Where are we going?

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By John Barnhart

    The Rasmussen Poll asks, on a weekly basis, if the United States is on the right or wrong track. Their most recent poll on this question, 30 percent of those responding said the U. S. is headed in the right direction and 63 percent responding that the United States is on the wrong track. These numbers fluctuate quite a bit. Right after the November election, they were 42 percent and 51 percent. A year ago, they were 28 percent and 65 percent. One thing that remains a constant, however, is that, for the last four years, the percentage of people saying that the U. S. is on the wrong track has been higher than the percentage of those who say the United States is headed in the right direction.
    There are some positives. Unemployment is now down to 7.5 percent and consumer confidence is now at the highest level that it has been since 2007.  Banks have also eased their lending standards for low-risk mortgages.They have also eased their standards for industrial, business and commercial loans.
    The number of job-seekers per job opening has also dropped. There are now 3.05 job seekers for each opening, down from 6.7 per opening back in July, 2009.
    On the other hand, there are some serious negatives. One of these is President Barack Obama's red line on Syria. Last year President Obama said that Syria would risk crossing a red line, provoking a U. S. military response, if its government used chemical or biological weapons, or moved them, in it's fight against rebels.
    Now, it appears that Bashir al-Assad, Syria's dictator, has made a limited use of sarin, a type of nerve gas, in the fight. The result, so far, has been nothing. President Obama  has been furiously backpedaling in an effort to avoid making good on his threat.
    Perhaps al-Assad decided to call President Obama's bluff. Whatever his intentions, he now knows that the red line was just another example of Barack Obaloney's empty rhetoric.
    Openly drawing red lines with the threat of military action is a very dangerous thing for a U. S. president to do, unless he actually plans to put a boot in somebody's rear end if that line is crossed. Unfortunately for us, President Obama, with his penchant for running his mouth, drew such a red line and, now that al-Assad has crossed it, he has to carry out his threat by taking some sort of military action. His credibility, what little he has left, will be gone if the doesn't and foreign leaders will assume that any of his other red lines mean nothing. Don't forget that he's also drawn a red line on Iran getting nuclear weapons and I'm sure the fun-loving folks running that country's government are watching to see what President Obama does in the case of Syria.
    Oh, and lets not forget about Benghazi. Congressional hearings on the terrorist attack on the U. S. consulate there, that killed our ambassador to Libya, are painting a picture of incompetence at the highest levels in the Obama Administration. They have also revealed what looks like an effort by the Obama Administration at a coverup — deliberately misleading the public about the nature of what was actually a deadly terrorist attack seven weeks before the 2012 presidential election.
    Finally, there's ObamaCare. Senator Max Baucus recently described it's implementation as a “train wreck.” Baucus was one of the principal people responsible for getting the ObamaCare train rolling in the Senate and it would have been nice if he had come to that conclusion back then.
    So far all this bureaucratic nightmare has done is make medical insurance more expensive for everybody. It's also acting as a drag on employment growth as it makes hiring new employees more expensive for business and will give many an economic incentive to cut the hours of part-time employees working between 30 and 34 hours a week.
    My feeling is that America is definitely on the wrong track and I'm very pessimistic about our future.