Want to get scared silly? Try Mark Steyn’s new book, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon. The overwhelming tone is of such intense gloom, I felt guilty at the points I found myself laughing out loud at Steyn’s fabulously satirical writing style.
No, it’s not “about” Barack Obama; at least not any more than to mention that he’s a guy who’s not so much as piloted a punt, yet is now in charge of sailing the largest, most complex economic vessel in history. Suffice to say, recent history shows a man floundering well out his accustomed depth.
As strongly as one might disagree with Steyn’s politics, and they certainly are polarizing, it would be hard to disagree with the hard economic numbers, writ large for all to see: The US is so overwhelmingly a “debtor” nation that it’s prospects for future economic self-sufficiency are are almost immeasurably remote.
One projection I read recently, put forward by a respected economist, was if the US immediately instituted 35% across-the-board tax hikes, they’d climb out of their critical debt-pit…in 25 years(!). Implicit in that that projection is an assumption that such a tax increase wouldn’t immediately cripple the US economy.
Steyn makes the point more simply: Very soon, the US will be paying enough in interest payments to Chinese bond-holders to finance the entire military budget of an ever-increasingly armed ascendant superpower. Because there’s no end in sight for deficits, the US taxpayer will fund a nice annual growth to the Chinese military, too.
Apart from purely economic gloom, Steyn articulates (and bemoans) a steep decline in the “can do” American spirit, coupled with a huge upswing in the politics of Nanny-statism – the examples are numerous, surprising and alarming.
The prospects are not good. Steyn’s post-Armageddon scenarios paint a picture for the New Obamastan that would have the staunchest ‘liberal’ longing for the “good old days” – you know, those of George W.