Steyn on the financial gulf into which we are heading

Starting off his latest column on the subject of Romney’s vapid campaign slogan, “Believe in America. Romney 2012,” Mark Steyn continues:

… I wouldn’t claim to know what America believes or even what “New Hampshire Believes,” but this is what I believe—that another four years of the present statist ascendancy will seal America’s fate. As noted here previously, the International Monetary Fund predicts that China will become the world’s dominant economic power by 2016. So the guy elected in November will be the first president since Grover Cleveland to know what it feels like to be the global also-ran. Even this, however, understates the size of catastrophe the United States faces. There are no precedents in history for a great power spending itself to death on the scale America is doing. Obama has added $5 trillion to the national debt, and has nothing to show for it. Do you know how difficult that is to do? Personal debt per citizen is currently about 50 grand, but at least you got a La-Z-Boy recliner and a gas-fired barbecue out of it. Obama has spent America’s future, and left no more trace than if he and his high school “choom gang” had wheeled a barrow of five trillion in large notes behind the gym and used them for rolling paper. Right now, combined total debt in the United States is just shy of $700,000 per family. Add in the so-called “unfunded liabilities” that a normal American business would have to include in its SEC filings but from which U.S. Government accounting conveniently absolves itself, and you’re talking about a debt burden per family of about a million bucks. In other words, look around you: the paved roads, the landscaped shopping mall, the Starbucks and the juice bar and the mountain bike store … There’s nothing holding the joint up….

Half the country is entirely unaware of the existential threat Obama-sized government represents, and Mitt seems in no hurry to alert them to what’s at stake, save for occasional warnings that if we’re not careful America will end up like Europe. We should be so lucky. The more-likely scenario is something closer to the more corrupt and decrepit fiefdoms of Latin America. Look at the underlying assumptions of the Mitt-gives-you-cancer ad—that in America a businessman is somehow responsible not only for his employee’s health, but that of the employee’s family members years after said employee has left said employ. No Euro-socialist would even understand the basis of the attack: In its assumptions about the ever-more-tortuous and farther-flung burdens the state can place upon private business, it is quintessentially American.

This election represents the last exit ramp before the death spiral….

I support Romney, and I’m not rattled by a bad week’s polls. But I am bothered that Romney’s insipid message does not rise to the challenge this nation faces. Maybe the milquetoast pantywaist candy-assed soft-focus “Believe in America” shtick will prove sufficient under a relentless barrage of nakedly thuggish attack ads designed to Barry Goldwater the guy. But John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary, thinks not: “This is a race he should be able to win,” he wrote, “so if he loses, it won’t be because Obama won it. It will be because he lost it.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 11, 2012 11:19 AM | Send

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