Diary

Anger, Anguish and Anxiety Across America

The editors at Time missed an opportunity to make the perfect title for their article, Encountering Anguish and Anxiety Across America. They just needed one more A word to make it perfect — Anger.

The “Yes We Can” crowd hasn’t reached the boiling point yet but they are full of “anguish and anxiety” they just don’t know who to blame anymore. The Bush piñata has been beaten to death. But they are starting to suspect that it could be the messiah’s fault. Obama can’t even go to a carefully screened town hall or a backyard barbecue without getting tough questions from his own supporters! The rest of us are just angry watching him shredding the Constitution. So what does Time think the problem is? Here is a taste:

On a blistering evening in Phoenix recently, a group of prominent civic leaders met to talk about America. It didn’t take long for the conversation to get around to the fall of the Ottoman Empire. That’s what happens when smart Americans get to talking about politics these days. Topic A is the growing sense that our best days as a nation are behind us, that our kids won’t live as well as we did, that China is in the driver’s seat.

I’m experiencing deja vu all over again, this is the exact same thing we heard when Jimmy Carter was in office, only then it was Japan in the driver’s seat not China. Back then the MSM was telling us our best days were behind us and we better get used to it. Lucky for us Ronald Reagan came along just when we needed him.

Can you guess what Reagan would tell this group of civic leaders? He would tell them our best days are not behind us and all we have to do is unleash America’s entrepreneurial spirit by reducing regulations and taxes. He would then add: “Government is the problem not the solution.”

When the MSM and the ruling elites tell us that our best days are behind us, that we can’t be the engine that drives the world economy anymore and this is the “new normal”, I just wish I could reach right through the TV screen and slap them silly. Of course we could get out of this recession if the progressives in Washington would just take their boots off of our necks.

So, they tell us the Obama administration is not hostile to business? Really…  Across the board tax increases heading our way in January, Cap and Tax, offshore drilling shut down, threats to insurance companies from Kathleen Sebelius and the latest, a coordinated attack from the White House on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It’s probably too much to ask for some pro-business policies from this administration but could they at least stop the attacks, the government takeovers and the shutting down of industry.

And even if you are lucky enough to be making a profit in this recession, don’t get too complacent Obama has put in place an army of progressive bureaucrats making arbitrary and binding decisions affecting your business. Uncertainty rules the day. Alan Greenspan touched on the subject of uncertainty writing in the Financial Times:

The instinctive reaction of businessmen and householders to uncertainty is to disengage from those activities that require confident predictions of how the future will unfold. For non-financial corporations (half of gross domestic product), the disengagement is best measured by the share of liquid cash flow allocated to illiquid long-term fixed asset investment. In the first half of 2010, that share fell to 79 per cent, its lowest reading in the 58 years for which data are available.

Liberals seem to think the economy is like the weather, sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. They fully expected the business cycle to be on the upswing this November, and guess what? It would have been except for the actions of Reid, Pelosi and Obama. That’s karma for you.

Liberals and progressives also have difficulty understanding the concept of “animal spirits” in the business world. They think people are in business simply to provide jobs. What they don’t realize is that jobs are a by-product of profits. And profits come from entrepreneurs risking it all in the marketplace. Keynes defined animal spirits as: “a spontaneous urge to action rather than inaction…”

Have you seen any business people acting spontaneously lately?

When Obama famously said now is not the time for profits it put a real damper on the business psyche. But the one thing that Obama forgot or doesn’t know is that without profits there are no jobs.

Obama won’t be in Washington to see the aftermath of the destruction of the Democratic party on November 2nd, he’ll be packing to go on a worldwide tour including a stop in India. He’ll return on November 14th reinvigorated and undaunted in his efforts to transform America.

Congress is increasingly irrelevant to Obama. He couldn’t even get the current Democratic controlled Congress to vote to tax the rich. The Wall Street Journal reports: “Forty-seven House Democrats have signed a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging that tax rates on capital gains and dividends be maintained at the current level of up to 15% for all earners.” Apparently Obama’s own party isn’t radical enough for him.

Don’t look for Obama to move to the center like Clinton did. Clinton was a politician, Obama is a far left ideologue. If anything he’ll move further to the left. Look for Obama to dust off his tattered copy of Rules for Radicals for inspiration. There are executive orders to sign, recess appointments to make and hundreds, perhaps thousands of regulations and taxes to be unpacked out of that Obamacare monstrosity.

As the Republicans start to bring our fiscal house in order, Obama — playing the role of populist demagogue — will be there every step of the way to thwart their efforts, while at the same time claiming success for himself as the economy improves. Unfortunately success for Republicans in Congress means the possible reelection of Obama in 2012.

I don’t want to end on a pessimistic note but I’m afraid anger, anguish and anxiety will be with us for at least two more years even with huge Republican victories in November. We are in for the fight of our lives. Obama recently said a Republican victory in November will mean hand-to-hand combat. Maybe he’s right. At least now the battle is joined.