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Failing as Commander-in-chief – Part 1

July 23, 2009

I was watching Hannibal destroy Romans on the History Channel the other night, and it made me think about military might and the future of the United States.

It appears to me that Barack Obama is failing miserably at the most important job the president has: maintaining the security of the nation and the safety of its citizens.

(The second most important job of the president is not throwing like a girl when invited to throw a ceremonial first pitch at the All Star Game. He’s failing there, too.)

Hannibal kicked Roman butt all up and down the Italian peninsula in the third century BC. He annihilated the Romans every time he met them in battle – and when I say “annihilated” it’s meant in the truest sense of the word. The Battle of Cannae, where Hannibal and his Carthaginian army of about 50,000 met a Roman force of about 90,000 and slaughtered almost all of them, is considered by military historians to be the epitome of military annihilation.

Since most people are not military historians and never heard of the Battle of Cannae, it was like a Detroit Lions game with the Romans being the Lions.

General Norman Schwarzkopf modeled his Desert Storm tactics on the Battle of Cannae. The difference is, Norman won the battle and the war. Hannibal won lots of battles, but ended up losing the war. When he was knocking on the door to Rome, Carthage lacked the will and the money to provide him what he needed to properly finish.

So it was Rome which sacked Carthage, not the other way around. (Okay, since the Romans ended up coming back and winning, maybe the Detroit Lions analogy doesn’t really work.)

Over two millennia later the same kind of thing happened in the American Civil War. The Confederacy had all the best generals and soldiers, and proceeded to win all the early battles, whupping Union ass time after time.

We know how that turned out. The lesson of Hannibal, Carthage, and the American Confederacy – and maybe even the Detroit Lions – is that economic power trumps military prowess, as long as the nation with the money also has the willpower to continue fighting, like the Romans and the Union did.

President Obama seems bent upon destroying the economic base which makes the United States the most powerful nation in the world. That’s the first and most important way he is failing at his job. Leftwing agenda-driven legislation like the Cap ‘n’ Trade bill and impending healthcare legislation, added on top of the pig-snouted so-called Stimulus Bill and the trillions of dollars of Bailout/TARP money the U.S. government is now on the hook for, has created a situation where the United States of America, thanks to the wildly socialist agenda of an inexperienced president, could soon be bankrupt and unable to maintain its military strength.

A nation going bankrupt is different than you or me going bankrupt. Nobody padlocks the country’s doors or repossesses the national car or hauls Daddy into court to place a garnishment on his paycheck.

What will happen is that investors will stop buying debt instruments issued by our government, because they will understandably have doubts about the value of the dollars they will be getting repaid down the road.

(In fact, as faith in the dollar erodes, foreign businessmen will become reluctant to receive dollars as payment for their products, for the same reason. What that will mean to you is that ten-dollar shirts at Wal-Mart will suddenly cost you twenty, thirty, or forty dollars. Likewise, the prices of everything else will skyrocket. You won’t be able to afford your standard of living anymore… and if your standard of living was already a Wal-Mart standard, you’re screwed, buddy.)

When the government can’t sell its debt instruments, they have a choice: they can offer to pay higher interest rates, hoping to lure investors with higher returns, or they can simply print paper money.

The United States cannot do much raising of interest rates, even though that's been Obama's preferred tactic so far. Our debt is so huge, after decades of numbskull, ineffective, leftwing social programs, that each 1% increase in the interest rate costs us about $120 billion more per year.

That's 25% of our entire defense budget just to pay for a 1% rise in the interest rate, all because of irresponsible fiscal policy.

So once the full brunt of the so-called Stimulus, and the TARP/ Bailout trillions, and Cap ‘n’ Trade’s trillions, and the new government-controlled healthcare trillions, all come on stream, we simply will not be able to borrow enough money. The amounts being spent by Obama and congressional Democrats are so huge, there literally is not enough liquid money in the world to purchase the debt instruments we will need to sell.

We’ve already heard grumblings from foreign investors, and watched interest rates tick upward, and seen new Treasury offerings get cold receptions at auction.

The Treasury will have to print paper money and hope nobody notices. Obama probably thinks he can get away with this. Shoot, he got rich ten minutes after getting elected to the U.S. Senate, and nobody noticed that, did they?

You can imagine what this will do to the value of the dollars you have painstakingly saved over the years. Every time the United States government prints the words “legal tender” on a piece of paper, the value of all the other pieces of paper with those words decreases.

The perfect example of a bankrupt nation is Zimbabwe, where a wheelbarrow full of billion dollar bills won’t buy you a loaf of bread. In January the Zimbabwe government announced they would issue 100-trillion dollar bills… so I’m guessing that by now they are printing 500-quadrillion dollar bills and people are using them to light cigarettes.

Guess what happens when you try to buy an aircraft carrier or fighter jet with Zimbabwe dollars.

On a more personal level, guess what happens to your retirement account measured in hundreds of thousands of dollars when people are pushing around wheelbarrows full of billion-dollar bills.

In case you think that Zimbabwe is an extreme case of backwardness and stupidity, and such could never happen here, keep in mind that as recently as the 1980’s Zimbabwe had one of the highest standards of living in Africa and was among the top five food exporters in the world. After just a quarter century of communist leadership, they can’t even feed themselves, let alone export food.

It doesn’t take long for asinine leftist policies to ruin even the strongest nation.

No matter what level of importance Barrack Obama places on his socialist programs, nothing is more important than securing the safety of the nation. His programs are threatening our security by their very stupidity. We have a Stimulus Bill that doesn’t stimulate, a Bailout that has made Wall Street gamblers rich, a Cap ‘n’ Trade bill that will cost trillions fixing a global warming problem that doesn’t exist, and a healthcare bill that spends trillions rebuilding the best healthcare system in the world.

He’s failing as our Commander-in-chief by threatening the most important factor in military strength, national wealth. In the second part of this two-part series, I’ll look at the second important factor as it is faring under Obama and the Democrats: national willpower.

(If I get real ambitious, I’ll add a Part 3 explaining how not to throw like a girl. I’m all about helping our new president.)

From Reno, Nevada, USA

July 24, 2009 - Your style of writing and wit held my attention throughout your latest blog. I plan to read more of them as soon as I finish this book I'm editing. Regarding your political beliefs, though I don't agree with all of them, I wish more writers could keep their humor versus spewing vitriol and hate so much. "Can't we all just get along?" - Rodney King P.S. I think you may have been Hannibal in a past life...and President Obama threw the baseball just fine for the hoops player he is! You try it! - Linda, Nevada

July 23, 2009 - If I am on your list remove me as I do not want to hear your propoganda. I think you have your commander-in-chiefs mixed up. It was Bush that failed for 8 years. - G.G., Florida

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