Although the year 2020 was a trying one in so many ways, one bright spot that we at CFIF repeatedly…
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Image of the Day: Medical / Pharmaceutical / Healthcare Sector Approval Skyrockets

Although the year 2020 was a trying one in so many ways, one bright spot that we at CFIF repeatedly highlighted is the wondrous way in which America's pharmaceutical sector came to the rescue, achieving in one year what typically takes a decade or more:  devising and perfecting not one, but multiple lifesaving vaccines.  It's therefore no surprise, but welcome nonetheless, that Americans' approval of our healthcare sector and its workers skyrocketed.  Their remarkable achievements have not gone unnoticed:

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="625"] Medical Sector Approval Skyrocketed[/caption]

 …[more]

January 04, 2021 • 11:09 AM

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Obama’s Big Fat Greek Bailout Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, April 29 2010
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Obama’s new spending and deficit agenda will more than double federal debt in just ten years (from 40% to 90% of GDP), approaching Greece’s current debt levels.

Amusing entertainment news this week comes out of Britain, where Deadline London reports an upcoming Barack Obama miniseries based upon journalist Richard Wolffe’s book, The Making of a President

Here’s an idea for a better title:  Obama’s Big Fat Greek Bailout. 

After all, Obama’s enormous and unsustainable entitlement agenda perilously tracks Greece’s, and the future consequences will be the same unless someone interrupts his bad sequel. 

That British entertainment news dovetails with less humorous news elsewhere in Europe this week, as the Greek fiscal meltdown suddenly escalated into a European contagion.  Subsequent credit downgrades in Portugal and Spain triggered alarm that the entire euro zone faces a debt crisis, and increasingly-panicked investors abandoned euro zone stocks and bonds.  Additionally, the cost of insuring European companies against debt defaults jumped following this news, and the euro’s value declined. 

Previous cost estimates of a €45 billion ($60 billion) Greek bailout suddenly reached €120 billion ($160 billion). 

Beginning to sound familiar? 

Unfortunately, no one can say whether this Greek bailout would be just the beginning.  Recall that Argentina plummeted from one of the world’s more prosperous countries to basket-case status after continuing fiscal recklessness and repeated IMF bailouts.  Similarly, this could merely be the first in a series of rescues whenever Greek citizens riot in the streets to selfishly demand that German or Belgian taxpayers perpetuate the bloated social welfare payments to which they feel entitled. 

So how does this relate to Obama and the United States? 

Well, consider the alarming similarity between Greek and American debt levels.  According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Obama’s new spending and deficit agenda will more than double federal debt in just ten years (from 40% to 90% of GDP), approaching Greece’s current debt levels.  As Fortune also noted, America’s course under Obama dangerously resembles Greece: 

Historically, a debt-to-GDP ratio north of 90% and a deficit-as-a-percentage-of-GDP north of 10% have been the lines in the sand to watch.  As governments cross those barriers, they enter into the Pig Zone.  While the leaders of Greece can try to blame speculators for their fiscal issues, the reality is that hedge funds are betting against Greece based on years of the country budgeting far beyond its means.  The Greek leaders have managed their nation to a debt-to-GDP ratio north of 110% and deficit-as-a-percentage-of-GDP that exceeds 12.7%.  Blaming speculators may be politically convenient, but it doesn’t change the facts.  As we watch the Greece situation unfold, the fiscal metrics in the United States become even more concerning.  According to estimates, the United States is running a debt-to-GDP ratio of 84% and a deficit-to-GDP of almost 11%. 

Consider also Obama’s performance record to date in other areas.  This month, the official Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Office of the Actuary (CMS) acknowledged that ObamaCare will increase healthcare spending, breaking his assurances that it would instead reduce spending.  The CMS now projects that total costs will increase by $251 billion over the next ten years. 

That’s not a rounding error – it’s one-quarter of a trillion dollars. 

Perhaps the “O” symbol used by Obama supporters now stands for “Oops?” 

That is merely one very recent example.  Recall that Obama also projected that his “stimulus” bill would keep unemployment below 8%, but it continues to hover near 10% over one year later.  We also face tens of trillions of dollars in unfunded future obligations under Medicare and Social Security, as well as the cautionary example of California and its potential bailout request after years of fiscal recklessness.

Combine Obama’s burgeoning record of budgetary miscalculation with his affinity for bailouts, and we suddenly have a script for a very bad sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Obama and liberals mindlessly seek to make America more like Europe, but Greece illustrates the tragic ultimate destination.  Deficit spending certainly didn’t begin under Obama, but he took the historical average deficit of 2.9% of GDP and quadrupled it to 11% in just one year.  By way of comparison, since Obama seems to enjoy scapegoating his predecessor, President Bush’s average was just 3.2%. 

Fortunately, there’s a way we can avoid the Greek path upon which Obama is taking America.  Namely, by returning to fundamental principles of spending and entitlement discipline in the manner boldly suggested by Congressman Paul Ryan (R – Wisconsin). 

Otherwise, we can prepare for a big fat Greek fiasco with Obama playing the starring role. 

Question of the Week   
The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the U.S. from which one of the following countries?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"Joe Manchin, the most conservative Democrat in a split Senate, is signaling that he'll be a check on liberal climate change policies such as a mandate for carbon-free electricity.'You cannot eliminate your way to a cleaner environment. You can innovate your way. That is the difference in some people's aspirational goals,' Manchin told the Washington Examiner in an interview.Manchin, who represents…[more]
 
 
—Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner Energy and Environment Reporter
— Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner Energy and Environment Reporter
 
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Thinking only of your local circumstances, are coronavirus vaccinations proceeding about as well as can be expected given the task at hand, or subject to serious problems?