Professor Trelawney: Your aura is pulsing! Are you in the beyond? I think you are!
Ron: Sure . . .
Professor Trelawney: Look at the cup. Tell me what you see!
—Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, and Emma Thompson as Professor Trelawney in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Friedrich Hayek* . . .
The other day I was mulling some random thoughts about just what may be coming if Obama is re-elected. So for your consideration/discussion, I offer the following predictions (some of which should be obvious, and some of which you’ll think are crazy):
10. Serious push for reparations.
All you have to do is look at the people Obama has surrounded himself with for much of his life, and you have to guess that the concept of reparations isn’t far from front of mind. People like Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who thinks the United States is the Klan. Professor Derrick Bell, Obama’s law school mentor, and a chief proponent of “critical race theory,” which holds in essence that the United States and its legal system are so inherently and irretrievably racist that judges must interpret the law differently in applying it to blacks. Professor Charles Ogletree, another Obama mentor and campaign consultant, who has produced at least eight publications and public presentations on reparations over the last ten years, and nearly forty on race issues including critical race theory. Van Jones, civil rights activist and supporter of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, has described himself as a “disaffected . . . political radical[.]” And of course there’s the First Lady, who wrote her college thesis on the plight of black students at Princeton, and had never been proud of her country before her husband was nominated for President in 2008. With no more elections to face, Obama will be able to speak out loud about what one suspects many of these folks believe they are owed for things that happened long before any of us were born.
9. EPA regulation requiring complete phase-out of gasoline engines within 10 years.
Obama HAAAATES gasoline—as long as we’re not talking about his motorcade/helicopter/airplane. Under his watch EPA has already proposed to require U.S. automakers to meet a fleet average of 54.5 MPG by 2025, a standard they are likely to meet the same way they met the CAFÉ standards introduced in the 1970s: by making cars even lighter (read: smaller and less safe). With a fresh term, Obama will be able to go for the jugular, and require us all to drive golf carts.
Of course, with no more coal-fired power plants, I have no idea how we’ll get the electricity to charge them.
8. Open borders and amnesty.
¡Si, se puede!
7. More “stimulus.”
All this guy knows how to do other than climb on Air Force One to go play golf is spend taxpayer money. You can bet the farm that with another four years, we’ll be hearing a lot about the need for more stimulus, more “investment” in the “green economy”—note that $3 billion federal loan recipient First Solar laid off yet another 2000 this week, but who’s counting?—and more government programs and initiatives. I just don’t know where the additional money is going to come from.
Maybe we can borrow it from Paul Krugman.
6. Increases in taxes on capital gains and on income above $200,000.
Obama’s already pushing this. There is no reason to think he isn’t serious about it. And if the Democrats take over Congress, you can bet this will be very high on their list of items to ram through.
5. Elimination of 401K eligibility for higher wage-earners, and confiscation of retirement savings.
It’s only a tiny next step from dictating how much you should make (see 6, above) to dictating how much you should have. Further, Obama’s going to have to find additional sources of revenue to fund at least part of his continuing orgy of spending. So he’s going to come after your 401K, your IRA, and other retirement assets. This might take the form of a retroactive “asset tax” on existing retirement holdings, or the collection of deferred taxes on argument that “we can’t afford for you to not pay your taxes anymore.”
But don’t worry—you’ll always have Social Security to take care of you.
4. Re-introduction of Obamacare, with single payer.
This, of course, was the way he wanted to do it all along—nationalize medical insurance. But he couldn’t sell it. If the Court does as many predict and strikes the individual mandate, that will give Obama the ammunition to go back and say “look, we tried to do it without the government option, and the Court said we couldn’t do it that way.”
3. Nuclear Iran, followed by major conflict if not world war in the Middle East.
With the ineffectiveness of the U.N. and the spinelessness of this Administration, all evidence is that Iran continues to push towards the acquisition of nuclear weapons. It is probably only a matter of time at this point. But with four more years of Obama, Teheran has to know that it faces no serious threat of real opposition to its program from the U.S., and tacit if not overt support from the Russians and Chinese. Once that happens, either they will use it against Israel, or Israel will have to choice but to take pre-emptive military action. Either way, at a minimum, there will be full-scale war between the Israelis and most of the rest of the Islamic world—Iran, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, etc. If the Russians or Chinese get involved, we will have to as well (although with their heavy and growing Islamic populations, it may be 50/50 or worse that our European “allies” will not join us), and then you’re effectively talking about world war.
Or, I guess, Obama could keep us out of it and let Israel drown.
2. Federal ban on handguns.
Obama and the Left are going to come after your Glock. And your 1911. And your Beretta. And your Smith & Wesson. They’ll call it “Trayvon’s Law,” and if you oppose it you are a racist. Of course, the NRA and the Second Amendment may have something to say about this. But the Constitution has never been an impediment to this Administration. And even with the serious constitutional barrier, watch out if . . .
1. The Supreme Court shifts dramatically to the Left.
Here’s where the rubber really meets the road, in my opinion. Four justices (Ginsberg (79), Scalia (76), Kennedy (75), and Breyer (73)) are already over 70. Not to cast aspersions on their health, but it is unlikely that all of them stay on the Court through another four years. Obviously, allowing Obama to replace Justice Ginsberg and Breyer doesn’t do much to the ideological balance, but allowing him to replace Scalia and Kennedy would. At a minimum, you would see a shift from a slightly right-leaning 4-4-1, to a solid 5-4 liberal bent, if not 6-3. This could be even worse if Obamacare is overturned and Obama reacts in Rooseveltian fashion by seeking to expand the Court.
Imagine the loss of Scalia, and the addition of five more Elena Kagans. Yikes. And with what would then be a relatively young Court, we’d be stuck with it for a VERY long time. For this reason alone, this may be the most significant election of our lifetime.
* With apologies to legendary Texas sports columnist Blackie Sherrod, whose trademark was to begin columns in this fashion, changing the name of the “wondering” subject.