The U.S. fiscal crisis can be simply summarized. Since 2009, the federal government has been spending 24 to 25 percent of gross domestic product, while tax collections have fallen to 15 percent.
When his first four years end, Obama will have grown the debt by $6 trillion.
And if he is giving up on any solution in 2012, believing he can win re-election by vilifying the GOP as toadies to America's top 1 percent, who are icily indifferent to the middle class, what hope is there for any political cooperation, should Obama win?
As of today, Obama is running even with Mitt Romney. He has lost much of the enthusiasm of the young and the minorities that he had in 2008. College-educated whites who had hopes for him seem disillusioned.
Assuredly, he may still win. But should Obama win, how, after a campaign like the one he intends to conduct, does he unite the country?
How does he work with a Republican Party that will likely still hold the House and will have made gains in the Senate, after he has spent a year castigating that party?
And what happen to the nation if we have five more years of political gridlock?
If the president failed to broker a budget compromise with the GOP in 2011 and has given up on 2012, how does he work with a Republican House in 2013? How does he, in a second term, resolve this budget crisis when his bottom-line demand for higher taxes is poison to a party he has just trashed for 15 months as a tool of Wall Street?
Resolving our fiscal crisis seems today beyond the capacity of the U.S. government, as currently constituted. We appear to be in a crisis of the regime rooted in an irreconcilable ideological conflict between two parties of relatively equal strength.
Republicans who refused to raise taxes in 2011 are not going to agree to raise them in 2013 in response to a request from an Obama who defeated them by portraying them as the party of the 1 percent in 2012.
If Obama is re-elected, the crisis endures.
It will then be resolved when the world realizes that the U.S. deficit and debt are beyond the capacity of this U.S. government to bring under control.
At that point, the ratings agencies and world markets will begin to treat the U.S. debt the way they treat the debts of Italy and Spain.