A Quick Trip To Socialism?


This is what I feared all along.

Will Obama, the old ideologue from Chicago, go hard left, OR, as the repackaged moderate of the campaign, “rule” (his campaign’s word, not mine) with Augustan moderation, OR, as a cut-the-difference “healer,” simply vote present — even as each faction now cries for its own version of “Let Obama be Obama”?

The wiser course would be to govern in the manner of the post-flip-flop part of the campaign (e.g. after the ‘adjustments’ on NAFTA, FISA, guns, abortion, capital punishment, Iraq, Iran, drilling, nuclear, coal, etc.): if one must raise income taxes on the top brackets, then by all means don’t also lift FICA caps and de facto add on a 15.3% Medicare and Social Security additional payroll tax increase; don’t go for the whole trillion-dollar entitlement enchilada at a time of massive deficits; avoid the loony left in appointments; etc. Conventional wisdom says all that is supposedly the only way to ensure a Clintonian second term, but I doubt that happens.

Instead, I think many advisors privately are thinking that the turn-out the vote hoopla in key states wasn’t all that much more than in 2004. And for all the talk of a new realignment and the end of the old conservative regime, 2008 is more likely explained as a once in a lifetime alignment of the stars (cf. Carter in 1976): the mid-September meltdown that ruined McCain’s lead; the normal weariness after eight years of incumbency; two wars; a charismatic young and path-breaking Democratic candidate, a liberal’s renouncing of public campaign financing to amass $600 billion.

If such reasoning were true, then the sentiment might be ‘strike now’, while the House, Senate, media, and indeed the world are all on board since they may not be either six months from now, much less two years from now. And that would suggest, I think, quick action on the fairness doctrine, an end to union secret ballots, a stop on a lot of drilling (all this in the short term costs nothing), as well as hefty income and payroll tax increases — in short, the big government Euro-model at home, and the UN/we-are-the-world model abroad.

So maybe because the election did not show a radical and permanent shift in the electorate, it is more, not less, likely that we will see a leftward lurch, especially on structural things like unions, open borders cum amnesty, and fairness doctrine/talk radio, etc. that would all be seen as investments in ensuring more liberal voters in the next elections.

Bold emphasis mine.

I never thought he would take his time. Never believed he would govern from the center like Clinton. The man is a full-blown socialist and he knows that he has only so much time to act. About the only thing I do not see him acting on right away are the raises in taxes. The economy simply will not take it and he can’t chance making things visibly worse so early in his reign.

Then again, some folks believe he is going to raise taxes even higher than he claimed. And if he is as ambitious and naive as I fear, he may just go ahead and do it now. Economy be damned.

I have been arguing that Barack Obama’s tax hike plan represents a floor, not a ceiling. (And even that floor seems to fluctuate.) I recall that some House Democrats, like Charlie Rangel, were pushing a for a “millionaire” surtax during the last Congress.

Now this: My guy Dan Clifton, superanalyst at Strategas Research, has noticed that Speaker Pelosi is pushing for a permanent refundable tax credit on payroll taxes paid. Clifton thinks that tax credit could be paid for by a five percent surtax on higher income taxpayers. “While this achieves the same goal of raising the top tax rate, to achieve the permanent middle class tax cut, the 5 pct. surtax will fall on top of the higher income tax rates after the Bush tax cuts expire (39.6% + 5%).”

So we could end up with a top rate of 45 percent, higher than the top rate during the Clinton years. And up it goes.

Does this surprise anyone? Anyone with half a brain that is. He has said all along that he wants to spread the wealth. Now it is going to happen.

And even if he does hold-off on raising taxes, he can do the other things with no immediate impact so few will complain outside the Republicans – if they even have the balls to do so.

If this does come to pass, welcome to the beginning of USSA, my friends.


Tax rates during the Great Depression. Let’s hope Barry looks at this.



  1. Is it ironic to anyone else that after an almost TWO YEAR campaign…we still have no freaking clue what the president elect is planning to do once he gets into office?

  2. Bush is correct and SMARTER GOVERNMENT is on the way.

  3. There is nothing smart about socialism and higher taxes.

  4. If you don’t like higher taxes, why did you let Bush do THIS

  5. Well, aside from the fact that we had 9/11 and Katrina and a major war to pay for I guess they just overspent.

    But what does that have to do with it, Ed. It has always been the case – ALWAYS – that lower taxes produces more revenue for the government. Every time. Look it up. Raising taxes with the economy we have now and the debt we have now is lunacy.

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