Copyright 2012 by John T. Reed

The TV and radio pundits say which Republican wins the nomination matters. No, it doesn’t. Even Ron Paul being president would not matter—because he will not have 60 votes in the Senate and may not even have a majority in either house of Congress, let alone both. And even if he had a majority of Republicans in both houses, they do not agree with his policies.

Not even Ron Paul

Both Republicans and Democrats would declare Ron Paul’s campaign promises “dead on arrival” as soon as he announced them as legislation he wanted.

The media also treat the “recovery” as if it were important. It is not.

Recovery is too anemic to pay attention to

For one thing, it started in June 2009 according to the National Bureau of Economic Research which is the organization that determines when recessions and recoveries start. We are no approaching the third anniversary of the end of the recession and start of the recovery. It’s not news and the various tiny upticks and downticks mean nothing.

The economy is stagnant and it will not change until the foreclosures are cleared out of the system, which is proceeding at a glacial rate because of numerous “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you” interferences.

Much of the growth that is occurring is in the energy sector, which Obama and his allies hate. That growth, which Obama is taking credit for, happened in spite of him in areas that he does not control.

Here is what really matters.

• the national debt-to-GDP ratio—it is 102% and shooting up unabated. The all-time record in the U.S. was 122% after World War II. When the war ended, we cut federal spending by 60%. We need to do that again. There is absolutely NO prospect of that and only infinitessimal support for such cuts. We reach Greek levels of debt-to-GDP ratios in the second half of 2014. Federal spending—mostly entitlements—need to be cut 50% right now—more if we wait. The government will probably print money to pay its bills when the bond market stops lending it to us. That will trigger the worst financial crisis—hyperinflation—in U.S. history. It may be the biggest news story in the history of the U.S. And yet there is nothing about it in the media at president.

Iran is getting nukes. Unlike the other nuclear powers, Iran is nuts. The nuclear peace since 1945 has stemmed from the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction. No nuclear power would use nuclear weapons because they would get them right back. With Iran, which officially says martyrdom is its highest value, MAD does not work. Only pre-emption would. In spite of Obama’s “I don’t bluff statement, he does not have the guts or the means to stop Iran. Israel may have the guts, but not the means.

economic stagnation is the result of a metastasized tumor of legislation and regulation—10,000 new regs a month according to John Stossel. Like lung cancer, this is strangling the U.S. economy from within, but doing so gradually so that the American people don’t recognize what’s happening.

America is about to lose its world leadership. Many Americans would say who cares? Why should we bear that burden?

Because someone has to and we will most certainly not like others taking charge. It is unclear who would be the new leader—as it was between World War I, before which Britain was the leader of the world, and the end of World War II, when the U.S. emerged as the world leader. The world has been a better place with the U.S. in charge than it ever was before. Whoever replaces us—probably an alliance of eastern hemisphere powers like Russia and China or China and the Muslim countries—will not champion freedom and capitalism. See my article on “Should the U.S. be the policeman of the world?”

Iraq and Afghanistan—who cares? Worst case, we are told is Iran dominating Iraq and the Taliban taking Afghanistan over again. We are told this is a threat to us. Neither Iran nor Afghanistan has ever bothered me—or you probably unless you let your son or daughter go over there. As Newt said, let the Afghans go back to their miserable lives. It is a landlocked piece of crap that is 7,000 miles away from Chicago and has not yet built roads, let alone nuclear-tipped ICBMs. Iraq and Iran have some oil, but it does no one any good unless it is sold. Iran is a threat to Israel, but about all we can do about that is nuke Iran out of existence. I see no mandate for a nuclear war, even if Iran starts it. I think Obama wants to defer the Iran destruction of Israel until after the election, at which point he will issue a strong statement but will take no action. Obama apparently does not like Jews or Israel. But even if Joe Liebermann were president, about all that can be done at this point is a U.S. nuclear destruction of Iran. I would try special ops first, but it would be tough. I have said in a prior article that the best way to get the buried-under-mountains nuclear facilities is probably to pour flammable liquid down the roof vents of the facilities. Gravity and a tracer bullet will take care of the rest. That would be the finesse, MacGyver approach that I favor. Now, how do you locate those vents and get several tank loads of fuel dumped into them? Ultimately, we have to get Iran to agree to no nukes and to allow inspectors to confirm and police the agreement. Absent that, we must simply have a nuclear war. Iran has no missiles capable of reaching the U.S., although North Korea may produce them in the future and sell them to Iran. But Iran does not need ICBMs. They can deliver nuclear weapons to the U.S. on cargo ships or cruise ships.

The next Republican administration will almost certainly be like the last one: Bush, why would grown-ups believe any different? Life is not a fairly tale

Republicans talk a good game, but the fact is the next Republican administration will generally be like the last one: No Child Left Behind, TARP, Medicare Plan D, endless wars in the Middle East, continued growth in federal spending.

Republicans are unanimous in their belief in the need to get Obama out of the White House in 2012.

Why bother? If the bond market says no to further deficit spending in the last half of 2014, the incumbent president’s party will get the blame and be out of power for a hundred years as a result. We would probably be better off if Obama were still there then. It’s called the winner’s curse. Also, what can he do? With Republicans controlling the House and having more than 40 members in the Senate, Obama will not be able to do any more than he has since January 2011, namely, putting a tax on “the rich” in every single bill, which means it won’t get Republican votes, then trying to persuade the public that the Republicans are only the party of “millionaires and billionaires.”

2012 election not the end of the world no matter who wins

The 2012 election will not be the end of the world no matter who the next president is. What WILL be the end of the world, or a reasonable facsimile thereof to Americans, is the bond market abandoning U.S. government bonds thereby triggering hyperinflation, Iran acquiring and using nukes, continued increase in strangulation of the economy by creeping socialist totalitarianism, and loss of America’s world leadership position—because of bankruptcy of the U.S. federal government.

Ignore network choices of stories

Don’t let the networks tell you what’s important. They’ll tell you Mitt Romney’s blind trust owning an account in the Cayman Islands is important. It’s not. I told you what is important above. You can find stories about that but you have to look hard for them. Other than Stossel on Fox Business, who covers freedom and the economy, and maybe Judge Napolitano, no one systematically covers these subjects.

I now let you resume watching Hannity who will remind you that Bill Ayers is an unrepentant terrorist, Jeremiah Wright said America’s chickens are coming home to roost, Dana Perino has to put up with Beckel five days a week, and the other momentous “news you can use” of our era.

‘Iran never started a war—it’s all just talk’

A reader said Iran has never started a war and only supports Palestinians struggling against Israelis, arguably a valid fight. He acknowledges that they talk a lot of belligerent stuff, but they are all talk and no action if you look at the history.

Let me explain it using what economists call Robinson Crusoe economics, that is, a small, easy-to-understand situation that is analogous to the larger Iran nuke situation. In 2010, my wife and I attended a four-day pistol self-defense training at Front Sight, Nevada. The instructors were mostly former police and military. I am former military.

One issue they often focused on was when can you shoot someone. If a guy is belligerently threatening you and claims he has a gun, the issue turns on how much time you have to ascertain that he is telling the truth and how long it takes you to shoot him first. For example, if a suspect has a gun in his hand and he is pointing it north while you are standing to the west of him, you would not shoot—yet. However, if he starts to turn the gun so it will soon be pointing at you, you may shoot him to kill before it is actually pointed at you. You are not required to wait unil it is pointing at you and he has pulled the trigger.

Now suppose he yells “Death to you” a million times and holds up thousands of signs saying “Death to you” in English, even though English is not his native tongue. Further, suppose he claims to have a thousand men with a thousand loaded shotguns pointed at you right now. You cannot confirm that because they are hidden behind sheets. You may shoot him in self defense without waiting for further confirmation regarding either the weapons or his intentions.

Ask Saddam

This is actually about what happened to Saddam Hussein. After he was captured, an Arabic-speaking FBI agent interrogated him every day until he was hung. When asked why he kept pretending to have weapons of mass destruction, he said words to the effect of,

You destroyed my military in the 1991 Kuwait war. My enemies, namely Iran and Syria, could attack me at any time and win easily. I had to bluff that I had WMD to deter that. It never occurred to me that 9/11 would happen or that the U.S. would use that as a pretext to attack me.

Few regret Hussein’s being driven out of power, into hiding, tried, and executed. Similarly, few would mourn a nation that has been screaming “Death to America!” for 35 years and lately going way out of their way to taunt us about their growing nuclear and missile capabilities. If some dying Iranian were to say, “But we were just kidding” in the rubble, no one would feel bad about having taken them at their word. We would not even feel obliged to say, “oops.” The boy who cried wolf also ended up dead, or his sheep did, depending on which version of the fable you read.

John T. Reed