Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Obama's first week
We better brace ourselves. Anyone who believes that free markets, capitalism and limited government are the best route to prosperity and freedom is in for a long four years. Ditto if you believe that government's #1 job is to protect the country.
President Obama signed the executive order banning "enhanced interrogation" techniques. In the Washington Post, and the again today at National Review, Marc Thiessen details how this program directly prevented the U.S. from being hit again by terrorists, and how it stopped terror strikes in other countries.
A blogger from WashPo took him to task for the claim, saying that there was no evidence the program ever stopped any attack. Thiessen responded, making the blogger look ridiculous. He gave a detailed account of precisely how and when waterboarding and other techniques led to information that stopped several terror plots.
So now we have announced to the world that we won't do this anymore. Prediction: After seven years of no terror strikes on U.S. soil, within two years we will be hit.
The so-called "stimulus" package is speeding through congress. This is nothing but a special interest payday much of which will not even be spent within two years. And the "tax cut" portion of it is not really a tax cut anyway. A lot of it is just another name for welfare - giving people checks who don't even pay taxes.
And NONE of the tax cut is of a "supply-side" nature. Just sending tax credit checks to people doesn't have much effect on the economy, because it doesn't change any incentives and it's not a permanent change in tax policy that people and businesses can rely upon and therefore change their behavior in response. If you want the economy to grow, change the marginal incentive to make income. This "stimulus" package doesn't do this - it just doles out money we borrow from the next generation.
The media reporting on the stimulus has been just horrendous. Last night I watched national network news and also Nightline (something I almost never do.) References to the stimulus package were repeatedly couched in terms such as "President Obama's plan to fix the economy."
The reality: President Obama's plan to funnel hundreds of billions of dollars to Democrat constituencies using the current economic slump as cover.