The prelude to an election is especially difficult for anyone seeking the truth. Politicians from both sides assault, distort and manipulate it beyond recognition. Media rarely calls out blatant lies. Deceit has become an acceptable and powerful political campaign tool. Truth is generally seen as naive and ineffective as a political strategy.
In this election, the economy is the predominant concern. How well is this economy doing? It is not doing well, although politicians from both sides are unwilling to point out how bad things are. Doing so implies serious discussions regarding the proper role of government, its limitations and the implications for future spending and taxes.
Democrats attempt to paint the economy with a rosy-colored paint while Republicans attempt to remove enough of the paint to use it to their advantage. Neither party has the incentive to reveal the existential problems under the top veneers of political paint. Both parties created this false facade and both have an incentive to retain it. Informing the American people and exposing the self-indulgence of the political class would likely end the political rape that has been going on for at least a century.
It is easy to blame the current president. He has accelerated the demise of the country dramatically. However, he did not put the country on its current course of destruction. Preceding captains chartered this course. He merely sped up the vehicle taking us to our end.
With that minor qualification in mind, let us take a look at some numbers behind the Obama era. Peter Ferrara describes conditions in his Forbe’s article Obama’s Accelerating Downward Spiral For America:
New income data from the Census Bureau reveal what a great job Barack Obama has done for the middle class as President. During his entire tenure in the oval office, median household income has declined by 7.3%.
Mr. Ferrara puts Obama’s excuses into perspective:
Obama never tires of telling us that the economy was in one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression when he entered office, as if he was the only President to have suffered a recession early in his term. But nobody expected that he would use the vast powers of the most powerful office in the world to make it worse. But that is what he has done.
The more amazing outcome is related to the period from June 2009 forward. Recall, that date was when the recession was officially declared over and the recovery commenced. Mr. Ferrara points out (my emboldening):
Even if you start from when the recession ended in June, 2009, the decline since then has been greater than it was during the recession. Three years into the Obama recovery, median family income had declined nearly 5% by June, 2012 as compared to June, 2009. That is nearly twice the decline of 2.6% that occurred during the recession from December, 2007 until June, 2009. As the Wall Street Journal summarized in its August 25-26 weekend edition, “For household income, in other words, the Obama recovery has been worse than the Bush recession.”
For all of this “progress,” the government has indebted our grandchildren by an additional $5 trillion. Spending continues out of control and the middle class is being destroyed. The Weekly Standard says:
… the median annual income of American households was $53,718 as of June 2009, the last month of the recession. Now, after 38 months of this “recovery,” it has fallen to $50,678 — a drop of $3,040 per household.
That drop was during the “recovery!” Imagine what the results will be when government is forced to admit failure and recognizes a second recession/depression.
President Obama, when questioned how he would grade his performance so far, answered: “Incomplete.” Perhaps he meant “Incompetent.” As an ex college professor, I would urge any student showing this performance to drop the course. Doing any more work would be fruitless because there is no way to avoid an “F.”
How much more of this incompetence will the American people take? Hopefully not much.
Romney will not be able to solve the problems of the country. They are too large and too advanced. The best that can be hoped for is that a new Administration slows the decline and speaks the truth to American people. It is the American people who are responsible for where we are at. They elected the current criminals we politely refer to as politicians. They must recognize the true seriousness of the situation and force elected officials to address and solve the problems. Providing them the knowledge of what is happening is a necessary condition.
The provision of knowledge is insufficient by itself. That knowledge must then be acted upon. As Ayn Rand stated:
You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.
The generalities to begin a reversal and a return to sanity are easy to describe. The electorate needs a cold reality shower, not political lies. Whether that is enough to make them deal with reality or whether there is even enough time to do so then become critical issues.