Reality Contradicts Obama’s Lazy Fantasies

President Obama opened his angry campaign speech State of The Union message with a brief recap of events in Iraq and Afghanistan, as a prelude to cynically self-serving praise of the troops.

These achievements are a testament to the courage, selflessness, and teamwork of America’s Armed Forces. At a time when too many of our institutions have let us down, they exceed all expectations. They’re not consumed with personal ambition. They don’t obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together.

The troops don’t argue about their mission because the authors of the Constitution (largely scorned by Obama and the progressives) created a brilliant system of civilian control over the military so the arguments – and there are always passionate arguments about any war – take place in election campaigns and in Congress. (An exception was Obama’s Libyan operation, launched without seeking approval from Congress in order to silence dissent.)

The President skipped over the recent decade of acrimonious debates in Congress and on the campaign trail about the troops’ mission.  Indeed, Senator and Candidate Obama was one of the most bitter debaters of all, as he tried his best to bring about failure in Iraq because, as an Illinois State Senator, he had opposed the invasion.

Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example. Think about the America within our reach: A country that leads the world in educating its people. An America that attracts a new generation of high-tech manufacturing and high-paying jobs. A future where we’re in control of our own energy, and our security and prosperity aren’t so tied to unstable parts of the world. An economy built to last, where hard work pays off, and responsibility is rewarded.

Translation: Utopia is within reach if only those Obstinate Republicans (and even some Democrats) would follow orders like the troops do, and enact Obama’s sweeping agenda of government expansion and regulatory tyranny.  The speech continued:

We can do this. I know we can, because we’ve done it before. At the end of World War II, when another generation of heroes returned home from combat, they built the strongest economy and middle class the world has ever known.

Since the President brought it up, let’s review what happened at the end of World War II.  The American People – not the government – did indeed build the strongest economy and middle class the world has ever known. [continued below the chart]

But Obama did not mention the most important fact: That economic success coincided with the most rapid downsizing of government in US history.

To pay for the war and hyper regulation of the civilian economy, federal spending had exploded from $9 billion to $91 billion in four years.  Thirteen million young men became soldiers, sailors and Marines.  Over 100,000 women also served in the military.  Millions of civilians were employed manufacturing guns, tanks, ships, aircraft, uniforms, boots, etc.

When the war was over in 1945 the government immediately ceased buying war material and quickly discharged more than ten million from military service within two years.  Federal spending dropped 68% in three years.

A 68% spending cut now would transform our trillion dollar deficits into trillion dollar surpluses!

If President Obama and today’s political-media “economists” had been there in 1945 they would have warned that any spending cuts would spell disaster for the economy, that unemployment would skyrocket.  They would have been wrong.  The number of jobs increased by 21% over the same three years.   Never before or since have job seekers enjoyed such a sudden increase in demand for their services.

A 21% increase today would be enough new jobs for:

  • All of 13.1 million currently unemployed,

Plus

  • All of the 6.4 million who want jobs but are not officially classified as unemployed,

Plus

  • 8.2 million more!

Today’s chronic unemployment would turn into a labor shortage.  Employers would be competing for workers.

This historic surge in employment and prosperity happened before our wise overseers in Washington created any of the following to regulate our lives:

  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Department of Transportation
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • New regulatory boards and commissions mandated by Dodd-Frank
  • ObamaCare to dictate the coverages and terms of all health plans

Indeed, there was massive DEregulation as the wartime rationing and price controls were lifted. There was no government “investment” in politically selected energy technologies.  This was a decade before the beginning of the Interstate highway building program.

President Obama should learn from his own post World War II example that liberty, not authoritarian government intervention, brings about prosperity.

12 Comments so far

  1. RKMillins on January 26th, 2012

    Admit I didn’t know about the history of 1945 – 1949. But I’m not President or running for President, so I have an excuse.

    Obama just made himself look like a fool because he doesn’t know what happened then!

  2. AzTex on January 26th, 2012

    By comparing with the troops Obama is only trying to help Independents understand why this government is so dysfunctional and so unable to act to solve problems of the people.

    Republicans don’t care about anything but their own political future. They said from the beginning that their highest priority was not jobs or health care or the environment or education, or even the military. their priority was making sure Barack Obama serves only one term. That’s why Republicans practice obstructionism and gridlock. they want wreck the country because they think Obama will get voted out.

  3. Alan Jones on January 28th, 2012

    Does this mean that, since we are no longer fighting in Iraq we can dramatically reduce military expenditure as we did after WWII then? Response to attempts to reduce military spending by Obama are met with aggression….but it was okay in 1945 and used here to prove what Obama has admitted – we need to cut expenditure…military is one area we can easily cut at no danger to the security of this country.

    So if your argument is followed through then we should cut military spending now. This would, in turn, reduce the deficit – you are arguing against Obama but reaching the same conclusion.

  4. KansasQ on January 28th, 2012

    Mr. Jones

    You seem to have misinterpreted the article. He wasn’t calling for a reduction in the military. He was pointing out that the private sector, not any of Obama’s big government spending created the boom after World War II. Maybe we should have less rather than more government if we want more jobs and more money in the pockets of the middle class.

  5. WingnutDectector on January 28th, 2012

    KansasQ

    No. This wingnut blog just made the case for standing up to the corporate-military cabal that runs Washington. Bush’s wars and giveaways to the 1% took us from trillions in surpluses to trillions in debt. But the wars are over. bring the troops home and slash pentagon’s drunken spending binge.

  6. FedUpUSA on January 28th, 2012

    Elect Ron Paul to get us out of expensive foreign entanglements. US spends more on military than the next eleven nations combined. Bring the troops home their families. Bring the money home to pay for roads and schools and hospitals right here in America.

  7. aThinkingStudent on January 28th, 2012

    Both Republicans and Democrats are crazy. Republicans waste money on wars, but Dems also waste money on sweetheart contracts for military spending. Every Congressman wants a base or a ship yard or a bomb plant in his district.

    Gridlock in Washington is killing this country and ruining the younger generation. Other advanced countries pay students to learn science and engineering. But Washington turned our education system into another wall street profit center by forcing people to borrow and pay interest for half their lives to get the education our industries need to compete in a world economy.

  8. Alan Jones on January 29th, 2012

    KansasQ,

    I’m sorry but I may be missing the point of the last graph and the quote,

    “When the war was over in 1945 the government immediately ceased buying war material and quickly discharged more than ten million from military service within two years.  Federal spending dropped 68% in three years.”

    I assume a massive chunk of that 68% cut was military spending right? I was merely pointing out that, if we want to cut this deficit, Republicans must get behind a cut in military spending. Creating jobs is the other half of the equation.

    – Cutting Military = Money Saved
    – Cutting overreaching social programs = Money Saved

  9. Drew on January 29th, 2012

    I live in Chicago. I have for 30 years. So I know about the Chicago – Illinois/Springfield Democratic machine. The cesspool from which Barack Obama emerged as State Senator.

    Get a clue, people.

    So AzTex gives us this: “Republicans don’t care about anything but their own political future.”

    My 13 year old daughter was recently taxed with creating a debate about a topic for school……..at 13 she can blow this idiocy away.

    AJ and KQ raise issues reasonable people can debate. I’m no military expert, but I do have associates in that worldsphere. Can we reduce military spending? Of course. How much? AJ seems aggressive. I don’t know if he has reasonable sources. But reasonable commentators seem to thing its in the 25% – 30% range. I’ve heard more aggressive estimates, but they come with significant capability and reach retrictions. My observation is different. If the military, being a government program, has those kind of over-reaches and inefficiencies…….explain to me again why we can’t freez non-military spending for five years with the usual suspects telling us we aren’t starving children, poisening the water…..and throwing grandma in the snow? C’mon people. This assertion is absurd on its face.

    But I see we have a new mindless idiot: WD Perhaps AzTex and he/she should get a room.

    “Bush’s wars and giveaways to the 1% took us from trillions in surpluses to trillions in debt.”

    This is mind numbingly stupid. Perhaps because WD is mind numbingly stupid. The numbers and proposition are worthless as your worthless words………but carry on. I wonder. Back to the union hall, or the dorm room. In either event, grow up.

  10. TeaSipper on January 30th, 2012

    a 30% cut in defense would bring us back to the hallow military of September 10,2011.

    The point of this article is not that today’s military spends too much. Today’s military costs only 4% of GDP. The point is that government doesn’t make the middle class bigger. It TAKES before it gives. It moves money away from job creators who would create middle class jobs and pays for bureaucracies and dependency.

  11. RockyWonder on January 30th, 2012

    Some of you should understand that the real crisis is not the deficit. The world’s investors are willing to loan us Trillions at 1% or less. I’ll take their judgment over the hysterics of ignorant politicians like Gingrich and Romney.

    The real crisis is lack of demand in the economy. We need more spending. More money in the hands of the middle class. So far we’ve managed to head off what would have been a horrendous depression like the 1930s. But the GOP drive to cut spending could tip us back into recession.

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