Dark Days for America Likely
U.S. President Barack Obama lost 10 million voters between 2008 and 2012, his majority shaved from 52.9% to a barely existent 50.4%.
[D.U.S.A. = DisUnited States of America]
Dark Days for America Likely [Nov. 7, 8 stock market losses as evidence]
U.S. President Barack Obama lost 10 million voters between 2008 and 2012, his majority
shaved from 52.9% to a barely existent 50.4%.
The Romney Republicans, meanwhile, increased the party’s share of the popular vote to 48%
from 45.7%. Americans clearly did not award Mr. Obama a big new mandate on Tuesday. And yet he is now charged with overseeing and possibly imposing some of the most economically damaging policy options in U.S. history.
The North American stock markets’ immediate reaction to his razor-thin victory, which continued Thursday, can only be viewed as a preview of trouble to come. The policies Mr. Obama supports — higher taxation, resistance to spending cuts, home-made manufacturing job creation, reduced oil imports, carbon control and pricing regimes, and maintenance of entitlements — are not the stuff that made America great and prosperous. Four more years, they say. Four more years of Obamanomics — remember that word? — is what America seems likely to get.
If it hasn’t worked so far, there is every reason to believe more of the same will deliver more of the same slow growth, economic uncertainty and — if the fiscal crisis is mishandled — risk of recession and continued decline in American preeminence.
No element of the Obama agenda can be seen as growth promoting. He has firmly promised to raise taxes on incomes of more than $250,000 by reversing earlier tax cuts — a move that proponents consider neutral, but most economists see it as growth-killing. The “inequality” mantra of the Occupy movement remains in the President’s lexicon.
The subtitle to John R. Talbott’s fawning 2008 book, Obamanomics, carries the economic theory that still rules the Obama administration: How Bottom-Up Economic Prosperity Will Replace Trickle-Down Economics. Engineering bottom-up prosperity, via government regulation and redistribution, is a populist idea that may have allowed Mr. Obama to eke out his 50.4% majority. The product of that theory, the U.S. fiscal crisis, will be the real test of the President’s second term.
The “fiscal cliff,” an artificial budget-making deadline that looms over Mr. Obama and Congress, is only the beginning of what is set to become a struggle for control of America’s
soul. How big should the U.S. federal government get? To stay big, as Obamanomics
proposes, taxes will have to be raised to pay for the entitlements and deficits that big
governments tend to deliver.
In his victory speech Tuesday, Mr. Obama, somewhat shockingly, seemed to add even more items to his administration’s already crowded agenda. “We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”[Yea, right! Have to watch out for that average yearly temperature rise in the last 100 years of less than 1 %!!]
Global warming never made it to the election debates, but now it’s back, a development The New York Times, in an editorial headlined “An Invigorated Second Term,” said suggests Mr. Obama “knows he has an opportunity to address climate change with more vigor, going beyond auto-mileage standards and renewable-energy jobs to possibly advocating tougher carbon emissions standards.” Or a new carbon tax or trading regime — to raise money and avoid environmental disaster?
Despite winning fewer votes and landing a weakened majority, Mr. Obama vowed to reduce
the federal government’s annual deficits, reform the tax code, fix the immigration system
and to meet the challenge of “freeing ourselves from foreign oil,” a promise that’s as absurd
today as it was when first made by different presidents decades ago. Green activists, among
Mr. Obama’s big supporters, are already on the new march against the Keystone pipeline
Adding to the threat posed by a reinvigorated Obama administration is the arrival in Congress of anti-banking and anti-Wall Street firebrand Elizabeth Warren. The Harvard professor won the Massachusetts Senate seat, and seems likely to mount vigorous anti-corporate campaigns as banking regulations come up for review.
The principles of Obamanomics have always implied a redefinition of the United States as a
land of collective action rather than individual enterprise. “We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions,” the President said the other night. He emphasized an America that is “generous,” “compassionate” and “tolerant” — fine attributes that become motivations for the extension and maintenance of entitlement-spending on everything from food stamps to the expansion of public education and the hiring of more teachers.
The New York Times called Mr. Obama’s victory “decisive” and a signal for activist government.
Mitt Romney, meanwhile, came within an inch of winning. Whatever the reasons for his
marginal defeat, the United States lost an opportunity to return to its natural roots. A
Republican “President-Elect” victory website, accidentally released, shows Mr. Romney
in profile over a new slogan: “Smaller. Simpler. Smarter. Believe in America.” Under
President Obama, America will get none of the above.