MES­SAGE OF DIS­MAY

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

“As 2009 opened, three weeks be­fore Barack Obama took of­fice, the Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age closed at 9,034 on Jan­uary 2, its high­est level since the au­tumn panic. [On Mon­day] the Dow fell an­other 4.24 per­cent to 6,763, for an over­all de­cline of 25 per­cent in two months and to its low­est level since 1997. The dis­may­ing mes­sage here is that Pres­i­dent Obama’s poli­cies have be­come part of the econ­omy’s prob­lem,” the Wall Street Jour­nal said March 3 in an ed­i­to­rial.

“Amer­i­cans have wel­comed the Obama era in the same spirit of hope the Pres­i­dent cam­paigned on. But af­ter five weeks in of­fice, it’s be­come clear that Mr. Obama’s poli­cies are slow­ing, if not stop­ping, what would oth­er­wise be the nor­mal process of eco­nomic re­cov­ery,” the news­pa­per said. “From pun­ish­ing busi­ness to squan­der­ing scarce na­tional pub­lic re­sources, Team Obama is cre­at­ing more un­cer­tainty and less con­fi­dence — and thus a longer pe­riod of re­ces­sion or sub­par growth. ...

“So what has hap­pened in the last two months? The econ­omy has re­ceived no great new out­side shock. Ex­change rates and other prices have been sta­ble, and there are no se­cu­rity crises of note. The re­al­ity of a sharp re­ces­sion has been known and built into stock prices since last year’s fourth quar­ter.

“What is new is the un­veil­ing of Mr. Obama’s agenda and his ap­proach to gov­er­nance. Ev­ery new pres­i­dent has a fi­nite stock of cap­i­tal — fi­nan­cial and po­lit­i­cal — to de­ploy, and amid re­ces­sion Mr. Obama has more than most. But one neg­a­tive rev­e­la­tion has been the way he has cho­sen to spend his scarce re­sources on in­come trans­fers rather than growth pro­mo­tion. Most of his ‘stim­u­lus’ spending was de­voted to so­cial pro­grams, rather than pub­lic works, and nearly all of the tax cuts were de­voted to in­come main­te­nance rather than to im­prov­ing in­cen­tives to work or in­vest. ...

“The mar­ket has notably plunged since Mr. Obama in­tro­duced his bud­get last week, and that should be no sur­prise. The doc­u­ment was a dec­la­ra­tion of hos­til­ity to­ward cap­i­tal­ists across the econ­omy.” each other, and we wind up with a gar­gan­tuan $3.6 tril­lion bud­get. We end up with deficits that, when con­sid­ered re­al­is­ti­cally, are $1 tril­lion a year and stretch as far as the eye can see. We end up with an agenda that is un­ex­cep­tional in its parts but that, when taken as a whole, rep­re­sents a so­cial-en­gi­neer­ing ex­per­i­ment that is en­tirely new. ...

“Those of us who con­sider our­selves mod­er­ates — mod­er­ate­con­ser­va­tive, in my case — are forced to con­front the re­al­ity that Barack Obama is not who we thought he was.” Obama’s plans to hike in­come taxes on the most wealthy 2 or 3 per­cent of the na­tion. He’s not just rais­ing the top rate to 39.6 per­cent; he’s also dis­al­low­ing about onethird of top earn­ers’ de­duc­tions, whether for state and lo­cal taxes, char­i­ta­ble con­tri­bu­tions or mort­gage in­ter­est. This is an ef­fec­tive hike in their taxes by an av­er­age of about 20 per­cent,” the writ­ers said.

“And soon the next shoe will drop — he’ll an­nounce that he’s keep­ing yet an­other of his cam­paign prom­ises: to ap­ply the full pay­roll tax to all in­come over $250,000 a year. (Right now, the 15.3 per­cent So­cial Se­cu­rity tax only ap­plies to the first $106,800 of in­come — you nei­ther pay the tax on in­come above that, nor ac­cu­mu­late added ben­e­fit.) For many tax­pay­ers in this bracket, this hike will raise their to­tal taxes by about half.

“Fi­nally, he’s declar­ing war on in­vestors by rais­ing the cap­i­tal­gains-tax rate to 20 per­cent.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Other side of the Obama coin? Pres­i­dent Lyn­don John­son de­clared a War on Poverty, while Pres­i­dent Obama has de­clared a War on Pros­per­ity, says a col­umn in the New York Post.

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