Wow. I usually enjoy Charles Krauthammer’s columns. I wish I could say that I had enjoyed reading this one:
But Obama’s most far-reaching accomplishment is his structural alteration of the U.S. budget. The stimulus, the vast expansion of domestic spending, the creation of ruinous deficits as far as the eye can see are not easily reversed.
These are not mere temporary countercyclical measures. They are structural deficits because, as everyone from Obama on down admits, the real money is in entitlements, most specifically Medicare and Medicaid. But Obamacare freezes these out as a source of debt reduction. Obamacare’s $500 billion in Medicare cuts and $600 billion in tax increases are siphoned away for a new entitlement — and no longer available for deficit reduction.
The result? There just isn’t enough to cut elsewhere to prevent national insolvency. That will require massive tax increases — most likely a European-style value-added tax. Just as President Ronald Reagan cut taxes to starve the federal government and prevent massive growth in spending, Obama’s wild spending — and quarantining health-care costs from providing possible relief — will necessitate huge tax increases.
Krauthammer compares Obama to Reagan in the sweep of structural change.
Ordinarily, I tend to agree with Krauthammer far more often than I disagree with him. This time I disagree. Reagan’s sweeping changes came with one element completely missing from Obama’s structural changes: Hope. People could see that things were really getting better – and quickly.
But now there is a totally jobless recovery, some eight million jobs lost and a general sense of impending doom over everything. Banks and corporations are sitting on their cash, the real estate market is in dire straits and things are looking a lot more like nightfall in America.
I think Obama’s future is one Americans will reject. Yes, it may take two elections to fully roll back much of the damage, but vote to roll it back I think the people will. And those that enabled the anti-Reagan will pay a terrible political cost for having done so.