Quick - - what do you know about the country of Kenya?
That’s the country with the world’s greatest GDP, low inflation and stable employment - - right?
In 2008, the United States had the greatest GDP of any individual country in the world (it came in second behind the 27 nations of the European Union), whereas Kenya produced the world’s 82nd largest GDP. Kenya endured an annual inflation rate of 9.7% in 2008 (current inflation figures for Kenya are unavailable), while the United States recently posted an inflation rate of .1%. And while the United States is currently struggling with an unemployment rate of slightly over 9%, Kenya has suffered for most of this decade with an unemployment rate of roughly 40% (here again, precise, up-to-date figures are unavailable).
From photographs available online, the landscape of Kenya looks beautiful. But economically, Kenya makes for a very ugly picture, whereas the United States, even in the midst of an economic downturn, still looks relatively good.
So why is the President of the United States so committed to reconstructing the American economy with Kenyan-styled policies?
During the last presidential election cycle, I wrote frequently in this column about how candidate Obama packaged inherently communistic economic ideas into his contemporary, and at times inflammatory campaign rhetoric. His famous “Joe The Plummer/Spread The Wealth Around” moment was the least of it. Obama consistently promoted such themes as raising taxes on “the rich,” raising taxes on “excessive” corporate profits, raising taxes on energy, limiting people’s salaries, and redistributing wealth to those whom he believed “deserved” to have it.
Along with this, I also pointed-out last Summer that communism, itself, is a part of Mr. Obama’s heritage. Barack Hussein Obama Sr., the biological father of our President, was a bureaucrat in the communist government of Kenya back when the nation first declared its independence in the 1960’s. And while Kenya’s government was at that time trending towards pro-Western, free-market economic reforms, Obama staunchly opposed such changes.
Obama Sr. wrote in 1965 to Kenya’s then-President Jomo Kenyatta, advising against relying on private investors, who inevitably earn “dividends” (he was as disdainful about somebody making a “profit” with their capital as our President is today), to help sustain the country’s troubled economy. Instead, Mr. Obama proposed higher taxes on the wealthy, and a redistribution of that money, for the “collective good” of the nation.
“Theoretically, there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income,” Mr. Obama wrote, “so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed.” In the view of Barack Hussein Obama Sr., the right of the individual person to freely work, earn, and invest, meant nothing. All that mattered was the “collective good” of the nation. And if confiscating certain people’s hard-earned money could help benefit “everyone,” then so be it. That wealth would be put to better use, Mr. Obama argued, if it were controlled by the leader of the government.
Fortunately for Kenya, President Kenyatta continued to pursue free-market reforms, and Barack Obama Sr. was eventually fired from his job. But unfortunately for the United States, Mr. Obama’s dreadful economic plans have come to life again, thanks to President Barack Hussein Obama Jr. When I pointed-out the dramatic similarities between the father and the son last summer, I was, of course, immediately branded as a “racist” and a “bigot.” One angry reader of my column reminded me that “Barack was only 21 when his Dad died” and asked “ how dare you bring up such a painful subject?”
Having lost my own Dad before I turned thirty, I can attest that it’s a “painful subject.” But losing our country is a far more painful prospect, and that’s a prospect that is weighing in the balance right now.
Within his first six months as President, Barack Obama has successfully seized control of two American car companies, tripled the federal deficit, and expanded public control of private banking and lending institutions. His so-called “Cap and Trade” energy proposal (which was, at its essence, a plan to dramatically raise petroleum consumption taxes), and his plan to reduce tax deductions for charitable contributions (a plan which would have hurt private sector charities) were so far to the “left” that even his own Democratic Party rejected them. And now his plan for “universal healthcare” (another entitlement plan that is unnerving his fellow Democrats), which he claims will “expand coverage” to more Americans, includes hundreds of billions of dollars in tax increases, and proposes “targeted tax increases” on Americans who purchase their own, more “deluxe” health insurance.
President Obama has demonstrated that he is skillful at seizing, controlling, and redistributing other people’s wealth. But mere wealth redistribution is not the way of the industrialized world. It is the Kenyan-styled path to the Third World, and the path to the world’s 82nd largest GDP.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.