EU Renders Most Important Decision of the Year
Der Spiegel wrote on June 19:
“Friday’s deal in Brussels paving the way forward for a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland is the most important decision taken in Europe this year. The treaty, which will bring widespread reforms to the European Union and give its institutions greater power, could… go into effect before the end of the year… Then the EU would get a president, a foreign minister and the role of the European Parliament would be strengthened considerably.
“Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen announced the referendum would be held during the first week of October. Public opinion polls currently indicate that Irish voters would likely approve the Lisbon Treaty this time around, following their rejection in a first referendum one year ago. Cowen said the European Council had given Ireland ‘firm legal guarantees’ and that he was ‘confident we now have a solid basis to go to the Irish people and to ask them again for their approval for Ireland to ratify the treaty so that Europe can move on.’
“The EU has provided guarantees to Ireland that it will remain independent in determining tax policies, military neutrality and abortion law (Ireland has one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion policies). The sovereignty guarantees are expected to be anchored in EU law as a treaty protocol in the mid-term future…
“The history of the Lisbon Treaty is a long one. It has been five [years] since EU leaders approved the text of the European constitution in Rome. After the constitution was rejected in two referenda in France and the Netherlands, the draft landed in the waste bin. Under German leadership, however, the text was brought back to life in its current incarnation as the Treaty of Lisbon.
“The streamlined treaty was supposed to have gone into effect at the end of 2008. However, another referendum got in the way. Irish voters said ‘no’ and the EU was thrown into yet another crisis. This time the other leaders made it clear that they would not accept the ‘no’ vote. They immediately began to consider how and when a second referendum could be held in Ireland.
“One year on, it looks like that referendum will soon take place. The mood in Ireland seems to be favorable: The financial crisis has made people think much more positively about the EU. And now the guarantees of sovereignty have given Cowen further arguments in favor of the treaty.
“There were tough negotiations at the summit over those guarantees. Cowen surprised the other EU leaders on Thursday when he said he would need the guarantees entrenched in the treaty. A declaration by the Council would not suffice… It was pure blackmail — but the EU leaders had little choice but to accept those terms. No one can even consider the Lisbon Treaty failing again…
“Ireland is not alone in not having ratified the Lisbon Treaty. The Czech Republic, Poland and Germany still haven’t done so. Germany, for example, must first wait for a ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court on Lisbon’s legality. However, these are regarded as much lower hurdles than Ireland.”
Merkel and Obama “Are Not Getting Any Warmer…”
Der Spiegel Online wrote on June 23:
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel is traveling to Washington this week to discuss the financial crisis and climate change with US President Barack Obama — two issues where Germany and the US are deeply divided…
“When US President Barack Obama recently met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Dresden, he… remained true to the program at first. But then he unexpectedly asked ‘Angela’ why, exactly, she didn’t want Turkey to be accepted into the European Union. Merkel was taken aback. She had to think on her feet and quickly come up with an answer for an issue on which she had no pre-prepared comments. It became clear to her, once again, that this president is a challenge, both for Merkel and for German politics as a whole…
“A clash of cultures is raging between Berlin and the United States on the issue of financial policy… The German chancellor… considers the Americans’ offensive monetary policy to be dangerous… A few hours after the encounter between Merkel and Obama, Ben LaBolt, a White House press spokesman, told a colleague about the difficult relationship between the two leaders. ‘They are not getting any warmer,’ he said…
“Obama’s visits to Dresden and Buchenwald also ruffled some feathers in Germany. The US president’s advance team, which had been sent to help prepare for the trip, made a negative impression on the Germans through their coarse language and overbearing behavior. German officials were shouted at, treated like schoolchildren and told to wait their turns… As it is, the US president in person is by no means the charming and smiling character many have come to expect from his television appearances. He cultivates a cool style or, as one of the members of the delegation describes it, ‘an almost unfeeling style.'”
Deutsche Welle added on June 24:
“Ms Merkel arrives in Washington on Thursday and meets Mr Obama on Friday. It will be their third meeting in less than a year. Ms Merkel hosted the US president in Dresden three weeks ago. Yet in spite of frequent meetings and delight among Germans at Mr Obama’s election, the rapport between the old allies has deteriorated in recent months… ‘The chancellor is not interested in joining the competition for who gets along best with Obama,’ a senior aide said on Wednesday…
“Economic policy is not the only source of tension. While Berlin has long been critical of the prison at Guantánamo Bay, it has rejected US requests to take detainees. It has also dragged its feet on committing troops to Afghanistan… Other matters have conspired to poison the atmosphere. German officials said last month the US Treasury’s role in talks between Berlin and General Motors over the future of Opel, its German arm, had been offhand and unhelpful.
“While Mr Obama had only planned to tour the Buchenwald concentration camp during what had been billed as a private visit this month, Ms Merkel insisted he go to Dresden, the Baroque city razed by US and UK bombers in 1945. Their first clash goes back before Mr Obama’s election last summer, when Ms Merkel vetoed his plan to make a speech before the Brandenburg gate. The address was moved a mile west to the victory column.”
Europe Caught Between Rock and Hard Place on Iran
Deutsche Welle wrote on June 19:
“With mass demonstrations continuing since the announcement of the presidential election results in the Iranian capital and other cities despite a government crackdown, many observers inside and outside the country had hoped that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would make an effort of reconciliation in his traditional Friday sermon. Instead, Khamenei defended Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, declaring him the clear winner of the election and urged the opposition to end its protests.
“That puts the West in a terrible bind, says Nicola Pedde, Director of Globe Research, a Rome-based think tank focusing on the Middle East. ‘We can do nothing. If you support the reformists, the Iranian government will say that the opposition is supported by agents of foreign governments. And if you stay silent it can be interpreted negatively as support for the government.’
“Paul Luft, founder of the Center for Iranian Studies at Durham University, agrees that Western countries should stay out of what he describes as an internal conflict… If the West is perceived to be meddling in Iran’s domestic affairs, that could help unite the Islamists, says Luft…
“But other experts argue that the West can’t just stand by and let events unfold, but must make a concerted effort to support the democracy movement in Iran… ‘The West shouldn’t prematurely recognize Ahmadinejad as the winner of the election’, says Jamsheed Faroughi, Head of Deutsche Welle’s Farsi service. Instead, Western countries should demand new elections in Iran under independent, international supervision. ‘If Ahmadinejad really won the election by a landslide as the official results claim, then what is the government afraid of?’
“It is crucial that Europe doesn’t just remain on the sidelines this time, argues Bernd Kaussler, an Iran expert at James Madison University… Kaussler admits that Europe is in a difficult position, but says it could lose all of its credibility with reform-minded Iranians if it doesn’t act now… Kaussler agrees with Faroughi that the West should not recognize Ahmadinejad as the winner of the election. While the EU and the US shouldn’t endorse his opponent Mir Hossein Mousavi in order not to meddle too much in Iranian affairs, they should highlight human rights violations and demand freedom of expression in Iran. ‘It could start with the European Parliament issuing a resolution claiming solidarity with the Iranians.'”
The article also published the following chart, explaining more fully the rather complicated Iranian governmental system or power structure.
Exiled Son of Shah Warns of Nuclear War
AFP wrote on June 22:
“The exiled son of the late shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, warned Monday of dire consequences for the volatile Middle East and the rest of the world if the popular uprising in Iran is crushed. The defeat of the movement protesting the outcome of presidential elections… would not only threaten global stability but could lead to nuclear war, Pahlavi [said].”
Iran Plays Hardball–Attacks Britain…
USA Today reported on June 23:
“Iran’s rulers stiffened their stance against protesters Tuesday, firmly rejecting demands to annul the election over fraud allegations, setting up a special court for detained demonstrators and keeping troops in riot gear on the streets to break up any gatherings. Iran also expelled two British diplomats Tuesday after bitterly accusing Britain of meddling and spying… During Friday prayers at Tehran University, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei lashed out against Western countries he said were displaying their ‘enmity’ against the Islamic state, ‘and the most evil of them is the British government’…
“In a boost for the embattled regime, Russia said Tuesday that it respects the declared election result. But France summoned Iran’s ambassador to express concern about what it called ‘brutal repression’ of protesters in Tehran.”
The Telegraph reported on June 24 that “Britain… was throwing out two Iranian diplomats in response to Tehran’s expulsion of two British diplomats.”
The Times wrote on June 25:
“In a briefing to heads of foreign missions in Tehran this week, Manochehr Mottaki, the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran… reserved his severest criticism for Britain. In what must rank as one of the most idiotic statements made by a serving Foreign Minister of an Iranian Government, Mr Mottaki charged that ‘they [the British Government] sent planes full of passengers to Iran with special intelligence and security ambitions’…
“The madness does, of course, have some method attached to it. It… plays to a particular constituency in Iran, which still sees Britain as the root of all evil.”
… and the USA
Reuters reported on June 25:
“Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused President Barack Obama on Thursday of behaving like his predecessor toward Iran and said there is not much point in talking to Washington unless Obama apologizes. Obama said on Tuesday he was ‘appalled and outraged’ by a post-election crackdown, and Washington withdrew invitations to Iranian diplomats to attend U.S. Independence Day celebrations on July 4, stalling efforts to improve ties with Tehran…”
The Times added on June 25:
“Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela who is an ally of Mr Ahmadinejad, [said about the demonstrations in Iran], ‘People are in the streets, some are dead, they have snipers, and behind this is the CIA, the imperial hand of European countries and the United States.'”
The irony is that, according to Western reports, Iran might be using terrorists from Hamas and Hezbollah to brutally suppress the demonstrations in Iran.
Iran’s Turmoil Unsettles the Middle East
The Wall Street Journal wrote on June 24:
“The turmoil in Iran is threatening to reshape the balance of power in the Middle East, denting the Islamic Republic’s regional standing and spooking some Arab regimes with the specter of similar people-power uprisings. Whether or not the protests over Iran’s disputed June 12 presidential election endanger President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or the Islamic Republic itself, the crisis — Iran’s gravest internal challenge since the 1979 Islamic revolution — has already triggered repercussions well beyond the country’s borders…
“Iran-backed movements that the U.S. considers terrorists, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian lands… [put] moderate Arab states such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia on the defensive. But, over the past week, the vivid TV images of Iranian security forces and Basij militias beating and killing unarmed protesters, including women, on the streets of Tehran have punctured the Islamic Republic’s carefully constructed image as a champion of the oppressed masses…
“Even Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, whose leaders used to praise Mr. Ahmadinejad’s radical views, seems dumbfounded by the upheaval. ‘People are confused about what’s happening in Iran,’ says the head of the brotherhood’s political bureau, Essam el Erian. On one hand, he explains, many Arabs share Mr. Ahmadinejad’s hostility to Israel and the U.S. Yet, he adds, they also admire the courage of Iranian protesters and can relate to their cause, because elections in most Arab countries are either falsified or not held at all…
“Arab governments seem equally at a loss over how to react to the Iranian protests. In Bahrain, a Shiite-majority country ruled by a Sunni royal family, the government, seemingly fearful of provoking Tehran, this week temporarily closed the nation’s oldest newspaper, Akhbar al Khaleej. The reason: a column, written by a government-appointed member of the country’s legislature that attacked Mr. Ahmadinejad and Iran’s theocratic system. In nearby Saudi Arabia, as well as in Egypt, state media gave relatively little prominence to Iranian protests.
“But the Saudi-backed al Arabiya satellite TV channel… was airing such sympathetic coverage of pro-democracy campaigners in Iran that the Iranian regime shut down the network’s Tehran bureau…
“In Palestine, Iran is the key supporter of Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip and fought a bloody war against Israel in January. Palestinians have long been grateful to Iran for its unflinching support against Israel… The supporters of Hamas ‘will remain sympathetic to Iran no matter what,’ estimates Ghassan Khatib, a former Palestinian Authority government minister and peace negotiator… In Lebanon, Hezbollah… has been even more defensive of the Iranian regime, and more scornful of pro-Mousavi protesters… Hezbollah remains a formidable force, and turmoil in Iran is unlikely to weaken its hold over Lebanon’s large Shiite community…”
Israel and Iran–Is Nuclear Apocalypse Inevitable?
On June 22, Der Spiegel Online published an article on Iran and Israel, with the following headline: “HEADING FOR A NUCLEAR APOCALYPSE.” It continued with the following question: “Is War between Iran and Israel Inevitable?”
The magazine went on to say:
“There is every indication that the coming nuclear negotiations between Washington and Tehran — if, indeed, they begin in the next few months with Ahmadinejad still Iranian president — will end in a stalemate by the end of the year. If that happens, US President Barack Obama will push for tougher sanctions against Tehran in early 2010, with the reluctant support of the Russians and Chinese. The leadership in Tehran will interpret this as an aggressive act and will likely speed up its uranium enrichment, meaning that Iran will only be a few months away from having the capability to build a nuclear bomb. At some point next spring, things could have proceeded so far that the Israelis could decide, even without Washington’s approval, to launch attacks against Iranian nuclear facilities. The entire Middle East would see thousands of casualties, and the consequences for the global economy would be devastating.
“To understand what motivates the Iranian president and the Israeli prime minister, and what convictions guide their policies, it is important to examine the deeply religious ideas that shape both Ahmadinejad and Netanyahu and practically destine them to clash with each other: the theology of the [fundamentalist] Islamic Haqqani school and the Jewish concept of Amalek…
“The so-called Mahdists [of the Haqqani school] around… Ahmadinejad believe that their Twelfth Imam disappeared from the face of the earth in the 9th century because Allah the Almighty hid him to put mankind to a test. They also believe that this Twelfth Imam, or Mahdi, will return to the earth… The Mahdi… will create a paradise on earth for believers and condemn blasphemers to eternal damnation. But he will only return when the world has undergone a catharsis, a whirling, gigantic, cleansing upheaval…
“In a face-to-face conversation, Ahmadinejad can be polite, even charming… But he also has a different, mystical side. He considers himself chosen. In a meeting with Iranian members of parliament, Ahmadinejad claimed that he was surrounded by a light when he addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, and that the light silenced the leaders of other countries in the audience during his speech…
“Benjamin Netanyahu… has repeated his mantra that the Iranian nuclear program is the greatest threat Israel has confronted ‘since its creation in 1948.’ The liberal and consistently well-informed Israeli daily Haaretz wrote: ‘Politicians in touch with Netanyahu say he has already made up his mind to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations’ — apparently without Washington’s approval.
“What could make the Israeli prime minister feel so confident that he is doing the right thing, given the potentially serious consequences of such a military strike, which could range from Iran firing missiles at Tel Aviv to a wave of Hezbollah and Hamas terrorist attacks, not to mention the damage this would do to Israel’s relations with the United States, whose backing is critical to its survival?…
“When American author and Israel expert Jeffrey Goldberg recently asked a Netanyahu confidant to explain this fixation, he simply replied: ‘Think Amalek.’… In a biblical context, Amalek was the grandson of Esau who, with his tribal warriors from Canaan, launched a treacherous and unprovoked attack on the Hebrews as they were traveling to the Holy Land, Eretz Israel. In a broader sense, the term Amalek refers to the existential threat to Judaism at all times, under all circumstances and by all enemies… Those who, like Netanyahu, see Iran’s nuclear program as Amalek’s arsenal of weapons, are not just entitled, but are in fact obligated, to take preventive measures to destroy it…
“Is a coming war virtually unavoidable?… the signs are currently pointing to stormy weather ahead…”
The Threat of North Korea
The Associated Press reported on June 22:
“President Barack Obama assured Americans in an interview broadcast Monday that the U.S. is prepared for any move North Korea might make, amid reports that Pyongyang is planning a long-range missile test to follow up its provocative nuclear test last month. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered additional protection for Hawaii as a precaution, though experts say North Korea doesn’t yet have a ballistic missile that can reach Hawaii and has not mastered mounting a nuclear bomb on a long-range missile. Still, North Korea declared itself a ‘proud nuclear power’ and warned it will strike if provoked… The U.S…. has 28,500 troops in South Korea…”
The Associated Press added on June 24:
“North Korea has said it would consider interception of its ships a declaration of war, and on Wednesday accused the U.S. of seeking to start another Korean War… The warning came on the eve of the 59th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. The brutal fighting ended after three years in a truce in 1953, not a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula divided and in a state of war.”
No Peace in Iraq!
BBC News reported on June 25:
“At least 69 people have been killed by a bomb blast in the eastern Sadr City area of Baghdad… More than 130 people were also reported to have been injured in the blast, one of the worst in Iraq this year. It comes less than a week before US soldiers pull out of all Iraqi cities, a move the US said would not be affected by a recent surge in violence… Under an agreement with the Iraqi authorities, most of the 133,000 US troops in Iraq are due to leave the country’s cities and towns and withdraw to military bases by 30 June. Combat operations across Iraq are due to end by September 2010 and all US troops will be out of the country by the end of 2011…
“The attacks are the latest in a violent week in Iraq. On Monday, at least 29 people were killed in attacks in Baghdad and elsewhere… In the largest attack of the year, more than 70 people died in a truck bombing in Kirkuk on Saturday. But Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has said the violence will not delay the withdrawal which, he said, would ultimately be a triumph for the country.”
War in Afghanistan
Deutsche Welle reported on June 25:
“German Defense Minister Jung has insisted that Germany is not fighting a war in Afghanistan, rejecting calls for such an admission after three German soldiers died in the country this week. The parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces, Reinhold Robbe, on Wednesday called on the German government to recognize it was fighting a war in Afghanistan…
“Around 700 German troops are based in the Kundus region in the north of Afghanistan, a region previously considered relatively safe. Taliban fighters have become increasingly active in a region around Kundus known as Char Dara, where Tuesday’s attack took place. In June alone there were 30 Taliban attacks on German soldiers, putting the soldiers under daily fire…
“Germany has the third-largest contingent in the NATO-led force in Afghanistan, with about 3,380 troops. Despite US pressure to contribute troops to the more restive southern provinces where members of NATO and US soldiers have been fighting the Taliban since the 2001 invasion that ousted the group from power, the German army has focused on the Regional Command North…”
Der Spiegel Online wrote on June 25:
“Germany’s military presence in Afghanistan is deeply unpopular at home. But even after spending seven years there and losing 35 soldiers, many German politicians still refuse to call it a ‘war.’ German commentators argue Thursday that the government is afraid to tell the truth…
“The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes: ‘… Afghanistan is the Bundeswehr’s first wartime deployment…’
“The Financial Times Deutschland writes: ‘… There is no doubt that the number of people in Germany who disapprove of the mission in Afghanistan is very high… When the Bundeswehr is getting into firefights with Taliban militants on an almost daily basis, and when soldiers are dying in these exchanges, then that is war… The fact that the government still refuses to acknowledge this isn’t merely disrespectful to the soldiers putting their lives on the line in the Hindu Kush to defend Germany. It’s also completely useless in terms of political strategy.’
“The left-leaning Berliner Zeitung writes: ‘It would help if the Defense Ministry would just… be clear for once about why it is so adamant about not using the term “war”… the government’s insistence on using vague terminology makes it sound like it’s afraid of the truth.'”
California’s Tax Increases
SF Gate wrote on June 23:
“To help balance its budget, California has reduced the state tax credit for dependents. The change will increase a family’s California taxes for 2009 by about $210 per dependent compared with 2008… At issue is the exemption you get for each person listed on your tax return… If you are in this boat and would rather not face a big tax bill early next year, you could pay more state tax this year, either by increasing the amount withheld from your paycheck or – if you are self-employed – by making bigger estimated quarterly tax payments…
“At the same time it slashed the dependent credit, the state also raised all tax rates by one-quarter of 1 percent… The state sent new tax-withholding tables reflecting this change to employers in April. Employers should have started using them in May. Many employees will have been underwithheld for the first four months of the year. That means a slightly bigger tax bill (or smaller refund) when they file their 2009 taxes…”
Healthcare Promises Just That–Empty Words?
The Associated Press reported on June 24:
“President Barack Obama left the door open to a new tax on health care benefits Wednesday… ‘I don’t want to prejudge what they’re doing,’ the president said, referring to proposals in the Senate to tax workers who get expensive insurance policies. Obama, who campaigned against the tax when he ran for president, drew a quick rebuff from one union president… It was the latest in a series of signs of presidential flexibility…”
Is the Great Depression Coming…?
Newsmax.com wrote on June 23:
“Is Obama leading the nation into an economic train wreck? Dick Morris, one of America’s astute political observers, the person Time magazine called the most influential man in America, says, ‘Yes!’ Morris reveals that Obama’s policies and clear shift toward socialism will actually lead the country toward a 1930s-style Great Depression. In his newest blockbuster book ‘Catastrophe’ Dick lays out the shocking economic data — much of which has been hidden by the major media. Dick also reveals how Obama’s massive deficit spending will cause a tidal wave of inflation — which will shock the economy — at some point in the near future.”
Huckabee Attacks Establishment Republicans
Newsmax.com wrote on June 24:
“Signaling wider dissensions in the Republican ranks, former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is slamming the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) for endorsing Gov. Charlie Crist over another, more conservative Republican in Florida’s open Senate race… ‘I’m disgusted that they would take a position in a hotly contested race when you have a quality candidate like Marco Rubio, who was the youngest Speaker in the Florida House,’ Huckabee told The Hill. ‘This is not just some nameless, faceless guy that decided to throw his name in, who had no chance and no credibility.’
“He continued: ‘I thought that their endorsement not only was premature, but was outrageous. And they ought to get behind the guy who would do a whole lot more, in my mind, to unite and fire up Republicans, and that’s Marco Rubio. The establishment Republicans have made this endorsement for the same reason that they’re in so much trouble,’ Huckabee said. ‘They go out there and support stuff like TARP bills and stimulus packages, pork-barrel spending and huge debt, and they wring their hands and act like, “This is not good, but we don’t have a choice.”‘
Ron Paul Attacks Obama and Congress
Newsmax.com wrote on June 24:
“U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, says he was dismayed that Congress passed the war supplemental appropriations bill so easily last week. ‘An economic collapse seems to be the goal of Congress and this administration,’ Paul said during his weekly radio address Monday…
“Mocking the idea that Obama was a ‘peace candidate,’ Paul pointed out that his administration will be sending another $106 billion it doesn’t have ‘to continue the bloodshed in Afghanistan and Iraq…’ Paul noted that many of his congressional colleagues who previously voted with him in opposition to every war supplemental request under the Bush administration seem to have changed their tune…
“The emergency supplemental appropriations bill sends… $660 million to Gaza… $555 million to Israel… $310 million to Egypt… $300 million to Jordan… $420 million to Mexico… $889 million to the United Nations for so-called ‘peace-keeping’ missions… $1 billion overseas to address the global financial crisis outside U.S. borders… [and] $8 billion to address a potential pandemic flu, which [Paul] said could result in mandatory vaccinations ‘for no discernable reason other than to enrich the pharmaceutical companies’…”
Obama and Bush–Two of a Kind?
Der Spiegel Online wrote on June 25:
“The occupant of the White House may have changed recently. But the amount of ill-advised ideology coming from Washington has remained constant. Obama’s list of economic errors is long — and continues to grow. The president may have changed, but the excesses of American politics have remained. Barack Obama and George W. Bush, it has become clear, are more similar than they might seem at first glance.
“Ex-President Bush was nothing if not zealous in his worldwide campaign against terror, transgressing human rights and breaking international law along the way. Now, Obama is displaying the same zeal in his own war against the financial crisis — and his weapon of choice is the money-printing machine. The rules the new American president is breaking are those which govern the economy. Nobody is being killed. But the strategy comes at a price — and that price might be America’s position as a global power.
“In his fight against terrorism, Bush had the ideologue Dick Cheney at his side… Obama’s Cheney is named Larry Summers… President Barack Obama follows him like a dog does its master… Summers [said] that the way to bring about an end to the crisis was — more confidence, more credit and more debt… Experts and non-experts alike were perplexed… Summers was unable to supply an adequate explanation for how a crisis caused by frivolous lending was going to be solved through yet more frivolity…
“Just as the US public initially rallied behind the war President Bush — even to the point of re-electing him — Americans have now thrown their support behind the debt president Obama. The mistakes of the Bush administration are now widely accepted. The mistakes of the Obama administration are still not recognized as such…
“According to conservative forecasts, Obama’s policies could end up being three times as expensive as US expenditures during World War II. If one calculates using today’s prices, America spent $3 trillion for the war. Obama’s budgetary calculations for the decade between 2010 and 2020 assume additional debt of $9 trillion.
“American borrowing in 2009 comprises about half of Obama’s budget. The country is living beyond its means — and it still would have been even if it weren’t for the economic crisis…
“Many believe that when the crisis ends, borrowing will automatically fall. The truth is that it could climb afterwards… Washington would need to spend several times more than it is now just to service current pension entitlements and the free, state-funded medical care provided to senior citizens. In addition, Obama has promised to introduce healthcare coverage for America’s close to 46 million uninsured…
“… trust in the gravitas and reliability of the United States has suffered to such a great degree that fewer and fewer foreigners are purchasing its government bonds…
“The supply of money has increased by 45 percent in the last three years and there has not been a corresponding rise in hard assets or production. That imbalance will eventually make itself felt in the form of inflation. The dollar, which has already lost 40 percent of its value against the euro since 2000, would then devaluate and its reputation would be further diminished…”