Much has been made of the comparison of Barrick Hussein Obama and Franklin Delano Roosevelt and need for quick action in the first 100 days. Winning a popular election and enjoying heavy majorities in both houses of Congress, FDR declared a national bank holiday, took us off the gold standard and confiscated Americans gold coins, raised taxes on the rich, and began a series of anti-business measures.
Obama has acted quickly too: He pushed through a partisan $800 billion plus “stimulus” package, devalued the dollar (de facto), and introduced legislation to raise taxes sharply on wealthy entrepreneurs and investors. He also announced plans to withdraw the majority of troops from Iraq (while increasing them in Afghanistan), close Guantanamo Bay detention camp for alleged Islamic terrorists, and signed an executive order funding stem cell research.
But that’s just the beginning. The heavy lifting starts after the 100 days are up, when the President puts forth his agenda on health care, entitlement reform, and climate change. He wants to impose a “cap and trade” charge on energy producers, which will indirectly increase the cost of electricity, gasoline and utilities on average Americans; pass the “card check” legislation that will boost the power of unions and significantly raise the cost of doing business; and create a new national health care system that will cause additional pain and suffering on the American taxpayer and health care providers.
Wall Street has had a mixed reaction so far to Obama’s policies. The stock market had a rocky start with Obama, falling sharply and then recovering since early March. The Dow is up 20% from its lows, but still down for the year. Will the recovery on Wall Street last? Much depends on whether Obama’s next 100 days sees major legislation pass which might encumber the American economy and risk-taking.
The Scariest Picture of All: Federal Spending Out of Control
The biggest headache facing the Obama administration is the unprecedented growth in government deficit spending. This chart below shows how bad things could get in the near future.
This the scariest chart I’ve ever seen. It makes President George W. Bush look like a piker.
Tax receipts have fallen sharply even as government spending has increased dramatically.
Moreover, if the economy recovers, watch out for huge increases in interest rates, which will make the deficit even worse.
The silver lining in all this bad news is that it has re-energized the freedom movement. Conservatives have always done better as minorities, fighting the good cause against big government. Let the fight begin.
But let us not lose the battle with extremist talk, such as red-baiting (calling Obama a “radical Marxist” or worse does us no good) or announcing to the world that the best solution to the financial crisis is to “do nothing.” We do have a positive program for laissez faire — cutting corporate income taxes (we have the highest rates among industrial nations), eliminating bad accounting rules, imposing a simple flat tax like Hong Kong, or adopting a stable banking system like Canada or New Zealand.