In this climate, Republicans never had a chance.
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In 1980, I had a vision of an American flag on a pole on top of a hill, starting to fall over. I was looking for a hand to reach out and grab it before it fell to the ground. I am having that same vision now.
The economy is weak and trending downward because of the bursting of the housing bubble. But the agenda of the ultraliberal new President and Congressional majorities is everything that could possibly be wrong for this new economic environment — higher taxes, especially higher marginal tax rates, explosive increases in government spending, expensive new regulatory burdens for the economy, protectionism closing down free trade. These policies will not promote economic revival. They will only drag the economy farther and farther down.
Obama seems to think that the government can create new jobs based on new government spending. He is proposing a whole new industry of 5 million green jobs producing alternative energy based on billions in government subsidies. But taking money out of the economy through taxes or borrowing and spending it does not create any new jobs on net, more likely it would lose jobs on net. Yet reading his speeches and policy papers, this is the mistaken thinking behind Obama’s whole economic plan.
The first fiasco Obama and his liberal Democrats will rapidly produce is their cap and trade global warming plan. They will sell a limited amount of permits for carbon dioxide emissions to business and industry for an estimated trillion dollars in new government revenue each year, which they will use for massively increased government spending. That will effectively impose a trillion dollars in new costs on the economy.
It will also shut down coal fired electricity plants, and soon the entire coal industry, which as Obama suggested would then be too expensive to operate. Obama and his Congressional liberals have also indicated they will quickly reenact the ban on offshore drilling, and don’t expect the Obama Interior Department to authorize any new drilling anywhere else in the U.S. Don’t expect these ultraliberals to allow any new nuclear power plants either.
The economy would then further suffer short, unreliable supplies of high cost energy, dragging it down even more. The price of gas and electricity will soar to new highs, as the new dream technologies of solar and wind power are not going to pick up the slack fast enough. Short supplies will eventually force gas rationing to fit the economy within the available energy output. Expect blackouts and brownouts as the energy industry deteriorates further.
In 2002, Californians reelected Democrat Gray Davis as Governor by a wide margin. A year later, electricity shortfalls and blackouts led to a recall election that replaced him with a Republican. When Obama and his new ultraliberal Democrat majorities do the same thing to the entire nation, you will see a quick political revolution which may not even wait until the next election. In states where recalls are allowed, you may see dreamy and foggy liberal Senators and Congressman quickly replaced with new Reaganites willing to promote new energy production to bring down prices and increase supplies.
Middle Class Tax Increases
One of the Republicans’ big failures this year was their inability to respond to Obama’s false claims that Republicans had focused their tax cuts on the rich and not the middle class and working people. As I have recounted, the Republicans over the past 30 years have abolished federal income taxes on the working class, and almost abolished them on the middle class. But Republicans lacked the intellectual depth to take credit for this and rebut Obama.
As Alan Reynolds has recently shown in a Wall Street Journal commentary, backed up by a brilliant longer paper, Obama has promised $4.3 trillion in new spending over the budget window of 10 years. His tax increases would raise only about a tenth of that at best. But the minute he proposes any sort of tax increase on anyone making less than $250,000 a year, you can expect a political revolution.
Terrorism and Nuclear War
George Bush has incredibly shut down any further terrorist attacks on America for the last 7 years. If Obama’s dreamy, give peace a chance liberals don’t maintain that same vigilance and terrorist attacks on American soil return, don’t expect that middle class Obama promises to rebuild to be too tolerant of it.
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?