Category Archives: Economic Policy

The Inequality Smokescreen

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine 

Desperate for a diversion from the disasters of Obamacare, the president has conjured up the old leftist “income inequality” cliché. His court-pundits complain that “the richest nation on earth is starting to resemble a banana republic,” according toThe New Republic, while Berkeley Professor Robert Reich has thundered against “casino capitalism,” blaming it for “the greatest concentration of the nation’s income and wealth at the very top since the Gilded Age of the nineteenth century, with the richest 400 Americans owning as much as the bottom 150 million put together.” Read more →

Questions Rarely Asked–and Never Answered

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media 

It Can’t Happen Here?

What does it take to warn Americans about unchecked pension growth, socialized medicine, vast increases in Photo Credit: Lester Public Library via Flickrentitlements, higher taxes, and steady expansion of government? In other words, what is it about DetroitItaly, or Greece that we do not understand?

In the last five years, the Obama administration has raised taxes on the top income rates, implemented Obamacare, added millions to the disability and food stamp roles, grown the size of the federal work force, run up the national debt, and vastly expanded the money supply, along with insuring near zero interest rates. Are there any historical examples where these redistributive efforts have brought long-term tranquility and prosperity?

To put it another way, does anyone ask basic questions about human nature anymore? If one gives more incentives to obtain government support while unemployed, why would not fewer people be working? If the food stamp, unemployment, and disability rolls are markedly up, and if it is almost impossible to verify that recipients are also not working for unreported cash wages (we hear mostly of government efforts to add more to these programs, rather than to audit those already on them), why would one seek a “regular” job that would lose such subsidies and make all one’s income reportable? (We know two basic truths about the IRS in the age of Obama: first, it goes after political opponents in partisan fashion, and second, it gives away billions of dollars in federal income tax rebate credits to those who did not deserve them.) Read more →

Obama, Heed Thyself

He used to know some important things.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

Republicans and Democrats are still name-calling in their arguments over the government shutdown, out-of-control federal spending, and the implementation of Obamacare. Yet if both sides would agree to just follow the earlier advice of Photo Credit: thierry ehrmann, abode of chaos via FlickrPresident Obama, tempers might cool. And had President Obama himself just listened to earlier guidance from Barack Obama, his opponents might have had no cause for either a government shutdown or another debt-ceiling crisis.

In 2006, Obama rightly called for an end to the Bush administration’s intemperate deficit spending that had resulted in an annual deficit of $250 billion that year. Accordingly, Senator Obama voted to shut down the government rather than automatically to extend the debt ceiling. He explained his resistance this way: “Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

Obama rightly added an additional warning in forcing an impasse over further borrowing: “Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities. Instead, interest payments are a significant tax on all Americans — a debt tax that Washington doesn’t want to talk about.” Read more →

Sort of True, Sort of Not

by Victor Davis Hanson // NRO’s The Corner

The problem with negotiating with President Obama is not necessarily that he sometimes makes things up, but that he always sort of makes things up. Take a Photo Credit: President of the European Council via Flickrsingle recent October 8 press. All at once, the president used a weird assortment of similes and allusions to brand ad nauseam his opponents as little more than ransom takers, house burners, defaulters, global-economy crashers, nuclear-bomb users, extremists, threateners, extortionists, hostage takers, plant burners, and equipment breakers. He then bragged that domestic oil and gas production on his watch are at an all-time high—true, but he left out the salient fact that such gains are entirely the result of exploration on private lands, given that under his administration new federal oil and gas leases have by intention radically slowed. In 2010 actual oil and gas production on federal land hit historic lows. Ditto Obama’s brag that he lowered the deficit by half. If that claim turns out to be true, it is largely because of congressionally imposed sequestration cuts he opposed and record-low interest rates of scarcely over 2 percent that reflect a moribund Read more →

Obama Will Cut a Deal Sooner Rather than Later

by Victor Davis Hanson // NRO’s The Corner

Photo Credit: Marina Noordegraaf via Flickr.comAt first glance, the Republicans seemed to be losing the so-called shut-down impasse, inasmuch as Obamacare, as the president termed it, was “settled law” and the Republicans did not have the congressional clout to overturn it. No one likes, after all, to be turned away from Yosemite on a pleasant autumn day, because of Beltway gymnastics.

Yet the politics are likely to change the longer this drags on, and at some point Obama will see the writing on the wall.

First, the legions of federally employed constituents, the lesser Lois Lerners of the bureaucracy, have played the shutdown badly. Like supervisors at the IRS, many want to freelance their pettiness to showcase their Obama fides—and thereby screw up. No one wishes to see veterans turned away from open-air monuments, while illegal aliens are invited into public federal spaces to protest against their supposedly insensitive host whose laws they are daily breaking (at a time of a government shutdown, try protesting en masse in the Zócalo in Mexico City for your inherent rights as an illegal, foreign resident of Mexico). Read more →

How to Weaken an Economy

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

It is not easy to ruin the American economy; doing nothing[1] usually means it repairs itself[2] and soon is healthier than before a recession. Read more →

‘Austerity’ versus ‘Growth’

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

Who would not prefer “growth” to “austerity”? That is the false dichotomy that insolvent Western governments, both here and abroad, are now constructing. After all, everyone prefers growing things to starving them. Yet in truth, there is no such clear-cut choice. Read more →

Obama’s Blame Game

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

We are told there are lots of reasons why borrowing $5 trillion in less than three years and federalizing healthcare have not yet restored prosperity. Read more →

Postmodern Class Warfare

by Victor Davis Hanson

Tribune Media Services

When President Obama’s polls hit 40 percent approval, he fumed at “billionaires and millionaires,” “fat cat bankers” and “corporate jet owners.” Read more →

A Vineyard Too Far

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

By Sunday afternoon, the Gallup tracking poll showed a 17-point spread in the president’s approval rating — 38 percent approval to 55 percent disapproval. Read more →

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