Greek journalist Takis Michas has written a historical background to the Greek debt crisis in which he stated: “Since the 1930s, political patronage has been disbursed through increases in public sector employment, regulations that limit competition, and the imposition of levies on transactions that benefit third parties. This system has encouraged corruption, discouraged wealth creation and affected popular ideological narratives. The view that the state is good and that markets are bad is widespread across the political spectrum.”
President Obama’s policies are dangerously close to failed Greek policies and will lead us to a similar fate.
Take, for example, the recent move by his administration to increase public-sector dependence on government through the elimination of work requirements found in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 on welfare reform. Obama and his Democratic administration have used an esoteric bureaucratic device called a Section 1115 waiver to declare work standards void. The fact that welfare recipients have declined by more than 63 percent since 1996 has been ignored.
The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, passed in 2010, is a burdensome regulatory law crippling our financial sector. This legislation is extraordinarily complex, requiring almost a dozen federal agencies to complete 240 to 540 new sets of rules. According to the Government Accountability Office, regulator positions will be increased by 2,849. Additionally, Dodd-Frank grants administrative agencies, such as the Financial Stability Oversight Council, broad and unchallengable discretionary authority.
With Obama’s latest budget explicitly rejecting “austerity” and adding some $7 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years, his direction for America becomes clear. Our economy will become highly regulated, and many Americans will be dependent on big government for a living. Luckily, America is not yet fully committed to repeat the Greek story. The November elections could save us.