For those of us who recognize the complicity of both Republicans and Democrats in our economic calamity, it has been satisfying to see the party establishments of each pummeled this election season. But as far as averting the currency crisis I describe in The Dollar Meltdown, the gold market says it’s too little, too late.
It’s no surprise that politicians hear only what they want to hear, but the Democrats take a new world indoor record for tone-deafness into the election. As the year opened with real unemployment at double-digit levels, all the President and the Democrat establishment could think about was passing Obamacare. They may be proud that they stayed on message, never mind that for most people a health care plan starts with a job and some savings.
With polls suggesting Republicans are set to re-take the House, it looks like the Democrats have a glass jaw to go along with that tin ear. And while scattered tea party victories gave the Republican establishment the thrashing it so richly deserved, the bad news is that none of it matters to our financial prospects.
At least that’s the message from the gold market.
Who can disagree?
Unless you think that Republicans will want to go into the next election cycle having taken on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlements, there is not much hope that they will do anything meaningful about fiscal policy.
Announced on September 23, the Republican Pledge to America promised to save “at least $100 billion in the first year alone.” $100 billion a year? They can’t be serious. By the end of September, just a week later, the federal debt had already grown by another $100 billion. Of course Republicans will tinker with the hated Obamacare just enough to deliver up some form of Boehner-care. Sorry, but the chance to earn lobbyist affection and future campaign contributions trumps any thoughts about simply facing up to federal insolvency and getting government out of health care.
Some real money could be saved rolling back the American empire.
Congressman Ron Pauland others calculate total war and foreign spending at about $1 trillion a year. In this context, a return of the Republicans reminds us of Talleyrand’s comment on the Bourbon dynasty that returned to the throne of France after the abdication of Napoleon: They “had learned nothing and forgotten nothing." Republicans seemed to have learned nothing and forgotten everything. Betraying a hubris not seen since Bush set off to “rid the world of evil,” the pledge from November’s likely winners includes “bringing certainty to an uncertain world.” Republicans do take their military Keynesianism seriously. Just months ago Republican congressmen came together to support President Obama’s surge in Afghanistan with a $59 billion emergency spending bill. Now they are campaigning about a “robust defense,” one category of spending that even the new members from the tea parties aren’t inclined to resist.