The huge spending in his stimulus package will create a budget deficit topping one trillion dollars. Ronald Reagan cut taxes to raise the deficit to stop liberals in future years from increasing spending. Obama will raise spending to raise the deficit to stop conservatives in future years from cutting taxes. As he funds every liberal dream - from alternative energy production to infrastructure renovation to more federal revenue sharing - he will force a massive expansion in the size of government for a decade to come. If the proportion of our $14 trillion GDP absorbed by the public sector increases by $1 trillion dollars, it will mean that government's share will rise from its current 33% to about 40%, bringing us close to the United Kingdom's ratio. If Obama adds a major expansion of health care to the mix, the proportion could reach into the mid-forties, French and German territory.
And Obama will likely use the Trojan Horse of stimulus to make a down payment on health care reform, expanding public coverage of those now uninsured dramatically. Likely, he will initially use the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) as his vehicle. He will ask the same pool of doctors and nurses and the same amount of medical equipment to take on the care of almost 50 million more people, necessitating rationing of medical services. Those too old, too sick, or with bad habits like smoking, may find themselves fenced off from good medical care, even if they can pay for it themselves.
While he is making these major changes, Obama will permanently alter our politics by taking three steps designed to alter the political balance:
a) He will set illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship
b) He'll pass the card check voting system for unionization, raising the unionized share of our economy
c) He will crack down on talk radio through requirements either for equal time or for local ownership and control - or both.
Most likely, Obama's inability to tame the depression will erode his popularity during his first two years in office. But, by then, his proposals will be statutes. The fiscal parameters, the middle class' expectations of no taxes and government handouts, and the demographics of our electorate will be changed forever.