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OPINION

Obama’s Unthinkable 2013 Agenda

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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If you thought Barack Obama’s first term was bad, you don’t want to see a second.

The verdict is in on the last three years. President Obama has produced a steady stream of broken promises, failed policies, and misplaced priorities. However, he still claims a second term will be different. It will. It just won’t be better.

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We have seen the liberal agenda the president has pursued over the last three years: government run healthcare, cap-and-trade, pet projects disguised as “stimulus,” card-check, taxpayer-funded loans to now-bankrupt energy companies, and reckless deficit spending.

Now imagine what he would do in a second term—when he does not have to face reelection. We already know what the year 2013 would look like, and it’s not pretty.

By President Obama’s own admission, he wants higher taxes. In 2011, he remarked at a press briefing, “Nobody’s looking to raise taxes right now. We’re talking about potentially 2013 and the out-years.”

Now, his fiscal year 2013 budget calls for exactly that—$1.9 trillion in higher taxes. But if he cannot get that budget through Congress, he has another option: do nothing. If the president and Congress take no action, taxes will automatically increase by $3.6 trillion in 2013.

The president once described himself as “agnostic” on the idea of raising everyone’s taxes. As a first-term president, he wouldn’t dare do it, but as a second-term president not facing reelection, he has no incentive to stop the tax increases if he is truly indifferent.

Along with his plans for tax increases, the president’s 2013 budget also calls for increased spending—much of it in the same style as the failed $833 billion stimulus. Voters are demanding responsible government, but the president wants more budget deficits, which will require raising the debt ceiling yet again.

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The credit rating agency Fitch has warned that unless the United States comes up with a “credible plan” to reduce the budget deficit, it will join Standard and Poors in revoking America’s AAA credit rating. Obama earned one credit downgrade in his first term. Without any plan for deficit reduction, it seems he wants another downgrade for a second term.

The 2013 forecast also includes a weak economy and unacceptably high unemployment, thanks to the president’s policies. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said in January, “The economy will continue to grow at a sluggish pace over the next two years.” They also predict the unemployment rate will remain above 8 percent in 2013.

Without a Republican president to lead the repeal of ObamaCare, the unpopular act would come alive in 2013. Medicare taxes would increase, and taxes on medical devices would be imposed as well. Those new taxes could make some medical device companies unprofitable, leading them to fire employees or cut services.

In a second Obama term, regulatory agencies would ramp up their assault on jobs and domestic energy. The president has promised that the EPA can consider imposing more regulations in 2013, which the agency has estimated would cost affected businesses as much as $90 billion a year. The inevitable result: fewer jobs and higher prices.

That’s not all. If President Obama resurrects cap-and-trade, the added regulatory burden could cost taxpayers another $200 billion annually—as much as $1,761 for a family.

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While the president pursues his agenda, other areas of the budget would be inexplicably sacrificed. His 2013 budget would force military families and retirees to pay substantially higher prices for their healthcare—even as civil defense workers are unaffected.

Under the debt ceiling agreement from last year, military spending would be drastically cut if the president fails to lead on deficit reduction. As Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said, that would “devastate our national security.”

America has already been devastated by the first term of President Obama. But for those who would still consider casting a vote for him in November, just consider what a second Obama term would bring—and hope we never see it.

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