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Siglo Veintiuno, Guatemala

Four More Years of Obama


By Ramón Parellada

Translated By Marie Winnick

8 November 2012

Edited by Kath­leen Weinberger


Guatemala - Siglo Veintiuno - Original Article (Spanish)

This Tuesday (Nov. 6), current President Barack Obama of the Democratic Party defeated his opponent, Republican candidate Mitt Romney, in the general election for the presidency of the United States of America.

Although Obama won the general election and maintained the majority in the Senate, the Republicans still have the majority in Congress (the House of Representatives). Therefore, we can expect that this division of powers will entail negotiations between Republicans and Democrats in order to address the most significant challenges that await the new president.

Obama will try to continue to strengthen his “liberal” (not libertarian) agenda as the Americans understand it. That means more support for social spending and more hostility toward the wealth creators, especially the superrich. It means more regulations and higher progressive tax rates to achieve a supposedly greater redistribution of wealth. While he furthers his economic policies along with his Keynesian advisors, I suspect that government spending, debt and deficits will continue to grow.

The American economy has experienced a degree of recovery. We could even say that it has been regaining some vitality, however meekly, though in some sectors it remains anemic. Fiscal policy and excessive regulations continue to impede a complete economic recovery. Unemployment, although on the decline, remains higher in terms of percentage than before Obama became president.

For this reason, Obama’s greatest challenge during his second chance will be to achieve a true economic recovery for the United States—one that could spread to the rest of the world. Keep in mind that when taxes are raised, economic growth decelerates. Excessive regulations inhibit wealth creation initiatives, which in turn slow down economic growth. Excessive government spending creates a deficit that can only be covered with more debt by competing with the private sector for the same scarce resources. The private sector has been creating wealth only to be bought by the government that consumes it, further increasing the tax burden that, in the future, will be paid for by American citizens.

Will the Republicans be able to make that critical counterbalance of investing their time and energy into lowering taxes, cutting spending and decreasing the budget deficit? I don’t know – however, I rather doubt it. The Republicans’ recent record is not favorable in this sense, either. This was a main component of the Romney campaign and also the key selling point of his vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan.

As for foreign policy, I don’t think there is any difference between Republicans and Democrats. Things are still the same. I can’t imagine that Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, despite his initial promises, would be capable of changing America’s foreign policy and ending political interference in so many foreign countries. More readily, he will continue to intervene in others’ territory in the same way that the Republicans would, as long as the security of the U.S. is perceived to be under threat.

Perhaps what worries me the most about Obama is that continuous, remarkably hostile attack toward the creators of wealth and his belief that the government can create better businesses (by subsidizing them) rather than rely on those arising in freedom and without privileges. It is an attack that goes against the intentions of the founders of the United States of America. That is why they established a constitution; so that the state and federal governments could not meddle in the lives of their citizens, and so that they could protect themselves against any possible abuse of power, and that way preserve their liberty.



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