In February of 2009 I posted a piece entitled “Prognostications” in which I made a number of predictions about what Obama and the Democrat controlled Congress would do now that they had complete control. As I was driving back from our annual fly fishing expedition to central BC the other day I thought about that list and concluded it was time to see how I faired in my predictions. Hereafter, the list and the score thus far into the “Hopie-Changie” era.
· The Stimulus Package: Originally at some $870 billion, winding up with some add-ons at around $1 trillion, has failed miserably to prod the
· Card Check Legislation: They made some feeble attempts at this but backed off to concentrate on the health care bill. Obama did reward the unions big time by giving them big chunks of GM and Chrysler stock when the two auto giants went tits up. Score one NO.
· Give More Money to the Auto Companies: The
· Pass the Fairness Doctrine: They did not really have the courage to tackle this one and totally piss off the millions of listeners of conservative talk radio. Instead they dispatched Mark Lloyd, the Diversity Czar for the FCC to see if he can “back door” the thing through regulations. Score: NO.
· Restrict drilling for oil and gas: At the time of posting “Prognostications” Salazar had already cancelled leases and set aside huge swathes of the west where no drilling was allowed. Now, with the oil disaster in the Gulf every-thing is shut down. The irony is that if the regs had not forced the oil companies to drill in such deep water (a mile down) and instead were allowed to drill on land or in shallow water, this thing would have been fixed already. Score: YES
· Not allow the construction of nuclear power plants: Obama says they want to build them but they shut down the
· Enact cap and trade: It has already passed the House and is currently introduced in the Senate. Debate has been stalled with the intrusion of other matters like voting themselves a raise and fine-tuning their special medical program. Some GOP Senators will vote aye. Score: YES
· Toss money at solar and wind power: Money for these industries was included in the stimulus bill and much more to come with the cap and trade legislation. Score: YES
· Abandon missile defense and reduce US nuclear arms: Obama cut funding for missile defense programs, refused to provide funding to upgrade the
· Enact restrictions on gun ownership: Hillary is trying to work something through a UN agreement. Score: NO
· Appoint “living constitution” fans to Supreme Court: Sonia Sotomayor has been confirmed and Elana Kagan has been nominated and awaiting confirmation in the Senate. She’s sure to be approved. Score: YES
· Squelch school choice: The Congress withdrew funding for the charter school program in
· Abandon tort reform: Of course. Don’t be silly. Score: YES
· Attempt to make illegals citizens: They are trying to push “comprehensive” immigration reform, but not yet. Score: NO
· Put the government in charge of health care: You know all about that one. Score YES
Somehow I neglected to put tax increases in the Feb ’09 post. It did, however, appear in previous posts. Here’s a list of the tax increases the Democrats have enacted so far.
· $500 billion included in the Health Care bill.
· Double taxation on corporations doing business overseas.
· When the Bush tax cuts expire taxes on upper incomes will increase from 35% to 39.6%. Dividends will be taxed at 39.6% instead of 15%. The capital gains tax will increase from 15% to 20%. The inheritance tax will increase from 0% this year to 55%.
Congress is currently working on a bill to raise taxes by $43 billion on corporations and another bill to tax S-Corps (small businesses taxed as individuals). While the details of this one are as yet unclear, it appears to apply to independent operators like architects, accountants and the service industries. It sounds like it will hit them at about 15%. So much for the talk about helping small business and not taxing the little guy.
Another thing I did not anticipate is Obama’s muddled and wrong-headed foreign policy. He has offended and insulted the
As a new prediction (at least to blog readers) I feel the sum of Obama’s economic policies insure a double dip and protracted recession. You cannot crowd out capital with an annual deficit of $1.5 trillion dollars, raise taxes on individuals and corporations, driving jobs and businesses offshore, raise the price of energy with cap and trade taxes and expect a growing economy. They’ve got a lot of Harvard folks in the Administration, but they will need to get glass eyes installed in their navels if they expect to see where they are going.