Yes, He Can...Fail

Flying over the Capitol in Marine One for the last time, President Barack Obama waves to the cheering crowds below. The day is January 20, 2013.

Obama leans back in his chair sullenly. This wasn’t supposed to happen until 2017.

But the voters decided otherwise.


The image of a defeated Barack Obama leaving Washington in 2013 is the last thing on people’s minds. As I write this piece, Obama’s popularity is at meteoric levels. So was George W. Bush’s in 2002 and 2003, and he barely scraped together a victory in 2004. Over four years, a lot can change. The voters that carry you to power can turn against you in a heartbeat.

I’m not Pat Robertson. My predictions do not come with a divine guarantee, but certain predictions do not require much divine help.

I laid out my case that John McCain would not be elected back on April 7th of last year because of the fundamentals of our nation’s situation, his poor campaigning style, an unenthused base, and a huge cash gap. Many people thought I was being a jerk and unsupportive of the party nominee. Analysis is not cheerleading. It is simply taking a look at the situation and saying what you think will happen. I eventually warmed to McCain, and was one of the top 100 people placing calls for him over the Internet.

Similarly, people feel compelled to wish Obama all the best success the next four years, even to the point of wishing him another four. Many think that to predict or wish otherwise is un-American and unpatriotic. Wishing Obama ill is seen as poor sportsmanship and wishing America ill.

Au contraire. I wish the best for our nation, both short and long term. I wish that Obama’s economic policies would work, but a solid knowledge of recent history and economics indicates it probably won’t and will likely give us hyperinflation.

Similarly, I wish I was just talking campaign smack when I suggested Obama’s foreign policy views were naïve and would lead to disaster. I certainly don’t have a rooting interest in America suffering through the foreign policy failures of the Obama Administration. That doesn’t mean they won’t come.

It is not 100% certain that Obama will fail, but it is far more likely than not, and it is time to take a realistic look at what Obama’s policies will mean for our country.

Foreign Policy

Let’s be honest. It is tough to tell what the result of folks inspired by 1960s radicals revisiting the White House will be when it comes to foreign policy. On the bright side, Robert Gates is still in charge of the Defense Department and Obama has chosen Marine General James Jones for National Security Adviser, so the entire thing shouldn’t go to pot. On the downside, the appointment of Leon Panetta to run the CIA has a very real potential of coming back to haunt our nation.  

Much of the terrorism in the Clinton era was relatively minor, unless your family members were victims. It was a frivolous age before 9/11. In the post-9/11 era, the frivolity of the Clinton era is dangerous. There is no peace dividend to spend, and the terror states aren’t about to give Obama a honeymoon.

I hope and pray for the best, but we must prepare for the worst, and the worst is a quite frightening possibility.

Economic Policy

This is a little more predictable, albeit no less bleak. Before any Stimulus, America has a $1.2 trillion deficit for the current fiscal year before Obama’s $850 billion stimulus plan.

Obama’s stimulus is two parts: new tax cuts and new spending. The tax cuts will not work largely because Obama’s tax cuts amount to little more than tax gimmicks akin to last year $300 per citizen tax credit last May that failed so abysmally. Giving a tax cut targeted to people in the middle to lower middle income brackets may be politically popular, but it won’t grow the economy. Broad-based tax cuts that encourage investments and savings do.

The new spending will be a mixed bag. Some will stimulate the economy (such as infrastructure projects), the rest will be a combination of special interest boondoggles and feel-good liberal ideas that in practicality will do nothing to solve the economic crisis.

Had the government stayed out of the bailout business, we would have gone through a miserable 2-3 years, hit bottom, and then come back. Instead, the policies of the government between the bailouts Obama backed and the stimulus package he’s proposing are going to spread the pain out over a longer period of time. When the economy does begin to recover from the sub-prime crisis, we’ll find that the government’s printing money by the trillions has devalued the currency, leading to hyperinflation.

Inflation means your money is worth less. If your dollar bill will only buy this year what you bought last year for 75 cents, it’s as if there was a 25% tax slapped on it. This will result in massive increases in interest rates in order to keep inflation under control. I would not be surprised if we saw the prime rate rise from 3.25% to 13.50% by 2013.  Add to this, that in the middle of this crisis, the Bush tax cuts are set to expire, you’ll make a bad economy even worse.

It is not a question of if Obanomics will fail, only of when, and how severe the failure will be.

Social Issues

There are a number of issues that loom these next four years. The militant anti-Proposition 8 activists have been running a campaign of intimidation, and in a few isolated incidents, violence, against opponents of Proposition 8. The flare up of these incidents could spark further division between the majority of Americans who oppose same sex marriage, and gay rights activists who are a key component of the president-elect’s base.

It is becoming apparent from investigations in Indiana and Kansas that Planned Parenthood is a government-funded criminal enterprise that protects pedophiles who molest young girls by giving girls as young as thirteen advice on how to avoid reporting requirements and to dodge state parental consent laws. Efforts to expose Planned Parenthood to a great public awareness of its malfeasance will depend on pro-lifers.

Obama showed in the campaign that he is capable of taking ham-handed approaches that risk alienating reluctant supporters. Overall, though, it’s hard to predict what issue may come up, but despite Obama’s claim of being a unity President, nearly half the country didn’t vote for him, and the country remains bitterly divided on vital issues that he’ll be forced to take a stand on and the yellow “present” button isn’t anywhere around.

While most Americans don’t want to hear it, the fact of the matter is: the most likely outcome of the Obama administration is a complete and total trainwreck.