American Elephants


What Does Barack Obama Want? by The Elephant's Child

Everywhere the talk is about The Fiscal Cliff, and the negotiations. Everyone wants to know what Obama wants. He wants to tax the rich, and Jay Carney has assured us that he will veto any bill that does not tax the rich. Obama is apparently going to go out campaigning to rouse the nation to lobby for the bill he wants passed, his way.

I’ve pointed out that Alan Reynolds said that “Obama doesn’t understand economics and apparently won’t listen to anyone who does.” He also doesn’t understand negotiations. His idea of negotiations is to force you to agree with him. He hates disagreement.

An odd trend has taken place in the United States. The two political parties have grown more distinctly separate, more dramatically opposed to each other. I don’t know why I’m surprised any more, but after the election, there was an outpouring of really angry Democrats, calling conservative talk shows, tweeting, attacking Romney signs or bumper stickers. They won, and we weren’t humble enough, defeated enough, subservient enough. I’ll admit I was really disappointed in the election, but they won, and what was that all about? Why were they so angry about winning? We are not supposed to disagree.

It’s not just that. There are Republican ideas and there are Democrat ideas, and never the twain shall meet. Republican ideas are wrong, lies, false, stupid, and, of course — racist. Republicans like Fox News because it is indeed more fair and balanced. Obama would prefer not to have any representative of Fox in the press corps, or on the plane.  Democrats hate Fox: wrong, lies, false, stupid, and, of course— racist.

Democrats believe in Keynesian economics, that a downturn results from a lack of demand, and to fix it you have to create demand, so they keep trying to pump money into the economy in one way or another, in hopes that people will spend the money and thus jump-start something or other. Doesn’t work, has never worked, but hope springs eternal.

Indeed, Obama’s $800 billion neo-Keynesian stimulus package actually impeded economic recovery. According to John B. Taylor, a Stanford University economist who carried out an in-depth study of the stimulus, the government’s spending did not result in growth and jobs.

“Individuals and families largely saved the transfers and tax rates,” Taylor wrote.”The federal government increased purchases but by only an immaterial amount. State and local governments used the stimulus grants to reduce their net borrowing…rather than to increase expenditures, and they shifted expenditures away from purchases toward transfers. Some argue that the economy would have been worse off without these stimulus packages, but the results do not support that view.*”

“Obama’s own views about what he has, and has not, learned during his four years in the White House say a lot about why he has been a failure as president.*”

The area in my presidency where I think my management and understanding of the presidency evolved most,” Obama has said,”and where I think we made the most mistakes, was less on the policy front and more on the communications front.

You mean he didn’t make enough speeches? The greatest communicator since Ronald Reagan had — a failure to communicate? Well, that’s why he’s going out to rouse the compliant.

Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on the rich would reduce the deficit from $1.1 trillion to $1.02 trillion, maybe. The rich have lots of options, and can rearrange their affairs to pay less in taxes. The rich are moving out of high tax states and taking their businesses with them. They can move their money around too.

The owners of 990,000 small businesses, defined as those with 50 or more employees, report their income on their 1040 tax returns. In response to the new costs of ObamaCare, many are reducing their employees to 49 or less.

President Obama does not believe that small businesses number among “the rich” as Republicans claim. Small businesses are the neighborhood barber, the shoe shop, and the little bookstore. He even made a point of visiting a small bookstore in the capitol, to celebrate small business, this weekend.

So what does President Obama want? He wants to make speeches, because that’s where he’s comfortable. He wants to tax the rich because he believes in redistribution of wealth and believes he has a mandate to do so. He wants more revenue to spend. He wants people to stop disagreeing with him. And he doesn’t think there are any consequences from raising taxes, so as soon as he’s inaugurated for his next term, he’ll slap on a carbon tax, because that’s what his green supporters want. Redistribution of wealth usually turns out to be redistributed to the ruling class, and the poor are just poorer than ever.

Time for Walter Wriston again:

Capital will go where it is wanted and stay where it is well treated. It will flee from manipulation or onerous regulation of its value or use and no government power can restrain it for long.

*Edward Klein: The Amateur




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