Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Obamaniacs: Be careful what you wish for

As Obamania continues to sweep the nation, or at least the Democrats' primaries and caucuses, I couldn't help but be struck by something I read in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.

According to Journal columnist Mark Gongloff, the stimulus plan recently passed by Congress - and soon to be signed by President Bush - is but a bandaid on an economy that needs radical suturing.

"'In the rush to enact a timely package, politicians may have stopped a 2008 recession, but they have ignored a risky letdown -- after the election,' Lehman Brothers economist wrote Friday, warning the U.S. faces 'another brush with recession in 2009' for this reason."

The U.S. economy needs structural reform: a simplified tax code for individuals, a reduction in corporate tax rates, entitlement reform, etc. The Democrats aren't interested in enacting any of these measures; indeed, they're too busy reviving the ghost of John Maynard Keynes to do anything that'll actually help the economy. The Bush Administration ain't doing much better. Wary of being cast as uncaring, the president has gone right along with the Democrats' ridiculous we-gotta-do-something-even-if-the-something-don't-do-anything schemes.

If Obama is elected in November, he may take office just in time to take credit for a recession. And don't think Republicans won't relish the opportunity to pin the "r" word on Democratic administration. Remember that throughout 2001, Democrats endlessly harped about the Bush Recession -- a recession that began before George W. Bush even took office. If the economy does go into the tank next year, a President Obama will get an abject turn-about-is-fair-play lesson, and then some.

Democrats should be careful what they wish for. They may get their first black president, or maybe the first female president (which is looking less and less likely every day). Either way, they're likely to be blamed for a painful recession that seems immanent; and Republicans will have a great campaign theme to take into the 2010 elections: "You returned the keys to the White House to the Socialists, er, Democrats, and look what they did! Vote Republican!"

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