Tuesday, November 4, 2008

 

Policy Predictions for After an Obama Victory

JD emailed me this good list of policy predictions for after an Obama victory.



I predict we will see activity along the following lines, although I
don't expect Obama to get all of it (and this is hardly a
comprehensive list):

1.      Reinstate the "fairness doctrine" to shut down conservative
talk radio.
2.      Enact pro-union legislation, like card check, forced
mediation, anti-right to work laws.
3.      Higher capital gains tax, no extension of Bush tax cuts,
increased social security taxes by lifting or removing limit on
taxable income, no decrease in corporate income tax, reinstatement of
the estate tax, higher marginal tax rates

4.      Huge (and ineffective) subsidies for users and consumers of
alternative energy; no meaningful relaxation of restrictions on
drilling for oil and gas; no meaningful promotion of nuclear power;
increasingly severe restrictions on coal-fired power plants; cap and
trade.

5.      Use of tax money from top 5% to make welfare payments (will be
labeled tax credits) to non-income tax payers.
6.      Appointment of very liberal judges.  The Democrats have been
much worse than Republicans in stalling nominations. The floodgates
will be opened.

7.      Reversal of tort reform measures enacted nationally and in
states over the past 10 years.  Expect class action lawsuits seeking
to bankrupt new industries -- guns, fast food.

8.      Reduced defense spending.  Halt to development of anti-
satellite weapons and defensive missile shield, no development of new
bunker buster, no movement to test old weapons, no increase in the
size of the navy.

9.      More race-based entitlements, including reparations (pushed by
his supporters more than by him - but won't pass); changing of
criminal laws deemed to disproportionately affect minorities; more
race-based hiring and contracting decisions at the government level
and more effort to impose affirmative action in the private sector.

10.     Witch-hunt investigations by Congress of the previous
administration to settle old scores and of businessmen as part of the
new hostile business climate.

11.     More campaign restrictions against fund-raising avenues deemed
most favorable to Republicans.  Shakedown of businesses for money to
fuel Democratic coffers.

12.     Continuation of policy of increased involvement in
Afghanistan, but will choose ineffective tactics and won't get allies
to help. "Chickenhawk" approach.

13.     Continuation of Bush appeasement policy of Iran and North
Korea.  Iran will get nuclear weapons under Obama.  North Korea will
continue to be a threat and may implode.

14.     Shift away from Israel to Arab nations.  Increased tolerance
for terrorist activity and for domestic organizations with a history
of supporting terrorists (e.g. CAIR).  No material improvement in
homeland security. Weakening of the Patriot Act (or reduced usage of
its provisions).  More rights granted to terrorists.

15.     Amnesty for illegal aliens.  Reduced enforcement of
immigration laws.  More benefits to illegal aliens.  Work stopped on
fence with Mexico.

16.     No new trade agreements.  Don't know if he will seek to reopen
Nafta -- huge step, may not be that bold.  Increased hostility to
Colombia and other allies.

17.     Socialized medicine -- less drug innovation, long waits for
medical care, weeding out of people too expensive to treat, limited
option to opt out in favor of private medicine, fewer improvements in
technology and slowing in the spread of technology, less incentive for
qualified people to become doctors

18.     No reform of medicare or social security (except for higher
taxes on "wealthy")
19.     Continued assaults on Wall Street, drug companies, oil
companies.  Do not expect any major new drugs for many years to come.

20      Continued bailouts of politically popular industries, such as
auto.
21.     Taxpayer bailout of homeowners who won't pay their mortgages.
Lenders forced to rewrite contracts.
22.     No strategy to deal with resurgent Russia and strengthening
China.
23.     National promotion of gay marriage.
24.     Reduction in limits on harvesting eggs and cloning for medical
research.
25.     Increased financial and regulatory burdens on setting up
charter schools.
26.     No rush to reduce government equity stakes in financial
companies.  Use of this control to make capital allocation decisions
based on politics, not economics.


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