The recession was not caused by George W. Bush. It was caused by liberal sub-prime mortgage practices at financial institutions, backed by government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac since 1993. The independent Federal Reserve System saved the banks, but in addition to foreclosures, millions of home values are now worth less than the mortgages owed.
Furthermore, in the past four years federal debt has been increased by $5 trillion to $16 trillion and the government is borrowing 40 percent of what it is spending. Operating with no budget agreed upon by Congress for three years, we face a “fiscal cliff” at year end. The Senate refuses to consider legislation passed by the House. Partisanship has replaced leadership.
The current administration has misspent stimulus funds, subsidized private industry bailouts and green energy failures. The first two years of Obama’s presidency with a Democratic House and Senate focused on social legislation with Obamacare and financial regulation that did not address the Fannie and Freddie problem. The Environmental Protection Agency has blocked domestic energy development, and the National Labor Relations Board has issued new rules favoring unions. The Bowles-Simpson commission and jobs council have been ignored.
The solutions are to let free enterprise produce growth, thus tax revenue, and encourage employment and capital investment, reduce regulation and uncertainty, cut excess government spending, reform the complicated tax code retaining today’s progressive “fair shares,” begin long-term fixes for Social Security and Medicare, replace Obamacare and Dodd-Frank, and vote for new management in our government Nov. 6.
The situation requires real leadership. Our nation is headed in the wrong direction with declining confidence, and toward European-style socialism and excessive public debt. It is also suffering from bloated government that interferes with individual freedom and economic growth.
Unfortunately, despite all the desirable characteristics of a democracy, one weakness is that leaders may be elected on attributes other than competence and the ability to manage on a large scale.
True leadership charts a path forward that the people involved agree to, listens to sound advisors and sets clear priorities, mediates conflict, follows up on implementation progress and modifies action plans when necessary. Decisions are timely, based on objective analysis and keep the broader goals in mind.
Effectiveness in leadership is enhanced by a reputation for honesty, ethical behavior, delegation of responsibilities, giving credit where due, actual managerial experience and a record of accomplishment.
The choice in the coming election is clear; we cannot continue to kick these important problems down the road.