Our President interjected himself into this year’s campaign again
earlier this week. While it was an act
beneath the office he holds, the comment that one of the candidates is unfit
for office is much more troubling, and its being passed over by our society at
large is even more telling yet. I must
admit that I do not agree with Mr. Trump on some issues, and agree even less
with Ms. Clinton, but both have been nominated by their respective party as this
With this week’s comments and the Iran payment coming on its
heels, it is time to say enough. People
who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Let’s look at just a few of the relevant facts
surrounding this administration’s, and its leaders, job readiness.
· This administration will have racked up more
public debt in eight years than all previous administrations in our history combined. We’ve been told repeatedly that it was his predecessor’s
fault and without the extraordinary spending things would have been even worse. However, the housing collapse did not begin
with the Bush administration. Instead it
was fueled by policy changes within the Clinton administration, and supported
by a Republican congress, such as the Affordable Housing Act implementation and
revisions to the Community Reinvestment Act.
It is true that the imbalances caused by these policy shifts were
exacerbated by the unfunded expenditures for the war on terror during the Bush
administration, but these were not the cause of the collapse - only its timing.
What do we have to show for the additional
mountain of debt? An economy that this
year has been sluggishly moving along at less than 2% growth, and has seldom
been above 3% since 2010 - and even those peaks lasted no longer than a quarter
or two at a time when they occurred. It
is one of the weakest recoveries we’ve ever experienced.
We must go back to the last century
to find something comparable. The only
country where the depression of the 1930’s is known as the Great Depression is
the U.S., as it is the only country where the depression lasted longer than a
couple of years - and the only country where FDR’s progressive policies were
followed. These are the same type of
policies that this administration has repeatedly tried, and despite their
failure they have failed to change course.
· Our economic weakness is showcased by the lack
of jobs. Yes, the unemployment rate is
better, but only because the administration changed the formula to exclude
those who have given up looking for work - and that number has grown
significantly. While this change made
the unemployment number look better, the labor participation rate is still at
or near historic lows. Further, most of
the new jobs are either part-time, or in lower paying areas such as the retail,
hospitality, or sanitation sectors. This
is demonstrated by stagnant/decreasing worker earnings from eight years ago.
Business growth has been strangled by
legislation attempting to micro-management the economy under the premise that administration
elitists are brighter and better know how things work than we do. The results have been a trail of regulations increasing
both business costs and the size and scope of government - leading, you guessed
it, to relatively greater deficit spending.
We have to look no further than Dodd-Frank, Obamacare, EPA regulations,
etc for examples.
While on the subject of Obamacare, it was passed
using lies and deceit, and has resulted in some people losing coverage and
others seeing their premiums, out of pocket, and deductibles increase to
unsustainable levels. All this in
exchange for attempting to provide coverage for a few million who did not have
it. The billions spent on this
legislation could have been given directly to those without insurance,
providing them with the means of obtaining coverage for themselves for much
less than has been spent.
And we should not forget the more than two billion
spent on the web-site, and the list of problems that came from the effort to
build it - from its failing to work, to capturing incorrect information, to
security concerns. Further evidence of
the incompetence underlying this policy is the number of insurance companies
choosing to opt out of the program as it is simply not profitable - despite the
premium increases consumers are experiencing.
Charity can never be successfully
provided using collectivist means. It is
contrary to our purpose, and Obamacare joins the list of similar policy
failures that includes education and the war on poverty. Insanity is repeating the same things and
expecting something different to happen.
Maybe that is where the ‘hope’ comes in?
· We should also mention just a few of the
scandals occurring over the last seven years.
These include the IRS targeting of individuals/organizations, the lie
that a video caused the Benghazi attack, Obamacare’s details, the
administrations dealings with Iran, the DOJ’s collecting reporter phone
records, green energy cronyism (Solyndra), and the Fast & Furious program. The list simply seems to go on and on.
· The above just covers some of the domestic
issues, but unfortunately that is not all we have to worry about. The world is a much less safe place than it
was a mere eight years ago. We can look
at this administration’s policies, actions, and in some cases inaction. Tyrants recognize weakness, and act upon
it. This administration has arguably
gotten everything wrong it has touched - or refused to touch.
It failed to even verbally support the Iranian
people in its attempt to remove the mullahs from power.
It supported the Arab Spring which led to the
destabilization of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen among other countries, and
the election of a government supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
It withdrew from Iraq in a way that helped lead
to the creation of ISIS, and furthered the Middle East disruption.
It dithered in Syria, imposing conditions that
it did not act upon, further destabilizing the region and leading to Russia and
Iran taking actions which have made them bigger power players in the region.
Protocols have been given to our troops that tie
their hands, and we’ve now seen a resurgence of Islamic extremism in
Afghanistan, while our leader is even unwilling to name the enemy (click here for more).
Russia has furthered its ambitions, not only in
Syria, but in land grabs along its western frontier such as those in the
Iran has increased its influence and is arguably
well on its way to obtaining nuclear weapons.
Just yesterday we learned that our government gave $400 million in hard
currency to Iran, something we ‘owed’ them.
These were in fact payments received for weapons made by the Shah’s
government that were not fulfilled after Khomeini took power. While the weapons orders were not filled, Iran
did take Americans hostage and continues to do so today.
The most troubling aspect of this last item is that this
administration once again used deceit and lies.
They printed dollars to obtain Euros and Swiss Franks, making it harder
to detect the transfer, and landed in Tehran in the middle of the night in an
unmarked plane to deliver the currency - at the same time four American
captives were released by Iran. Just
today we learned that the hostages were not allowed to leave Iran until the ‘other’
plane arrived. They were not released
until the Republican Guard unloaded the cash.
If it looks like a ransom and stinks like a ransom ...
But there is a larger problem. If one had only $500 million in funds to
spend on items for a people, there is a limit to what they could do with
it. If one is given an additional $400
million then most of the original $500 million that were already ‘earmarked’
for particular uses can be freed up for other things.
This is what is known as fungability, one unit of currency looks
exactly like another. No doubt this
administration will say that they are not funding terrorism. But Iran is a global leader in terrorism, and
money is fungible. It doesn’t matter
which bills were used to pay for a specific item, just one’s capacity to use them. This administration’s actions has increased
Iran’s capacity to fund terrorism and achieve its nuclear ambitions. It can arguably be said this payment makes this
administration one of the worlds leading underwriters of terrorism.
Many words have been expended that this payment was not
ransom. The trouble is that these words
ring hollow. They are not worth the
breath used to utter them. Why? The words are not supported by actions. We see once again a pattern of lies and
deceit. Even the State Department
admitted that the optics around the payment looked back - with good reason as they were. The Department of Justice’s objections that
the transfer broke the law were overridden.
But like all collectivist notions, it is only the ends that matter, the
means used to obtain them do not. These
are what Plato’s ‘noble lies’ look like.
Iran recognizes it as ransom, and arguably their perception matters more
than ours. We are likely much less safe today
than we were before this action.
One either has integrity or they do not, it does not suddenly
appear in a single decision. It is a
matter of character and character develops over time. Integrity would have been reflected by the
administration making the case for the payment to the people they serve, the
American public, before taking action instead of using subterfuge to hide their
actions and denial to attempt to acquit themselves after the fact.
This disregard for the law is carrying over into the disintegration
of our society at large. We have only to
look at the actions of groups such as Black Lives Matter, the execution of
police officers, and even fights occurring when people are playing Pokémon Go. Race relations have deteriorated under this
administration, an area where this President in particular had the opportunity
to do so much good. Instead racism has
arguably increased. Seeing things
through the prism of race is by definition racist. BLM’s focus on black lives alone mattering,
to the detriment of all other lives is in itself racist. Too many have become dependent on our
government, and this dependency leads to viewing oneself as a victim not
responsible for their own actions - instead of taking accountability for one’s circumstances
and working to improve it.
A strong leader brings unity and prosperity to the people he/she
serves, by acting with virtue and compassion.
Weak leaders create division and jealousy by incorporating vice and
self-service into their actions. If
there is one subject on which our President could be considered a subject
matter expert, it is being unready for office.
He has demonstrated it repeatedly over the last seven plus years, and it
just keeps on coming - which indicates he likely also lacks an ability or desire
to learn. I think history will judge him
to be one of the worst Presidents this country has ever elected, a problem that
rests squarely with us.
One candidate this year is promising more of the
same. Her hands are on many of the above
items. From the Russian reset, to the
Middle East policies that have lead to its increasingly precarious state, to
the loss of her Ambassador and others in Benghazi. She also apparently doesn’t understand her
actions related to her e-mail debacle, and then goes on a prominent cable news
show this weekend and lies about it. Do
we really need or want more of the same?
Collectivism rests on elitism, and progressivism is no different. One of its assumptions is that those most
gifted should rule and they are a law unto themselves. No wonder more than two-thirds of us feel we
are on the wrong track. It is time to
focus on the problem. It is a federal government
that has become increasing arrogant and out of touch. It has forgotten it exists to serve its
people instead of being served. We can
only change direction if we elect people of virtue who are willing to serve.