Most signs point to the American economy being on the brink of an even greater crisis than 2008.
One analyst on financial cable network CNBC Wednesday said flatly that, "We're on the verge of a great, great depression. The Fed (Federal Reserve) knows it."
Indeed, some are predicting a third round of money printing by the Fed -- which is likely to add to already worrisome inflationary pressures. Fuel and food costs are pinching consumers, the housing market is dipping yet again and manufacturing has slowed. Those who are sitting on large caches of money may be waiting out the anti-business Obama administration, meaning that that money may stay out of circulation for another year and a half at least.
At best, our economy is sputtering when it should have been in recovery months ago.
And yet, our leaders in Washington are tied up in knots over whether to reduce government spending even slightly in return for raising the government's debt ceiling -- and polls show Americans are flirting with re-electing the president who has failed utterly to change the nation's course.
Any other president would've been tarred and feathered with his economic failures -- which, several years in, can no longer be blamed on his predecessor. But not this president.
It makes no sense whatsoever.
Americans need to get over their personal admiration for Barack Obama and check their wallets.
Republicans need to nominate someone with a good shot of winning the White House.
The news media need to stop avoiding all the bad economic news and covering for this president. (The media get apoplectic over Sarah Palin's elusiveness, but they're perfectly content to let this president answer for his dismal record only sporadically, primarily in softball interviews of his choosing.)
And while the president claims to want to talk about the economy and that it's his highest priority, all evidence to the contrary. Watch for another big conversation-starting "quick, look over there!" diversion coming soon. What will it be? Immigration reform?
All the while, this administration's policies continue to hamper economic growth -- from talk of higher taxes to regulating carbon dioxide emissions to suing companies for expanding into right-to-work states.
As part of the debate over whether to raise the federal debt ceiling, Republican leaders pleaded with Mr. Obama last week to agree to spending cuts -- or just to propose some. No dice. As is his wont, he passed the buck and passed on the opportunity to exhibit the leadership necessary to save the country financially. What a shame.
So it appears we are forced to wait him out and hope he is defeated next year.
Democrats found a great formula for a presidential candidate in 2008 -- a man with a vague past and no record to speak of that could be picked apart by opponents: This is a man who voted "present" nearly 130 times as an Illinois legislator. We weren't sure where he was born, but knew where he lived: under the radar.
Now, however, he's got a record -- and, as GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney summed up, "Barack Obama has failed America."
Yea verily, we've tried the Obama approach -- vastly increased government spending, mostly on more government; vastly increased regulations; threaten the rich with higher taxes -- and it's been a spectacular fireball of flop. Even Bill Clinton's Labor secretary, Robert Reich, blasted the Obama administration's handling of the economy in a newspaper column last week.
As the economy flounders, when will the question be asked: Shouldn't we try something else to stimulate the economy, such as a free-market approach?
We need to get over our personality-based politics and our obsessive idol worship and understand that, in the next year and a half, we're going to decide what kind of country we want to leave to our children.