The RNC has a new campaign video today, and it’s not one that will fit into a 30-second spot. Fred Thompson talks for over twelve minutes about what a Barack Obama presidency would mean for America and the world. They’re talking hope and change, all right, but what exactly would that mean?
James Pethokoukis made similar points this morning in US News (emphases in the original):
1) I find it hard to believe that fears about a deep recession are suddenly dawning upon investors and thus are solely responsible for kneecapping the market. I’ve been hearing such dire forecasts for weeks from top Wall Street economists, and I really think they’re already baked into the cake. (And credit markets actually look like they are finally picking up a bit—a plus for stocks.) So with that perception locked in, maybe the future political landscape is finally playing a greater role in the minds of investors, especially with polls showing a possible landslide Obama win and big Democratic congressional majorities. Is it really more plausible to suggest no effect whatsoever from a possible once-a-generation, political sea change, especially one that moves away from the winning economic formula of the past 25 years ? Not even a smidgen of worry? C’mon, now.
2) Obama wants to raise capital gains taxes on a good chunk of the money currently in the market. Nearly 80 percent of total stock holdings are held by people who would be subjected to higher investment taxes. Not only does that hurt their future after-tax returns, but it also undercuts the future productivity of the economy, thus crimping the future stream of earnings generated by corporate America. So the whole stock market will suffer from a sort of collective tax punishment. Hey, even potential Obama [T]reasury secretary Jamie Dimon thinks raising taxes right now is a goofy idea. …
5) Then there’s the Great Experiment of 2009. In 1980, anxious Americans voted for lower taxes and smaller government as the solution to the nation’s economic ills. Would the opposite prescription also have led to a 25-year economic boom? With Obamanomics, voters may be about to play a fascinating game of “what if.” Except it’s for real. When Goldman Sachs ran a sophisticated economic simulation of the effect of a total repeal of the Bush tax cuts, the computer predicted a 3 percentage-point drop in GDP. Maybe investors fear that with perhaps a trillion-dollar budget gap ahead, revenue-hungry Dems will raise taxes further than Team Obama is suggesting—right into the teeth of a weak economy. What if, indeed.
Thompson lays out all of the potential economic side effects of allowing hard-Left ideologues to dictate market policies, and taxes are just the beginning of it. They mean to reverse course from the 1980 starting point and return us to the policies that brought us the economic decline of the 1960s and 1970s. It may not quite be Herbert Hoover jacking taxes up in 1932, but it will have a similar effect, and in the end we’ll be left debating the scale of the disaster, not whether it happened.
We do not need “change” that takes us back to stagflation or a depression. We need to make capital work, which requires a lowering of risk and an easing of burdens, not a multiplication of both. Democrats seem determined to turn a harsh correction after a bubble into a global economic crash, and Barack Obama wants to lead the way to it.
Be sure to watch the whole video. It’s well worth it, and has the added bonus of seeing Fred! getting into the game.