When it comes to the problems facing this country, an old slogan comes to mind: “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.”
High unemployment, the recession, and a terrorist resurgence in Afghanistan are bad enough. But there are a number of problems on the horizon that could dwarf President Obama’s first-year trials.
Why the pessimism? In short, we are doing nothing to prepare for the crises to come.
But as the world economy recovers, oil will probably surge back over $100 a barrel, increasing our oil-import tab by 25 percent or more. The Obama administration, though, mostly is obsessed with subsidizing relatively small amounts of wind and solar power. It likely won’
After announcing a new strategy of counterinsurgency in March, and appointing Gen. Stanley McChrystal the new supreme commander in Afghanistan, it looks like Obama only now will commit more troops to Afghanistan. That will be a wise decision — but one coming three months after the generals’ request.
We were given an unexpected reprieve through the defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq. We can now build on that victory by routing the Taliban in the way the Iraq surge stabilized democracy there.
Finally, there is an array of taxes on the horizon — increased federal income-tax rates; promised hikes in health-care surcharge taxes; and even rumors of value-added federal sales taxes. These increases are said to be aimed at the proverbial wealthy. But that could change — given that the top 5 percent of households already provide 60 percent of the nation’s income-tax revenue. And many are already paying 50 percent to 60 percent of their incomes in combined local, state, federal, and payroll taxes.
Just consider. The price of gas will soon likely increase. The cost of servicing our profligate borrowing will, too. One more terrorist attack like at Fort Hood, or nightly sermons from a grandstanding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, or a new Taliban offensive, and the momentum could shift to radical Islam in its decades-long war against the United States. Next year’s tax hikes will be real and large — and no longer just this year’s idle talk.
As these storm clouds gather, Congress bickers on Saturday nights about borrowing even more money for health-care reform, yet another federal entitlement.
If you think things have been rough so far, hang on,’cause you ain’t seen nothing yet.