Victor Davis Hanson: After Obama, the Deluge

Roundup: Historians' Take

[Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author, most recently, of The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern.]

President Obama established a bipartisan debt-reduction commission — and then ignored its findings, which called for unpopular reductions in entitlements and across-the-board spending cuts. His first two budgets led to the largest deficits in U.S. history. The ensuing $3 trillion in red ink gave rise to the Tea Party movement and led to the largest midterm defeat of the Democratic party in the House of Representatives since 1938.

No matter. The president has proposed a new budget with an even larger $1.6 trillion deficit. That record federal borrowing prompted columnist Charles Krauthammer to describe it as a Louis XV indulgence, an allusion to the wild royal spending that brought about the French Revolution. Even Newsweek editor-at-large Evan Thomas, who once gushed that Obama stood “above the world” as some “sort of God,” called the president’s new budget a “profile in cowardice.” After Obama leaves office, a perfect storm of rising international interest rates, an anemic dollar, and panic on the part of foreign lenders may force an end to this unhinged American rush to borrow and blow what it has not earned.

Gas prices in many parts of the country are nearing $4 a gallon; it could get even worse as unrest spreads throughout the oil-exporting Middle East. Yet the Obama administration once again seems to see no crisis. It has curtailed new leases for offshore oil exploration for seven years and exempted thousands of acres in the West from new drilling. It will not reconsider opening up small areas of Alaska with known large oil reserves.

Instead, the administration in 2009 pushed cap-and-trade legislation through the House on the dubious proposition that, in times of unusually cold American winters, the planet is warming up...

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Jonathan Dresner - 2/24/2011

I love the way VD Hanson, and the rest of the right wing, refers to "the findings" of the Debt Commission, when in fact no such findings were produced. There was a draft report which failed to garner the votes necessary to become official findings. That is all.

Ignoring a failed attempt at a bipartisan report is not irresponsible, nor is Obama's administration ignoring the issues.