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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 sector.

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.

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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 option.

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 Shangri-La.

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 a decade.

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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Deutsch Politik Geschichte Kunst Film Musik Lebensart Reisen
English Politics History Art Film Music Lifestyle Travel
Français Politique Histoire Arts Film Musique Artdevivre Voyages

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© Copyright  Louis Gerber  All rights reserved.