Remember those quaint days of yesteryear when we, as Americans, were only concerned about terrorists flying planes into our buildings? Politicians used to run for office on the platform of stopping mass-murdering Islamo-facists from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, and the other side of the political aisle would accuse them of fear mongering. One former vice-presidential nominee and presidential candidate even famously referred to the “War on Terror” as a bumper-sticker slogan. It turns out marital fidelity was a bumper sticker slogan for that same candidate as well, but that is beside the point.
We were young and naïve back in those days, overly concerned about international trifles. Now, however, things are different. We are fearful now, because President Barack Obama, who ran on that unforgettable platform of Hope, was ready to fetch the sledge hammer, break the glass, and press the big red button just two weeks into his presidency. In an op-ed published in the Washington Post last week, Obama warned America that if Congress fails to pass his stimulus package, “This recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.” Irreversible? As in, forever?
In that same op-ed, Obama also rejected calls for additional tax cuts, saying “I reject these theories, and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change.” The day before the November 4 election, Larry Kudlow wrote an article in which he said, “Wouldn’t it be the height of irony if Barack Obama wins this election as the Ronald Reagan tax-cutter…a recent Rasmussen poll shows that 31 percent of voters believe Obama is the real tax cutter, while only 11 percent choose McCain.” America: meet irony.
So, here is what we know: we are facing an economic crisis so severe that the failure to pass an economic stimulus package immediately could result in irreversible doom to the American economy, but, for political reasons, tax cuts should not be a bigger part of the solution. What exactly is the solution then to weather these “gathering clouds and raging storms”? Government spending in the neighborhood of $800 billion on everything from repairing government buildings, weatherizing homes, buying “green” cars for government employees, building “green” schools, and funding neighborhood stabilization activities (i.e. ACORN).
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