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BRIAN LILLEY - Welcome to Obamageddon


Welcome to Obamaggedon.

Barack Obama may have been the favoured candidate when pollsters asked Canadians who they would want to lead the United States but in economic terms, his re-election is nothing short of a disaster.

Since coming to office Obama has pushed government spending up to unsustainable levels. He may have once called the $4 trillion that George W. Bush added to the US debt irresponsible and unpatriotic, but Obama has added even more in half the time- $5 trillion over four years versus Bush's $4 trillion over 8 years.

The worst part is that Obama has no credible plan to turn things around. In re-electing the president America has decided to be Thelma to Obama's Louise as they hit the accelerator and go driving off the fiscal cliff together.

The US national debt currently stands at $16 trillion or $141,000 per US taxpayer. Iif Obama's record over his first term is any indication the debt will soon be over $20 trillion a number most of us would have trouble imagining.

Yet as tough as it is to wrap your mind around those numbers this much is easy to understand - the amount of money needed just to pay the interest on that debt is bound to go up. Interest rates will not stay at the near zero levels they are currently at and when they do go up even more money will have to be diverted from services - essential and otherwise - just to pay the monthly minimum on America's credit card bill.

Why should we care as Canadians?post

Obama's re-election likely means several more years of a sluggish recovery, higher than desired unemployment and therefore less demand for Canadian jobs. Try as he may to find new markets for

Canadian goods there is no way that Prime Minister Stephen Harper can quickly replace the massive customer base that the United States has traditionally represented.

Tonight's result quite probably means that Canada's unemployment rate will remain stubbornly high and that exporters in this country will continue to feel the effects of the malaise south of the border.

The best hope is that Congress will attempt to pull the purse strings on Obama, curb his spendthrift ways and set the United States on a more sustainable course but that too is difficult given Obama's record.

In his first term Obama expressed a desire to work around Congress, passed regulations from the executive when he couldn't get legislation passed and made appointments without seeking the approval of the Senate. Obama now has the flexibility that he told the Russians he would have come his second term.

I shudder to think what this president, one promised to fundamentally transform America, will do in a second term knowing that he never needs to face voters again.

Welcome to Obamaggedon.

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