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Friday, October 5, 2012

EUROPE AND THE US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION


I have just returned from a three week sojourn to Europe--specifically, Paris, Munich and Venice--and points in between aboard various trains.

A couple of things I noticed. Many Europeans are terrified that Barack Obama will be defeated in the upcoming election. This in spite of the fact that Chicago's political mafia is running the Democratic party and the Democrats NEVER or rarely lose elections in Chicago and Cook County.

After watching a plethora of German talk shows and reading a few German newspapers it was interesting to note that while many Europeans now realize Obama is NOT the political embodiment of the Second Coming, that he is in fact (horrors) a mere mortal, and that he and his socialist policies have made things worse in the U.S. and not better, they still believe it would be some kind of celestial blasphemy if he is not re-elected.

As one person on a talk show put it: "He is so intelligent and truthful."

This was, of course, before this week's debate with challenger Mitt Romney. I wonder what she thinks now after the big can of whoop ass Romney opened on an obviously ill-prepared Obama. Without his teleprompter, Obama was exposed as a shallow and ineffective speaker.

As the Bumbler-in-Chief scrambled for answers and to make his case to the American people during the debate I am sure he was wishing he could be on yet another golf course somewhere.

Obama is a very good golfer--having had plenty of practice to improve his golf game during his tenure in the White House. So far Obama as played 105 rounds of golf during his 3.5 years in office--more than anybody since President Eisenhower, who played about 200 rounds in his 8 years in office between 1952 and 1960.

According to Keith Koffler, a reporter for the White House Dossier: “Obama’s golfing takes about five hours, including the motorcades back and forth from the fairways. If one thinks of this as taking up much of the day – include getting ready to go and cooling off afterward – it's fair to say that Obama has spent more than three months of his presidency golfing.”

He might have added that he has spent another six months campaigning for re-election and three months on vacation. That means for almost a year the nation has had a president who has done everything but work at the job he was elected to do. I won't even go into the tax-payer dollars spent by Michelle Obama on her 16 vacations to places like Spain, South Africa, Aspen and Hawaii.
Michelle and Friends in Spain 2010

And believe me, these were not taken sitting in coach in the back of the plane or on a Greyhound Bus.

Of course, Michelle is not running for re-election. But it seems rather insensitive to be taking lavish vacations at a time when some 23 million American are out of work and millions more have lost their homes, businesses and savings.

But, hey, that's OK. After all, it is Barack Obama and he can do no wrong. Certainly not in Europe.

It is amazing how naive some Europeans are about the United States. Of course, the all act as if they know everything there is to know about this country--from its politics to its economy to its social issues.

It is difficult to blame them when you read European newspapers or watch news and talk shows.
For example, after this week's debate, a few European newspapers reported that Obama actually did well in his face off with Romney.

What debate were they watching--maybe it was a re-run of the Nixon-Kennedy debate of 1960.

Of course, maybe they were affected by Denver's mile-high altitude--an explanation that former Vice President Al Gore offered in Obama's defense.

The fact is this. Most, if not all, of the European nations that make up the European Union are left-leaning and are pushing hard for an Obama victory in November. In nations where the quality of life is measured by how many cradle-to grave entitlements you can extract from government, a U.S. that has a closet socialist in the White House is one Europeans can readily identify with.

Romney and Ryan scare the hell out of Europeans. They are, after all, in favor of reducing government's size and checking its intrusion into our lives and businesses. This is a philosophy that few Europeans understand or will ever embrace.

Just look at the rioting in Greece, Spain and Italy when governments attempt to get spending under control by curbing unsustainable pensions that begin at 55 and can amount to some 80 percent of one's annual salary.

When you make the majority of the populace dependent on government entitlements and handouts you wind up with Greece, Spain and Italy.

Now look at what's happened in the U.S. since 2008l. When Obama moved into the White House the number of Americans getting food stamps was 31 million. In 2000 there were just 17 million Americans on food stamps.

Today, some 47 million Americans are on food stamps--otherwise known as the newly named "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program" or SNAP. That means some 23 million American household are using food stamps--fully 15 percent of the U.S. population.

And that's not the whole story. Today, there are more Americans dependent on the federal government than ever before in U.S. history.

According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation conducted by the U.S. Census, well over 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.  Many are enrolled in more than one.  

That is about a third of the entire population of the country.  That figure does not include Social Security or Medicare.  Today the federal government runs almost 80 different “means-tested welfare programs,” and almost all of those programs have experienced substantial growth in recent years. 

I agree that we will always need a safety net for those that cannot take care of themselves, but it is utterly ridiculous that the federal government is financially supporting one-third of all Americans.  How much farther do things really need to go before we finally admit that we have become a socialist nation like our European neighbors? 

At the current rate of government-sponsored dependency, it will not be very long before half the nation is on welfare.  However, we likely will never get to that point because the colossal and unsustainable debt that we are currently running up will no doubt  destroy our financial system before that ever happens.

I can hear the shovels in China already digging our grave.

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