Two must read articles from the Wall Street Journal. First, they get to the heart of Obama’s policies regarding the growth of government:
Whether or not last night’s much-improved debate performance helps John McCain rally in the polls, at least voters finally got a clearer sense of the policy differences. For our money, the best line of the night was Mr. McCain’s Freudian slip of referring to Barack Obama as “Senator Government.” Neither candidate is offering policies that meet the serious economic moment. But Mr. McCain would let Americans keep more of their own income to ride out the downturn, while Mr. Obama is revealing that his default agenda is to spend money and expand the government.
Cribbing from Hillary Clinton’s playbook, Mr. Obama called this week for a “90 day foreclosure moratorium for homeowners that are acting in good faith,” whatever that last phrase means. When Mrs. Clinton proposed a foreclosure moratorium during the Democratic primaries, Mr. Obama had said it would lead to more expensive mortgages going forward. He was right then.
The Treasury’s Hope Now program and the Federal Housing Administration are already helping to refinance homes for millions of homeowners. Anyone who isn’t able to qualify for one of those voluntary programs and who still can’t afford to pay a mortgage isn’t likely to be any better fixed in a mere 90 days. Mr. Obama also overlooks that the banks that service the mortgages don’t typically own them. They’re owned by far-flung investors via a mortgage-backed security.
Mr. Obama apparently wants the feds to unilaterally rewrite contracts based on something as undefinable as “good faith.” At the same time, he is repeating his proposal to change the bankruptcy code so judges can unilaterally rewrite mortgage contracts as well. All of this would make credit less available to working families in the future.
Another Obama idea is to give a $3,000 tax credit to companies that create new jobs in the U.S. over the next two years. We don’t know many employers who would hire people merely because of a tax credit that barely covers administrative costs, especially if that tax credit vanishes after two years. And especially if Mr. Obama is going to hit that same business with a whopping tax increase. As he told skeptical “Joe the Plumber” — actually Joe Wurzelbacher of Toledo — in his own Freudian slip this week, “When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” But there won’t be any wealth to spread if no one creates it.
If the current polls hold, Barack Obama will win the White House on November 4 and Democrats will consolidate their Congressional majorities, probably with a filibuster-proof Senate or very close to it. Without the ability to filibuster, the Senate would become like the House, able to pass whatever the majority wants.
Though we doubt most Americans realize it, this would be one of the most profound political and ideological shifts in U.S. history. Liberals would dominate the entire government in a way they haven’t since 1965, or 1933. In other words, the election would mark the restoration of the activist government that fell out of public favor in the 1970s. If the U.S. really is entering a period of unchecked left-wing ascendancy, Americans at least ought to understand what they will be getting, especially with the media cheering it all on.
The nearby table shows the major bills that passed the House this year or last before being stopped by the Senate minority. Keep in mind that the most important power of the filibuster is to shape legislation, not merely to block it. The threat of 41 committed Senators can cause the House to modify its desires even before legislation comes to a vote. Without that restraining power, all of the following have very good chances of becoming law in 2009 or 2010.
They proceeded to go through a litany of areas where Democrats would greatly affect the shape of domestic policy, including Medicare, business, union regulation, environmental policies, taxes and free speech.
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