This is what we have to look forward to — and it’s only a preliminary list.
The polls place the approval rating of Congress at 12%, the lowest in history, and only about half President Bush’s miserable rating. But if the election polls are correct, we will soon be governed by ultraliberal, San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House with an even bigger House Democrat majority, liberal Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid with a filibuster proof majority of 60 Senate Democrats, and left-wing extremist Barack Obama as President, rated as the most liberal member of the Senate, ahead even of Ted Kennedy.
The polls do not show that the public agrees with these leftist nutcakes on the issues. For example, Newt Gingrich reports results of a poll that asked what was more important as the focus of national economic policy, economic growth or income redistribution. The public favored economic growth by 84% to 9%, which is exactly what I would expect. But the public is about to place government overwhelmingly in the hands of those who firmly believe just the opposite.
The End of Prosperity
Raising taxes, indeed sharply raising every major Federal tax, increasing government spending by unprecedented trillions of dollars, and increasing regulatory costs by over another trillion dollars through Obama’s global warming energy plan, is not the way to restore the American economy to prosperity. This is the road to economic disaster. Yet this is precisely the “Change” that Obama and his ultraliberals are proposing. Cutting taxes on savers and investors, and on American companies facing tax burdens that leave them uncompetitive in the world economy, sharply cutting government spending, and avoiding unnecessary regulatory burdens are the only means of returning to prosperity. This is the Change We Need, but Obama and his ultraliberals promise to take us in exactly the opposite direction.
Obama has the entire country mesmerized by the promise of a measly $500 income tax credit for “95% of Americans.” Indeed, no one even asks him exactly what his tax cut for 95% of Americans is, but that is what it is. Yet another government check like that is not going to do anything to change the fundamental incentives, and so will do nothing to advance the economy. Indeed, it will harm the economy as the credit is swiftly phased out at higher income levels, effectively increasing marginal tax rates further by imposing another penalty as income rises.
McCain has proposed to increase the dependent’s exemption for children from $3,500 to $7,000. At the middle class income tax bracket of 25%, that would mean a tax cut of $875 per child. McCain has also proposed a $5,000 tax credit for the purchase of health insurance financed by actually redistributing an existing tax subsidy that now goes mostly to higher income workers. Obama has bludgeoned this proposal with ads proclaiming it is a tax increase. But the truth is as Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge has written, “This tax provision has a bigger impact on cutting people’s taxes than any single proposal from either party.”
Indeed, these two McCain proposals would eliminate most if not all of the remaining federal income tax liability for the middle class, the middle 20% of income earners that now pay 4.7% of federal income taxes. Federal income taxes for the bottom 40% of income earners, the working class and working poor, have already been eliminated. This vastly reduced federal income tax burden for the middle class and below is the result of the tax policies of Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich and George Bush, despite the lies Obama told Joe the Plumber, and continues to tell the nation at large. What Obama is now proposing is tax credits that would send new government checks to those paying little or nothing in federal income taxes, calling them tax cuts.
McCain has also proposed cutting taxes on savings and investment by allowing immediate-expensing deductions for capital investment rather than arbitrary depreciation over several years. He has proposed reducing America’s second highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world from 35% to 25%, where it will compete against the new 24% average corporate rate in the European Union, the new 19% in Germany and Canada, the 12.5% rate in Ireland, and low rates as well in India and China. He has also proposed stiff spending cuts, including a federal budget freeze to bring the budget into balance.
This is exactly what our economy needs, and would produce a long-term boom. But Obama says it is more of the same tax cuts for the rich and corporate fat cuts. This is not a grown-up response.
Can we really trust these ultraliberals with our nation’s defenses? Will they maintain our nation’s nuclear deterrent? Will they keep up with China now racing to build new space attack weapons? As Bret Stephens reported in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, “As for nuclear weapons, the U.S. hasn’t built a new warhead in decades. Its mainstay, the W76, is widely suspected of being unreliable, yet Congress has resisted funding the so-called Reliable Replacement Warhead.”
Barney Frank, a senior leader of the liberal left Democrat House majority, says they will cut national defense by 25%. Is that the right policy in the face of a newly challenging Russia, a resurgent China, and the threat from Iran and terrorism?
Obama says not to worry, he is going to talk to Iran, fancying that as a new idea. But every Administration back to Jimmy Carter has talked to Iran, to no avail. Meanwhile, in the past week Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has announced his preconditions for talks with a new President Obama. He said America must withdraw all forces from the Middle East, including Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, and cut its ties with Israel.
The idea that anything is going to be accomplished by talking to Iran is daft. But can we expect anything else from Obama and the ultraliberal Democrats to stop Iran from producing nuclear weapons? And once Iran achieves that goal, not just Ahmadinejad but the entire Iranian leadership is irrevocably committed to using those weapons against Israel. They have said as much — indeed, they have said such an attack is part of their fundamental religious doctrine. Hitler told us what he was going to do in Mein Kampf 10 years before he did it. Those in the West who insisted on ignoring that suffered the blood of hundreds of millions of deaths on their hands. But will Obama even accept into America millions of Jewish refugees fleeing a radioactive Israel?
Of course, there is nothing wrong with talking to Iran. What is wrong is expecting anything to come of it other than the results Roosevelt got in pursuing peace talks with Japan in 1941. The very morning the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, those Japanese peace negotiators were still in Washington preparing for another day’s talks.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?