Sunday, January 25, 2009

A prediction for Obama's presidency

Dick Morris, former political advisor to Pres. Bill Clinton, penned a column for The Hill predicting that President Obama will forever change the American political system into socialism.

"Simply put, we enter his administration as free-enterprise, market-dominated, laissez-faire America. We will shortly become like Germany, France, the United Kingdom, or Sweden — 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.


But it is not his spending that will transform our political system, it is his tax and welfare policies. In the name of short-term stimulus, he will give every American family (who makes less than $200,000) a welfare check of $1,000 euphemistically called a refundable tax credit. And he will so sharply cut taxes on the middle class and the poor that the number of Americans who pay no federal income tax will rise from the current one-third of all households to more than half. In the process, he will create a permanent electoral majority that does not pay taxes, but counts on ever-expanding welfare checks from the government. The dependency on the dole, formerly limited in pre-Clinton days to 14 million women and children on Aid to Families with Dependent Children, will now grow to a clear majority of the American population.

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 follow the opposite of the Reagan strategy. Reagan cut taxes and increased the deficit so that liberals could not increase spending. 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 will have to pay them would be rich Republicans.


But none of these changes will cure the depression. It will end when the private sector works through the high debt levels that triggered the collapse in the first place. And, then, the large stimulus package deficits will likely lead to rapid inflation, probably necessitating a second recession to cure it.

So 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.

But it will be too late to reverse the socialism of much of the economy, the demographic change in the electorate, the rationing of healthcare by the government, the surge of unionization and the crippling of talk radio."

Do you agree with his predictions?


Kadim said...

I do not agree with his predictions.

1.) You don't put Larry Summers in as your National Economics Director if you're planning on socializing the economy.

1a.) Appearances suggest that Obama will be fairly centrist on economic policy.

2.) And while I don't think the short term stimulus checks is a particularly bright idea, it will hardly make us a socialist nation. After all, President Bush's $600 stimulus checks didn't have that effect.

A few other notes from his article:

3.) "Reagan cut taxes and increased the deficit so that liberals could not increase spending." one of the most interesting things I've ever heard.

So my wife can't stop buying clothes, and she keeps adding to the credit card debt. So to stop her, I quit my job and I used the credit cards to live off of for the last year. Now she can't add to the credit card debt because there isn't anymore credit line! Smart huh??!

4.) "And, when the economy is restored, he will raise taxes with impunity, since the only people who will have to pay them would be rich Republicans."

Dick Morris should know better. Rich voters don't vote Republican anymore. The rich taxpayers in the US are found in the coastal US, and they're voting Democrat. Obama won several demographic groups solidly, and one of them was voters who make over $250k/year.

5.) "The people and equipment that now serve 250 million Americans and largely neglect all but the emergency needs of the other 50 million will now have to serve everyone."

An interesting thought, but I think this is a red herring. A significant percentage of those uninsured are young and healthy, and don't have insurance because the risk they take for not having it isn't all that bad. If anything, one of the things you hear a lot in support of schemes which would require insurance is that it would bring on those 50 million people who would be paying into the system but wouldn't be using it all that much.

6.) "And he will enact the check-off card system for determining labor union representation, repealing the secret ballot in union elections. The result will be to raise the proportion of the labor force in unions up to the high teens from the current level of about 12 percent."

I'm not a union guy and I hate the idea of card check. Nevertheless I don't think that even the unions have dreams that big. I think card check, would, at best, keep the union population stable over the long term. Even if it doesn't, one thing isn't changing: the vast majority of union members will be government employees. And besides, unionization of the high teens is not that big a deal politically--after all, Republicans dominated for decades in US politics when unionization was in the 30% range.

Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...


I agree up to a point.

What if the highly taxed people leave the country and say, take over or set up some other country to live in?

Then who's going to pay all of those taxes?

Or, what if the rich stop making money here..., and spending it here?

Taxation of the so-called "rich" can be avoided. Then what?

Antipelagian said...

I think Morris was wrong right off the bat with this:
Simply put, we enter his administration as free-enterprise, market-dominated, laissez-faire America

Our economy is already a government dominated economy...we've been sliding into socialism for quite some time now.

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