Thursday, January 22, 2009

Things to Come

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann have some good news and some bad news. The good news is, Obama's going to destroy "free enterprise, market-dominated, laissez-faire America" and replace it with "a socialist democracy in which the government dominates the economy, determines private sector priorities and offers a vastly expanded range of services to many more people at much higher taxes."

The bad news is, this effort will be no more effective -- in terms of improving our quality of life, broadening our emotional horizons, and maintaining a bare minimum of human decency -- than the New Deal.

Read it and weep:

In implementing his agenda, Obama will emulate the example of Franklin D. Roosevelt (not the liberal mythology of the New Deal, but the actuality of what it accomplished). When FDR took office, he was enormously successful in averting a total collapse of the banking system and the economy. But his New Deal measures only succeeded in lowering the unemployment rate from 23 percent in 1933 when he took office to 13 percent in the summer of 1937. It never went lower.
It seems as though Morris and McGann are trying to worry us by arguing that Obama will, at best, avoid a total collapse of the banking system and the economy, and cut the unemployment rate in half over the course of his first term.

As scaremongering goes, this is pretty tepid stuff. There's nothing about instituting sharia, or seizing the nation's guns, or appointing Ward Churchill to the SCOTUS, or tearing down the Washington Monument and replacing it with a 555-foot replica of Piss Christ. I expect a good deal more from my Trilateralist Reptilian Shapeshifters, and I imagine that the readers of feel the same way.

Fortunately, Morris and McGann are just warming up.
Roosevelt passed crucial and permanent reforms that have dominated our lives ever since, including Social Security, the creation of the SEC, unionization under the Wagner Act, the federal minimum wage and a host of other fundamental changes.

Obama's record will be similar, although less wise and more destructive.
In other words, we have it on excellent authority that Obama will not-fail almost as non-miserably as FDR did. Break out the sackcloth and ashes! And hark to a few more of the signs and wonders that foretell the End Times:
[Obama] will begin by passing every program for which liberals have lusted for decades, from alternative energy sources to school renovations to infrastructure repairs to technology enhancements. These are all good programs, but they normally would be stretched out for years. Freed of any constraint on the deficit....Obama will do them all rather quickly.
Thus does an eight-year Golden Age of fiscal responsibility end: in a crimson orgy of infrastructure repair, sound energy policy, and the sort of school renovations that were hailed as acts of Christlike mercy when we imposed them on the Iraqis at gunpoint.

But don't panic yet, because that is not, in fact, the bad part. Here's the real problem:
[I]t is not his spending that will transform our political system; it is his tax and welfare policies.
You might suppose that Obama thinks these "good programs" should be paid for by the citizens who need them and will benefit from them, in accordance with Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's Adam Smith's view that government's duties include "erecting and maintaining those public institutions and those public works, which, though they may be in the highest degree advantageous to a great society, are, however, of such a nature that the profit could never repay the expense to any individual or small number of individuals, and which it therefore cannot be expected that any individual or small number of individuals should erect or maintain."

In fact, his plans are far more sinister:
Will he raise taxes? Why should he? With a congressional mandate to run the deficit up as high as need be, there is no reason to raise taxes now and risk aggravating the depression. Instead....Obama will raise spending and increase the deficit so that conservatives cannot cut taxes. And when the economy is restored, he will raise taxes with impunity since the only people who would have to pay them would be rich Republicans.
To recap: Morris and McGann argue that Obama is going to fix a bunch of problems that badly need fixing. In the process, he will save the economy and reduce unemployment by roughly half. And rather than raising taxes for you and me and the man in the next street, he's going to send the bill to the very people who clamored for and defended the vicious and stupid economic policies that got us where we are today.

Maybe that doesn't frighten you as much as it should; perhaps you're made of sterner stuff. Well, get this: Thanks to Obama's "healthcare reforms," the old and the sick will be obliged to die, even -- or especially -- if they have money, because "rationing based on income and price will be seen as immoral."

Meanwhile, Teh Mexicans will flood the country, deafening the greater part of us with their novelty auto horns and narcocorridos. Soon enough, they'll become citizens, work indefatigably, save their money, become wealthy, and vote conservative:
[Obama] will weaken border controls in an attempt to hike the Latino vote as high as he can in order to make red states like Texas into blue states like California. By the time he is finished, Latinos and African-Americans will cast a combined 30 percent of the vote. If they go by top-heavy margins for the Democrats, as they did in 2008, it will assure Democratic domination -- until they move up the economic ladder and become good Republicans.
[insert random quote from Yeats' "The Second Coming" here]

What all this means, in purely practical terms, is that "Obama's name will be mud by 2012 and probably by 2010, as well. And the Republican Party will make big gains and regain much of its lost power."

On the downside, "it will be too late to reverse the socialism of much of the economy, the demographic change in the electorate, the rationing of health care by the government, the surge of unionization and the crippling of talk radio." Because as everyone knows, you can't change a country's economic system overnight...unless thy name be Obama, in which case you can pull down the temples of Western capitalism as languidly as you'd flick a snowflake baby from a $75K designer suit made in a Cuban slave labor camp that has a bigger carbon footprint than Al Gore's house and the US military combined.

Could Morris and McGann be wrong? That's the daring theory advanced by this baby aardvark.

(Illustration: "A temple of the machine-worshippers: Instead of angels, figures of communist agitators have been placed in the spandrels; for their heads wheels have been substituted, which are set in motion from the altar by means of driving belts. In the foreground the mechanized community." Via Katardat.)


Pen Ultimate said...

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Anonymous said...

replacing it with a 555-foot replica of Piss Christ.

Shouldn't that be a 666-foot replica of Piss Christ?

Either way, that's a lot of pee.

Libby Spencer said...

As long as we're doomed anyway, I prefer they erect another giant chocolate Jesus in time for Easter.

Anonymous said...

When does the Great Confiscation start? Where's the line for the Distribution of (Rush Limbaugh's) Wealth?