Saturday, October 25, 2008

America can't afford Obama

A week ago I suggested that it might be better for Republicans if Obama won. My thinking was that Obama would discredit the left while Republicans recovered their conservative roots. I've changed my mind in the last week. I've decided that Obama will cause so much damage that he should never get near the White House.

During the primaries Obama and Hillary got into a bidding war against NAFTA. At the same time, one of Obama's advisors assured Canada that this was just campaign talk. An article in my local paper indicated that Obama is still talking about changes to NAFTA. This will not only hurt trade which affects the economy, it will hurt America's image abroad.

Gas is selling for less than it cost a year ago. It was about 50% higher just a month ago. Obama has never been explicit about his policies on gas prices but he has dropped hints. He, along with the rest of the Democrats, has been against domestic oil production. He modified his position slightly to say that he might consider off-shore drilling as part of a broader solution. Most telling was a comment that he made last Summer. He said that the problem was that the prices rose so fast that people didn't have time to adjust.

Obama is a supporter of CO2 restrictions. That means higher gas prices. A lot higher. In Italy gas reached $10/gallon and people still kept driving. In order to get the reductions that Obama wants, we will see gas go that high or higher.

The military is stretched in Iraq. Obama reminds of this costantly. The reason for this is that the military was reduced under Clinton. We just don't have the troops we really need to occupy a country. Obama wants to escalate Afghanistan. In addition, Barney Frank let slip that the Democrats plan on cutting the military 25%.

Obama promises health care for everyone at no cost. He says that he will reduce waste and cut overall costs through preventative care. He's dreaming. Niether will work and preventative care is very expensive, partly because of the number of false positives in modern tests. Canada and Britian have tried universal coverage. The quality of their health care has gone down and they are having major problems controlling costs.

The centerpiece of Obama's candidacy is his tax plan. He describes it as raising taxes on the top 5% and giving a cut to the other 95%. Since 1/3 of workers don't pay income tax, he is going beyond regular income tax cuts. In order to cover his entire 95%, Obama is playing with the Social Security tax. The lowest earners will get a cut in Social Security. The highest earners will have an increase in the income tax with the extra going into Social Security. This is a fundamental change in how Social Security works. It breaks FDR's bargain that it be self-supporting (I won't get into the problems with the trust fund here).

In addition to all of this, there is Biden's prediction of the country being tested under Obama.

The bottom line is that much of what Obama proposes to do will never be undone, even if the Republicans retake the White House and Congress in 2012.

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