What would a second Obama term mean to the country? We already know he would have to deal with a House with a strong Republican majority and an even a chance of a Republican controlled Senate. Given that he has shown no interest in listening to even many moderates in his own party, there is zero chance of significant new legislation or reform. So clearly we will do nothing to deal with our major issues of saving entitlement programs, deficit reduction, or improving the economy. But the bad news is President Obama can be extremely dangerous without any help from Congress. I will not get in to controversial claims of what he is likely to do, which may be even worse than what we know he will do.(1) I want to focus on what we know he will do with Obamacare, energy, debt, spending, and the economy.
The first most obvious effect of an Obama win would be that Obamacare will stay with little modification. Seniors will be stuck with the changes to Medicare including the advisory board that will eventually decide what services to deny. Obama can talk about the language that declares that board does not have the power to ration healthcare, but it is a hollow promise because the board will set the payment rates for services that will in effect limit the availability of those services.(2) It is like in the former Soviet Union when often people had Rubles, but the stores had nothing on the shelves. For the rest of us it will continue to be a wet blanket on economic growth and within five years at least 30% of us in the private sector will lose or current coverage and be dropped in to exchanges. This will of course explode the deficit. If the debt crisis does not come in his next term, Obama may be able to avoid raising taxes on the “middle class”, but then even the GOP will be forced to support a VAT tax to delay a debt crisis after it becomes clear it is impossible to reverse course on Obamacare.
The EPA has been given approval to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant. You can be sure the EPA is set with a plan to put in place to achieve the goals of the Cap & Trade system that was rejected on bipartisan basis in the Senate. President Obama will finish the War on coal. The results will be higher utility rates, more dependence on foreign oil, massive losses of jobs in energy intensive sectors like manufacturing, and much weaker economy resulting in tax revenue coming in below projections. Many predict in the long run this will lead to shortages of energy and rolling blackouts.(3)
The debt will continue to spiral out of control. As we see from the way Democrats reacted to Romney’s suggestion to eliminate subsidies for PBS. They are more interested in saving Big Bird from and imaginary ending, than saving Medicare from a real threat. Given this attitude it is clear President Obama does not take seriously the need to cut non-defense spending. Most of the spending cuts he claims are already in law and the rest do not occur until long after he is out of office. The GOP will likely continue to cave on spending with Obama being a lame duck president with no reason to care if the government is shutdown. He will get his tax increase on job creators because if the GOP does not cave, taxes will go up on everyone. President Obama would prefer ending all the Bush Tax cuts than no tax increase so he will not negotiate. We cannot fix the debt issue if we do not have stronger economic growth, but not only does the President not have any ideas to encourage more economic growth, all of his agenda is like a “wet blanket on the economy”. This weaker economic growth will cost more in tax revenues than he will generate from his tax increase plan in the long run.
President Obama’s agenda will be decidedly negative for jobs and the economy. It is interesting that the Obama campaign keeps whining that Romney needs to give more specifics when they do not even have a reasonable general framework of a plan at all for the same issues. The only ideas he has are increased spending on his supporters like teachers unions and green energy. Neither will get any increase though Congress. Even if congress was dumb enough to approve them they would create no jobs like they did in his first four years. Given his attack on American energy production, increased taxes, and no stopping Obamacare, it is almost certain we will face another recession. We will be on an unstoppable path to a debt crisis like we see in Europe.
In addition to the list above there is much more Obama can and will do without Congress and all of it will be bad for the economy. I have heard economists are forecasting 12 million jobs to be created in the next four years. They must be forecasting a Romney Victory. If Obama wins we will be lucky to maintain the current job growth trajectory which is about what we need to keep the real unemployment rate the same. More likely we will see negative job growth. I like a quote I saw on a commercial last night, “In socialism it is true the rich will be poorer, but the poor will also be poorer also.”(4) President Obama is right on one thing, you know what you are going to get if he wins, an unstoppable path to a government controlling the economy, and all aspects of our society leading to a debt crisis and misery for all.