I wish I could offer some cheery prognostications for 2010.
I’d like to predict Barack Obama will awaken some morning soon, rub his eyes, and go, “Holy cow. Do you realize we’re actually letting welfare recipients vote? Talk about a conflict of interest! If we don’t want this republic to descend into a collectivist slave state we’ve got to immediately limit the franchise to only net tax payers. And the Seventeenth Amendment, which encourages senators to collect millions in ‘campaign’ bribes from corporations and labor unions from here to Hong Kong, has to be repealed, restoring the states’ veto power over congressional mischief. Anybody can see that.
“Meantime, I can’t believe the way this federal government has been sucking the lifeblood out of our most productive citizens, till the wealthiest are actually fleeing the country with their remaining assets, the way the entrepreneurial class fled Russia in 1918.
“And we’ve been wondering why there’s no ‘job creation’? We need to repeal the death tax, the capital gains tax, and the federal income tax immediately, replacing them with nothing. And let’s close down the Fed and tell Congress to get back to doing their job and setting the value of the dollar as a fixed weight of gold or silver. If all that reduces the size of the federal government by half, heck, it’s a start.
“Rahm, get me Ron Paul on the phone, let’s see if he’ll take over Treasury.”
I could predict all that’s going to happen. But that would surely earn me a new nickname – something along the lines of “Barry the Stoner,” which I understand is what his high school classmates used to call a certain fellow now holding high office in Washington (and continuing to send people to prison for violating our absurd and draconian drug laws, by the way), in between snorkeling vacations.
Health care? Once they realize new federal regulations block them from ever raising their rates again, health insurers could promptly hike their rates by 40 percent, this year. Outraged congressmen will immediately hold press conferences, storming “We’re going to find out who (other than us) is responsible!”
“OK, Vin,” some will say, “but that’s good news, in a way. It means rush-to-socialism Democrats like Obama, Reid, and Pelosi will get tossed out on their butts, and the GOP will come back strong under another president named Bush – right?”
Pardon me, but when has the post-1912 Republican Party even tried to repeal a major plank of the enervating socialist welfare state, whether it be the Federal Reserve, the income tax, Social Security, Medicare, or the government’s role in the youth indoctrination camps known as “public schools”?
As far as I can tell, the motto of the modern Republican Party is “Hold on, there! There’s no need for us to race over the cliff toward a communist slave state at 70 miles an hour! Surely 50 miles an hour will suffice.”
There can be no “recovery” so long as it’s national policy to drive new job-creation offshore by “taxing the rich” when they earn money, “taxing the rich” when they invest money, “taxing the rich” when they die, taxing carbon dioxide emissions, forcing unionization without a secret ballot, blocking new nuclear plants, blocking new coal-fired plants, blocking new oil refineries, blocking drilling in ANWR or on the continental shelf, and promising all our energy needs will be met by ethanol and a bunch of big windmills which will sit idle for 20 years while the eco-extremists file lawsuits to block the transmission lines needed to deliver their pitiful contributions to market.
To be optimistic during this political equivalent of a nuclear winter requires taking the kind of view a teacher (not the kind retained by the government) once encouraged my class to take when I was a child. She took us on a “nature walk” during the dead of winter, which sure seemed dumb to us.
“Look at the trees,” she said.
“They look dead,” we said.
“Look closer,” she insisted. “See those little red things? Those are buds. Even in the middle of winter, the trees know the spring will come. They’re getting ready.”
The vacant storefronts, the unbelievable new initiatives to make air travel even more onerous and unattractive to foreign tourists (who already have to be fingerprinted, prodded, strip-searched, and otherwise humiliated before being allowed to bring their money here) – all make the search for truly hopeful signs a task for those who can step back and take a long view.
“We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. … We have never made good on our promises … I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started … And an enormous debt to boot!”
Now, 70 years later, the Democrats are trying the same “remedy” again, only bigger. And – as all isolated lunatics are wont to do – they will generate the same result: a decade of misery.
But for those who can hang on till 2020 – I hope you salted away some gold, some silver, and some guns – spring will come.
Watch for Atlas Shrugged and The Lord of the Rings to become best-sellers, again. And when you hear people saying, “Yeah, I read that Libertarian platform. Kind of wimpy. Nothing in there about hanging from the lamp posts all those politicians who promised to ‘protect and defend the Constitution’ and the limited government for which it stands,” you will know the wonder of the first buds of spring.