- The Washington Times - Friday, April 15, 2011

President Obama warns Republican policies will turn America into a Third World country. Look who’s talking.

On a campaign fundraising trip to Chicago, Mr. Obama quipped that under the proposed Republican budget plan, “we would be a nation of potholes, and our airports would be worse than places that we thought - that we used to call the Third World, but who are now investing in infrastructure.” He failed to elaborate on which developing countries he thinks should be models for the United States, but his policies have secured America’s status as part of the declining world.

Mr. Obama has approached the presidency less as a traditional American chief executive and more as a developing world populist. The 2009 stimulus program was taken directly from this playbook, using deficit spending to distribute favors to his union supporters and cronies in the form of public-works projects and other handouts. It was a spectacular failure at creating the promised number of jobs but succeeded in Mr. Obama’s core mission to “spread the wealth around.”

Mr. Obama has accepted what he sees as the inevitability of American economic decline. During the 2008 presidential campaign, he declared, “we can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.” He has yet to explain why he thinks the American people need to ask permission from other countries to maintain a high standard of living.

During the president’s trip to India in November 2010, he said that for most of his lifetime, “the U.S. was such an enormously dominant economic power … that we always met the rest of the world economically on our terms.” In his view, however, Mr. Obama is overseeing the end times for U.S. economic dominance. Rising economies in China, India, Russia, Brazil and elsewhere will, he says, “keep America on its toes.” Meanwhile, these same countries just finished a conference in China exploring new ways to put America flat on its back.

Mr. Obama is making our enemies’ job easier. He has increased economic regulation, pursued energy policies that stifle exploration and production at home while promoting it abroad, and has shown a general contempt for free-market principles that made the U.S. economy great. Plus, given Mr. Obama’s astonishingly lax immigration policies, America won’t have to wait long to become a Third World country because the Third World is coming here.

The debt accrued on Mr. Obama’s watch is the centerpiece of the forces that are driving the United States to global pauperhood. In 2008, gross public debt was 69 percent of the gross domestic product. This year it will pass 100 percent. Mr. Obama’s debt has stifled economic productivity and has driven the country to the point where only 66 percent of men had jobs last year, the lowest figure on record.

Were it not for Mr. Obama’s drunken-sailor-style spending, facilitated by Democratic supermajorities in both houses of Congress during his first two years, the United States wouldn’t be in this fix. Still, the president’s answer to economic crisis is to heap on more debt. It’s this crippling tax-and-spend Obama creed that’s bringing America to the brink of Third World inferiority.

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