"A Big, Fat Failure: Obama's budget makes a bad situation worse." (04/06/2009, Volume 014, Issue 28), Several of Matthew Continetti's assertions ring especially hollow and unsupported:
The president's vast new commitments in the areas of health care, energy, and education have already spooked small-government Republicans and the foreign investors who help finance America's public debt.
Who are the "small-government Republicans?" I don't think a “small-government Republican” has been detected at-large in the last forty years. Government and the debt associated with irresponsible spending grew under the last four Republican administrations. What does “spooked” mean? Do well-heeled Republicans fear their tax burden might actually increase to a level sufficient to cover the cost of the defense spending, farm-subsidies, Medicare prescription drugs (welfare for the pharmaceutical industry), nuclear-power subsidies, and Wall Street write-offs that “small-government Republicans” consistently insist upon?
And who are the foreign investors who are spooked enough to actually flee American treasury bonds? And would they not be equally spooked if we did nothing to stimulate the economy, educate our children, provide medical care to more than a privileged minority, rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, or take steps to curb the environmental impact of global warming?
Nor will Obama's resistance to free trade encourage economic recovery.
How so? I have yet to see a truly compelling argument for the un-regulated free trade that is so heartily endorsed by the business community. Free trade has done nothing for our economy but boost profits for corporations who, unable to competently manage their businesses on a level U.S. playing field, seek to exploit underpaid oversees workers in factories that offer little or no environmental protection; and little or no worker safety, healthcare and pension provisions. (Provisions hard fought by our unions who Republicans also find burdensome, and reliably seek to eviscerate.) Is that the “free trade” that is so beneficial to the average American? Still, to my disappointment, Mr. Obama’s administration is populated with supporters of “free trade” as we now know it, and Mr. Obama has shown little or no inclination to significantly impede “free trade” profiteers.
Absent the economic growth his budget will squelch, the only ways out of the fiscal hole Obama is digging are massive tax increases, defaults and devaluation, and inflation.
How will this budget impede economic growth? How does one define a “massive tax increase?” Reversion back to tax rates that prevailed during times of broad prosperity (the ‘90s? -- top tax rate 39.6%; the ‘60s -- top personal income tax rate: 91% (http://www.ustreas.gov/education/fact-sheets/taxes/ustax.shtml)) that fostered the well-being of a middle class? What defaults? Devaluation of what? And what evidence is there to suggest that inflation will become excessive, and what is excessive?
Empty, fear-mongering rhetoric gets us nowhere, which is where the last Republican administration so handily got us.