This isn't a recession
By Dr. Robert Owens
Perhaps the following examples are emblematic of our present precarious situation. The Progressive Congressional leadership apparently believes Steven Colbert is not only what they perceive as a conservative commentator they also believe his outrageous satirical views are worthy of a Congressional hearing. Not to be outdone by the pedantic puffery of his lockstep legislative sidekicks, our President, like millions of his devotees, apparently perceives John Daily as a serious news broadcaster. Together these two politically motivated comedians are what the left believes constitutes an effective counter-weight to Glenn Beck and his chalkboards.
After the dust settles, after the confetti is swept up and all the balloons have popped what will the transformed American political landscape look like? Who will be leading and where? Will the recently awakened millions who've campaigned to get their country back have anything to show for all their efforts? Or, will the entrenched GOP establishment reach across the aisle proving all they were really interested in was co-opting the Tea Party Movement to regain their power so they could continue their side of the slide into the shabby future of a Progressive Social Democracy?
Hopefully the Loyal Opposition will realize this election was not a place holder. This was not merely a warm-up for the opportunity to send Mr. Obama back to Chicago. This tea-nami will send people to Congress who need to know this is their chance to work for the reversal of the Progressive agenda. If instead they misinterpret it as a two-year lease with an option they will soon hear the cry, "We can see 2012 from here!"
Then again this whole election cycle may be President Obama's version of rope-a-dope. His erratic pronouncements and lack of any message except variations of his car-in-the-ditch illustration make it seem as if he wants the Republicans to win control of the House and pick off some old mass-backs in the Senate. That way like the new boss who cleans out the old team, he'll be free of Nancy and Harry and for the next two years he can bounce against the ropes, play the Comeback Kid, and let the Senate absorb the force of the punches. Then in 2012 he can blame the Republicans for the mess he has created while saying the answer to the failure of Plan A is Plan A again.
Niccolo Machiavelli once said, "No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution." Now look at the situation the 112th Congress is going to face. Without total veto-proof control of both houses the ship of state will continue to speed towards the glacier of unsustainability while the wide-eyed reformers rearrange the deck chairs. Or as Sun Tzu said, "He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious."
The unemployment rate in September 2010 stood at an abysmal 9.6% and that only includes people receiving unemployment benefits. If everyone is counted, those whose benefits have run out and the underemployed who work part time but want to work full time the real unemployment rate is closer to 16.7% and some analysts peg it as high as 22%. Then there are the 99ers, those who have exhausted their 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. With the help of the AFL-CIO and the SEIU they are unionizing online hoping to use the power of collective action to legislate longer benefits.
One in eight Americans, are now enrolled for food stamps. This is the highest share of the U.S. population ever receiving food stamps, which is another first for the Obama Administration's economic recovery program. The stigma caused by using the old funny colored monopoly money has been replaced with an anonymous looking debit card linked to someone else's account. Looking forward, the research of professional anti-hunger lobbying groups shows that one in three eligible people are not receiving the benefits they deserve. If this is correct, soon half of America may have the opportunity to subsidize the other half. This will be a major blow to the pro-hunger lobby.
The Census Bureau reports over 14% of the population were below the poverty line in 2009, compared with 13.2% in the previous year and 11.3% in 2000. The number has increased three years in a row with no decline in sight as the trillions spent in the President's recovery plan just keep on giving.
The national debt has increased by 5 trillion since Nancy Pelosi became the Speaker of the House and promised no new deficit spending. Since President Obama's inauguration the debt has increased by 3 trillion. And according to the administration projections the National Debt will increase by approximately $6.5 trillion during President Obama's first term which is greater than the unacceptable increases of Bushes two terms.
Apologizing for our past, pillaging our present, mortgaging our future, kowtowing to China, imitating Europe our first post-exceptionalism President rejects our greatness as illegitimate and seeks to manage America's decline. This isn't a recession this is the new normal. The Progressive Evolutionaries are systematically destroying our economy in order to produce the Lumpenproletariat their cherished theory of life, the universe, and everything predicted Capitalism would produce. Now that the name of Communism has changed to State Capitalism maybe it will.
Dr. Robert Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College and History for the American Public University System. © 2010 Robert R. Owens Email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Facebook.