Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Destroying the Country To Save It

Quin Hillyer at The American Spectator sounds a call to all patriots, to every friend of liberty, and to the political Minutemen among us to stop the devastation of our country that our current President is engineering ("Channeling the Young Patrick Henry").

He begins with this:

If this be treason, make the most of it. No, not treason against this wonderful nation. But this column may sound suspiciously like treason against the cult of Obama, and against his hagiographers in the establishment media, and against the very idea that this president actually loves this nation's liberal, republican, constitutional order. Consider this also to be treason against the myth that our president is a man of deep, or even average, integrity. Barack Obama is a radical's radical and a man whose ego vastly outstrips his prior accomplishments. He is dangerous, and after just seven weeks he already is leading this country into disaster.
He then discusses the President's long list lies and broken promises, followed by his radicalism, leftism, and just plain recklessness in foreign policy, the justice department, economic policy, defense policy and just about everything else. It is an amazingly thorough record of destruction for just two months of office. You have to read it for the full impact.

Hillyer ends this way: "Rhetorically, organizationally, financially, and politically, he must be stopped. Must. And if this be treason, make the most of it."

As far as the economy is concerned, if Obama had done the right things such as cut the capital gains taxes and sharply reduce corporate taxes, the recession might have lasted a year. But that would have given him two or three years to suffer the cruel winds of fortune and perhaps find himself back in Illinois after just one term. George Bush fought a successful Gulf War early in his term, but found himself subsequently buffeted by events and out of the White House in '93. But if Obama by his policies can actually extend the recession by two years, he can enjoy the benefits of a longer record of fighting it along with the local benefits that come from his recession lengthening spending measures, and then better ensure his re-election in 2012. This is what Franklin Delano Roosevelt did in the 1930s.

Marvin Olasky ("The Obama Depression") gives this argument, quoting Newsweek's Jonathan Alter:
Look at Newsweek's March 2 cover story. Jonathan Alter wrote that Obama "can look successful even as hard times continue. . . . The package is so big, and stretches across so many states, that it provides him at least four years of photo ops. . . . Once these mental pieces are fastened in place and we're fully 'in recovery,' to use therapy lingo, the enduring problems won't seem so terrifying anymore. . . . The longer the recession lasts, the more points Obama will put on the board. . . . Obama will likely package and sell health-care reform, a new energy policy and even national service as 'recovery and reinvestment.'"

I don't think Obama has the strategy of lengthening the recession for political purposes. That would assume that he understands the economic stupidity of massive government spending to stimulate the economy. On the other hand, he does understand the distinction between wealth generation and what he calls "fairness." I don't believe that he is thinking in primarily economic terms, but instead passionately moral ones. Barack Obama would rather have a longer recession, or even a depression, with all the wealth destruction and lost opportunities that would entail, if that is what it takes to redistribute wealth downwards. In other words, a poorer, more egalitarian society is morally superior and thus more desirable than a society in which everyone is wealthier but in which greater disparity of wealth and power exists.

Remember during a Democratic candidates debate when Charles Gibson confronted candidate Obama with the revenue generating power of lowering capital gains taxes?

Obama's view of tax policy was also on naked display that evening. The Wall Street Journal editorial today, "Obama's Tax Evasion," draws attention to Obama's exchange with Charlie Gibson over capital gains tax and government revenue. Obama said he would raise the rate to 28%, it's highest point during the Clinton administration. Gibson pointed out that Clinton lowered it in 1997 to 20% then Bush lowered it to 15%, and in each case revenues went up as a result.

Obama did not to dispute this, but instead pointed out that the goal is "to make sure that our tax system is fair." In other words, taxation is not about raising revenue to pay for government services in an equitable manner. It is first first and foremost about equity. Revenue is secondary. Obama tipped his hand as "a true income redistributionist who prefers high taxes as a matter of ideological dogma regardless of the revenue consequences." ("Obama, All Too Human")

I remember Dan Rather saying something similar in the 1980s. He was asked whether he would agree to cut taxes on the wealthy if it could be proven that it increased government revenue and expanded the economy for everyone. No, he said, because it would be unfair.

That is the spirit or socialism. It is better that everyone be poor and equal, than widely separated on the ladder of life and free.

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