Winter is Coming

Fans of Game of Thrones, the blockbuster fantasy novels and now an HBO-TV series, will recognize “Winter is Coming” as the motto of the House of Stark, the noble family who rules over the cold northern regions of the seven kingdoms in the mythical land of Westeros.

For some time now, I’ve been walking around cryptically muttering this phrase to myself as it becomes increasingly possible that Barack Obama and his gang of Big Government apparatchiks will win re-election.

Of course, like most sane people I don’t trust the media’s polls more than I can spit.  However, I do trust gamblers… and the Intrade odds in London now have Obama with a 78.8% chance of winning.  The bettors believe that it will be another razor close election but that Obama, given all the advantages of incumbency, will squeak by.

And that means winter is coming…

Obama campaigned on the idea that he wanted to “spread the wealth around,” and that is precisely what he’s been doing:  Borrowing trillions of dollars from the working middle class (who will have to pay the money back with future tax increases) and giving it all to key Democrat constituencies, including auto workers, government bureaucrats, teachers unions and, most of all, Wall Street banksters.

Without spending a penny of his own campaign money, therefore, Obama starts out with nearly half of the voting public already in his pocket — millions of state, city and federal government workers who expect to retire at age 50 with six-figure pensions and are outraged if they have to pay so much as a $10 co-pay for a doctor’s visit.

This entrenched government class will vote for any politician that promises to keep writing bigger and bigger checks… no matter how much debt that means saddling our children and their children with over the coming fifty years.

And make no mistake:  the debt is mounting fast.  In just four years, Barack Obama has borrowed an almost unimaginable $5 trillion from future workers – more than every other U.S. administration in history… combined. 

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the current unfunded pension and health liabilities of the U.S. government now exceed $50 trillion… and U.S. debt could grow to nearly twice the size of the U.S. economy by 2037.

Of course, it goes without saying that none of this is an endorsement of Mitt Romney.  Romney, like most establishment Republicans, is merely Obama Lite.

No national Democrat or Republican politician will take the steps necessary to avert fiscal collapse – such as drastically reducing government pensions, eliminating wasteful and redundant government programs, closing down half of U.S. military bases overseas, and reforming Medicare.  At best, Romney, like Ronald Reagan, will only “slow the growth” of government spending, not make any real cuts.

Like the long winters in Game of Thrones, the coming fiscal winter will be long, cold and, for people who don’t drive around in Hollywood limousines, increasingly desperate. 

The U.S. economy will continue to sputter… unemployment could top double-digits… and an increasingly authoritarian government will use its new omnipresent Big Brother surveillance tools to track down “tax cheats” (meaning most of the working population) and squeeze more and more revenue out of fewer and fewer working people.

It will also mean a reenergized Kulturkampf against the Christian churches in general and the Catholic Church in particular:  Once reelected, the Obama Administration will do everything in its power to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions and sterilization procedures… force Catholic charities to accommodate gay marriage and adoption… and force Catholic schools to provide contraception and safe sex education.  The emphasis, as always with the current administration, will be on force.

Yet, “Winter is Coming” does not mean the world is coming to an end.  

Americans (and others) will adjust to the winter.  They will do what citizens living under bullying regimes have always done:  They will ignore the government whenever possible… cope with its nutty demands when they must… and live their lives as best they can in a stagnating economy.  Rich people, like Obama’s Wall Street and Hollywood cronies, won’t mind the massive tax increases and high unemployment.  There will still be plenty of money to be made for the agile and politically well-connected (just ask the founders of Solyndra).   But poor people will mind.

However, nothing lasts forever in the world of politics and economics… and every disaster, including every corrupt regime, carries with it the seeds of its own overcoming.

Just as the American people quickly soured on the economic misery, crime and social unrest that Jimmy Carter and the big-spending Democrats brought with them in the 1970s, so, too, another four years of trillion-dollar annual deficits will eventually become so unsupportable that it will collapse from its own weight.

The government will eventually default on its obligations, the credit rating of the U.S. will fall (again), and even big-spending politicians will recognize that things can’t continue as they are.  As the old joke has it, socialism collapses when you run out of other people’s money.  That’s what the people of Spain and Greece are discovering right now.  That is what California is about to discover.

But in the meantime, winter is coming.  It’s time to prepare.  Dress warm.

NOTE:  The author of Game of Thrones, the talented and very rich George RR Martin, is an avowed Democrat partisan who thinks Obama is “the most intelligent president we’ve had since Jimmy Carter.”




Robert Hutchinson studied philosophy as an undergraduate, moved to Israel to study Hebrew and earned an M.A. degree in Biblical studies. He is the author, most recently, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible. He blogs at

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