2009, Year in Review
Today we will finally put 2009 behind us. Truly a historic year, how it will finally be remembered is debatable at this point. History rarely frames events with the same level of importance we assign them in the moment. Will 2009 be the counterpart to 1989? 1989 marked the fall of communism and the beginning of democracy in Eastern Europe. Will 2009 be remembered as the fall of free markets and the beginning of dictatorial government in the United States? Or will the extreme arrogance of Democrats now holding both the Executive and Legislative branches of government result in their demise? Perhaps 2009 will go down as the year overly ambitious liberals buried themselves. I’m just asking asking the questions. Now, let’s briefly review some of the year’s historic events.
- America inaugurates its first non-Caucasian President. President Obama is of mixed race – the union of the two dominate American races. Certainly there are both whites and blacks who still wish to form their opinions about Obama based on his race, however, overall, the nation has shown itself to have put enough, if not all, of its prejudice in the past.
- America moves from a free-market economy to a mixed-market economy. The Federal government, through bailout mechanisms, took ownership in several major corporations, including majority ownership in some notable companies. Additionally Congress and the President spend the bulk of the year in efforts to seize, and thus socialize, 17% of the free market. It is interesting that the same government that cannot run Medicare or Social Security efficiently or effectively, insists it can run health care better than private business. Obama joked during the Presidential campaign about those who accused him of being a Socialist. He never denied the charge, he just laughed it off. It was an effective defense, insinuating the charge was false without an actual denial, thus blunting further attacks. During one of the debates, Obama challenged us to judge him by those he surrounded himself with. Once in office he populated his administration with left-wing radicals, communists, pedophile-tolerants, and certifiable nut-jobs.
- Federal deficit exceeds all previous deficits by more than FOUR-fold. Democrats and Presidential candidate, Barack Obama, complained bitterly about the 2008 “Bush” deficit of $458.55B. Within days of taking office, Obama threatened disaster unless government spending limits were completely removed and before year’s end the federal deficit soared to $1,841.19B. That is nearly $2 (TWO) TRILLION more than the government collected from taxes and fees, – in one year. Yet, not one Liberal has complained.
- The President embarked on a world tour to apologize for and lessen American global political dominance. It is my assumption that historians will elevate the importance of Obama’s “Prostration tour,” especially if America suffers economically and politically from its diminished global role? Obama’s capitulation to Russia on European missile defense, his ignored threats to North Korea that ended with inaction following a N.Korean missile test, his failure to support freedom efforts in Iran, his support of a Central American dictator, his slow and certainly lackluster response to international terrorism will certainly do little to bolster American influence and I must wonder what the long-term impact will be after four years of such leadership.
- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – aka “The Stimulus”. A panicked followup response to Bush’s panicky TARP bill that sought to stimulate the economy and “save or create” jobs. The bill was never read by anyone in Congress or by the President yet both the President and Democrats in Congress assured the public this massive spending bill would save the nation and keep unemployment below 8%. In the end, phony numbers were produced attempting to proof the Stimulus package had been successful. Even if one accepts the now discredited examples and jobs “saved,” each job was saved at a cost that dwarfed the benefits provided. It would have been far more effective to have directly distributed the funds. Had that been done, many instant millionaires would have been created, thus allowing the jobs to be dispatched without a negative impact. Additionally, some of those people might have used their monies to start businesses that would have created jobs. However, it was much more “Liberal” to lose 99% of the money in government waste. On the up side, more government employees are making in excess of $100k than EVER before. While you lost your jobs, government employees got nice raises and when you finally find work guess what? Yep, you’ll get to pay more taxes to fund those raises. And what about that $800B? Mostly unaccounted for.
- Title XIII of the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009 – aka Cash for Clunkers. The perfect example of how government spending can stimulate the economy. The program overran projected costs by three-fold and had to be renewed to succeed. During its short run the program helped sell nearly 700k cars. American cars? No, mostly foreign imports. Effectively stimulating Asian economies more than our own. However, the experiment proved my contention that government stimulus programs only stimulate while the spending is ongoing and have no residual benefit. As soon as the program ended new car sales in the United States plunged 23% from the previous year, the lowest sales in a month since February. (On a side note, you have to laugh at MSNBC who in their giddy bias reported that the program came in under its $3B budget – completely ignoring that $3B was over the initial budget was $1B.)
- Helping Families Save their Homes Act of 2009. This bill was a fraud from the start. It was pitched as a law that would allow liberal judges (ok judges, but we know what they meant) to modify loans in favor of defaulting borrowers. They removed that language and instead the law jumbled around mortgage rules and made minor changes to bankruptcy laws. In the end it helped only a few on the verge of financial collapse. We can be thankful the original language never saw the light of day, it would have corrupted the concept of legal contracts and jeopardized the economy even further.
- Elected officials insult and despise their own constituents. In spite of all the debate and historic vote wrangling/buying the most historic aspect of the health care debate was the utter disrespect and complete disregard elected officials demonstrated toward the very people who elected them. The people of Massachusetts’ 4th Congressional District should not forget Barney Frank’s remarks to one of their own who dared question his motives in pushing government health care. Pelosi, queen of the House, labeled all opposition to HR3200 as phony, lobbyist-purchased, theater. Hundreds of thousands marched on Washington while Congress buried their heads in the carpet. When the debate began they acted as if the will of the people was unimportant, the leadership excluded Republicans from the process, threatened dissenters within their ranks, purchased votes for billions in public monies, and refused to allow debate.*
- Homeland Secretary hails failure to screen a terrorist a success story. Christmas day a terrorist who had been reported by his own father and who had attended a terrorist training camp, was allowed on a commercial jet bound for the United States. Only happen-stance prevented the loss of 300 lives. That vicious act of terror was not averted by the keen eye of security personnel nor was Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab stopped by the CIA, the FBI, or the DHS. It was prevented by accident, device failure. DHS, secretary Janet Napolitano, initially hailed the incidence as a success story. She gets my IDIOT OF THE YEAR AWARD. At the top, President Obama failed to even respond for several days and when he did his response was weak and tepid. Not once did he utter the words “Islamic Terror.” Meanwhile , we have administration officials making excuses such as citing that there are too many people on the watch list. There are about half a million people on the watch list. If we consider that my credit card company, Capital One, has 46.3 million cards in distribution, yet if someone uses my card in Idaho, I will get a call within minutes from Capital One asking if I made an unusual purchase. So how can a private company respond so quickly when they are tracking 92 times as many people? — Once again, you want these people running health care?
So there you have it.** Not a pretty year and don’t expect 2010 to be any better. Democrats will be rushing full speed to push through their Socialist agenda before the public can return them to private life. Their best hope for holding power is to manipulate unemployment numbers leading into the November election. A plan to do just that is in play already. Facts are not things to stop or even slow down a true ideologue. The light at the end of the tunnel comes in November when Democrats will yield their super-majority and finally listen to their constituents as they tell them to GO HOME!