Thursday, December 27, 2012

"Rock bottom"

No one tells it like it is better than Andrew McCarthy. He believes Washington has hit "rock bottom."

When you are burning through other people’s money because you’ve already spent your own people’s money for the next few generations, promises to pay are not very reliable.

So dire are our straits that the stated national debt — an obscene $16.4 trillion — does not even begin to reflect the actual national debt, which probably exceeds ten times that amount when unfunded liabilities and bankrupt, bailout-craving states are factored in. The government annually spends over a trillion dollars more than the enormous $2.4 trillion it takes from us in taxes. Structurally, our “mandatory” spending (entitlements plus interest on the accumulated debt) puts us in a perennial deficit hole of $250 billion (and rising fast) before one thin dime is spent on “discretionary” items . . . such as the $700 billion defense budget. You may remember national defense — not wealth-redistribution, health care, or running commercials to recruit new food-stamps recipients — as the reason we actually have a federal government.

But, doesn't Obama's self interest lie in the well-being of the nation?

Last time, Republicans caved on the debt ceiling and joined Democrats in paving a road to hell — the looming explosion of tax hikes and indiscriminate defense cuts — with good intentions: Pushed to this brink, they assumed, the president would have to negotiate reasonably because his self-interest lay in the well-being of the nation. But no, the president’s self-interest is in the transformation of the nation along socialist lines. Diving over the “fiscal cliff” suits him just fine — after all, you can’t have transformation without tumult.

But, what about weapons falling into the wrong hands?

Moreover, the overthrow of Assad would mean his WMDs end up in the hands either of his Hezbollah allies or his al-Qaeda-affiliated enemies. Those outcomes are even worse for us.

In fact, weapons falling into the wrong hands was precisely the outcome of Obama’s Libya catastrophe. There, the president joined with Sunni Islamists to overthrow a regime that, though unsavory, was cooperating with the United States. The result was jihadists raiding Qaddafi’s high-powered arsenal; the installation of a feckless government that cannot control its tribal and Islamist enclaves; the destabilization of North Africa; and the eventual murder of four Americans, including our ambassador, on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.

But, didn't the report last week admit there were security lapses?

With regard to that latter massacre in Benghazi, a State Department report issued this week could not help but condemn the reckless security lapses even as its authors whitewashed the culpability of Secretary Clinton. They also sidestepped the simple, central questions to which Washington, after three months, cannot produce answers: How and when during the seven-hour terrorist siege did President Obama learn about it, and what orders did he give to mobilize available military assets to protect the Americans who were under attack?

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