The Orwellian administration strikes again
“History offers the best training for those who are to take part in public affairs,” wrote long-ago Greek historian Polybius, whose wise sentiments on the separation of powers, by the way, become a model for the Framers in drafting the U.S. Constitution.
But how disconcerting it is that President Barack Obama, a self-proclaimed constitutional scholar, and his devotees all too regularly eschew history and the Constitution.
Despite billions of dollars in government-directed economic “stimulus” over the last four years, the American economy clearly continues to struggle in this “New Progressive Era,” one that history surely will label as “The Perverse Era.”
The official government-calculated rate of unemployment indeed is falling — from 7.9 percent in October to 7.7 percent in November. It's a report — note that the word “fact” can't be used — that the Orwell, er, Obama administration and its media stenographers rah-rah-sis-boom-bahed all day Friday.
The report “provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression,” said Alan B. Krueger, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers. “It is critical that we continue (these) policies ... .”
“It's the lowest unemployment in four years,” trumpeted some idiot on CNN. “What great news!” gushed another airheaded cable news disciple of economic fiction.
But November unemployment didn't fall because sufficient jobs were created to lower the rate. It fell, as it did so many times before, because more and more Americans continue to drop out of the workforce (more than half a million alone in November). More than a third, 36.4 percent, aren't even bothering to look for work. That's a record (or close to it).
The real unemployment rate, calculated by various experts, likely remains at almost twice that figure. (That's when you factor in those in part-time jobs who can't find a full-time situation.)
Yet Obama's CliffsNotes solution continues to be more of the very things that perpetuate this fiscal inquietude — government stimulus, higher taxes and a higher debt ceiling.
But as the nation's economic indicators continue to show, that's been a triumvirate of failure; it truly seems as if the Obama administration's mantra is “If at first you don't succeed, fail, fail again.”
What's today known as “stimulus” was, in the Great Depression administration of Franklin Roosevelt, known as “priming the pump.” But it didn't work then, either. It only exacerbated a flailing and foundering economy whose fundamentals — the pump itself — were eviscerated by some of the most bizarre growth-retarding interventions in a capitalist economy by a republican government in history — economic lies that required more lies to mask the previous lies.
Additionally, the class-warring Obama insists on higher taxes — and not simply on the “richest” among us but across all income quintiles when one considers the coming additional burden of ObamaCare and environmental regulations. No good ever comes of draining the wage-earner and investor swag in pursuit of nationalizing the social and economic order.
And then there's the debt ceiling. Not only does Obama want to continue to explode the debt with his proposal to address the “fiscal cliff” by creating a Himalayan abyss, he wants the ability to avoid the “drama” of it all by fiat, bypassing Congress and kicking the Constitution in the groin.
Yes, elections have consequences. But they can't alter the fundamental laws of economics. Not even in the Obama administration's perverse, parallel and Orwellian universe that knows not history or, in a misfeasant pique, purposely ignores it.
Colin McNickle is Trib Total Media's director of editorial pages (412-320-7836 or firstname.lastname@example.org).