Our contemptuous president

Where was I? Oh, yes: the world’s all-time coldest wind chill. That’s what you’re going to be feeling at this point in an Obama second term. If you like his contempt for judicial review, parliamentary scrutiny, and representative democracy now, wait’ll you see how “flexible” he’ll get starting in January 2013. The CFPB appointment is not a small thing. Indeed, its new director, one Richard Cordray, embodies what’s gone so disastrously wrong with American government: You’ll have to be in compliance with him, but he doesn’t have to be in compliance with anybody, whether the Senate or the U.S. Constitution. As I say somewhere in my recent book, you don’t need a president-for-life if you’ve got a bureaucracy-for-life. More and more aspects of the citizen’s daily existence are regulated by rules and officials both of which are ever more disconnected from any meaningful accountability to the people’s representatives. As the president says, look for even more “flexibility” in a second term: more non-recess recess appointments, more executive orders, more bewildering innovations from the commissars of the hyper-regulatory state…

Speaking of facts, in the last year the federal government has added the equivalent of the GDP of Canada in new debt. Who’s buying it? The Chinese? Not so much. They’ve got pretty much all the Washington IOUs they need. Sixty-one percent of debt issued by the Treasury is bought by the Federal Reserve — which is to say the left hand of the U.S. government is lending money to the right hand of the U.S. government. That’s one reason the dollar is in steep decline against every major currency. Indeed, had it not been for the French and Germans et al. inaugurating the new century by inventing a currency for an artificial jurisdiction with even less connection to economic reality (the European Union), it’s likely that the markets would have yanked the rug out from under the dollar by now.

Nonetheless, in a land where every mewling babe in the American nursery is born with a debt burden of just under $200,000, the president brags that only his party is “compassionate” to have no plan whatsoever even to attempt to do anything about this, no way, no how, not now, not ever.