Sunday, February 22, 2009

President Obama's Report Card

Dear Reader,

Although we don't ordinarily concern ourselves with statist politics here, it is useful, now and again, to examine the record of revered political executives, if only to remind ourselves of the utter folly of thinking one man can run something as complex as a nation, state, county, city, or even a small town. The reason anarchy works, and government doesn't, is that it allows people to cooperate peacefully and to each other's mutual benefit, with no violation of rights.

Barrack Obama is a phenomenon. Already he has achieved cult status among his followers, many of whom quite literally think he has supernatural powers. This being so, let us examine his record, brief though it is, and separate fantasy from fact.

Is it too soon to grade our new President? After all, he's only been in office one month - shouldn't we give him more time to show us what he's made of? Doesn't he deserve a little time to learn on the job?


In four short weeks, he has not only showed us everything we need to know, he and his Democrat comrades have taken actions that will have profound and lasting effects - almost all bad. And he has already reneged on a number of campaign promises. Perhaps the most telling of his broken promises is the one about transparency. Here's how DownsizeDC puts it:

* President Obama promised the most open, transparent administration in history. He pledged to not sign bills that hadn't been posted online for the public to read for at least five days BEFORE the final vote was cast.

* Speaker Nancy Pelosi, just a week ago, promised that the final version of the scam (stimulus) bill would be posted online for at least 48 hours before the vote. Here's what they did instead . . .

* The 1,073 page scam bill, with an extra 421 page Explanatory Statement, was delivered, still unfinished, at midnight Thursday.

* The House passed the bill 14 hours and 24 minutes later. * The Senate did likewise 3 hours and 5 minutes after the House.

So, for the promise of transparency, the Administration and the Democrats get the grade of F.

Okay, so what about his other promises? Does anyone remember them now, in the preoccupation with the economic calamity facing the entire world?

Fortunately, the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times has created a useful Obameter we can refer to. They identified more than 500 promises the Prez made on the campaign trail, and are keeping track of the ones kept, broken, compromised, and not acted upon. The vast majority are still in the last category (and ideally many will stay that way). Just reading through the list is as tedious as watching his last press conference was. His campaign was masterful at the usual political con of promising something for everyone. It's the stuff he eventually delivers on that should concern us.

He gets a grade of C, or maybe "incomplete", for the delayed release of prisoners from Gitmo. He gets a grade of F, so far, for not rescinding George W. Bush's executive orders that effectively killed Posse Comitatus and habeus corpus, allowed domestic spying on American citizens, and absolved corporations who were complicit in the spying. He also gets an F for not rescinding CIA policy that allows it to kidnap and ship suspected terrorists to foreign prisons were they will certainly be tortured.

He did meet with the military brass on day one of his administration, as promised, and "asked them" to come up with a plan for orderly withdrawal from Iraq. One thumb up for that, but this is in contrast to Ron Paul's plan, which was, quoting him approximately, "we marched right in there, and we can march right out". In the meantime, he fulfilled another promise to send two more brigades to Afghanistan, and his commanders there have continued using Predator drones to kill people inside of Pakistan. Two thumbs down. Weighted grade: D.

Otherwise, militarily speaking, he said he would rely more on intelligence, special forces, and light infantry, and less on heavy bombers, tanks, and all the other hugely expensive war machines the Pentagon loves so much. This is actually a good strategy going forward, a move in the right direction if the US is ever going to start cutting back its war budget. Ironically, however, weapons of war and their delivery systems constitute a very large part of what's left of America's manufacturing base; decimating this industry at this time will undoubtedly exacerbate the economic downturn. Let's give him an E for Effort.

But that would be far from the worst action he's taking that will deepen the depression. This is inevitable, considering that his economic advisors are all Keynesian (Larry Summers, Paul Krugman et al) and Chicago-school (Bernanke et al) retreads that believe deficit spending fuels a healthy economy, and massive deficit spending is necessary to cure a sick economy. In spite of their belief that economies run according to mathematical models, none of them can put two and two together when it comes to understanding the monetary cause of inflationary effect. Obama's reliance on many of the same ignorami of the Clinton, Bush, and even Reagan years who got us into this is nothing more than a blunt admission of economic ignorance, as well as admission that he hasn't a clue what to do about it.

So he reads the history books written by the court historians of the nation's demigods, Lincoln and Wilson and FDR, seeking wisdom from the dead white guys who were in reality our worst failed leaders. One can imagine him sitting in on one of Hillary's seances, hoping to channel Franklin as well as Eleanor. If only he could; maybe FDR would finally fess up to how little he understood about economics, how the New Deal was a hodgepodge of programs inspired by European fascists, and how utterly it failed to end the first Great Depression.

Alas, it cannot be. Obama will try everything in the FDR playbook, including infrastructure boondoggles, make-work schemes for "green" technology, carbon taxes, soak the rich taxes, price and wage controls, and all the rest, in addition to the untold trillions poured into the "rescue" of failed banks, auto companies, brokerage firms, and millions of homeowners who should never have bought a house in the first place. And when the number of dollars printed, borrowed, or stolen reaches a critical mass, they will fall headlong into worthlessness, and the empire of the USA will no longer exist.

Poor Barrack. And poor black people who look at him with the adoration they once reserved for Father Abraham. I really do feel sorry for them. It's a cruel twist of fate that he will likely preside over America's descent into Third World status, and very little of it is really his fault. But maybe not.... maybe he'll be persuaded to reverse course before it's too late. If so, maybe I will believe in miracles.

So, for the most important grade of all: F on the economy.

He needs remedial education, and he needs it fast. I therefore am offering him free lessons here at the Anarchy School, and advise him to avail himself of all the free resources at for an emergency schooling in Austrian economics. At the conclusion of his schooling I fully expect him to abdicate the throne and let Americans be free. He is, after all, an extremely bright man.


  1. Nice post. Quick spelling note for the last paragraph, if I may using perl regex notation:


    See you next weekend!

  2. Good catch, Erik!

    Oh, those evil homonyms; they're there in their lair, waiting to pounce.