Over the last year, Randall Hoven at American Thinker has been putting out a “Graph of the Day” piece. Each graph has generally been constructed from neutral data and each has demonstrated the failures of our government and the effect on our economy, defense, and more.
Today, Hoven summarizes what we have learned from those graphs and it is not a pretty picture for America…much less for Obamabots and those touting the brilliance of the “progressive’ agenda.
The summary is a great resource backed by data. Read it all and share it!
……..what can we learn from a year’s worth of graphs and data?
- Government has grown by obscene amounts since William McKinley was president. In 1900, federal, state, and local governments combined spent under 5% of Gross Domestic Product. Today they spend 40% of GDP or more and account for half of all health care spending.
- The federal government alone spends more than 20% of GDP, owns 29% of all land, and controls virtually all ocean activity, including oil drilling, for miles offshore.
- This puts us square into the mix of European welfare states in terms of government spending and debt.
- Federal government debt is on an unsustainable path, set to grow beyond 100% of GDP soon, and driven mostly by increased spending on Medicare and Medicaid. (And not defense.)
- Yet many federal programs are ineffective and/or going broke: Medicare, Social Security Disability Insurance, the Post Office, the War on Poverty, education, affirmative action, other race-based initiatives, the minimum wage here and in Samoa, bank regulations, regulation in general, etc.Then came Obama.He asked for the second half ($350B) of TARP bailout money even before he was inaugurated. (He also voted for the TARP bailout while in the Senate.) Then, as president, he went on to buy car companies with it.“Pay as you go” went out the window, as Obama’s plans would explode the deficits, even in the years after the current recession was assumed over. He signed a “stimulus” bill within one month of being sworn into office, adding $814B to the 2009-2019 deficit in one fell swoop.His crowning achievement was the trillion-dollar overhaul of all health care in the nation under a byzantine system of additional costs, additional taxes, and additional bureaucracy. The legislators who “wrote” the bill did not even read it. Estimates of its cost cannot be trusted.All of his plans to end the recession and spur growth failed.
- His stimulus did not stimulate. Actual unemployment was worse than he predicted it would be without his stimulus. But it did help pay off those who helped him get elected, like the education unions and government employee unions.
- Cash-for-clunkers did not boost car sales.
- His housing initiatives fell flat.
- While real GDP did stop falling and started to rise (like it has done in every recession in history), it is stalling out before even reaching its pre-recession level.
- Initial jobless claims and total number of jobs show similar trends of a coming double-dip or stalling out.
Yet much of this could have been, and was, predicted.
- Obama’s very own chief of the Council of Economic Advisors, Christina Romer, demonstrated in academic studies that federal spending did not end the Great Depression or any post-war recession and that tax increases have significant and negative impacts on economic growth.
- Fiscal “stimuli” did not work in Japan and do not seem to work anywhere else, either.
- The Heritage Foundation has the cross-country data that show that economic freedom leads to prosperity.
- Arthur Laffer has similar cross-state data that show the same thing.
- International Monetary Fund data indicate that higher government debt leads to slower growth.
- An academic study based on data from 44 countries over two centuries concluded the same thing: higher debt leads to slower growth.For those who thought President Obama would overturn all the Bush policies on Iraq, Afghanistan, the War on Terror, “civil rights,” etc., sorry to disappoint you.
- The enemy combatant population has not come down much at Gitmo.
- The drawdown in Iraq is about what it would have been under a President Bush.
- Our military involvement in Afghanistan has exploded under Obama, leading to more troops there, more U.S. fatalities, more Afghan civilian fatalities, and little apparent progress in reducing resistance or winning “hearts and minds.”
- The federal government is authorizing wiretaps and fighting drugs as much as ever. It is even deporting illegal immigrants as much as ever.Instead of fixing anything real, President Obama spent our money chasing dreams. His stimulus caused an explosion in spending on climate change research. Yet man-caused, catastrophic global warming, which Obama wants to address with an expensive Cap & Trade program, is becoming ever less credible.
- Temperatures over much of the last 2,000 years were higher than now.
- Raw measured temperatures, which showed no warming trends, have been “adjusted” by government-funded climate scientists in ways to yield warming trends in places as diverse as Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Romania, Illinois, Arkansas, and Missouri.
- Reconstructed “proxy” temperatures were adjusted as well.
- Climate model predictions are not matching reality.
- One (of the two) polar ice caps has been growing since satellite observations have been available.
- Snow extent is growing in the Northern Hemisphere.
- There is no upward trend in hurricane damage or hurricane frequency/energy.
- Sea levels rose much more dramatically centuries before the pyramids. The last century of sea-level rise is consistent with coming out of an ice age 20,000 years ago.
- Meanwhile, the U.S. is doing pretty well without the government mandates of Kyoto, Copenhagen, or Cap & Trade in managing carbon emissions, air pollution, and energy use.Obama’s dreams of “green energy” and “green jobs” are equally empty.
- The U.S. leads the world in recoverable fossil fuel resources, which are enough to last many more decades at least.
- “Renewable” energy resources, other than hydroelectric dams, supply less than 5% of all energy in the U.S., even after years of government-funded research, incentives, regulations, and subsidies. Fossil fuels, nuclear, and hydroelectric will dominate for decades to come.
- The most economical source of electricity for some time to come is natural gas. The most expensive is solar panels.
- Contra Bill Maher, Brazil is not exactly some outstanding example of bio-fuel generation or energy conservation we need to follow.
- Spain has demonstrated that “green energy” leads to fewer net jobs, green or not.
- “Clean coal” is no panacea. It costs 27% to 83% more, uses 73% to 100% more water resources, and is technologically immature and uncertain. All that, just to use less of what all animals on earth exhale and all plants on earth inhale.
Not to put too fine a point on it: liberals have been wrong about almost everything, and conservatives have been right about almost everything, at least in my lifetime (half a century). That goes not only for the economy, the role of government, and climate change, but also for many “social issues” as well.
- The death penalty seems to actually deter murder.
- Higher rates of handgun ownership do not appear to cause more crime.
- Putting more people in prison seems to reduce crime.
- Increased concealed carry of handguns by law-abiding citizens coincides with reduced homicide rates.
- The nuclear family is disappearing, yet the safest place for a child is in the home of her married, biological parents. A child is also less likely to be poor if her parents are married.
To me, coming up with a new graph every day for a year, this was a steady drumbeat. And always the same tune: things are bad, getting worse, and Obama and the Democrats are doing everything wrong.
Is there any good news? Maybe.
- The solutions do not require defying the laws of physics.
- Other countries, as diverse as Canada, Sweden, and New Zealand, have reduced government debt by large amounts in the recent past and lived to tell the tale.
- More people identify themselves as conservatives, and they outnumber liberals by more than two to one right now.
- As bad as we are, much of Europe is in as bad or worse shape. (That might not be good news, but at least misery enjoys company.)
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