Not so wonderful after all
Barack Obama's bumpy start
Article added on February 5, 2009
After a presidential campaign in which the ABC Pravda,
the CBS Pravda, the NBC Pravda, The Times Pravda and the Newsweek Pravda, to
name just a few, had completely lost their sense of criticism towards The
One, The Chosen, The Messiah, some members of the cult of
Obama start to realize that can neither
walk over water nor make the seas recede and no, he cannot pay your mortgages.
After all, The Wonderful does not look so wonderful anymore.
In rough times people are more sensitive about politicians not paying their
taxes or otherwise preaching water but drinking wine. Key people of Obama's government,
the commerce secretary Bill Richardson, the treasury secretary Timothy Geithner,
the chief performance officer Nancy Killefer and the health care tsar Tom Daschle had to be dropped from the
cabinet list or
were tarnished before being confirmed by Congress. It doesn't look very
promising and it is a substantial setback. The implementation of Obama's reform plans will
be delayed. Precious time will be lost for instance in the health care
On the positive side, Obama's hope for change has translated into partly or
completely defecting from his liberal voting record. He kept the Republican
secretary of defense Robert Gates, catching up with reality. The $700
billion or so pumped by the Bush administration into an ill-conceived and
executed war in Iraq are lost or invested anyway. To squander the
victory - achieved despite and not thanks to Bush The Torturer - to mess up
the end game would have been insane.
Still, much more needs to be done. The
mortgage companies as well as
the banks should be split up into smaller entities of which none will be too
big to fail. In a blood, toil, tears and sweat speech Obama should tell his
fellow Americans that in such hard times the United States can not
longer afford to squander money and therefore, the notion of getting rid rid
of all subsides, e.g. accorded to farmers, is unavoidable. It is vital to
review the gargantuan military budget with its monopoly and oligopoly
providers; intransparent prices for costly weapon systems are no longer an
All pork has to be scrutinized. Steps must be taken to stabilize state
expenditures and to balance the budget within a few years. Bailouts and
stimulus packages are no road to happiness but a dead-end street leading to
bankruptcy. If stimulus packages were such a great idea, the U.S. government
would spend one trillion dollars a year and America would already be a
A carefree welfare state, large bureaucracies with more red tape and higher
taxes won't lead to sustainable growth and wealth. The catch-22 for the U.S.
citizens is that their economy is driven by private consumption. But private
households are already largely indebted. A possible credit card crisis - an
oligopoly situation involving basically Visa, MasterCard and American
Express - is looming. At the same time, Americans should have a higher
savings rate. Hard work is the only way out of this crisis. Getting
out of the mortgage, banking and general crisis may take from a few years to
Ordoliberalism (Erhard, Eucken, Röpke and others) and not Keynesian or even
socialist recipes are the solution. A strong state has to ensure
that markets work efficiently. Competition must be fair and free in a free
trade environment. Monopolies, oligopolies, protectionism, subsidies and
other situations and measures hindering free markets and free trades must be
prevented by a strong, not a big state.
Let all the impatient ones know that neither Barack Obama nor his
administration have a magic wand.
Give them at least two years before you judge their performance.
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