Posted 04/15/2011 06:58 PM ET
Economy: President Obama says Republicans, if they get their way, will turn the U.S. into a “Third World” nation. Has he looked recently at the course he’s set us on? As psychologists say, it sounds like projection to us.
One of the cheapest tricks in political rhetoric is to accuse your opponents of doing something bad that you yourself are doing. That’s exactly what President Obama did when he charged that GOP efforts to restore fiscal responsibility would turn us into “a nation of potholes, and our airports would be worse than places … that we used to call the Third World.”
Never mind that most of what he’s talking about — like “potholes” and airports — have always been local priorities. And Obama is U.S. president, not U.S. mayor.
But what stuck in our craw was that “Third World” crack. Excuse us, isn’t that the way we’ve been heading under Obama? Consider for a moment these trends:
• Real earnings have fallen for five straight months, and are down 1% since the end of last year.
• Consumer price inflation is growing at a 6.1% annual rate over the last three months, while producer prices are rising an even-faster 13%. According to John Williams of the Shadow Government Statistics website, if we measure consumer prices the way we did before 1992, inflation is now running at 10% a year.
• The U.S. has added $6 trillion to its debt under Obama, a sure sign of being on the road to Third World status. Three years ago, the U.S. had $7.9 trillion in debt. Today, we have $14 trillion. Bankrupt, hyperinflated Zimbabwe couldn’t do any better.
• The U.S. dollar has fallen so much and foreign nations have so little confidence in our ability to run our fiscal affairs that the “BRIC” nations — the mostly fast-growing former Third World nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China — are talking about replacing the U.S. dollar in foreign trade with the Chinese yuan.
• Just 45.4% of Americans had jobs last year, the lowest since 1983, according to census data crunched by USA Today. Among men, just 66.8% had work last year, the lowest ever.
• Obama touts the “recovery” that supposedly began in June of 2009, but a look at the data show that last year’s real private sector GDP was in fact still down 1.1% from its peak in 2007 — so all of the “expansion” has been in government, not the private sector.
• While we’re at it, under Obama, spending has risen farther and faster than under any president in history. At current rates, government at all levels will take up more than half of all economic activity by 2050.
Can’t happen here, you say? In 1920, Argentina was one of the five richest countries on Earth. Then it followed policies similar to Obama’s — kowtowing to unions, government control of industry, price controls. It crashed, burned and never really recovered.
We’re headed down that road. Today, government spending is at a record 25% of GDP, while government regulation costs the U.S. economy $1.7 trillion a year.
As Vice President Biden might say, “That’s real Third World, man.”
San Diego Tea Party