Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Despite my busy schedule of swimming, golfing and soaking up the sun here in Hawaii, I have been keeping abreast of developments back on the “mainland”. (We’ve got TV and the WSJ here. Internet too.) While it has been amusing watching the Obama Administration floundering with their tax dodging appointees, the serious business of the economy and the fate of the “stimulus package” keep the laughter in check.

Obama and the Democrat Congress have been moving quickly on several fronts and I have noted that they are working their way down my list of predictions of what they would do once they had control of the levers of government. One of my three faithful readers once said we would have to wait to see the accuracy of my predictions. So, I thought it might be useful to go back through my blogs and make a comprehensive list so you could keep score at home. Maybe print out a copy and put it on the fridge? Run a yellow hi-lite through the correct ones and red through the misses? Just a thought.

In a piece called “Elections 2006” written prior to the ’06 Congressional elections, I predicted that the Democrats would takeover Congress but, that Bush vetoes would slow their worst instincts. Careful readers will note that this piece is not on the blog. Hey, I don’t show you everything. I sent it to a selected list of friends. So too with a 11/12/06 piece called “Now What?” In that piece I predicted the following:

· The election of a Democrat as President.
· The election of a veto proof Democrat Senate.**
· A recession.
· Closing down of Guantanamo and release terrorists.
· Restrictions on intelligence gathering with possible disastrous consequences.
· The raising of taxes.

Looking pretty good on the above ’06 predictions. (**With the three RINO Republicans, it looks like they have it.)

In case you missed it, Obama has ordered Gitmo closed and already dismissed charges against the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing (Ali A Kaboom?). While everyone was looking the other way Congress also reversed the estate tax reduction and increased tobacco taxes. But hey, BHO and the Dems have only been in power for less than a month. They’re just getting warmed up. Like I said, I did not post those predictions but if you want the pieces, send me a polite email.

In blogs I did post I made the following predictions:

· The Democrats would enact the “Card Check” legislation making it easier for unions to organize. · Pass the “Fairness Doctrine” to stifle conservative talk radio.
· Return the restrictions on drilling for oil and natural gas on public lands and offshore.
· Give more money to the auto manufacturers.
· Not allow the construction of nuclear power plants.
· Enact Cap and Trade carbon emission limits through the EPA, which will cripple coal-fired electric generating plants.
· Toss huge amounts of money at solar and wind power.
· Abandon missile defense and reduce our nuclear arsenal. (or upgrade it).
· Enact restrictions on private gun ownership.
· Appoint “living constitution” proponents to the Supreme Court.
· Squelch school choice.
· Abandon any efforts to enact tort reform.
· Attempt to make illegal aliens citizens.
· Put the government in charge of health care.

In less than a month BHO and his comrades Nancy and Harry have made an impressive start on that list. New Sec of the Interior, Ken Salazar has already cancelled 77 drilling leases in Utah (Bob Redford is thrilled) and is now “reviewing” the opening of drilling off the coasts. Right.
One thing I did not anticipate… that the White House would be audacious enough to take over the US census. With that power play they get to fiddle with the numbers that determine Congressional districts and distribution of money to various groups.

Of course, the biggie is the so-called “stimulus” package that passed Congress on Friday. This massive spending bill was enacted before anyone could actually read it. At 1078 pages it would take more than a few hours, so no one knows for sure what’s in it. The scant details revealed so far indicate that the Democrats loaded it up with massive cash to their favorite constituent groups. My personal favorite is the $8 billion for a high-speed rail connection between LA and Las Vegas. In case you’ve forgotten, Nancy Pelosi is from CA and Harry Reid is from Nevada. As Craig Ferguson would say, “Coincidence?” Sure. The $4 billion to community groups like ACORN comes in a close second.

As I predicted, this stimulus will not work. Recessions usually last 18 months and despite Obama’s characterization of this one as the worst since (and maybe worse than) the Great Depression, the economy was actually in more trouble when Reagan took over from the hapless Jimmy Carter. Unemployment was 10.8% in 1982 and is 7.6% at latest count. It was 25.2% in 1932. GDP actually grew in 2008 and the Congressional Budget Office predicts a drop of 2% in 2009. That’s about the same as 1982 and a far cry from the 30% drop in the period 1930-32. But, BHO and the Dems needed a major crisis to ram this hard port tack into socialism down everyone’s throat. And, with popular support fading, they had to quickly pass the thing late on a Friday before anyone had a chance to see exactly what’s in it.

Obama and the Democrat leaders in over-hyping this economic “crisis” are actually making it worse. One of our biggest problems right now is fear and a lack of confidence. Running around the country on Air Force One telling everyone the sky is falling is not going to encourage anyone to purchase a new Chevy or invest in a share of stock. Reagan solved the recession of the early ‘80s by cutting taxes and exuding confidence and optimism.

Keynesian spending has not worked in the past and, from what we know of this package so far, will have little impact on the demand side that the proponents hope. Also, it remains to be revealed how much protectionist language is included in the bill. Historians note that FDR’s massive spending and the protectionist measures of that era prolonged and deepened the depression of the 30s. But, just because it didn’t work before does not mean that liberals won’t try the same thing again. For the Left ideology always trumps fact and previous experience.
Few are giving much consideration at this juncture on the inflationary impact of this legislation or the tax implications on future generations that will have to pay for it. The voters will eventually figure all this out. Look for big gains by the Republicans in the 2010 Congressional elections and the end of the Obama love affair in 2012.

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