Why On Earth Vote For Any Democrat?
Yes, the 2010 elections are shaping up as an historic repudiation of liberal Democrats by an enraged electorate. But if by some unfathomable twist of fate all the polls are proven wrong, and Democrats escape the ballot box punishment they so richly deserve, what happens to the country? As we survey liberal positions on the full range of political issues this election season, what we see is a party and a political philosophy which is destructive to American tradition and stunningly out-of-touch with the views of the great majority of American voters.
- Cap and Trade
- The goal of Cap and Trade is to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions. Because 85% of our energy comes from carbon-emitting fossil fuels, one obvious way to cut CO2 emissions is to raise energy prices. In order to meet the government's CO2-reduction targets, the price of energy must, as Obama admitted himself, "necessarily skyrocket."
- Gasoline prices would rise by more than 50% under Cap and Trade.
- Average household electricity rates would rise 90%.
- A typical family of four would pay $1,200 more per year.
- Higher energy prices will inevitably raise production costs for businesses. They will have no choice but to pass the costs along to consumers.
- Everything Americans use and make requires energy. They will be slammed on all sides by increased costs.
- To survive higher energy costs, companies will have no choice but to reduce overhead by cutting jobs.
- Confiscatory energy taxes will put pressure on some businesses in this country to shut down entirely or move overseas, where costs are lower.
- Wind power and other renewables are not cost competitive or developed enough to take up the slack. If they were, there would be no need for government subsidies.
- The expiration of the Bush tax cuts (or, to be more descriptive, the Bush tax rates) amounts to a massive tax increase. This is now a certainty, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi adjourned congress last week without taking any action. Admittedly, none of her options were very attractive. See our article on the Democrats' tax dilemma elsewhere on ElectionDebates.
- The higher taxes on dividends advocated by Obama are a massive deterrent to new business investment. They'll result in untold numbers of lost and uncreated jobs. Retired seniors will be especially hard hit, since many of them rely on investment income to support themselves.
- The return of the death tax – a favorite of Democrat class warriors – means renewed deterrents to generational giving, and general habits of thrift. It also happens to be a very effective way to kill off family businesses (which often have to be sold off to pay heavy tax obligations).
- There is much talk in liberal circles of introducing a European-style value-added-tax (VAT) in the U.S. next year. It would raise enormous amounts of revenue for the government, but exact a heavy cost on the private economy. In theory a VAT tax is an equitable way to fund government, but only in lieu of other taxes. Given human nature and the history of liberal governments worldwide, the VAT would likely be imposed in addition to other taxes.
- The Obama Administration's lawsuit against the state of Arizona was an eye-opener, even for liberals. The Arizona immigration enforcement law, written to mirror federal law, has only grown more popular since Attorney General Holder led the charge against it. Many other states are actively considering passing similar laws. The problem is that serious – and Obama is that out of touch.
- Arizona's Junior Senator John Kyle made headlines last summer when he revealed details of a conversation he had with President Obama, in which the President refused to provide funds to finish the border fence unless Republicans went along with
amnesty for illegals Immigration Reform. Obama, it seems, doesn't trust Republicans to support reform if he offers to pay for the fence first. But can Republicans trust Obama to build the fence if they support reform first?
- The Immigration Court system is broken – overwhelmed with cases and unable to enforce its own verdicts. The INS under Obama is playing politics with immigration, by, among other things, refusing to cooperate with Arizona on enforcing existing law. So long as Obama is in office this is unlikely to change.
- All of this ultimately comes down to politics. Obama and the Democrat party see illegal immigrants as a new voting bloc – a political gravy train – all the more necessary because liberal policies are driving so many American voters away from the party. A dependent class of immigrants, hooked on liberal social programs, could fill that void.
- Obamacare's chickens are coming home to roost – and sooner than expected, now that Obamacare is the law of the land. The quality of private health insurance has already been hit by the new mandates. Insurance companies are canceling policies, rewriting them, and/or pricing them higher.
- A virtual Who's Who of Corporate America has had to write down hundreds of millions in new expenses in order to be in legal compliance with Obamacare. These are only the first of many, many new costs.
- If you haven't yet heard of Dr. Donald Marx (yes, that's his middle name) Berwick, he is President Obama's choice to lead the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. An unabashed enthusiast of socialized medicine, Berwick not only doesn't deny its redistributionist nature, he says redistribution is its essential core feature.
- Sarah Palin was ridiculed by the left for coining the term "Death Panels", but Donald Berwick is an outspoken proponent of rationing for end-of-life medical care. And make no mistake: Healthcare Rationing = Death Panels. As Dr. Berwick says: "The decision is not whether or not we will ration care. The decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open." If rationing health care by private insurance companies is such a terrible thing, why is rationing by government bureaucrats any better?
- With Obamacare, the federal government will have the power to force you to buy a health insurance policy. That policy may or may not cover what you want it to, and you won't have much say over it. Obamacare is purposely designed to make it very attractive for companies to drop private health coverage for their employees and dump them into a one-size-fits-all government plan. You will very likely lose your doctor in the process. Even if you keep your doctor, the two of you will have less freedom to pursue the most effective or appropriate solutions for your medical problems due to a raft of new government rules.
- Card Check
- Otherwise known by its Orwellian "Employee Free Choice" moniker, Card Check claims to save American workers from exploitation by their employers, but actually serves them up for exploitation by union thugs.
- Instead of a traditional one-man/one-vote secret ballot, Card Check, if made law, would allow union organizers (who may also be the employees’ supervisors) to coerce workers into putting their names on a union-organizing petition visible to everyone.
- A lesser-known but equally-dangerous provision of the law would force companies unable to agree on union contracts to submit to the National Labor Relations Board. This in effect gives the government the power to dictate contract terms to any business. Large businesses may be able to absorb odious "agreements". Small businesses, which are the source of most new jobs in this country, will be much more vulnerable. The number of small companies snuffed out in the cradle by Card Check – among them the next big employer, the next Google or Apple – will be incalculably high.
- The systemic economic meltdown in Greece provides a glimpse into our future if we don't stop the binge of federal spending we've been on since Obama took office.
- Total public debt totaled $7.5 trillion at the beginning of 2009. This is sometimes called sovereign debt, i.e. the debt owed to people around the world who have bought U.S. Treasury bonds.
- In just the next 10 years the amount of this debt will double, from $7.5 trillion to $15 trillion. Sovereign debt will go from 53 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 67 percent.
- Structural debt from such entitlements as Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare will continue to rise sharply, until it eventually crowds out anything else you happen to be reading on the front page of your local newspaper.
- A demographic tsunami of retiring Baby Boomers is coming. Just one-third of them have prepared themselves financially for retirement. The sum total of unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will force the government to borrow enormous amounts of money: some 320 percent of GDP by 2050. Unless we do something about it, by 2083 total debt will reach 750 percent of GDP. That’s trillions and trillions of additional borrowed dollars that have to be paid back somehow.
- As of now, every man, woman and child in the U.S. statistically owes in excess of $43,000 of this debt.
- War on Terror
- Eric Holder's horrendous decision to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed in civilian court in New York has faded from the headlines, but Holder has not formally rejected the idea, which has been put off until after the elections. As evidenced by the Ground-Zero Mosque fiasco, the Obama administration continues to be as tone-deaf and wrong-headed as ever.
- Despite ample evidence that it was the Clinton Administration's "law enforcement" approach to Islamic terrorism that led to 9/11, President Obama remains a fan of the concept and blind to its national security consequences.
- The war in Afghanistan was supposed to be the "good" war, but with Democrats in control of all three branches of government
the U.S. military, even under General Petraeus, has become bogged down. Even before the damaging revelations in Bob Woodward's new book, Obama's war leadership has given off strong whiffs of irresolution and political expediency.
- Obama's refusal to secure the border has implications beyond domestic politics. Lost in the flood of illegal immigrants streaming into the country are unknown thousands of visitors classified as "Other Than Mexican". Who are they? Why are they here? We're in urgent need of answers to those questions, but getting them in this age of politicized border enforcement is going to be hard.
- Obama is so wedded to the "We're At Fault" approach to fighting terrorism that he has resorted to such absurdities as changing NASA's mission focus to include boosting the self-esteem of Muslims by reminding them of their contributions to mathematics hundreds of years ago.
- The Obama Administration is so steeped in political correctness it's had to invent a whole new vocabulary for itself.
- Acts of terrorism are now referred to as "man-caused disasters" in State Department documents.
- A Defense Department report on the Fort Hood shooting failed to mention the name of the shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, or the fact that he'd been a follower of radical Islam since 2005.
- Administration officials read Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad his Miranda Rights after questioning him for an hour. Luckily for us Shahzad continued to cooperate with interrogators.
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