Here’s a terrible thought about Obama’s first couple of weeks: if America’s worst enemies were in control of the White House and Congress, what would they do differently?
Side with Hamas against Israel? Done. Release Al Quaida prisoners? In progress. Abandon American commitments to freedom worldwide – and particularly in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Taiwan? In progress.
Create internment camps inside the United States? In progress. Stack the courts to reduce legislative precedence in social regulation? In progress. Reduce military budgets? In progress. Reverse the educational trend toward teaching basic skills? In progress. Stage show trials for Bushies? in progress. Reduce impediments to illegal immigration and welfare? In progress. Increase the power of unions, and thereby decrease economic productivity? In progress. Reduce internal dissent by silencing right wing radio and the blogosphere? In progress.
And how about destroying the free market system? That’s been a longer term project, but it’s in progress too.
The housing collapse, subsequent credit crunch, and consequent loss of solvency by major banks all have direct roots in democrat congressional action and misguided government intervention in the markets. The timing of the collapse contributed to bringing Obama, Pelosi, and Reid to near absolute power – and their proposed response, an enormous spending binge, is about to make matters a lot worse.
The reason the stimulus will make matters worse is simple and easily understood: you don’t spend your way out of a financial crisis, you earn your way out. Consider the family analogy: if your primary income disappears, can you fix the problem by borrowing? No. You can use minimal borrowing to get yourself to the point where new income comes in, but you can only fix your financial problem by going out and earning more money.
For the U.S. economy to recover the U.S. has to produce, not borrow, wealth. The recipe for doing that is well known: tax cuts lead to investment, investment creates jobs, the work done in those jobs creates wealth.
In thinking about this we need to be very clear about one thing: regulations impose costs and are therefore economically like taxes – and, conversely, the removal of onerous regulations is economically indistinguishable from a tax reduction.
So what regulations could most usefully be reduced? The linchpin on that list is CAFE – the fleet fuel economy constraints imposed by congress.
After fifty years of marketing Americans have been conditioned to believe that Detroit makes big, inefficient, vehicles; Asia makes small efficient vehicles; and, Europe makes either cheap junk or high cost and high prestige stuff. There is very little truth to any of this, but it has a significant real consequence: a small car made by Ford won’t sell against one labeled “Toyota” – even if the latter is actually made by GM in California.
That reality combines with another historical artifact: the structure of management obligations to labor in plants run directly by the “big three”. That structure means the companies’ make money selling the vehicles Americans want: big, heavy, fast vehicles providing safety and convenience on today’s freeways – but lose money on the vehicles mandated by CAFE that few customers actually want: small and light collapsibles without the power to compete on today’s streets and highways.
Thus removing the CAFE standards would remove the death sentence handed Detroit by congressional democrats – putting hundreds of thousands back to work, protecting millions of jobs, and costing the taxpayer nothing while giving back the American consumer’s right to free choice.
But what about other costs? After all CAFE was sold to and by democrats as a joint response to the short term cost of importing energy, the need to reduce CO2 emission in response to global warming, and the need to adapt our energy use pattern in response to the peak oil hypothesis.
America’s need to import energy is the direct result of regulation: remove the regulatory barriers to American energy production and that production will happen. Implementing Newt Gingrich’s “Drill Here, Drill now” for everything from oil and gas to nuclear will generate billions in new American wealth along with hundreds of thousands of American jobs and enough energy to shift the balance of world financial power back to the United States.
Al Gore to the contrary, using these resources will not trigger a climate Armageddon: what is known of the historical record shows that CO2 accumulations follow, and do not lead periods in which global average temperatures have apparently risen; the average temperatures known to have occurred in Europe and Asia during the medieval warming period not only seriously exceeded those recorded in the same areas in 1998 (the hottest recent year) but completely failed to wipe out the polar bear or otherwise significantly affect the arctic ecology; and, the lock step atmospheric expansion seen on Earth, Mars, Venus, and Pluto in the twenty five years prior to about 2000 have now reversed to an equally lock step contraction – a reality that writes an absolute finis to the human causation argument.
The peak oil hypothesis makes the apparently reasonable argument that the earth’s oil and gas resources are finite and therefore that using them will eventually lead to scarcity – but this is wrong. In reality burning oil does not destroy its constituents, it merely liberates some of the chemical energy stored in its molecular bonds. As a result the long run answer is that nuclear energy can be used to make arbitrary amounts of oil from water and atmospheric gasses – and the short term answer is that free flowing oil and gas typically represent a few percent of the real reserve in each known field – and as scarcities produce price increases tapping the rest becomes increasingly economically viable.
Thus reversing CAFE and implementing the Drill Here, Drill now program would, together, stop the slide into depression – and leave only market uncertainty as the remaining economic threat.
That can only be dealt with through political action: through the stimulation of shared belief in a positive future: one in which the rules are known, government doesn’t play favorites, and business decisions are made by business people, not politicians, bureaucrats, or judges.
Thus for the battle of Obama to become the GOP’s finest hour – a battle generations of Americans will celebrate – two things are needed:
- an absolute commitment to impeaching this president right after the 2010 elections put enough honest people into both houses of congress to do it; and,
- an equally absolute commitment to oppose democrat missrule in all its forms, starting by forcing the repeal of the CAFE legislation and the implementation of the full Drill here, Drill now program instead of incurring a trillion dollar deficit, and ending only with the defeat and possible prosecution of corruption from Franks to Obama, and from Pelosi to Reid.
Attack Obama in every possible way, and on every possible ground: explore every vulnerability from citizenship and eligibility to terrorist connections – throw gasoline on every misstep, expose the corruption of his allies and the moral bankruptcy allowing him to agree with both sides on everything while actually pursuing a far left agenda.
And do the same in congress: get people working now to target every democrat running in 2010: make gutting Obama and punishing those responsible for the current economic mess a centerpiece of every campaign – be clear with everyone: his agenda cannot stand scrutiny, so you will scrutinize. Make it absolutely clear that the GOP will move to impeach just as soon as it’s legally and electorally possible to do so. Make every congressional election, every senate election, about Obama: not about policies, not about local players and personalities: about Obama – about all the mistakes he’ll make, about the economic disaster his friends have created, about the foreign policy setbacks and diminutions of freedom democrat reign is bringing about.
When you win, and you will, then you’ll face the next great challenge: helping rebuild the democratic party as an opposition to be proud of.