Approaching the upcoming election, ThreeConservativeBros is highlighting 50 events that have influenced our nation since the 2008 Presidential Election. Today we discuss reasons 26 thru 35. Click here to review Volume I, here for Volume II, or here for Volume III…
26. Auto Bailout – In the midst of a severe recession and after the bailout of Wall Street, the Bush Administration approved a $17 billion dollar bailout for the American automotive industry. He set a timeline of 3 months to decide whether they were on the road to recovery or to file for bankruptcy. This essentially handed off the problem to the Obama Administration to decide the fate of the industry in his first few months in office. In March of 2009, Obama did indeed decide the auto industry could be viable but it had to follow the administrations guidelines to success. About $85 billion dollars total was committed to the auto industry and we have seen mixed results. The bailout was seen as unpopular by the public but this may just be a result of the economic climate and the amount of spending by the administration in its first few months in office.
27. Stimulus – Time and time again we have seen this gimmick. Here it came in the form of $787 billion dollar American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It was first disguised as immediate relief to the rising unemployment by funding shovel ready jobs. The administration would eventually admit there is no such thing as a shovel job as States looked for aid. It took the government a year just to delegate 70% of money. The Republicans had another motive for opposition, the clean energy emphasis. The fraud and confusion surrounding this Act has been well chronicled. Unemployment was at 7.7 percent when the stimulus was signed into law but it would rise to 10 percent. The country lost an estimated 6 million jobs during the recession and about 2 million after the stimulus. The positives of the stimulus come mostly from keeping state and local governments afloat fiscally. This had a large impact on school employees whose jobs were in serious jeopardy.
28. National Debt – Ronald Reagan and every President since George Washington (200 Years) incurred a total publicly held debt of 2.1 trillion dollars. 18 months in office and the Obama Administration spent 2.5 trillion! In Obama’ s defense he did inherit a mess; George W Bush was the worst president in history racking up 4.9 trillion dollars of debt in 4 years. As of today, our national debt has broken over $13 billion dollars, with a share of over $120,000 per taxpayer. When will it be enough?
29. Tea Part Movement – In a special election early in 2010 a conservative movement began in the unlikeliest of places. Underdog Scott Brown defeated Martha Coakley to become the first Republican senator of the state since 1972. At the time this election seemed very pivotal, the seat was needed by the Democrats to pursue Health Care reform. The Democrats ultimately got their wish but the Tea Party became an official force to reckon with. The Tea Party has rallied support of the public by standing on the principles of fiscal responsibility, adherence to the Constitution, and limited government. They have had an enormous impact on the primaries and are sending a strong message to the establishment Republicans. The Tea Party has shown no flexibility on its core values no matter how strong or weak the candidate is in the general election. Christine O’Donnell and Carl Paladino are examples the Tea Parties vision that can infuriate some conservatives. On the other candidates such as Rand Paul and Sharron Angle have revived their constituents and are poised to take seats from the Democrats in November.
30. Domestic Terrorism – Candidate Obama told America that if we were more open, understanding, and reached out to the Islamic faith we could start to slow terrorism at home and around the world. His idea was that closing Gitmo and providing rights to suspects would curb the hatred toward America. Since the Obama administration took over we have seen Nidal Malik Hasan kill 13 people in a mass shooting at Ft. Hood and couple of unsuccessful terrorist related attacks on our soil. The Christmas day diaper bomber and the Times Square Bomber both failed at their goal of killing Americans. In the case of the diaper bomber, Umar Abdul Mutallab was on a no fly list, the British refused to let him into the country, and his father tried to warn that his son was up to something. There were multiple failures in the government who all had a chance to stop this attempt. Perhaps more alarming is the aftermath of the incident, when Mutallab began cooperating with investigators before having his Miranda Rights read to him.
31. Terrorism Abroad – President Obama has been praised for staying the course in the War on Terror. He has used unmanned drones to pacify resistance in Afghanistan and he followed through to complete George W Bush’s Mission in Iraq. The one major difference here is how he has treated the CIA. The President has effectively declared war on the CIA and took them out of the Interrogation business. He started with a goal to close Guantanamo, then ordered the attorney general to investigate CIA operatives for alleged abuses during interrogations, and finished by closing all foreign detention facilities (black sites). The new policy change has forced operations overseas to lean towards killing rather than capturing a target.
32. White House Advisors – It’s a Wall Street and Harvard thing… manyof Obama’s advisors are those who he’s had connections with while attending Harvard. It’s also true that Obama currently has several members of his staff that were key figures at Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms, who contributed to our recent financial collapse. So as he demonizes those on Wall Street, a majority of them are sitting behind him while he’s doing so.
33. Appointment Dr. Berwick – Dr. Donald Berwick was appointed as head of CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) during a summer recess of Congress. This controversial appointment was done so that he didn’t receive a hearing from Congress to question his beliefs and methods of governing. Another Harvard appointee, Dr. Berwick is quoted to be a supporter of socialized medicine, so his appointment seems to be setting the stage for a shift to Nationalized Health Care.
34. Tax Burden – Taxpayers have officially been passed by tax recipients; the amount of people who pay into taxes is approaching less than those who receive benefits from Federal programs. This is an unhealthy ratio, as the voting power has shifted to those receiving hands out, rather than those whose efforts make it possible for the handout. This is not a good sign if we hope for American’s to get back to personal responsibility, accountability, and pride of craft.
35. Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac – Back in September 2008, the federal government bailed out federal home loan agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The collapse of the housing bubble and the subprime mortgage crisis is one of the most significant financial events to happen in this country since the Great Depression. The finger can be pointed down the line and across the aisle for our failure to build a strong housing market. The beginning probably happened with deregulation during the Clinton administration. It was continued by both parties during the Bush administration. Congress failed to pass some changes Bush tried to make in 2002 & 2003 that might have limited the taxpayer exposure. Democratic congressmen, led by Barney Frank, persuaded these agencies into providing some high-risk loans to help the “American Dream of HomeOwnership” for many that could never afford their mortgages. And of course, President Bush’s failure to maintain a solid budget led to the financial markets failing. Taxpayers have paid $135-$148 billion to prop up the lending industry. Recently estimates have come out suggesting we could be on the hook for anywhere between $200 billion to $800 billion more with little hope to ever see these loans repaid.