flip-flops since May on massive deficit spending
July 05, 2009
Back in early May former general and Secretary of State Colin Powell said: "The Republican Party is in deep trouble," Powell told corporate security executives at a conference in Washington sponsored by Fortify Software Inc. The party must realize that the country has changed, he said. "Americans do want to pay taxes for services," he said. "Americans are looking for more government in their life, not less."
What followed for several days afterwards was a media debate between radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh and Powell. Limbaugh's radio show ratings went through the roof, just as they did when the White House took after him. Limbaugh contended that the Obama administration is expanding government far too fast and far too much and that their fiscal plans are going to cause major problems for the economy going forward.
The Observer has contended the same thing, that the government is growing at an alarming rate and the deficit spending is going to cause enormous problems with inflation, rising interest rates, the declining value of the dollar and Americans being saddled for generations with paying for the spending the government has been doing since Obama took office. And if the "anti-business" approach the Obama administration has taken thus far continues we would predict that much of America's wealth generation will move off-shore. Investors will invest outside the United States.
Obama supporters blame George Bush. But the deficit under Obama's first budget quadrupled the worst deficit of the Bush years. Even President Obama has come lately to the concern, saying that the debt keeps him awake at night.
Now Gen. Powell is flip-flopping, saying that the growth of government worries him and he is concerned with how Americans are going to pay off the debt that is being run up. He says he has expressed this concern to President Obama and his team. He said on CNN's Larry King: "The federal government has become too large and too intrusive in our lives," Mr. Powell said then. "We can no longer afford solutions to our problems that result in more entitlements, higher taxes to pay for them, more bureaucracy to run them, and fewer results to show for it."
Powell did not address specifically Obama's plan to "reform" the health care system, which the Congressional Budget Office has computed will cost over a trillion dollars over the next ten years. Nor did Mr. Powell deal specifically with the most serious of all the fiscal problems the U. S. faces...the insolvency of the Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security systems.
We see this shift by Gen. Powell, and indeed the apparent shift (at least in words) of the President himself as a harbinger of things to come. If Obama proceeds with a costly health care "fix" the concerns Powell is expressing may indeed become the driving issue of the 2010 Congressional elections and if the economy does not bounce back substantially--much better than it has responded to the "fixes" imposed thus far--the economy could be the defining issue of the 2012 elections. If that becomes reality, President Obama is in a world of trouble. Time will tell. But by then he will not be able to honestly blame Bush and even if he does it will not likely be bought by a majority of the voters.