Tags: ruddy | scary | obama | high

Scary Days at Obama High

Monday, 15 Jun 2009 10:39 PM

By Christopher Ruddy

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Do you get the feeling that President Obama is like a new teacher in a tough high school?

Everywhere you look, it seems the president is engaging in “on-the-job training” — unwilling to follow the rules and seeking advice from the veteran “teachers.”

Granted Obama inherited a mess. But he is making things far messier.

And as he makes things worse, he has the chutzpah to suggest he actually is fixing things.

He promised a new era of bipartisanship in Washington. We know that turned out to be a joke. He says he had no interest in running GM, but he is doing just that.

He passed the largest discretionary spending bill in the history of the world, then just this past week, he embraced “pay-as-you-go” rules to limit federal spending.

"Paying for what you spend is basic common sense," Obama said. "Perhaps that's why, here in Washington, it's been so elusive."

You can say that again.

Obama inherited a 1 trillion-dollar deficit and quickly is turning it into a 2 trillion-dollar deficit.

The economy was likely in the process of bottoming since earlier this year. But Obama’s initiatives are pushing the economy further downward.

His massive spending programs have forced the Fed for the first time in a very long time to start buying U.S. debt. This is simply an inflation of the currency.

As investor confidence in the United States crumbles, the U.S. government has been forced to raise interest rates to attract bond buyers. But as these rates increase, so will the rates for home and commercial mortgages, further crippling economic activity.

Under Obama, the dollar has lost confidence with the “print-as-you-go” reality that he has created. Expecting further dollar weakening, commodity prices are soaring again. Oil is already up almost 50 percent since last year’s lows.

I cannot think of anything more lethal to an economic recovery than rising gasoline prices.

Maybe I am wrong — increasing taxes during a recession is equally lethal. But the president is also doing that! His new health plan, for example, will require an estimated $600 billion in new taxes alone.

Obama may be taking a bad recession and making it into a full-blown depression.

He also seems intent on overturning one of the most sacred underpinnings of the capitalist system: the notion that bond holders are first in line during any bankruptcy. In the GM case, Obama has put the unions that backed his election first in line, and the bond holders nearly last.

Why would global investors want to buy U.S. government or corporate debt in an environment so hostile to those willing to risk their capital?

Obama’s naiveté is showing not just on the domestic front but also globally, where the United States is in deep trouble.

North Korea brazenly shows off its ballistic missile and nuclear muscle, while talking about an atomic war almost every day.

Obama must appear weak.

Iran sees the weakness and fearlessly is attempting to keep the madman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power. Obama’s administration appears far less concerned with helping democracy in Iran and far more concerned with stopping Israel from destroying Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Go figure.

Meanwhile, foreign policy veterans in his administration are being isolated quickly in favor of Obama policy hawks.

Hillary Clinton has been sidelined on key issues. Dennis Ross, the savvy Mideast envoy who was heading U.S. efforts to deal with Iran, was just “kicked upstairs” from his State Department job to a new cushy post at the White House. Several inside-the-Beltway reports suggest that Obama’s national security adviser and retired Marine Corps Gen. Jim Jones also is on the way out.

If we make it through the Obama years intact, at least we can draw some lessons. One is that all “change” is not for the better.

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