Liberal Conceit And The Havoc It Has Wrought
On Our Nation
Investor's Business Daily
October 21, 2011
By Ernest S. Christian
It is a fanciful conceit of the Democratic Party
that liberals are more compassionate toward the poor and minorities
- and far smarter and better educated than Republicans. (Evangelicals
and southerners in particular are especially denigrated by
The Democrats' other main shtick is that the federal government
is always high-minded and efficient - and being thus endowed,
is best at attending to the material well-being, moral standards
and deportment of mankind.
The uberbrainy President Obama was supposed to be the ultimate
triumph of a universal liberal superiority that transcends
the limits of religion, national identity, family ties, market
forces and, in the minds of the hard core, even the laws of
nature and the Constitution of the United States.
But the laws of logic and mathematics did not suspend themselves
while Obama was administering extra-large doses of orthodox
liberal elixirs to an economy already tortured out of shape
by government interventions.
Obama quickly kicked up deficit spending to record levels,
intensified bureaucratic intrusions and threatened the economy
with even more painful taxes and regulatory burdens yet to
come. In return, he got exactly what was to be expected: the
lethal combination of skyrocketing national debt and a weak
economy that is not producing enough income to pay current
bills, much less ever to start curtailing debt.
In a follow-up to the now-famous Reinhart-Rogoff thesis,
Carmen Reinhart suggests that America may never return to
the high levels of employment that existed before the debt
Obama and the Democrats stand atop a growing, potentially
permanent pile of economic and political rubble for which
they must account to their own consciences. Risking the nation
and messing up the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions
of people for generations to come is a moral outrage.
There is nothing smart or compassionate about running up
government debt to record levels at record speed and having
nothing to show for it except an impaired credit rating, chronic
9% unemployment, the home ownership rate at its lowest point
since 1965 and the smallest portion of the population actually
working at jobs since 1983.
The economy is growing at only a fraction of the 3%-plus
rate necessary to keep up with new entrants in the job market
as the result of population growth.
Manufacturing has lost two million jobs and production output
is down by about 10%. Retail sales are weak. The dollar is
near its historic low measured by the price of gold. Gasoline
prices are near historic highs. And the prospect of a double-dip
recession is real. Overshadowing everything is an inexorable
increase in federal debt that is devouring our future.
America's debt-ridden fiscal position is dangerously precarious.
It may at any time be pushed off the edge by price inflation,
an increase in interest rates on federal debt, a stock market
crash, a recession or an oil shock brought about either by
terrorists in the Middle East or environmental extremists
Heaven forbid, there is also war. Weakness invites attack
- and America is already financially hard-pressed to pay for
defense and national security.
President Obama is now proposing another big, unaffordable
increase in welfare-type spending and a harmful tax increase
he calls a "jobs bill." There is nothing smart or compassionate
about that; also, no jobs. Remember, the government has nothing
to spend other than what it extracts from the private-sector
economy by taxes or borrows by mortgaging the private sector's
Surely the president knows that tax increases do great damage
to the job-creating capacity of the private sector - and that
the burden of the economic loss falls mainly on middle- and
low-income wage earners. (Experts say the cost to the private
economy is about $2.50 for every $1 of tax revenue to the
Treasury for government spending.)
Obama can see from his own experience that spending another
447 billion of these very expensive dollars on his "jobs bill"
will add few to no permanent jobs in America. Net of the harm
done by the taxes (or debt) to pay for it, this additional
wasteful spending would only make America's precarious situation
Instead of trying to fix what he has broken, Obama is wasting
precious time - the American people's time - with political
demagoguery aimed solely at his re-election bid and reclaiming
control of the Congress for Democrats.
What might four more years of Obama-style liberal superiority
do to America? Unemployment soaring up to 18% or more? Debt
increasing to 200% of GDP? Tax rates of 50% or higher? More
businesses "regulated" out of business? And, not to be melodramatic
about it, voters should ask: "Will there still be an America?"
Christian is a lawyer in Washington, D.C., who served
in the Treasury Department under President Ford, was on President
Reagan's Transition Team and now writes on taxes, spending