Four More Years?

by alexvanbuskirk

Four More Years?: If you think the first Obama term has been bad, just wait

By Pete Du Pont @ WSJ (May 28, 2012)

The most significant policy change during President Obama’s first term was his health-care “reform,” the movement of 17% of our economy from the marketplace of ideas and physician-patient decision-making to control and management by the federal government. The Supreme Court is now considering whether ObamaCare is constitutional, and is expected to decide by the end of June.

The second negative policy impact of the president’s first term is the large and unsustainable increase in federal spending and debt. Annual spending increased from $3 trillion in 2008 to $3.5 trillion in 2010, and the Obama plan is to grow it to $5.5 trillion a year less than a decade from now. Deficits averaging $1.3 trillion a year have been the rule so far, and that thinking—and perhaps worse—would be with us for a second Obama term.

Increasing entitlement spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is a huge threat to our economic future, yet any suggestion of reform do gets a very healthy dose of Obama demagoguery. So these issues would no doubt go unanswered in a second term.

Tax policy is the other substantial change coming to us if there a second Obama term. The White House made one good decision in its first term by extending the Bush tax cuts for two years, an idea that came to pass after the drubbing the president’s party took in the 2010 congressional elections. But the current promise that the Bush tax cuts will end two months after the coming election surely means that if the president wins, taxes for a large number of Americans will rise. That would have a negative impact not just on those individuals and families but on the economy as a whole, stifling job creation and harming people and businesses across all income levels.

One final thought on what lies behind the very negative impact of the president’s first term is the increasing jadedness on the part of Americans. The president many people felt would unite the country has instead used one wedge issue after another to divide our people along the lines of income, race, sex and class. This setting of one group against another is part of the re-election process and prospects. It may lead to a more difficult, divisive, and nastier election than we have seen in a while. And that may in turn mean an more difficult time for whoever is president in 2013.