Monday, May 24, 2010

Killing Prosperity and Security As Policy

The Democrats are working at full throttle to get this country under the firm and detailed direction of left wing bureaucrats before their two year window of opportunity closes in January of 2011 when the new Congress is sworn in. Friday's Wall Street Journal opinion page lays out what that means to us, our children, and our grandchildren. Peter Wallison explains how they are choking the source of our prosperity. Mortimer Zuckerman shows how they squandering our existing prosperity. Douglas Feith and Abram Shulsky explain how they are casting away the nuclear umbrella that has been securing our prosperity and all our liberties.

Wallison points out in "Republicans and America's New Deal" that even though Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal actually lengthened and deepened the Depression, President Obama and the old liberals in Congress has pressed forward with similar policies.

The signature initiatives of the Obama administration were very much in the mold of the old New Deal—the heedless spending, a stimulus plan focused on government employment, a health-care program that brought one-sixth of the economy under government control, and now the financial regulatory bill that would control another sixth. ...

Because of ObamaCare, the failed stimulus package, and the massive deficits that will afflict the country for years to come, the Democrats are likely to pay dearly in November. But not before those who are still in the thrall of the New Deal will have taken the U.S. financial system back almost 75 years. ...

The only good thing to come from this spectacle is that it shows the business community and American voters that the Democratic Party—despite the moderate face of the Obama presidential campaign—has not outgrown their New Deal mentality. Democrats are still the party of government and the special interests that cling to it.

In "The Bankrupting of America," Mortimer Zuckerman turns the spotlight on how the huge public service unions and the party of government serve one another at the expense not only of taxpayer, but of the country's long-term economic viability. Think of GM and California, but with no possibility of a bailout.

Public unions organize voting campaigns for politicians who, on election, repay their benefactors by approving salaries and benefits for the public sector, irrespective of whether they are sustainable. ...

What we suffer is a ruinously expensive collaboration between elected officials and unionized state and local workers, purchased with taxpayer money. ... No wonder the Service Employees International Union has become the nation's fastest-growing union: It represents government and health-care workers. Half of its 700,000 California members are government employees. More and more, it wins not on the picket line but at the negotiating table, where it backs up traditional strong-arming with political power. It spends vast amounts of money on initiatives that keep the government growing and the gravy flowing. ...

City government was developed to serve its citizens. Today the citizenry is working in large part to serve the government. It is always hard to shrink government spending. It is particularly difficult when public-sector unions have such a unique lever of pressure. We have to escape this cycle or it will crush us.

Finally,  Barack Obama is trying to bring us a nuclear free world, and isn't that special. His government's statement on how to reach this blessed goal is expressed in a document called the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR). The Defense Department states that, "The Nuclear Posture Review is a legislatively-mandated review that establishes U.S. nuclear policy, strategy, capabilities and force posture for the next five to ten years." In "The Dangerous Illusion of 'Nuclear Zero'," Douglas Feith and Abram Shulsky, both of the Hudson Institute, argue that the one awkward little catch to fulfilling this dream is that, as the document itself tells us, it requires world peace as a precondition. But on we go, just the same.

One of the conditions that would permit the United States and others to give up their nuclear weapons "without risking greater international instability and insecurity" is "the resolution of regional disputes that can motivate rival states to acquire and maintain nuclear weapons." Another condition is not only "verification methods and technologies capable of detecting violations of disarmament obligations," but also "enforcement measures strong and credible enough to deter such violations."

The first condition would require ending the Arab-Israeli conflict, settling the Korean War, resolving Kashmir and the other India-Pakistan disputes, and defusing Iran's tensions with its neighbors and with the U.S. It also means solving any other significant conflicts that might arise.

Verification would be tough, but even if technology could solve the problem, the question remains: What kind of "enforcement measures" do those who drafted the NPR imagine? ... "Strong enough" enforcement would have to include military measures. Is the idea here a U.N. military force that could fight large wars, as some diplomats proposed when the U.N. Charter was negotiated in the late 1940s? Or would military enforcement be the duty of the strongest state, presumably the U.S.? Only an arrangement verging on world government—an entity that could deploy overwhelming military power against a violator without interference by other powers—could possibly fill the bill. ...

In the event of a serious crisis, countries would race to reconstitute their nuclear arsenals. The winner would enjoy a fleeting nuclear monopoly, and then come under severe pressure to use its nuclear weapons decisively. The resulting instability could make the competitive mobilizations of the European armies in 1914 look like a walk in the park.

No matter how hard the polls turn against them, these New Left Democrats who emerged from the radicalism of the 1960s (with whom Barack Obama is noticeably comfortable) will drive home their political and economic agenda because they are sure that they know better than everyone else, and also because they are moved by a moral passion that is as deaf any appeal to the historical record, the economically obvious, and even their own political self-interest as the most fanatical jihadist.

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