Rahm Emanuel, President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff, has declared that "you don't ever want a crisis to go to waste." As reported here yesterday, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has been busy lately promoting the idea that Obama should move quickly once in the White House to turn various economic and political crises into opportunities to create a "new world order." (The words are Kissinger's.)
"Federalism" is one of those words that turns many readers aside, as it conjures up images of boring old theoretical interpretations of John Locke treatises. The reality of federalism is much more exciting than the theory — it is actually about the insatiable struggle for power between elites in the federal government and elites in the state governments. Money, power, secret tribunals, corruption: now those things are interesting.
President Bush leaves office amidst the greatest economic calamity in several generations, perhaps ever. The federal budget deficit is poised to triple last year's record $400 billion, rising to a projected $1.2 trillion, perhaps far more. Trillions too have been added to the national debt by a desperate Bush administration and craven Congress, most to bail out America's corporate and financial oligarchs.
If they had been designing a health system from scratch, the change agents assuming power in January would have done things differently. Barack Obama and Ted Kennedy would have given us a Single Payer for medical care, as in Canada and Britain (and Cuba and North Korea) and (according to national healthcare promoters) "the rest of the industrialized world."
According to Henry Kissinger, the various political and economic crises currently conflicting the world offer President-elect Barack Obama an opportunity to create a "new world order." That's what the former Secretary of State told CNBC's Mark Haines in a January 5 interview from the busy floor of the New York Stock Exchange.