NEXT STOP, FRANCE
February 24, 2009
Last month Barack Obama became the new president of the United States, a president with a different set of beliefs and perspective about how our country should function, change and -- hopefully -- prosper, says Pete du Pont, chairman of the board at the National Center for Policy Analysis.
According to last week's Newsweek cover story, "We Are All Socialists Now," the "America of 2009 is moving towards a modern European state" -- whether we like it or not:
- A decade ago our national, state and local government spending was 34.3 percent of gross domestic product, while next year it will reach 39.9 percent, and America "will become even more French."
- So there will be "more government taxing and spending," and "more government intrusion in the economy will almost surely limit growth (as it has in Europe, where a big welfare state has caused chronic high unemployment)."
More government involvement and decision-making in all aspects of our country's policies, organizations, businesses and local governments is the belief of the Obama presidency. Obama was the most liberal member of the Senate during his short time there, and, faithful to his beliefs, he has begun establishing the liberal policies he campaigned upon, says du Pont.
Obama promised to increase federal spending by $303 billion a year, or 10 percent, but the recessionary emergency spending bill he signed last week will cost a minimum of $790 billion over the next several years. It is the largest annual spending increase since World War II, an enormous deficit-spending bill that, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out, expands "the role of the federal government across the breadth of American business, health care, energy and welfare policy."
- If the spending increases and tax reductions of the bill are extended over 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office estimates they will add $1.7 trillion to the federal deficit.
- And since there are no sunset provisions to end the spending increases, we can be sure that any "cuts" in federal spending will be vigorously opposed.
Simply put, a much bigger American government is on its way, and as a result, a balanced budget will not be possible for the foreseeable future, says du Pont.
Source: Pete du Pont, "Next Stop, France," Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2009.
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