“Debacle:” Obama’s space alien movie made in California

May 29, 2012

By Wayne Lusvardi

President Barack Obama’s “stimulus” flying saucer landed in California in February 2009. This isn’t something from Steven Spielberg’s “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.” It’s the actual description from Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist.

Krugman is quoted in the new book, “Debacle: Obama’s War Against Jobs and Growth,” by John Lott and Grover Norquist. Lott is a well-known economist at the American Enterprise Institute. Norquist is the president of Americans for Tax Reform, a taxpayer advocacy group.


“If we discovered that space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat, and really inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months.  And then if we discovered, oops, we made a mistake, there aren’t any aliens, we’d be better off.”

Thirty-eight months later, there is, as predicted, a growing state budget deficit and looming inflation from California’s new green laws. But there is no significant economic recovery, either.  In fact, California may be headed for a double-dip recession in 2013 and 2014. What happened?

We thought by now that the space aliens from “Planet O” would have won California’s war over global warming, its water wars and its war against Proposition 13.  For as former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said, “You never want to see a crisis go to waste.”  So the Mortgage Meltdown of 2008 was used as an excuse to run around Prop 13, home rule, and eventually California’s Constitution.  Government avoided having to adjust wages, home prices and public pensions from inflated levels during the Mortgage Bubble.  Now it has announced it is running a $16 billion deficit. California’s budget flying saucer just doesn’t want to come back down to planet earth.

The federal stimulus program ended in July 2011.  But 2012 is an election year.  So Obama and California Attorney General Kamela Harris have shaken down commercial banks for another $18 billion bailout in the guise of a foreclosure fraud settlement.  To do this, California must circumvent its State Constitutional ban on giving a “gift of public funds” to homeowners. But who cares about the rule of law? Obama will do anything to get elected. Obama’s economic stimulus movie might as well have been written, produced and directed on a stage set in Hollywood.  But it died at the box office.

California’s decline due to stimulus

Lott and Norquist have written a well-documented book on why Obama should not be re-elected, due to his poor track record on jobs and economic growth.  Though they don’t provide any specifics on California in their new book, the chapters of their book could easily be applied to California:

Chapter 1: The Financial Crisis — California is ground zero of the foreclosure crisis as shown by the $25 billion foreclosure settlement funds coming to California.

Chapter 2: The Worst Recovery on Record — California is lagging behind every other state in economic recovery.

Chapter 3: The Stimulus Made Things Worse — the stimulus postponed the reduction of government wages, home prices and public pensions resulting from the Mortgage Bubble that would have brought about a rapid recovery.

Chapter 4: Would the Economy Have Been in Worse Shape without the Stimulus? — The foreclosure fraud settlement will prolong California’s recession and circumvent the constitutional prohibition against giving homeowners a gift of public funds.  The federal Department of Energy’s $535 million loan guarantee to California-based solar panel manufacturer Solyndra ended up with the company taking the money and jumping on a flying saucer as soon as the loan was approved.

Chapter 5: Regulatory Thuggery — Due to a federal EPA crackdown on fracking permits — oil drilling by hydraulic fracturing of rocks — California’s oil well permits dropped from 71 in 2009 to 7 in 2011, a 90 percent drop.

Obama’s war against jobs and growth

When Obama was elected in 2008, it gave Democrats a supermajority.  Obama signed Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s H.R. 146 — San Joaquin River Restoration Act — as part of the Omnibus Lands Act of 2009.  This bill transferred contracted water from San Joaquin Valley farmers to commercial fishing, recreation, lodging and real estate development interests in a water grab.

The amount of data and documentation Lott and Norquist have amassed won’t convince their opponents if all the reader reviews at Amazon.com are any example.  No matter how convincing this book is, the text is bound to make opponents only more prone to denial and strengthen their opposition. Social psychologists call this “cognitive dissonance” — information at odds with one’s core beliefs that threaten one’ livelihood or social status typically results in one’s beliefs only getting stronger.

But reality still intrudes. As Lott and Norquist show, another four years of Obama would drive the economic train off a cliff — with California riding in the first car.

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