by Robert Benne
We are indeed a changed country. We are in decline economically, socially, and culturally. And the crucial factor—religion—that undergirds all those sectors is losing its punch. The victory of Barack Obama is a sure sign of these changes. Let’s start with the economic dimension. We have incurred trillions of dollars of debt with no end in sight but with very little to show for it. In its spending spree the government picked winners (not very many) and spectacular losers (quite a few). Meanwhile, the administration has swept under the rug—for the sake of victorious campaigning—the ticking bomb of unsustainable entitlements. We shifted payment of our debt to our grandchildren. Any effort by Paul Ryan to address these challenges was met with fear-mongering. The same tactic was used on venture capitalists—especially those of Bain Capital—who are important to economic vitality.
The welfare state has dramatically expanded—food stamps, unemployment and disability payments, Medicaid, student loans—creating an ever increasing number of people depending on government programs. They, of course, voted for Obama, fully expecting the programs to continue and expand. The official unemployment rate is high; the hidden numbers of those who no longer seek work or who are underemployed is far higher. The percentage of able-bodied men working is smaller than ever.
Populous states with fiscal disasters on their hands—California, Illinois, New York, Michigan—handed over their ample electoral votes to Obama, expecting, of course, to be bailed out in return. Metropolitan centers dependent on federal largesse handed millions of votes to the incumbent. Most of the country is red but those centers are deep blue.
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