Barack H. Obama’s Legacy, Part 6

ObamaLegacyPart6  <– PDF

Returning to Mr. Obama’s governing principle, as noted in the first edition, it is evident that his domestic policy was founded on economic and political socialism. It was seen early on in his confrontation during the 2008 campaign with Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, a.k.a. “Joe the Plumber”.  On 16 Oct 2008, Mr. Wurzelbacher asked Mr. Obama about tax policy regarding small businesses, and Mr. Obama responded a long roundabout answer in which he concluded that “when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody”.

Pretty weak response for a Messiah, I might add. In any case, Mr. Obama’s remark was often cited as symptomatic of the kind of “politics of envy” practiced so well by socialists.  Under the notion of envy, Joe is regarded as evil because Joe enjoys a higher economic status than other people.  But it is worse than that — this remark was evidence that Mr. Obama has bought into the false notion that if one person gains, it is only because another person (or group) has lost.  He fails to see, as do all socialists, that every exchange is made because everyone benefits at least indirectly. If we apply that correct principle to Joe the Plumber it works out like this.

When Mr. Obama goes into his kitchen and turn on his tap water, he enjoys fresh water because of the efforts of Joe and all the other plumbers for the last several centuries who have figured out how to provide fresh water, collect the dirty water, transport it to a purification station, clean it up and recycle it, and pump it back to Mr. Obama’s kitchen tap. All the efforts of all those people over that time has led to fresh water for nearly all Americans (unless you live in Flint MI, where the illustrious local government poisoned it).  Joe did not invent the science of plumbing; he is a focused, specialized practitioner of the accumulated science.  His benefit to society manifests itself such that that if someone in the community has a plumbing problem, it is much cheaper, more convenient, and faster for him to call a professional plumber than it is to fix it himself (at least for most people).  That is because most people live by specialization themselves — whether they are doctors, electricians, mechanics, or social workers.  Everyone benefits from specialization because those services are, in the long run, cheaper than doing those things oneself.  In other words, if one earns a profit from some activity or profession, someone else gains.  The person who needs plumbing work generally gains because Joe is available to do it cheaper than he could do it himself.

This whole notion that the profit of one is also a profit to another is counter to the socialist maxim that one who profits does so only at the expense, or loss of another. The fact that Joe the Plumber worked hard and has a successful business is evidence to the socialist that he is an exploiter of his customers; failing to realize that if Joe really were exploiting his customers, he would soon not have any left due to competition in a free society.  This blind spot on socialist theory has led them, including Mr. Obama, to conclude that it is the government’s duty to prevent “exploitation” by private enterprise  in order to ensure equality for all.  A socialist never reveals how he will achieve equality, or in what manner equality is measured and verified.  Government can only do things by force: it has no moral compass.  “Equality” is reached in a socialist society when the ruling elite continuously takes as much as it can without provoking a revolution.

Mr. Obama had made an earlier speech (13 Jul 2008) about small business, in which he pointed out that although businessmen work hard, they also benefit from roads and bridges and other infrastructure, concluding “you didn’t build that”. It is true that everyone benefits from those latter categories, not just Joe: did not Mr. Obama also benefit?  Of course: but Mr. Obama accuses Joe and other successful people of ignoring those common benefits (i.e., what was called “the common good” in the U. S. Constitution, if he had read it), and uses them in his exploitation, conveniently forgetting that while the government may have managed the building of that infrastructure, it was the working people like Joe that paid for it.  They continue to pay for it; but Mr. Obama apparently wants us to believe that thinks that the governmental ruling class provides these for free out of their own pockets.

Socialists believe that someone must lose when someone else profits. But he himself has made a great deal of money by publishing several books, although he did not invent papermaking, or typesetting, or binding or editing, or all the other efforts that go into publishing a book.  He didn’t build publishing any more than Joe built plumbing, yet he claims Joe is the exploiter.  Mr. Obama took advantage of the copyright laws (established for the common good) just as Joe took advantage of the public utilities.  Now, if Joe is an exploiter who caused people to lose when he gained from his plumbing business, maybe Barack the Messiah can give us a list of names of those who lost because he gained on the publication of his books.

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Barack H. Obama’s Legacy, Part 5

ObamaLegacyPart5 <– PDF

In closing out Mr. Obama’s domestic agenda, we come to the state of the national debt. The national debt had been growing for many years, but it reached and surpassed a critical point during Mr. Obama’s tenure.  It is true that President’s are not directly responsible for the nation’s debt (because only Congress can authorize a budget), but Presidents can use their influence to restrain the worst instincts of Congress.  Mr. Obama did nothing but encourage Congress’ reckless spending.  Figure 1 shows the nation’s GDP, total national debt, and ratio of GDP to debt for the years 1929 to 2016 in current-year dollars.  The ratio of GDP to debt is an important indicator of the nation’s liabilities compared to its total economic activity; higher is better.  These figures are not exactly in alignment, since the debt figures are for fiscal years, and the GDP values are for calendar years.  The general trend is accurate.

Figure 1: GDP, National Debt, and GDP-to-Debt Ratio, 1929 – 2016

Figure 2 shows the ratio of debt to GDP for the same interval. When Hoover entered office in 1929, the nation’s finances were in excellent shape, as the GDP-to-debt ratio was over six.  Then came the Great Depression, which nitwit Hoover made worse with his bad policies.  The GDP-to-debt declined drastically in the early 1930’s.  It was left to the even bigger nitwit Roosevelt to extend the depression to 1940 with his even worse policies, although the GDP-to-debt remained fairly static around 2.5 from 1934 to 1940.    It was not until Hitler rescued Roosevelt by starting World War II that the American economy came back to life.  The downside in financial terms is that the expansion of production was paid for by adding it onto the debt.. The GDP to debt ratio reached its all-time low in 1946 (0.82), just after the enormous debts accumulated during World War II.  From the Truman to Nixon administrations, the debt increased, but GDP increased faster, and the GDP to debt ratio steadily improved, reaching 3.16 in 1974.  It remained fairly steady until the halfway through Reagan’s first term; it then began a long slow protracted decline until halfway through the Clinton administration.  It improved a bit from there until about 2007, the second-last year of Bush Jr. administration, and then resumed its steady decline until sinking below 1.0 in 2014.  It is interesting to observe that one can draw a straight line from 1994 to 2011 and end up in the same place. It has continued a slight decline since 2014.

Many economists consider a GDP-to-debt ratio to be an accurate indicator of high risk. It is comparable to a household with debt equal to an entire year’s income.  In the long run, it is unsustainable.

So the U. S. financial condition is now about where it was in 1947.  But there is a big difference between the federal government obligations in 1947, wherein it began a long period of improvement, and now.  In 1947, there was no Medicare, no Medicaid, no Obamacare with its subsidies, no extensive social spending, no pervasive meddling bureaucracy to be paid, and Social Security was only a small item in the budget.  Mr. Obama was content to let the financial condition deteriorate without making some sort of attempt to get back on a sound financial footing.  We can only hope that Mr. Trump will not make the same mistake.

Figure 2: GDP-to-Debt Ratio, 1929-2016

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Barack H. Obama’s Legacy, Part 4

ObamaLegacyPart4   <– PDF

That Mr. Obama and his administration demonstrated contempt for the rights of the people is clearly evident throughout his term in office.

“Operation Fast & Furious” was probably a White-House directed scheme to denigrate the Second Amendment by attempting to show that only drug dealers and murderers would sink low enough to own a gun. This was to be accomplished by having BATFE help straw buyers purchase guns in the US (a felony), then to smuggle them to Mexico (a felony and a violation of Mexican law), and then to hand them over to drug cartels (in violation of Mexican law) so those same weapons could be tracked, the new users caught and prosecuted, all to demonstrate that only evil sinister drug-dealing lowlife criminals have guns and therefore all Americans should be willing to give them up.  But of course, government incompetence being what it was, the drug cartel killed a large number of Mexican citizens and some Americans as well.  But that was not a problem until one of those weapons was used by a Mexican drug dealer to kill a Border Patrol Agent named Brian Terry on 14 Dec 2010.  Then, and only then, did the scheme become a problem (i.e., when a federal employee became a victim).  A few BATFE insiders ratted out their leadership, exposing the plot, and Mr. Obama was forced to use Executive Privilege to cover up the whole episode and his role instigating it.  The net result: raises and promotions all around, as usual.  Fortunately, the propaganda effort against the Second Amendment failed.

Mr. Obama also illegally used Executive Orders to expand background check on firearms transactions.

Ms. Lois G. Lerner, director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Unit since 2006 until 2013, led the office while a scheme was being implemented to deprive conservative organizations their proper tax-exempt status under IRS section 501(c)(4). Specifically, instead of using the usual process to determine eligibility, the IRS, with Ms. Lerner’s full knowledge, proceeded to implement a delaying tactic to prevent the candidate organizations from using their rights under the law to participate in the 2010 and 2012 elections.  They did so by requiring extensive and impossible requirements in the applications:

  1. By demanding information that could not exist (“What books are your members reading”);
  2. By asking whether any of their members intended to run for elective office;
  3. By demanding a list of donors, the amounts donated, and how the donations were spent;
  4. By demanding copies of all web pages, blog posts, and brochures ever used by the organization;
  5. By demanding copies of all emails sent or received by organization members.

After the scandal came out, and the IRS’ own Inspector General castigated the IRS for its use of “inappropriate criteria” conduct, Ms. Lerner testified before Congress on 22 May 2013:

“My professional career has been devoted to fulfilling responsibilities of the agencies for which I have worked, and I am very proud of the work I have done in government. I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws, I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.”

After the IRS failed to produce subpoenaed emails (pretending all the hard drives and backup tapes had been destroyed), the Department of Justice then proceeded to conduct an “investigation”, including allegation of harassment of some organizations by the BATFE, FBI, and OSHA, but in the end no action was taken other than to excuse the IRS. On 23 Oct 2015, Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Peter J. Kadzik issued a report which concluded that although there was considerable mismanagement:

“We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution.”

Both his and Ms. Lerner’s statements are true: no corruption, no violation of regulations, no political or discriminatory action occurred because the IRS was simply implementing the official ideological policy of the Obama administration. More raises and promotions all around, and Ms. Lerner is now enjoying a quiet happy retirement.  She is also the patron saint of the IRS, having gotten away with everything.

Mr. Obama illegally appointed officials without the consent of the Senate while the Senate was not in recess (Sharon Block, Terence Flynn, & Richard Griffin to National Labor Relations Board, and Richard Cordray to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).

Mr. Obama illegally granted exceptions and exemptions via Executive Order to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (aka “Obamacare”), violating and superseding express provisions of the law:

  1. 15 Feb 2013: Abolished the high-risk pool (the money allocated for it had been spent for advertising)
  2. 20 Feb 2013: Insurance companies were allowed to double deductibles
  3. 11 Mar 2103: Delayed implementation of the small business option program
  4. 2 Jul 2013: Delayed employer reporting contrary to the ACA
  5. 30 Sep 2013: Provided subsidies to members of Congress & their staff, not provided for in the ACA
  6. 23 Oct 2013: Delayed the individual mandate from Oct 2013 to Feb 2014


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Barack H. Obama’s Legacy, Part 3

PDF –>  ObamaLegacyPart3

The racial and political biases within the federal departments during the Obama administration are well-known. At its very start, the Obama administration was faced with complaints that several Black Panther members had openly intimidated white voters at a voting location in Philadelphia.  Since they occurred in the 2008 election, the initial complaints were handled by the Bush administration; its Justice Department filed a civil suit against the New Black Panthers Party and three individual members, King Minister Shamir Shabazz, Malik Zulu Shabazz, and Jerry Jackson.  The defendants refused to appear in court, but the newly-installed Obama administration refused to pursue a default judgment, instead dropping the case altogether at the instigation of Attorney General Eric Holder, Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, and Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli.  Imagine what would have happened if it had been the New White Panther Party intimidating black voters.

The Obama administration failed to follow up on complaints that ACORN was involved in illegal political activities. Mr. Obama himself interjected personally whenever a case involving the police and a black person occurred, always criticizing the police, and always siding with the black person in question, even before any of the facts in the cases could be established.  Of course, there are isolated cases of abuse by the police, but to assume that the police are always and immediately wrong is consistent with the Black Liberation theology dictum that white people always and everywhere persecute black people.  A few of the cases: Harvard professor Henry Gates, Cambridge MA (police were wrong), Michael Brown, Ferguson MO (police were right); Alton Sterling (Baton Rouge LA (undetermined thus far); Philando Castile, Minneapolis MN (police were wrong); Trayvon Martin, Orlando FL (legitimate self-defense).  A President should not make a public comment until he has some facts.  But Mr. Obama was not interested in facts: his goal was to use these incidents as a blanket indictment against local police agencies with the end objective of turning all local law enforcement into subdivisions of a federal police force, like they have in totalitarian nations.

Mr. Obama showed how much respect he has for those who embrace traditional values when he stated on 6 Apr 2008:

“They get bitter, they cling to their guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations”.

Mr. Obama ridiculed anyone who was not fully convinced that climate change is man-made. On 1 Sep 2015, he stated:

“We know that human activity is changing the climate. We know that human ingenuity can do something about it.  We’re even starting to see that we might actually have the political will to succeed.  So the time to heed the critics and cynics is past.  The time to plead ignorance is surely past.  The deniers are increasingly alone, on their own shrinking island.”

What he failed to mention is that his remedy, including cap and trade (“carbon taxes”), restrictions on fossil fuels, and abolition of coal, will do nothing to change the current trend in the next 100 years, even according to those who believe the problem is man-made. In other words, it’s not about fixing a problem, it’s about destroying the U. S. economy for ideological reasons.

Candidate Obama stated on 2 Nov 2008 that he was opposed to gay marriage. President Obama praised universal gay marriage when it was decreed by the robed masters on the U. S. Supreme Court on 26 Jun 2015.  Afterward, anyone who opposed gay marriage was the enemy.

Mr. Obama never did get serious about enforcing the immigration laws, but he did fabricate fake deportation numbers in an effort to show that he was. (The deportation number included all who were detained upon initial illegal entry and returned as if they had been deported after already being here.)  The Border Patrol was eventually ordered to stop doing its job altogether.

Last, Mr. Obama appointed outright communists and communist sympathizers to his staff: Valerie Jarrett, Van Jones, and David Axelrod. He also appointed some who had previously been on the payroll of anti-American and former Nazi collaborator George Soros: Rosa Brooks as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy; Mark Lloyd as FCC Chief Diversity Officer; and Cecilia Munoz as Director of Intergovernmental affairs (and former Vice President of the National Council of La Raza (“The Race”).

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