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Obama’s Conservative Critics

July 11th, 2009 by Myrhaf · 3 Comments · Politics

I get daily email updates from Townhall.com. Often I delete them unread. I’m busy, and conservatives are predictable in their opinions. Today I opened the email and looked around to find a lot of devastating criticism of the Democrats’ statist policies.

In our two-party system, when one party is in power, the other party’s job is to keep the party in power honest. I guess you could say the liberals did that during the George W. Bush presidency. Well, they called him “chimpy” a lot. Name calling passes for criticism on the left these days.

Today the right is shouting the truth about the Obama-Pelosi-Reid regime. Opinion pieces like this are the reason dictatorships always crack down on free speech. The Democrats have to suffer when the truth gets out like this.

Burt Prelutsky kicks things off with a nice overview of Obama’s first half-year in office, I’m Mad As Hell.

Larry Kudlow sees America on The Road to Economic Demoralization. Obamanomics have made the US less competitive against China, but also against Europe, which is trending slightly towards Reagonomics. The problem? Along with massive new state intervention in the economy, America’s taxes are going up.

…China has no capital-gains tax. It only has a 15-to-20 percent corporate tax. The U.S., on the other hand, is raising its cap-gains tax rate to 20 percent. It’s also increasing its top personal tax rates.

In fact, the scheduled income-tax hike along with a much-discussed 4 percent health-care surtax will balloon the top U.S. tax rate all the way to 51 percent. And there’s more. In order to finance so-called health-care reform, congressional Democrats are now talking about raising the tax rate on capital gains and dividends by another 1.5 percent while installing a value-added tax (VAT) that would begin at 1.5 percent.

So top tax rates in the U.S. may edge into the mid-50 percent range. Compare that to the OECD average of only 42 percent. And when those tax-hikes kick in, the top U.S. tax rate will rank above that of France, Germany, and Italy. That can’t be good.

Incidentally, our 40 percent corporate tax rate is already almost 15 percentage points higher than the corporate rates in most of Europe.

John Kline writes about Democrats Health Care “Reform”: The Next Job Killer. David Limbaugh looks at Cap and Tax: Government vs. America.

Let’s see, Obama said we need to pass the stimulus bill or unemployment would go up to 8%. The bill was rushed through the house and senate. Unemployment is now 9.5%. Obama recently announced that the bill had done its job.

Obama calls the Cap-and-Trade climate legislation a jobs bill, but Spain’s experience with a similar law shows massive job loss. And now we see that socializing medicine will kill millions of jobs.

Even with a servile media, how long can the Democrats get away with big government policies that destroy the economy? We’ll see in 2010 — or 2012 at the latest. Linda Chavez looks at the polls and sees that Americans are already beginning to Blame Obama.

On the foreign policy front Charles Krauthammer is worried about Obama’s negotiations with Russia in Plumage — But At a Price.

Obama, who seeks to banish nuclear weapons entirely, has little use for such prosaic contrivances. First, the Obama budget actually cuts spending on missile defense, at a time when federal spending is a riot of extravagance and trillion-dollar deficits. Then comes the “pause” (as Russia’s president appreciatively noted) in the planned establishment of a missile shield in Eastern Europe. And now the “Joint Understanding” commits us to a new treaty that includes “a provision on the interrelationship of strategic offensive and strategic defensive arms.” Obama further said that the East European missile shield “will be the subject of extensive negotiations” between the United States and Russia.

Obama doesn’t even seem to understand the ramifications of this concession. Poland and the Czech Republic thought they were regaining their independence when they joined NATO under the protection of the United States. They now see that the shield negotiated with us and subsequently ratified by all of NATO is in limbo. Russia and America will first have to “come to terms” on the issue, explained President Dmitry Medvedev. This is precisely the kind of compromised sovereignty that Russia wants to impose on its ex-Soviet colonies — and that U.S. presidents of both parties for the last 20 years have resisted.

Alas, Poland and the Czech Republic! They thought America and NATO might stand between them and the Russian bear. But along comes an anti-American leftist President who appeases tyrannies around the world, so long as they are America’s enemies, and Central Europe is now a bit less secure than it was a year ago.

I saved the best for last. (Congratulate yourself for making it this far!) Dan Kennedy writes about Obama’s Climate of Fear, a stunning look at what big businessmen are saying in private. To read this you would think it was 1918 in Russia. This is America in 2009:

Recently I had a long lunch with an old friend. He sits on the board of one of the largest and most successful publicly traded regional banks in America. He got his seat when that regional bank acquired the very successful community bank he built from the ground up. I will not name him or this bank, but I will pass on a few things he said to me.

He said, “Our bank’s leadership team and others I know at the local or regional level feel paralyzed and intimidated by the climate of fear created by the Obama administration. We believe we are targets of a very deliberate conspiracy.

“The new and proposed regulations will remove every competitive advantage of the community bank, and make every bank identical, forced to operate exactly as does Bank of America,” he explained. “Then, absent competitive opportunity, all of the independent banks will be greatly de-valued and handicapped. They’ll be vulnerable and easily rolled up into the handful of remaining giants … the small bank’s wealth made into fresh food for the insatiable hunger of the big banks’ deficits and losses. This is, I and others believe, the next step in Obama’s plan to take total control of the financial system and money supply, a requirement of dictatorship. “

Another friend is the CEO of a mid-sized company that had been on an impressive trajectory of growth for the past three years but is now stalled. He and his advisers have reversed their viewpoint in the last few months. They are eager to sell the company if possible now rather than later. Why? They believe Obama is deliberately, systematically destroying the economy as a whole and is specifically targeting small business for extinction – because it’s too difficult to exercise dictatorial control over millions of small enterprises.

This fellow has begun the process of acquiring dual citizenship and hopes to cash out and leave the country. He said that he can only envision a growing, worsening, toxic climate of fear here – again that term – and he prefers to be away from it.

In just half a year Obama has created a world in which America’s enemies are emboldened as big businessmen live in fear.

The conservatives have a lot of problems, but the one thing they do well is attack liberalism. It’s too bad that when Americans vote Democrats out, in come Republicans — who then, in the spirit of pragmatism, continue the same liberal policies they screamed about when Democrats were in power.

3 Comments so far ↓

  • madmax

    Excellent post. But it raises questions for me. I have been reading about other nations having better tax rates than America for years and yet these other nations are not economic giants. Why? China with no capital gains tax should be soaring ahead of America in productivity but it isn’t. Its stock market crashed even more than ours. There must be other factors more important than taxes that make for economic productivity. America, for all its problems, is probably still freer on average than most other low tax nations.

    Also, I wonder if America has the worst intellectual climate in the free (or semi-free) world. It seems that the Asian world has not embraced all of the anti-reason philosophies to the same extent that we have. Environmentalism, multiculturalism and feminism, for example, are not popular in Asia. And between America and Europe (and Canada) it seems that America is better intellectually in some ways and worse in others. I often wonder if the American Left is better or worse than the international Left.

    But at root, it seems that Kant’s assault on reason is strongest in Europe and America relative to the Asian world. Kant (and Christianity) is killing us. [Actually, its more like a Katianized Christianity that is killing us. Kant’s secularization of Christianity is more focused on egalitarian altruism than Christianity proper which is just concerned with sacrifice to god.]

    Anyway, the point of this post is spot on. Conservatives are good at pointing out the failures of liberals. But they make the same mistakes only slightly less destructively. The reason is that they never challenge altruism. If they did that they wouldn’t be conservatives.

  • Jeff

    Buddhism and Hinduism are not in any way superior to Christianity; indeed, it may be argued that they are even more anti-individual. What is more, the Asians have no counterbalance. They never had an Aristotle, a republican Rome, or a John Locke to help them form an even semi-proper cultural conception of just moral and political systems.

  • Jim May

    I have been reading about other nations having better tax rates than America for years and yet these other nations are not economic giants. Why?

    Mass and momentum, both built up in the preceding time period when America was much freer than it is now. When you consider how long it took us to get to the level of wealth we have now, it’s going to take a long time for us to fall back into the pack.