Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally

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Divided America re-elects Obama

Four more years: President Barack Obama

Something is going very wrong in the West. Approximately half the people in the greatest democracy on earth have voted for a man who had, in all senses of the word, failed. Since 2008, President Obama increased the public debt pile to $16.3 trillion – let me repeat that: $16.3 TRILLION. That is more than 100% of GDP. Ah but what was it under George W Bush I hear you cry. It was $9.9 trillion – hardly something for the Republicans to be proud  of but you’d have thought Obama would have stemmed the tide. Some people think he can turn back the tide – I’m afraid quite the opposite is happening.

Unless America starts living within her means, Europe is in big trouble. It is said if America sneezes, Europe catches a cold. Well, Europe is quite sick enough already thank you. If she was to catch a cold, we might have to call for the undertakers.

But the rest of the world outside the once powerhouses of America and Western Europe are laughing all the way to the bank. Latin America, Russia, the Sub-Continent and China are booming. Recession, don’t know what you are talking about! There is no recession in these regions, only growth. But’s that because they have room to grow : it’s easier to grow something small than grow something large.

In the West, governments and the state have become bloated with huge public sectors – government departments, quangos and grant-funded charities – and spiralling welfare states with millions living off the taxpayer (most of which work in the red-tape battered private sector). So, when the banks imploded and companies pulled up the drawbridge and hoarded their cash, and subsequently the tax revenue fell, what did these governments do to stop the rot? Cut spending on non-jobs like diversity officers and five-a-day coordinators at local councils? Cut waste in government run sectors like the British NHS? Cut sales taxes to kick start the retail sector?  No, these governments thought it would be a good idea to keep spending and when the money stopped coming in from the hard pressed taxpayer, they just started printing money. The fancy name for printing money is called “Quantitative Easing”. What an absurd name for an absurd course of action. All printing money ever did was cause inflation, reducing saving and pension pots.

Spend, spend, spend: Quantitative Easing likely to continue under Obama

This is exactly what Obama did during his first four years in the White House. He turned his back on financial discipline in what is still the largest economy on earth. That is why what he did matters. The President of the United States, for now, is still the most powerful man in the world. Not just because he is the Commander of Chief of the world’s largest armed forces but because his economic policies affect every other world citizen.

The President can’t prattle on about how those evil Republicans crashed the economy and he needs more time – what was he doing for four years? Instead of getting a grip of the country’s finances, he went on a spending spree, racking up debt which may never be paid back. So what did half of the American electorate do yesterday in response to his recklessness: they voted to put a man who wouldn’t know which way up to hold a balance sheet back in charge of federal economic policy.

Half of America is living the American dream. Not the Republican half. It’s the Republican half who are paying for the American dream of those who sail along up high on a pink cloud of make-believe and dependency on others. They can’t or won’t face up to the fact America cannot go on printing money to survive, piling ever more debt on their children and grandchildren just so they can continue their pursuit of personal pleasure in the post-religion, victim culture world so celebrated by much of the mainstream media and Western politicians like Cameron, Hollande and Obama.

The irresponsibility and social bankruptcy of many who live today in our once powerful nations has led to economic disaster for the West. They say the people get the politicians they deserve. With the election of Barack Obama today, this has never been so true.