You used to have to wait every four years to see nations duke it out during the Olympics, excepting the occasional border tiff or war. Today we’re watching two nations and two economic systems fight right on the front pages of America’s newspapers.
In this corner in the surprising red, white and blue trunks, at a spry 84 years of age, he’s 6’4” and weighing in at 193 pounds, we have El Supremo, the one-time Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. And in this corner in the red trunks, at 6’1” and weighing a svelte 180 pounds, the current champion of the U.S. presidency, Barack Hussein Obama.
The two big-name fighters are taking surprising stances. Long-time commie Castro came out and said that system wasn’t working for his country. Though he since said he was misinterpreted, his nation is still letting go 500,000 to 1 million state workers and boosting the free market.
At the same time, the most powerful nation in the free world is headed by someone who believes government solutions are the best. Obama has helped the U.S. government intrude into Wall Street, health care, the auto industry, the insurance industry and more. While I am typing this, somewhere Michelle Obama is even scolding restaurants for serving the type and amount of food their customers want to eat.
With Cuba finally showing that communism is dying officially on earth, it should be a red letter day for capitalism. Thanks to Obama, it’s not.
All across the United States, voters are seething with anger at government growth. Pick an issue – bogus health care reform, higher taxes or the nanny state – and conservatism is taking hold. From Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally to the sweeping impact of tea parties on primary elections, that anger is growing. Ask Mike Castle if he thinks the tea parties are having an impact.
Americans are fighting mad, and no wonder. Since the Cuban Missile Crisis, they’ve have never really taken Cuba seriously, but now they have to. Despite 50 years of communist rule, Cuba is cutting back on its mega-government at the very same time the left is trying to expand ours.
The New York Times quoted the Cuban Workers’ Central, “the country’s only recognized labor federation,” defending the huge layoff. But here’s the best part, look at their reasoning: “‘Our state cannot and should not continue supporting companies’ and other state entities, ‘with inflated payrolls, losses that damage the economy, which are counterproductive, generate bad habits and deform the workers’ conduct.’”
The left-wing union in the hemisphere’s only communist country just said they can’t support high payrolls and businesses that lose so much they hurt the economy. Yet here in the U.S., that strategy is right out of the Obama playbook.
Take a look at the auto takeover, so loved by the media. Remember Time magazine’s cover story “The Case for Saving Detroit?” Or Time Managing Editor Richard Stengel claiming the industry is “too big to fail?” BusinessWeek took the same position and complained Republicans “may keep the U.S. auto industry from getting the help it needs.”
Of course, that help was a payoff to the unions that funded the Democrat’s 2008 victory (giving somewhere between $80 million and $450 million, depending on the news outlet you choose). Either way, it sounds more like old-time Cuba, where government controls every type of business down to the corner barbershop.
Cuba is sounding like a growing democracy. The ailing Fidel’s brother Raúl has taken over and is appearing almost conservative. “We have to erase forever the notion that Cuba is the only country in the world where one can live without working,” the Times reported.
Take that quote, replace Cuba with the United States and you sound like Rush Limbaugh, because the criticism is just as accurate. According to the Sept. 15 Wall Street Journal, “13 percent of all U.S. households pay neither federal income nor payroll taxes.” As a result, 61 percent of “voters were ‘enthusiastic’ or ‘comfortable’ with congressional candidates who support cutting federal spending.”
Voters have watched America look more and more like Cuba, and even Cuba doesn’t want to be Cuba any more. Are the lefties and the media even listening? If they aren’t, there could be a big upset come November – the same kind the GOP received Sept. 14.
Dan Gainor is The Boone Pickens Fellow and the MediaResearchCenter’s Vice President for Business and Culture. His column appears each week on The Fox Forum. He can also be contacted on FaceBook and Twitter as dangainor.