Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Left's Disintegration

Scott Brown's election to the Senate--breaking the Democrats' 60-vote super-majority--provides incontrovertible electoral proof that Americans see in the current Obama Administration a threat to their liberty, whether in the form of socializing the medical profession, the Administration's apparent disinclination to defend Americans domestically against terrorist attack, or its revolting obsequiousness to foreign dictatorships.

We are threatened by this Administration on so many fronts our heads are literally spinning.  We are like the little dutch boy putting our fingers in the dike, but the number of holes has now so greatly exceeded the number of fingers we feel overwhelmed.

But not defeated.

Barack Obama Scott BrownThe current outrage is the level of spending this Administration is proposing, the level of taxation it is demanding, and the level of borrowing it is committing our children and our grand-children to paying off.  As the president recently commented, "we propose to spend our way out of this recession."

That these levels of spending, taxation, and borrowing are precisely what will further deepen the recession and expand it into a full-fledged depression on the scale of the Great Depression of the 1930s is an argument that is only just beginning to be articulated by Republicans and the Tea Party Movement (TPM).

Consider some facts on the ground.

Perhaps none of these issues would gain much electoral traction were it not for the essential fact that unemployment is at historically very high levels.  In itself, this fact wouldn't mean much were it not also true that the Obama Administration's irresponsible policies of more spending, more taxes, and more borrowing guarantee there will be no economic expansion of the private sector so long as these policies remain in effect.

In reality, we have unemployment nationally close to 20%, if we include everyone without a job who wants a job.  People are far more educated today than they were in the 1930s and are far less likely to be persuaded that throttling the private sector and expanding government is the way to encourage prosperity.

But these policies, far from encouraging prosperity, must have precisely the opposite effect, as they did in the 1930s, and we have already set the stage for a catastrophe that will make 2009 look good.

In 2010, we shall have the beginning of a new round of foreclosures, this time from those 2005 mortgages whose interest rates are due to be reset this year.

Many of these mortgages were of the sort where payments did not even cover the interest charge.  Given that property today is worth but half what it was worth in 2005, in such states as Florida or Nevada, these properties are all, as the saying goes, far "under water."

More foreclosed properties further depress existing prices, making Americans poorer.  As government steps in to "rescue" these mortgages, it must borrow more money, raise taxes, and spend more, further depressing private economic activity.  We haven't even discussed the coming foreclosures in commercial real estate as economic activity slows further.

There must come a point where foreigners refuse to buy more American treasury notes, and we are already nearing the point where current tax receipts go mostly to pay for the interest on the debt, rather than to pay any of it down.

The Obama Administration would argue, of course, that the economy will recover, and that our current situation is short-term and temporary.  But their policies, unfortunately, guarantee there will be no recovery of the private economy and that the situation will only get worse.  Already this Administration makes the telling admission that American will have high unemployment for as far into the future as it can see.  At least here, the Administration is honest.

So long as the private economy does not produce through taxable profit the revenue the government needs, the only alternative left is to inflate the currency, which is just another form of taxation, but a form that does more to destroy an economy than any other tax.

There is a reason why Americans are buying gold.

As the consequences of these policies become more and more evident, the American electorate will take charge of the situation in the only way our Constitution provides.  The 2010 election promises to be the most historic and revolutionary off-year election in the history of the republic.  It is clear to me, and I've been predicting this from the moment Congress passed the so-called "stimulus package" in early 2009, the Republicans, as the party out of power, will sweep both houses of Congress in a landslide, because I knew that the theory this legislation was founded on was simply wrong, and that unemployment would increase, not decrease.

Unfortunately, we shall still have to contend with a socialist president who will simply dig in his heels and prevent remedial legislation.  It is unfortunate, because the country will have to suffer at least two more years of his failed presidency; on the other hand, the Republicans will be able to pass remedial legislation, which Obama will veto, but that will present the country with a track record.  Going into the presidential elections of 2012, the Republican nominee will be positioned well to argue but that for Obama's obstructionism and failed policies, the country would be moving forward rather than mired in high unemployment, punishing regulations, confiscatory taxation, and unlimited spending.

To adjust our course the ship of state will require an extraordinary set of circumstances where Congress will actually be expected by the people to cut spending, for by 2012, we shall be in such bad economic shape with this president, catastrophic circumstances--debt, spending, and taxes--will force the hand.

The next three years will be terrible years for this country economically, millions of peope will suffer unnecessarily, yet at the end I think Americans will have finally rejected the false allure of socialism and we shall also see the death of the Democratic Party as we know it today.

Baron de la Brède et de MontesquieuI hope we shall also see the rebirth of limited government, as created by the original United States Constitution.  For that to happen we shall need some Constitutional amendments that repeal the income tax, restore the right of free contract, redefine and limit the "commerce clause", prohibit Congress from delegating its powers to bureaucracies and, perhaps, consider some new ideas about restructuring at least the House of Representatives by restoring the original ratio of 30,000 voters per Congressional district.

We would greatly increase the number of Congressional House seats which would make it impractical to meet physically in one place, at least in the current House chamber.  But we are now connected through digital networks and there is no reason, in principle, why the House of Representatives could not meet in a virtual Congress, where House staffs would be greatly diffused.  It would, of course, be far more difficult to pass complicated legislation, but that is the point.  The federal government should not be doing most of what it is currently doing. 

The long-term advantages of such a reform would be considerable and may even appeal to many on the Left, for attempts to influence any one Congressman would be futile.  With 202.7 million eligible voters in the United States, we'd then have, to restore the original Constitutional ratios, 6,757 members of the House of Representatives.  It would be very difficult for lobbyists to get special favors from Congress if they had to persuade 3,379 of them rather than a mere 218.  House members would be much closer to the people they represent and the result would be a federal government whose expansion would be far more difficult to accomplish and the people's liberties kept far more secure.

Whatever the value of these proposals, it should be clear that merely changing the gang of politicians in Washington will, at best, provide a temporary respite from the steadily expanding power of the federal government over all aspects of our lives.

We must argue for major constitutional changes to restructure the government if we are to reinvigorate the original design of our Constitution, and create more limited government, where people can once again be free to pursue happiness, secure their liberty, defend their very lives.


Anonymous said...

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Tom Anderson said...

Thank you, Dorris. I appreciate your comment.