October 19, 2008

Why We Must Win

Continetti, commenting in The Weekly Standard on some of what's at stake in this election:

Obama says Washington needs to "invest" tax dollars in alternative energy, infrastructure, health insurance subsidies, and education before it starts worrying about deficit reduction. Paul Krugman writes that "now is not the time to worry about the deficit." Pelosi wants Congress to pass another $300 billion economic stimulus package by the end of the year--even though the previous $300 billion Congress spent last winter had no discernible effect. The GOP has been horrible on spending. The Democrats will be worse.

Then there's "card-check" legislation, which is, and we are not making this up, too liberal for George McGovern. Card-check would eliminate the secret ballot in union elections. Instead, a workplace would be unionized once a certain number of employees signed cards saying they wanted a union. This is great news if you are a boss at the jointfitters' local who wants to branch out into more "legitimate" enterprises. Under card-check, all that will be required is for you to send some employees--large, well-dressed, tatooed men with clever nicknames like "Walnuts" and "The Chin"--over to the nearby office park to "collect" signatures.

But card-check is bad news for just about everybody else. Unions hurt productivity. They freeze labor markets. They cause unemployment to rise. They politicize the workplace, increase bureaucracy, and weigh down business with regulations and negotiations. And they were a major factor behind the 1970s wage-price spiral, which contributed to stagflation.

The Democrats will undoubtedly pursue some of their other favorite activities, such as expanding government health care and enacting a cap-and-trade regime on carbon emissions guaranteed to raise energy prices. They may even reimpose the "Fairness Doctrine," which is, naturally, neither fair nor technically a doctrine. It's a Truman-era regulation requiring broadcasters to devote a certain number of hours to public affairs, and to present contrasting views.

Sounds nice. In reality, though, the Fairness Doctrine is an onerous and antidemocratic rule. Before the Reaganites dropped it in 1985, the nation's broadcasters, in order to avoid penalty, decided to feature almost no public affairs programming at all, and then only the most boring programming possible. That changed. The Fairness Doctrine's demise led to vigorous public debate, and to a new platform--talk radio--for conservatives. Reinstating it would be an assault on free speech. This would not stop Pelosi.

Add to this the protectionist measures the Democrats are sure to pass, and you have a recipe for disaster. There's a term for an economic program of government spending, higher taxes, and tariffs. It's called Hooverism. It didn't work out so well the last time, and this time it's likely to make the current recession worse.

A centrist Democrat with more experience might be able to tame Congress's worst excesses. But Obama will be America's most liberal president in decades, possibly ever, and he has almost no experience at all. His short career in politics has shown him to be a go-along, get-along kind of guy. How can anyone imagine his standing up to liberal bulls like Charles Rangel, Barney Frank, John Conyers, Henry Waxman, John Dingell, Charles Schumer, or Carl Levin?

It's true John McCain hasn't had much luck running against Obama (so far!). But that luck might change if McCain ran against the Democratic Congress in addition--and against the prospect of undivided, unchecked, liberal Democratic government. Compared with that, even "gridlock" might start sounding pretty good to the American people.

My emphasis.

Posted by Attila Girl at October 19, 2008 04:55 AM | TrackBack
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