If Mr. Obama does become President and both Houses of Congress are so strongly dominated by the Democrats, it is possible that the United States will be controlled by the most liberal government in our history. So, what will be the result of a near veto-proof and left-wing government?
Here's my take:
- The War in Iraq. We "will" leave Iraq almost immediately. Even if Mr. Obama wants to more rationally "slow" his withdrawal from Iraq by not complying with his "immediate" campaign commitment and drag it out over 16 months, that just won't happen. It won't happen because the extreme liberals in the House (those controlled by Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha) and in the Senate (those controlled and led by Harry Reid and Ted Kennedy) won't let it happen. That's because the war funding will be cutoff at its knees; and, rather than offend the liberal base and the financing stream from groups like Code Pink and MoveOn.org,, Mr. Obama wouldn't dare to veto it. I (and many others) believe that a vacuum will be created by us leaving. It will result in severe genocidal bloodshed for the Sunnis (being punished for once being in power under Saddam) and Iran taking (at the very least) an arms-length control of Iraq by virtue of the dominant Shia population. It will be a lot like the Syria/Lebanon connection and it will seriously tip the balance of power in the region and could influence and threaten other states in the area such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and even Egypt; and, not to mention Israel. Once done, it probably couldn't be undone by reinserting our military.
- National Health Care Insurance. Expect the creation of the largest and most expensive government controlled program that this country has seen since Medicare. It will be expensive from the beginning and underestimated; and, like all government managed social programs, it will be seen as "out of control" in just a few years. It will require constant tax increases in the future to cover it's expense. Don't even expect health care cost increases to slow or go down. That's because the health care system will figure out how to "inflate" it's charges to that system in the same fashion that it has been able to get "fat" off of Medicare. Health care costs won't go down under such a system. They will just continue to skyrocket. The crux of the problem, lawsuits, won't even be addressed because of the cozy relationship between the trial attorneys and the Democrats in control of our government.
- Taxes. Expect the tax burden on middle class wage earners to go up. At issue will be who is "rich" in the world according to the very liberal Democrats and Barack Obama. To Barack Obama, the rich are those making $250,000 a year. However, to some other Democrats, as low a $60,000 is rich by their definition. My guess is that taxes will be raised on single wage earners making $100,000 or more. For a UAW worker in Detroit making $60/hour, that means higher taxes on his salary. Obama also wants to raise the capital gains tax from 20% to 28%. Unfortunately, there are more than 100 million people in this country who derive income from capital sources and would be subject to this tax. Sadly, many are retirees who receive income from their hard earned money being invested in mutual funds and bonds. They will be hurt with higher taxes in an already inflationary economy and it won't matter that they are below $250,000 in income. Expect the taxes increases and steeper-yet energy prices to cause runaway inflation. The poorest and the fixed income retirees will get hurt the worst.
- Organized Labor. The "secret balloting" system of voting as to whether or not to "go union" to be legislated out of existence by this "in debt to the labor unions" Congress and President. In its place, this liberal government will legislate (mandate) into being the "card check" system. Under the "card check" system, union bosses will be able to pass out cards to prospective union members and have them simply "check off" a "no" or "yes" vote as to their preference to organize under a union. If they vote against the union, that preference will be clearly known to the union and its bosses. Talk about intimidation and the most "anti-democratic" measure ever passed by a democracy! But, this is designed to "muscle" the unions into our economy. Initially, it might create higher wages as the unions gain control and force higher wages and more benefits. However, multi-national companies will be forced to move off shore at even a more rapid rate than they have in the past in order to stay competitive against foreign manufacturers. For companies that can't move off shore, the consumer will be hit with massive price increases to compensate for all the higher wages. Expect companies to be "forced" to apply more and more productivity (job eliminating) techniques that will eventually increase unemployment. This is the unintended consequence of removing the "free market" for jobs from our economy. If you don't think it will happen, just look at the automobile industry and the impact on a State like Michigan and the textile industry whose products are almost exclusively produced overseas.
- Conservative Talk Radio. The "left" pretty much has control of the national media in this country. They also have control of National Public Radio (NPR) and PBS television. Further, they have managed to control the "political thought" in our education systems through their support-of and the control-by of the teacher's unions. The only counter-balance to all this and a constant thorn in the sides of the liberals have been conservative talk radio with the likes of Rush Limbaugh. Expect the Democratic Congress and by signature of the President to revive the "Fairness Doctrine." Under that legislation, a radio or television station could lose it's Federal License if it failed to provide equal time for conservative and liberal radio programming. Therefore, the unpopular liberal talk shows would be forced on to the airways. Actually, expect the Conservative talk radio to disappear because there hasn't been and won't be enough audiences to support liberal talk radio. Think of this law like taking a station that currently has a Country Theme and telling them that they will have to provide equal time for rap or hip hop or hard rock. This law could somewhat backfire because it would force PBS and NPR to provide conservative programming; something that hasn't existed for years.
- Energy Policies. Expect a few billion dollars to be doled out to create so-called green collar jobs. Like every other government program, you can expect this to one to be ripe for fraud and political pork barreling. Because it will supply funds under a Federal program, any company taking those funds will then be subject to paying the Federal minimum wage. Expect the administrative costs to be in the billions. My guess is that we "won't" see two things: (1) Any significant job growth and (2) any reduction in our dependence on oil. Expect energy prices to continue to go higher and higher. Instead of allowing the free market system to work to solve our energy problems, this government program will be a disaster and we can expect the past "$10,000 toilet seat" problems to thrive in spades.
- Federal Appointments. There are hundreds of Federal judgeships that have remained open and stuck in the Democratic controlled committees. The Federal Election Committee has 4 positions stuck in the Senate committee for approval. The 2 remaining seats are overdue in their own retirements. Expect the floodgates of liberal, activist judges to open up with the Congress/Presidency controlled by the Democrats. These are lifetime positions and the "progressive" slant on our court system will last for years. As many as 3 Supreme Court judges could retire during an Obama Administration and Democratic Control of Congress. Expect the "Court" to be tilted sharply to the left; a condition that will last for decades.
- College Tuition. As have said before in this blog, college tuition is rising at a rate that is twice that of inflation because the number of colleges and universities is limited while the demand is high. Making college "more affordable" by providing additional government funding is just feeding the "demand" side of the college tuition problem. To stop the runaway increases in tuition, you need to increase the "supply" of colleges and universities in this country. Unless our schools of higher education have empty seats and have to compete for students, tuition rates will just keep on rising. My guess is that any of the Obama/Democrats plans will do just that.
- Education. Expect school and teacher accountability to go out the window because "No Child Left Behind" and its testing requirements will be blasted off the map. This will be payback to the loyal-to-the-Democrats teacher's union. For the first time in history, the Federal government will start funding local education in this country. Moves to add more teachers (for the unions and not the kids) will be pushed. I think a city, like Chicago, will revert back to its 48% graduation rate after having improved to 52%. Education, thanks to pandering to the unions, will continue to slide downwards in this country.
- Deficit Spending. Currently, Mr. Obama has proposed spending levels that will out pace his tax increases by a ration of 3 to 1. Unlike the Clinton years which benefited from a burgeoning computer-based economy and massive productivity gains (and profits) in business, expect the deficit to increase as a result of (1) reduced tax revenues as a result of higher taxes on businesses and the rich and (2) excessive spending for all those campaign-promised spending programs. With liberal/progressive Democrats in control of the Presidency and Congress, spending will be unstoppable!