Well, here we are, two days after election day. It still stinks that Barack Obama was reelected. If you’re looking for silver linings, they’re few and far between. But at least it’s going to be a little more difficult for Obama to blame the “mess he inherited” on someone else. He owns it now.
But I digress: back to the silver lining. Obama will now have to reveal his agenda for a second term, heretofore a closely-guarded secret. In particular, what is he going to do about the nation’s $16 trillion debt? Obama’s answer during his first term was “nothing.” His budget, incorporating any number of optimistic assumptions, called for the debt to rise to $20 trillion. I don’t see how Obama can get through his second term without articulating some plan, however half-baked, for dealing with the debt. Ben Bernanke can’t keep interest rates at zero for another four years; at least, I don’t think he can. As soon as interest rates start to rise, the budget–no, wait, we don’t have a budget, but you know what I mean–is blown. It will be difficult for the press to conceal from the American people the fact that we are broke.
Obama’s default idea is to raise taxes on the rich, but that approach has a fatal defect. We suffer from a severe shortage of rich people. You could confiscate every penny belonging to every rich person in America, and not make a dent in the national debt. So, Barry, over to you: what’s your plan? I confess that I am looking forward to watching Obama squirm.
Have no doubt that as he squirms he’ll still be blaming others for his failures. He’s blame Republicans in the House. He’ll probably still blame Bush. And he’ll blame the American people for not being patient enough or understanding his nuance. I’ll blame the American people too, for reelecting this SCOAMF.