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Jewish World Review
Oct.29, 2012/ 13 Mar-Cheshvan, 5773
When the 'kooks' and 'racists' turn out to be your ideological allies
Erskine Bowles is not some right-wing, know-nothing extremist. He is in fact left of center, a former university president who served as White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton and as Democratic co-chair of President Barack Obama's bipartisan debt commission. It is in that latter position that he slammed Obama's irresponsible budgetary behavior while praising Paul Ryan to the skies.
Some Obama supporters try to pretend over and over again that it's mainly kooks -- many of them racists -- who have been sharply critical of Obama's handling of major issues. But knowledgeable, balanced sources like Bowles have repeatedly confirmed how Obama has run lickety-split from a potentially ruinous debt threat, doing more to flatten perfectly sound proposals from the other side than to come up with anything credible of his own.
The evidence in fact surrounds us that Obama is pushing us closer and closer to the tipping point on any number of crucial matters affecting our economy, our freedoms, rule of law and social cohesion. Give him another four years to do his sometimes amateurish, politically sneaky, ideologically overreaching thing, and our deliverance possibilities could be vastly reduced.
Let's start a brief review of some of these issues, with emphasis on the obese $16 trillion debt. Our president, who cheerfully overfed it with trillion-dollar deficits, then had the temerity to attack Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a debate for wanting to keep our defense strong. The defense budget is around 20 percent of the total budget, and that's including wars that cost little more during all the Bush years than Obama's stimulus measures. The core of the peril is entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that in their entirety are getting ever closer to two-thirds of the budget and could eventually pass that mark because of an aging population.
Well before he became the Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Ryan of Wisconsin put forth a well-considered restructuring plan to salvage Medicare. That proposal and his other budgetary ideas were denounced by Obama even though he was making his own Medicare cuts that would not save a single budgetary dollar. They were meant to help finance Obamacare, a brand-new entitlement worsening our financial burdens while also piling up 13,000 pages of new regulations, just for starters. This conglomeration comes on top of an already existing regulatory mishmash that inconveniences us, occasionally handcuffs our liberties, thwarts prosperity and sometimes even shoves us in fatal directions.
Here is another tipping-point issue summed up by the egregious excess of the U.S. code's 356,000 pages of laws and regulations that leave fewer and fewer aspects of our lives untouched. Obviously, some of these regulations are good and needed, but many are a terrible bother and worse. Reductions are needed, but what Obama is giving us instead is more, including some in Obamacare already scaring businesses out of hiring more people for fear of unaffordable costs.
Obama's regulatory enthusiasms hardly end there, as we see in the way the Environmental Protection Agency is slapping energy industries around. This bullying to no good end and conceivably disastrous ones is in no small measure the consequence of still another tipping point issue: radical environmentalism that is forever winning its way.
Most of us are pro-environment, of course, but at some point some parts of the environmental movement degenerated into a fanatical, theocratically minded religion that Obama seems to embrace. No single example is clearer than his nixing a vitally important Canadian-Texas oil pipeline as not safe when dozens of scientists had spent three years and filled eight volumes with details proving it was.
Actions of this sort could demolish the prospect of an economy-resuscitating energy boom that otherwise seems to be in the offing. That's hardly the end of the tipping-point story. There is also the risk to rule of law that comes from Obama's disregard of constitutional restraints and there are still other worries that could be lessened with a voter-induced turnover in management, starting at the top.
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Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.
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