Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Is Obama Engineering the Decline of America?

With the spiral downward trend of the global stock markets, US politicians are pointing fingers at each other, blaming the other side for causing the chaos. Critics in some quarters of the right even go as far as accusing Prez Obama for engineering the decline of America.

Yes, one could blame Obama for being a good orator but a poor car salesman - he had difficulties closing the deal, as suggested by one of the local newspaper. On the other hand, many of the Tea Party goers had decided a while back that their goal was, and still is, to dispose of Obama at any cost, the country's future be damned. In the end, dysfunctional politicking was one of the main reasons for the S&P downgrading of US long-term credit rating.

But blaming Obama for "engineering" the decline of America sounds like another jab by the extreme right at the man's integrity and loyalty. The accusation fits well with those who want the public to believe Obama is a foreign-born Muslim who is secretly working against the country. In the US politicking battle field, if you sling enough mud against your opponents, some might stick; and if you repeat a conspiracy theory enough times, some ppl might believe it is the real fact.

Following the demise of the USSR and before the rise of China to replace Japan as the #2 global economic power house, the US was the world's only superpower nation with a triple-A economy and unstoppable military might. But even then the seed of its economic decline had already been sowed. Prez Reagan's supply-side economics was unknowingly setting the stage for the US deficit. The country's revenue would have more than compensated for the tax cut if govt spending had been well managed and the US economic engine had been operating at high speed. Unfortunately, when successive govts failed to reign in spending, and when the US economy faltered, the tax-cut (incl the latest one by ex-Prez George W Bush) became lost revenue to the govt. Worse still, the rich were becoming richer and the middle class and lower income groups were losing ground. Coupled with the lax regulatory regime that had allowed the hedged funds to flourish, a perfect storm was formed.

Hind-sight is always 20-20. But there are still those who, out of ideology convictions, would fight Obama every inch of the way for any tax imposed on the rich which by the way is the group that can afford to take on such a load.

With no increase in tax revenue and a faltering economy, spending cut by itself is not going to put a big dent in deficit reduction. Prez Obama will be hard pressed to find money to fulfil his election promises to improve social development such as medi-care. Perhaps that is the corner that his opponent is forcing him to go, slowly but surely, as the 2012 US election campaign is approaching.
So, instead of Obama engineering the decline of America, it is more likely that someone is engineering the decline of Obama who, as it turns out, might not be the smartest car-salesman in the room.


Sent from BlackBerry


the inner space said...

美國特式的 democracy,at Capitol hill 有眾議院 and 有參議院,加上 white house 的 總統府,一府兩院制度,互雙制衡!再讓我反思:過度的民主是否一樣蟲生!

Anonymous said...

I think Pres. Obama is the least dangerous among the "sharks" in Washington.

What's the most ironic to me is the creation of the so-called "super committee". Is it even constitutional to allow only 12 people to decide on the fate of the American people? What's the point to email and call our representatives all these months? I feel like our rights have been taken away. Our voices are not heard but we are forced to comply with whatever these 12 people decide. There will be spending cut and tax increases across the board. It is ok. I am just not happy with how we get there.


Haricot 微豆 said...


>> .... 過度的民主是否一樣蟲生!

Democracy is just one of the many possible governance models or means to achieve an end. Whether it will produce the desired results or not depends very much on space, time, people and other winning conditions.

As a parallel example:

The relatively relaxed traffic control we enjoy here in Ottawa will never work in New York City or Rome !!!

Haricot 微豆 said...


The basic assumption of law/policy making is that the top executives, supported by professionals, multi-discipline experts, and advisors, as well as the machinery of government, will have sufficient resources, capacity and power to make informed decisions. That does not guaranty that the decisions made will be sound at all.

If you think 12 ppl are not enough, how many ppl you think were in the war room during the Cuba Missile Crisis?

In Robert McNamara's memoir "In Retrospect", President Ford consulted only a hand-full of his trusted men, and often separately, about the military actions in South East Asia. Thousands of American lives (including abt 50,000 soldiers who died) plus thousands upon thousands of civilians on the ground in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were affected by these decisions.

I am not trying to downplay your concern, but am just attempting to put things into perspective.

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