Published on TheHill.com on October 14, 2014
Can it get much worse for President Obama? With the stock market in free fall, Ebola making its way to the United States, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) sitting just an hour outside of Baghdad and ObamaCare premium increases leaking out before the midterm elections, it’s hard to see how things could get worse for the president.
But they can, and they will.
To start with, Wall Street isn’t done crashing. Close observers have been predicting a crash out of proportion to any we have ever seen –now their warnings are beginning to come true. The Dow has fluctuated nearly 1,000 points — about 6 percent of its value — in the past month. Some experts are predicting a crash down to 5,000, with stocks losing more than two-thirds of their value.
Economist Jim Fitzgibbon notes that, in the past 15 months, the smart institutional money has left the market and has been replaced with investments by individuals. The data support this conclusion. About $50 billion of institutional money has left the market since January 2013, while $50 billion from retail investors has taken its place.
The departure of the smart money reminds one of J.D. Rockefeller’s prediction that when his elevator operator asks for a stock tip, a recession is coming. And when he offers one, a depression is on the horizon!
The deadly progress of Ebola is evident to all. The World Health Organization now estimates there soon may be 10,000 new cases a week worldwide. Obama’s absurd refusal to ban flights from Liberia and other impacted nations — even on connecting flights to the U.S. — has left our country vulnerable and exposed.
The bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria has failed to reverse or even slow down the ISIS surge. It took Apache helicopters to defend Baghdad’s airport. When helicopters fly close support combat missions, casualties are sure to follow. It is becoming increasingly clear that we are, in fact, involved in the third Iraq War over the course of the past 25 years. As this realization dawns on Americans, the anti-war left will feel betrayed by a fickle president, just as the rest of the nation feels abandoned by an incompetent one.
While Obama has taken care to suppress the details of coming Affordable Care Act rate hikes until after Election Day, news is leaking out, particularly in swing states, such as Alaska, Louisiana and Iowa. As more details of the coming double-digit increases emerge, we can expect the unpopularity of this law, which has never caught on, to increase. The raises are due, of course, to flawed demographic projections by the Department of Health and Human Services of the ObamaCare population. With about 10 percent more of their numbers over 50 and 10 percent too few under 30, the cost of insuring the pool is markedly higher than insurance companies had been led to estimate. By postponing the new enrollment period until Nov. 15, Obama has tried to punt the issue into the next election cycle, but bad news is sure to leak.
It is hard to imagine a worse atmosphere for a Democratic candidate. As a result, many are ditching the party label and, like the Iraqi Army, shedding their uniforms in hopes they will blend in with the population, running as independents. But both in Kansas (where Greg Orman is trying the trick) and South Dakota (where Larry Pressler is pretending to be an independent), voters are seeing through the disguise. Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts has now taken a lead over Orman (after trailing by 10), and Pressler is in third place in South Dakota.
What went wrong in Obama’s game plan? As former British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan famously said, “Events, dear boy, events.”
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