Policy Predictions for After an Obama Victory
JD emailed me this good list of policy predictions for after an Obama victory.
I predict we will see activity along the following lines, although I don't expect Obama to get all of it (and this is hardly a comprehensive list): 1. Reinstate the "fairness doctrine" to shut down conservative talk radio. 2. Enact pro-union legislation, like card check, forced mediation, anti-right to work laws. 3. Higher capital gains tax, no extension of Bush tax cuts, increased social security taxes by lifting or removing limit on taxable income, no decrease in corporate income tax, reinstatement of the estate tax, higher marginal tax rates 4. Huge (and ineffective) subsidies for users and consumers of alternative energy; no meaningful relaxation of restrictions on drilling for oil and gas; no meaningful promotion of nuclear power; increasingly severe restrictions on coal-fired power plants; cap and trade. 5. Use of tax money from top 5% to make welfare payments (will be labeled tax credits) to non-income tax payers. 6. Appointment of very liberal judges. The Democrats have been much worse than Republicans in stalling nominations. The floodgates will be opened. 7. Reversal of tort reform measures enacted nationally and in states over the past 10 years. Expect class action lawsuits seeking to bankrupt new industries -- guns, fast food. 8. Reduced defense spending. Halt to development of anti- satellite weapons and defensive missile shield, no development of new bunker buster, no movement to test old weapons, no increase in the size of the navy. 9. More race-based entitlements, including reparations (pushed by his supporters more than by him - but won't pass); changing of criminal laws deemed to disproportionately affect minorities; more race-based hiring and contracting decisions at the government level and more effort to impose affirmative action in the private sector. 10. Witch-hunt investigations by Congress of the previous administration to settle old scores and of businessmen as part of the new hostile business climate. 11. More campaign restrictions against fund-raising avenues deemed most favorable to Republicans. Shakedown of businesses for money to fuel Democratic coffers. 12. Continuation of policy of increased involvement in Afghanistan, but will choose ineffective tactics and won't get allies to help. "Chickenhawk" approach. 13. Continuation of Bush appeasement policy of Iran and North Korea. Iran will get nuclear weapons under Obama. North Korea will continue to be a threat and may implode. 14. Shift away from Israel to Arab nations. Increased tolerance for terrorist activity and for domestic organizations with a history of supporting terrorists (e.g. CAIR). No material improvement in homeland security. Weakening of the Patriot Act (or reduced usage of its provisions). More rights granted to terrorists. 15. Amnesty for illegal aliens. Reduced enforcement of immigration laws. More benefits to illegal aliens. Work stopped on fence with Mexico. 16. No new trade agreements. Don't know if he will seek to reopen Nafta -- huge step, may not be that bold. Increased hostility to Colombia and other allies. 17. Socialized medicine -- less drug innovation, long waits for medical care, weeding out of people too expensive to treat, limited option to opt out in favor of private medicine, fewer improvements in technology and slowing in the spread of technology, less incentive for qualified people to become doctors 18. No reform of medicare or social security (except for higher taxes on "wealthy") 19. Continued assaults on Wall Street, drug companies, oil companies. Do not expect any major new drugs for many years to come. 20 Continued bailouts of politically popular industries, such as auto. 21. Taxpayer bailout of homeowners who won't pay their mortgages. Lenders forced to rewrite contracts. 22. No strategy to deal with resurgent Russia and strengthening China. 23. National promotion of gay marriage. 24. Reduction in limits on harvesting eggs and cloning for medical research. 25. Increased financial and regulatory burdens on setting up charter schools. 26. No rush to reduce government equity stakes in financial companies. Use of this control to make capital allocation decisions based on politics, not economics.
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