Tag Archives: obamacare

Slow Growth Forecasted

James Pethokoukis has an article at Reuters talking about a new economic paper released from Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon forecasting very slow growth in the United States over the next 20 years. This is heavily impacted by current fiscal policies and affects future fiscal policies. Here’s the key paragraphs:

America faced a similar turning point a generation ago. During the Jimmy Carter years, the Malthusian, Limits to Growth crowd argued that natural-resource constraints meant Americans would have to lower their economic expectations and accept economic stagnation — or worse. Carter more or less accepted an end to American Exceptionalism, but the 1980 presidential election showed few of his countrymen did. They chose growth economics and the economy grew.

Now they face another choice. Preserve wealth, redistribute wealth or create wealth. Hopefully, President Barack Obama will choose door #3. Investing more in basic research (not just healthcare) would be a start, as would slashing the corporate tax rate. A new consumption tax would be better for growth, but only if it replaced the current wage and investment income taxes. Real entitlement reform would help avoid the Reinhart-Rogoff scenario. The choices made during the next few years could the difference between America in Decline or the American (21st) Century.

Remember the wonderful projections of deficits ranging between 500 billion and 1.2 trillion dollars a year over the next 10 years? Bad news: that assumes much more robust growth rates, resulting in a lot more tax dollars coming in. If Robert Gordon is on the right track, the graph below is a overwhelmingly optimistic projection.

Whoa.

The Obligatory ObamaCare Post

Anyone that knows anything about my politics has to know that there’s not much in this bill that I like. I’m a Conservative-Libertarian, and I’m going to oppose almost anything that increases the size of the State and decreases citizens liberty. This bill does both, and in a huge amount. This bill’s whole purpose is increased government control of our lives for one purpose: power. It’s not about helping people. If it does end up helping a small percentage of Americans, that’s an unintentional side effect. Anyone that thinks differently are pawns of those in power.

My strongest emotion to this whole debacle isn’t anger, though — it’s sadness. This countries leadership truly “crossed the Rubicon“, as Victor Davis Hanson says. This mess will make the last decade of “divisive politics” and “polarization” seem like singing Kumbaya by the campfire in comparison. Obama has proved himself to be one heck of a divider, and I don’t think this country can heal from this breach of trust for a long, long time. What’s the precedent set here? It’s that the winner in an election is given free reign to do whatever they think is right, regardless of the current will of the people. Expect to hear, “We won; get over it,” with each change in leadership, with greater and greater swings of abuses. From Megan McArdle over at The Atlantic:

Are we now in a world where there is absolutely no recourse to the tyranny of the majority? Republicans and other opponents of the bill did their job on this; they persuaded the country that they didn’t want this bill. And that mattered basically not at all. If you don’t find that terrifying, let me suggest that you are a Democrat who has not yet contemplated what Republicans might do under similar circumstances. Farewell, Social Security! Au revoir, Medicare! The reason entitlements are hard to repeal is that the Republicans care about getting re-elected. If they didn’t–if they were willing to undertake this sort of suicide mission–then the legislative lock-in you’re counting on wouldn’t exist.

So, if you’re cheering on this “historic accomplishment”, just remember that our government works on precedents, and the Democratic leadership set a huge one here, and not a good one.