 years?

Some of our economic problems have their roots in the deregulation of 1999 and 2000 (see Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, otherwise known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which gave us the Enron Loophole). Those two acts of deregulation led directly to the Enron scandal and the housing bubble, and the subsequent collapse of our economy.

Then we had the huge tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, which took us from budget surpluses to the huge deficits we’re experiencing today. We also had Bush’s “ownership society” where people were encouraged to buy more than they could afford.

There was lack of enforcement of existing regulations in the finance sector and the relaxing of lending practices. People applying for mortgages didn’t even have to show proof that they could afford to pay back their loans. It was the wild, wild west of the finance sector.

Now, what do you do when you’re heading down the wrong road? Usually you turn around and backtrack until you find the right road. Obviously, we made some bad decisions during the past 12 years, so we need to backtrack. Some good options would be to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act as well as the rest of the regulations the were done away with. That’s not going to happen.

We could have let the Bush tax cuts expire as they were intended to, since they were crammed down our throats with the procedure known as reconciliation where Republicans couldn’t even get a simple majority in the Senate. Dick Cheney had to cast the deciding vote in 2003.

None of those things are going to happen, though. The opportunity for strong regulation has come and gone with nothing of substance coming from it. And Obama not only extended the Bush tax cuts, he added more tax cuts!

Now we’re on the wrong road heading in the wrong direction, and the bridge we crossed to get to this point has been demolished so there’s no turning back. We’re on the road to the demise of our once great nation. We have a full tank of gas and running on all eight cylinders heading straight down into a deep abyss.

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2 Comments to “Hey Obama: You can’t get there from here!”

  1. The real road were on:
    WASHINGTON (AP) — A continuing weak economy and last month’s bipartisan tax cut legislation will drive the government’s deficit to a record $1.5 trillion this year, a new government estimates predicts. The eye-popping numbers mean the government will continue to borrow 40 cents for every dollar it spends.
    And what President Spendthrift said last night was we need SPEND EVEN MORE!
    You just call them “investments”?
    It’s like a drug addict who just can’t stop himself!

  2. We see the problems in Greece, The UK, Ireland and Portugal.
    We see the train coming. But instead of getting out of the way of the train, the Democrats just want to “invest” in more tracks!!

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