Midnight in America
Yes, it's midnight again in America.
Obama, in fact, is the only president other than Herbert Hoover to preside over an economy that shrank in real terms during his first term. And Hoover, as I recall, was not re-elected. Roosevelt's margin of electoral votes was 472 to 42.
It is thus mindboggling to see Obama re-elected at all, much less by a margin of 332 to 206. It's been midnight for the economy since Obama took office, and nothing he has proposed for his second term suggests that things will be any different. If anything, they'll be worse, with the prospect of increased taxation, further tightening of job-killing regulation, and continued hostility toward the business community.
The Congressional Budget Office is already telling us that 2013 will be a rough year. Failure to prevent the nation from going over the fiscal cliff would plunge the country into a recession, with unemployment rising to 9.1%. Combined with tax increases embedded in ObamaCare that take effect Jan. 1, marginal rates on investment income will rise from 15% to 44%. That tripling of taxes on dividend and interest income combined with a 56% tax increase on capital gains will have dire effects on the economy. Increased taxes will discourage entrepreneurship and risk-taking, drain capital from the economy that would otherwise be reinvested in expansion, and raise the cost of capital for enterprises of all kinds.
And yet Obama's immediate reaction to calls for compromise was a threat to veto any budget legislation that fails to raise taxes on the rich. Despite the fact that those tax increases would not raise significant revenues, the president clings to the idea of soaking the rich "for reasons of fairness." The rich are rich, as a rule, because they are the most productive members of society. So let's make them less rich so they will produce less. It's not fair that they are better at what they do than the rest of us are. That spiteful rationale seems to underlie much of Obama's thinking on the budget. [...]