The other day, Megan McArdle published a brilliant analysis of the fiscal and economic calculations of the Obama adminstration, which you absolutely must read. Meanwhile, with Obama and the Democrats riding high in public opinion polls, liberals have begun congratulating themselves on their magnificent triumph on such issues as global warming (Paul Krugman) and same-sex marriage (Josh Marshall).
Are these “progressive” triumphs real and permanent? Well, Arlen Specter seems to think so, as do any number of demoralized Republicans who insist that the GOP must either cede ideological terrain or go the way of the Whigs. As an officially designated “Rightwing Extremist,” however, I think otherwise:
Think back to the 2008 campaign and ask yourself: Did Obama and the Democrats win because of gay marriage and global warming? Obviously not. It was the economy, stupid. And yet in the wake of that election, liberals now believe they have a mandate to enact their entire agenda. . . .
The stimulus-and-bailout policies have not addressed the fundamental problems of the economy — namely, an excess of debt and a shortage of capital to spur job creation — while the entitlement trainwreck of Social Security and Medicare loom immediately ahead. By piling on new trillion-dollar deficits, at a time when the recession will result in significant tax revenue shortfalls, the Democrats are steering the economy into a stagflation trap.
If the economic situation actually worsens between now and fall 2010 — and there are many reasons to believe it will — the public-opinion polls of April 2009 will have proven a false omen, which served only to swell the pride that went before the fall.
Three words: It Won’t Work.