ACRU General Counsel Peter Ferrara wrote this column appearing December 1, 2010 on The American Spectator website.
The good news is that the Democrats and the Washington Establishment have heard the message from the American people on Election Day, 2010. How could they have not? It was an epoch beginning, 1932 style rout, as predicted here first 18 months ago.
The bad news is how much trouble our country is still in. For after all of President Obama’s double talking sweet talk right after the vote, the harsh reality, inconsistent with our very democracy, is that the Democrats and the Washington Establishment are rejecting the message the people sent. Their response is the political equivalent of “Shut Up.”
How else can we interpret the decision of House Democrats to defy the American people, and reelect ultra-left San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi as Minority Leader? House Democrat candidates will now campaign in 2012 on the theme, “Vote for Us, and Bring Back Pelosi!” I think they have now answered the question, “How stupid do they think we are?”
And how else can we interpret President Obama, who said at his press conference the day after the electoral rout, “Over the last two years we have made progress. But clearly the American people have not felt that yet. And they told us that yesterday.” Just what exactly is he saying here? The words say the American people told us on Election Day that the Democrats are not moving to implement their left-wing agenda fast enough. President Obama is now acting as if this is the message he got on Election Day, as we will see below.
And how else can we interpret Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), who said in a Senate hearing just before Thanksgiving, “I hunger for quality news. There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox and to MSNBC: ‘Out! Off! End! Goodbye!” Funny he should say that. Because there’s a little bug inside of me that wants to get the FEC to say to Rockefeller: “Out! Off! End! Goodbye!”
This is your modern Democrat party, run by New Left hippies from the ’60s in suits, who don’t even believe in the First Amendment, because they are really just Hugo Chavez in waiting.
Obama to Rule by Decree
President Obama is already taking another step in that direction. For now that the American people have terminated his ability to ram his socialism through a thoroughly Left-Wing Congress, he has decided to rule by decree.
President Obama indicated as much again in his November 3 press conference. Regarding the cap and trade carbon tax bill, Obama said, “Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat. It was a means to an end. I’m going to be looking for other means to address this problem.”
Obama’s EPA has now begun the process for regulating carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) under the Clean Air Act. Note that CO2 is not a pollutant, but a natural substance in the environment essential to all human life on the planet. Without CO2, plants would die off, and without plants there would not be oxygen or food for humans and other animals.
This CO2 regulation will be even more burdensome to the economy than cap and trade. Both the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News reported last week that major energy, manufacturing, and construction projects will be shut down in an indefinite moratorium as a result. The Journal reports that the regulation will force “mass retirements of the coal plants that provide half of America’s electricity.” As a result, electricity costs will “necessarily skyrocket” as candidate Obama let out in the 2008 campaign, when he thought he was speaking only to an environmentalist extremist audience that would applaud that.
But there can be no applauding the impact of those higher electricity costs on manufacturing, and the jobs of blue collar workers. The regulations would take time to fully phase in and produce their full economic effects. But the resulting job losses are estimated to be 7 million or more nationwide, which would be a 50% increase in today’s persistent, high level of unemployment. That would involve an estimated trillion dollars a year in additional costs to the economy.
There is no scientific justification for this economic suicide for America’s economy, which is why even the current overwhelmingly Democrat Congress refused to pass cap and trade. But this doesn’t even take into account the full economic effect of the recession that would inevitably result. Indeed, achieving the CO2 targets would essentially repeal the industrial revolution, which would involve a lot more lost jobs than 7 million. If you don’t think anyone would ever attempt that, then you don’t understand the extremist threat facing our country.
The effect would be particularly harsh in areas where the industries produce higher than average CO2 levels, such as Republican Texas and Louisiana with their vibrant oil and natural gas industries. Again, those higher CO2 levels are not harmful to anyone. The scientifically proven effect would merely be to increase agricultural production in the region, again because CO2 is like oxygen for plants. But as Dick Morris explained in his column on November 22, “that’s what the EPA plans to do, virtually making economic growth illegal in large parts of the United States.”
But the EPA is not stopping there. At the very same time, it is moving ahead with new regulations to further reduce the national ambient air quality standard for ground level ozone. In an editorial for the Heartland Institute, William Shugart explains:
[S]etting a more stringent ozone standard will, in fact, cause economic havoc. Hundreds of U.S. cities and counties already don’t meet the current standard. If the EPA tightens the rules, these counties will fall permanently into non-compliance, even with costly investments in new pollution controls. Under the Clean Air Act’s nondegradation provision, state and local governments are not permitted to take actions that would worsen air quality, even if the area is in compliance with EPA standards. If a county or city is not in compliance, its economy won’t be able to grow — so the EPA’s proposal would spell economic stagnation for many communities.
But there is no urgent problem with the current ozone standard that requires imposing this new economic devastation now.
Obama, however, plans still further decrees. Now serving as the Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board without Senate confirmation, as an Obama recess appointee, is Craig Becker, former chief counsel of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Even the overwhelmingly Democrat Congress refused to pass “card check” legislation to deprive working people of the right to a secret ballot vote in unionization elections. But Becker now has a 3-2 Obama appointed majority on the NLRB to do precisely that, through a new regulatory decree.
As Morris further explains in his November 22 column, the resulting “unionization of the private sector will also drive out our jobs. Since 1990, unionized manufacturing jobs have declined by 75%. But non-union manufacturing jobs have actually risen over the same period by 15%.” Such forced unionization would be especially devastating to vulnerable small businesses, all the more because the new rules will likely include as well mandatory binding arbitration after 90 days, which means the government will be specifying the union wages and working conditions imposed on the employer.
Obama’s New Recession
While Obama talks the rhetoric of compromise and dialogue, he has not backed off on a single issue. Most troubling is his stubborn, untutored, ideological extremist commitment to across the board increases in tax rates for virtually all major federal taxes for the nation’s employers and investors, while the economy has still not strongly emerged from the recession.
The kind of logic supporting this policy is demonstrated on national television by Keith Boykin, who repeatedly tells CNBC audiences that tax rate cuts caused the financial crisis. Recently on that network, Boykin actually cited the 1970s as an era of superior economic performance. That’s not even Keynesian economics, as even Keynes recognized that lower tax rates promote the economy, and the stagflation of the 1970s actually disproved Keynesian economics. That is literally Marxist economics, Groucho, not Karl, because only a clown could cite the 1970s as an era of superior economic performance.
Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats from California’s Brad Sherman to New York’s Chuck Schumer are calling for currency protectionism and trade war with China. They are so anxious in this economically vulnerable time to make the exact same mistakes that caused the Depression.
Add comprehensive tax rate increases and trade protectionism to the EPA’s global warming regulatory madness and the NLRB’s card check decrees, and you have an alphabet soup that spells double dip recession in 2011. If these openly foolish economic policies do cause another downturn next year, with unemployment going back over 10%, and the deficit soaring further as a result, then the American people should not, and will not, be shy about demanding that Obama resign.
I cringe when I see commentators try to advise Obama on political strategy. They are not getting it. He is not interested in political strategy. He is interested in left-wing ideology, and the New Revolution.
This is the leader of “the Free World,” and the most powerful man on the planet. That is why America, and, indeed, the whole world, is still in so much trouble.