Obama Extends Welfare Statism ; All-Pervasive Rule by Experts in a Politburo

By Krauthammer, Charles | The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV), January 26, 2013 | Go to article overview

Obama Extends Welfare Statism ; All-Pervasive Rule by Experts in a Politburo


Krauthammer, Charles, The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV)


WASHINGTON The media herd is stunned to discover that Barack Obama is a man of the left. After 699 teleprompted presidential speeches, the commentariat was still oblivious. Until Mondays address. Where has everyone been? The only surprise is that Obama chose his second inaugural, generally an occasion for malice toward none ecumenism, to unveil so uncompromising a left-liberal manifesto. But substance was no surprise. After all, Obama had unveiled his transformational agenda in his first address to Congress, four years ago. It was, I wrote at the time, the boldest social democratic manifesto ever issued by a U.S. president. Nor was it mere talk. Obama went on to essentially nationalize health care, 18 percent of the U.S. economy after passing an $833 billion stimulus that precipitated an unprecedented expansion of government spending. Washington now spends 24 percent of GDP, one-fifth higher than the postwar norm of 20 percent. Obamas ambitions were derailed by the 2010 midterm shellacking that cost him the House. Now that hes won again, the revolution is back, as announced in his second- term address. It was a paean to big government. At its heart was Obamas pledge to (1) defend unyieldingly the 20th-century welfare state and (2) expand it unrelentingly for the 21st. The first part of that agenda clinging zealously to the increasingly obsolete structures of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is the very definition of reactionary liberalism. Social Security was created when life expectancy was 62; Medicare when medical technology was in its infancy. Todays demographics and technology have rendered these programs, as structured, unsustainable. Everyone knows that, unless reformed, they will swallow up the rest of the budget. As for the second part enlargement Obama had already begun that in his first term with Obamacare. Mondays address reinstated yet another grand Obama project healing the planet. It promised a state-created green energy sector, massively subsidized (even as the states regulatory apparatus systematically squeezes fossil fuels, killing coal today, shale gas tomorrow). The playbook is well known. As Czech President (and economist) Vaclav Klaus once explained, environmentalism is the successor to failed socialism as justification for all-pervasive rule by a politburo of experts. …

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