"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants" - Albert Camus

Friday, June 18, 2010

Presidency of Deficits

I decided to call the Obama presidency The Presidency of Deficits.  I am talking about deficits of vision (both here and abroad), leadership, and, of course, the literal fiscal deficits of unparalleled proportions that seriously threaten our very survival as far as the eye can see.

Tuesday night's televised address from the Oval Office was the latest display of the Presidency of Deficits.  The speech was supposed to sooth the nerves of those affected by the Gulf spill by providing a clear picture of what the game plan is - both in the near and long term - to deal with this tragedy and future energy needs.  Instead, during an 18-minute rant, we got more of what we have come to expect from this administration: the blame game and using the tragedy to advance Al Gore-like dubious energy policies. 

Everyone, anywhere on the political spectrum, know that B.P. is the sole responsible party for this tragedy, and accordingly is liable for all the damages arising from it.  That being said, I along with millions of others expected to witness confidence exuding leadership with a solid game plan, but this was to be just the latest in a long line of disappointments.

I did not hear the President taking proactive, concrete steps like waiving the 1920 Jones Act, which would allow other nations' state-of-the-art oil clean up ships to help with the clean up despite the fact that many of them are not manned by Americans or union workers as mandated by the Act.  There are now more than a dozen nations whose offers of assistance have been turned down.  It is not that such a waiver has not been requested either.  The latest request came from the A.G. of Florida, to which the administration's response through Press Secretary Gibbs on last Thursday was "if there is need for any type of waiver it will be granted".  Excuse me?!  If there is need?  Yes, this is the responsiveness of this administration 59 days into an ecological disaster.  That is what happens when you are inextricably in the pockets of the labor unions who are opposing non-union involvement, trial lawyers who obviously stand to gain even more as the magnitude of the disaster increases, and green environmentalists who (as aptly coined by a German politician) are the new red (Marxists for the clueless) willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary to advance their radical agenda.

Nor did I hear last night, the President lifting all restrictions on red tape to allow the myriad of private enterprises jumping at the chance to get involved.  But then again, I did not really expect that from an administration that is almost entirely made up of academicians and career bureaucrats - one where private sector experience is clearly despised and shunned (unless you are a player in the corporate cronies like G.E. or Goldman Sachs - in other words, enemies of free markets)

I did not hear him announcing any type of a future state-of-the-art spill clean up contingency plan of any type either (but much to my relief, I heard the creation of a new czardom to add to the existing bureaucracy)

I didn't hear him admit that while American taxpayers have spent billions of dollars over the years since our last energy illiterate president (Carter for those who are clueless) established the DOE, bureaucracies are not there to solve problems, they are their to maintain them - to insure full employment of the bureaucrats.

I did not hear him reversing the moratorium his administration imposed on new drilling despite the recommendations not to impose one by the experts whose opinions they distorted shamelessly.  There was no solution offered to the tens of thousands of jobs that would be lost as a result, or the valuable and rare drilling platforms and equipment being diverted elsewhere.  Nor did I hear an admission of the hypocrisy of lending billions to Brazil for deep water drilling off their shores because George Soros, his other patron (and the puppet master if you ask me), has a vested interest in Brazil off-shore drilling.
I listened hard to catch any criticism of the MMS (Minerals Management Service) - the agency that is supposed to both maximize natural resource royalties from federal lands and regulate the same folks doing the extracting. That sort of self-defeating mission is a recipe for exactly the sort of incompetence and criminality evidenced in not only granting BP the permit to operate this particular platform last year, but over its entire existence.  But I shouldn't have held my breath since his belief in the superiority of governmental bureaucracies is absolute and now that the MMS is the President's own baby in bed with the same companies which donated to his candidacy more than anyone else's.

Regarding energy policy, I did not hear any tax credits, easing of regulations, or other incentives to develop America's 400 year supply of untapped natural gas, drill in the arctic, invest in clean coal technologies, or new generation of nuclear power plants.  We got an earful on green energy and imaginary technologies of tomorrow - costs and American economy be damned -, utilizing among other technologies wind turbines and solar energy, which have amounted to nothing short of economy and job killing ventures in Spain and other EU countries.

Elections have consequences, therefore I do not think that the President's unpresidential attributes, lack of vision and leadership qualities, or his administration's thuggish Chicago way of conducting business can be complained about.  They are simply lessons to be learned by those willing to buy a good story.  As much as majority of the country now deplores this administration's policies as a whole and condemn their actions both here and abroad, this is the price America must pay for its gullibility.

So which is it, Mr. President?  Are you progressives intent on solving any problems, or are you there only to exacerbate them to accrete power under the pretense solving them? 
When even the most ardent media supporters of the President (those in the media responsible for getting this disaster elected in 2008), Keith Olbermann and Chris "thrill up my legs" Matthews, severely criticize the pre-hyped up speech for lack of leadership and vision, or when reliably progressive David Broder of Washington Post characterizes the Administration's response to the crisis impotent, you know that this Presidency of Deficits is on life support.  At this point, we can only hope for an early demise.

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