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Under Obama US Faces Four More Years of Decline
Nile Gardiner
November 10, 2012
The world needs powerful American leadership, the bedrock of which rest upon a sound economy, limited government and free enterprise, as well as a strong national defense. But it certainly won’t be provided by Obama’s imperial presidency. In his first term of office, an administration that worshipped bailouts and big government built up staggering levels of debt that threaten to saddle future generations with the profligate spending of their forefathers. Instead of hope, President Obama offered only the heavy fist of government intervention, rising taxes, increasing poverty and welfare dependency, and an increasingly bitter, angry and insular White House.

There is no reason to expect a different approach in Obama’s second term. His re-election will only embolden his deep-seated left-wing instincts, which are to “transform” the United States into a European-style social democracy. There is good reason why the Obama administration has been a wholehearted backer of the European Project -- because it sees its ideals as a role model for America, not a warning.

Under the Obama administration, the very foundations of the world’s only superpower are being undermined by a $16 trillion national debt that has increased by 50 percent under President Obama -- a staggering debt per taxpayer of $111,414. Incredibly, US per person debt is now 35 percent higher than that of Greece, according to a chart produced by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee. As The Weekly Standard reported earlier this week:

According to estimates from the International Monetary Fund, America’s total government debt will be $16.8 trillion by the end of the calendar year, compared to $441 billion for Greece," the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee explains. "On a per person basis, that means U.S. debt is $53,400 for every man, woman, and child, compared to $39,400 for every man, woman, and child in Greece. The disparity between per capita debt in the U.S. and Greece has grown 40 percent (roughly $8,400) since 2011. Now, U.S. per person debt is 35 percent higher than that of Greece, and is also higher than per capita debt in Portugal, Italy, or Spain (which together with Greece make up the so-called PIGS countries)."

At the same time, economic freedom has declined dramatically, with the United States falling to 10th place in the world rankings, with government spending now exceeding one third of total domestic output. Adding further to the $1 trillion federal budget deficit, the White House has pushed through a vastly expensive health care reform package that harkened back to the failed European social model rather than the American dream.

Over the past year I had the privilege of serving as a foreign policy adviser to Governor Romney’s presidential campaign. I am in no doubt (and this is a view shared by nearly 60 million Americans who voted on Tuesday) that America and the world would have been far better off with Romney at the helm, a politician who actually understands how an economy works, has run a business, and firmly believes in American exceptionalism.

A Romney presidency would have reversed the decline of the last four years, and put America back on its feet. Unlike Obama, Romney pledged to rein in government spending, significantly reduce the budget deficit, lower taxes, strip away burdensome regulations on small business, and foster an economic environment that actually creates jobs, attracts foreign investment and advances economic freedom. Together with Paul Ryan, he offered the American electorate a platform of fiscal responsibility combined with clear free market solutions to the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression. In stark contrast, Obama, in the words of former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan in a recent interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, offered merely “grimness, joylessness and profound negativity” in his campaign.

Romney’s defeat was a setback for conservatism in America, but it is only a temporary one (more on this later). As Gallup polling shows, ideologically the United States is still a conservative nation, with conservatives outnumbering liberals by a nearly two to one margin -- 42 percent to 23 percent. Conservatives will now be looking to the 2014 midterms and to 2016 with a renewed sense of determination and a firm belief that America’s revival and long-term prosperity can only be driven by the advance of individual liberty and economic freedom, and not by the deathly hand of big government. Unfortunately, America faces another four years of decline. It cannot afford another eight.

This article was originally published in The London Telegraph.

Nile Gardiner is a Washington-based foreign affairs analyst and political commentator. He appears frequently on American and British television, including Fox News Channel, CNN, BBC, and Fox Business Network.

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