Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Leadership of Mr. Obama

Dear Reader,

There is a very serious point made below about the leadership of Mr. Obama. I have come at it lightly, but it is no light matter.



Obama's high level of comfort with high levels of incompetence
Bucks County Courier Times

Perhaps the most alarming thing about President Obama thus far is his willingness to accept incompetence and failure. George Steinbrenner he is not.

Baseball fans will know Mr. Steinbrenner as the long time owner of the New York Yankees, famous for spending millions to acquire talent, and equally famous for getting rid of that talent and firing managers if they did not get results. With Steinbrenner, failure was not an option. With the Obama administration and Congress it is a way of life.

Candidate Obama looked at George Bush's proposal to bail out a couple of Wall Street failures and decided that was the thing to do. The Congress agreed - no need for Wall Street barons to suffer the consequences of their greed and irresponsibility.

That's only for average Americans who don't understand these things.

Then Mr. Obama's advisors assured him and the American people that a massive transfer of the wealth of those average Americans to all the colossally failed Wall Street giants was the only way to prevent a collapse of the U.S. economy. Mr. Obama took their advice. The policy has failed spectacularly.

All the ills the bailout was advertised to avert have been visited on the American people, and with a vengeance: frozen credit, closed up businesses, massive unemployment, a tidal wave of home foreclosures, bankruptcies, wiped out savings and millions reduced to welfare (if there is any), unemployment compensation (until it runs out) and food stamps. The only people rescued were a bunch of criminally greedy and irresponsible bankers.

And while the Obama Justice Department has not found reason to indict or prosecute one of the Wall Street gang that looted America, all the advisors who rode to the gang's rescue are still on Mr. Obama's team, still advising the president, still picking up paychecks.

Christmas brought with it two more examples of Mr. Obama's high level of comfort with high levels of incompetence.

On Christmas Eve, when you might not have noticed, Mr. Obama gave the failed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac unlimited access to the U.S. Treasury, beyond the former cap of $400 billion. This will give them the money - yours - to buy up all the bad mortgages still on the books of the failed banks. Another give-away to the failures on Wall Street as they prepare to dole out near record bonuses for the money they made in 2009 with the trillions they got from American taxpayers.

Adding insult to injury, the CEO's of the two failed mortgage giants got $6 million pay packages. Again, failure was rewarded. But, as least Mr. Obama can count on two more friendly faces the next time he speaks at one of House Speaker Pelosi's $35,000 a plate fundraisers.

Then on Christmas Day, an appalling failure. Despite billions of dollars spent on systems, technology and people since 9- 11, a known and armed terrorist with more red flags than a parade in Moscow got past every security agency in Washington and almost succeeded in killing a lot of people on a flight into Detroit – and throwing America into turmoil.

Mr. Obama was so upset that someone might be upset that he was quick to let America know that everybody stays on the payroll. These things happen. Stay the course.

But the president did say we need to give the people who failed more money, because that is evidently the way Mr. Obama thinks the welfare of the American people is best served - by rewarding failure.

So the private contractor that manages the data base of potential threats - which has swollen to over a million people and apparently includes both known terrorists and foreign students who might have said something unkind about the U.S. soccer team - will get more money. Since 2001, The Analysis Corporation (TAC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of defense and intelligence contractor Global Strategies Group/North America, has seen its yearly income from the taxpayers it can't safeguard from a guy in a clown suit grow from $5 million to $25 million.

In Washington , it pays to fail. As USA Today reported, while 7.3 million Americans lost their jobs the number of federal employees earning $100,000 or more a year jumped from 14 to 19 percent of the federal payroll. From December 2007 to June of 2009, the number of Defense Department civilian employees earning $150,000 or more shot up from 1,868 to 10,100. Before the recession, the Transportation Department reported only a single employee earning more than $170,000. Now 1,690 workers are paid at that level and the average federal salary has jumped 6.6 percent to $71,206, while one in four American children have been reduced to food stamps.

I understand New York Yankees owner Steinbrenner is not well. Too bad. While I think Mr. Obama's numerous policy czars are good for little more than buying tickets to his fundraisers, I would be in favor of adding one more, and making Steinbrenner the Obama Performance Czar.

Of course, he would be doing the president's job. Still, it would be fun to watch as overpaid failures get exploded out of Washngton and Wall Street and sent back to the minor leagues, where they belong.

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