This is the first part of a two part Wall Street Journal article read I suggest people read and pass around, as it was how I found out about it. The second part is one from September and is below this one as this is more relevant to the current situation we face. I have added in comments in blue to make my points and observations obvious and underlined key points needing emphasis.
A Liberal Supermajority
Get ready for ‘change’ we haven’t seen since 1965, or 1933. (Author not named) Copyright ©2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Found on the Wall Street Journal web site located at http://online.wsj.com posted October 17th in the Review & Outlook section, Opinions
If the current polls hold, Barack Obama will win the White House on November 4 and Democrats will consolidate their Congressional majorities, probably with a filibuster-proof Senate or very close to it. Without the ability to filibuster, the Senate would become like the House, able to pass whatever the majority wants. Here lies the real problem. Non-stop Nancy is the leader of the party, Speaker of the House and with her radical left coast agenda will have nothing to stop her from proposing any and every left wing-nut idea. As mid-term elections may correct this imbalance she will be motivated to press as much as she can as hard as she can while they have the power to do so. I hope to God I am wrong and they will be responsible and moderate but given the furor and toxicity of this campaign I can’t be that optimistic.
Though we doubt most Americans realize it, this would be one of the most profound political and ideological shifts in U.S. history. Liberals would dominate the entire government in a way they haven’t since 1965, or 1933. In other words, the election would mark the restoration of the activist government that fell out of public favor in the 1970s. If the U.S. really is entering a period of unchecked left-wing ascendancy, Americans at least ought to understand what they will be getting, especially with the media cheering it all on.
The nearby table shows the major bills that passed the House this year or last before being stopped by the Senate minority. Keep in mind that the most important power of the filibuster is to shape legislation, not merely to block it. The threat of 41 committed Senators can cause the House to modify its desires even before legislation comes to a vote. Without that restraining power, all of the following have very good chances of becoming law in 2009 or 2010.
– Medicare for all. When HillaryCare cratered in 1994, the Democrats concluded they had overreached, so they carved up the old agenda into smaller incremental steps, such as Schip for children. A strongly Democratic Congress is now likely to lay the final flagstones on the path to government-run health insurance from cradle to grave. How many countries can you say this approach has worked for, France, Sweden, Switzerland, they all have bad economies, high taxes, and a highly defunct medical system, what about Cuba, well only if we are willing to go completely Communistic and take the entire medical system from pharmaceuticals to hospitals and doctors and regulate them all to a level there is no profitability (high taxes) and then thing about all your 401k, IRA, and mutual funds that are invested in these industries and sectors.
Mr. Obama wants to build a public insurance program, modeled after Medicare and open to everyone of any income. According to the Lewin Group, the gold standard of health policy analysis, the Obama plan would shift between 32 million and 52 million from private coverage to the huge new entitlement. Like Medicare or the Canadian system, this would never be repealed.
The commitments would start slow, so as not to cause immediate alarm. But as U.S. health-care spending flowed into the default government options, taxes would have to rise or services would be rationed, or both. Single payer is the inevitable next step, as Mr. Obama has already said is his ultimate ideal.
– The business climate. "We have some harsh decisions to make," Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned recently, speaking about retribution for the financial panic. Look for a replay of the Pecora hearings of the 1930s, with Henry Waxman, John Conyers and Ed Markey sponsoring ritual hangings to further their agenda to control more of the private economy. The financial industry will get an overhaul in any case, but telecom, biotech and drug makers, among many others, can expect to be investigated and face new, more onerous rules. See the "Issues and Legislation" tab on Mr. Waxman’s Web site for a not-so-brief target list. Remember my rant over Hillary Clinton’s ‘take the profits back’ comment she made about big oil, well the same goes here. Government only has the right to levy fines or taxes against companies for wrong doings or new policies. Taking profits will kill their stocks, make stock dividends worthless, kill investments, see the big 3 mentioned above, and worst off, it will drive big business overseas just like Haliburton. This is a socialists tactic of ‘redistributing wealth’ which is how communists take from the rich to give to the poor in order to make everyone equal, it does not work in practice and will only kill business in our country.
The danger is that Democrats could cause the economic downturn to last longer than it otherwise will by enacting regulatory overkill like Sarbanes-Oxley. Something more punitive is likely as well, for instance a windfall profits tax on oil, and maybe other industries.
– Union supremacy. One program certain to be given right of way is "card check." Unions have been in decline for decades, now claiming only 7.4% of the private-sector work force, so Big Labor wants to trash the secret-ballot elections that have been in place since the 1930s. The "Employee Free Choice Act" would convert workplaces into union shops merely by gathering signatures from a majority of employees, which means organizers could strongarm those who opposed such a petition. Doesn’t sound very democratic to me, more like how to bully employees into participating in something they don’t want to. I hate unions. They are dinosaurs and their time has come and gone. They killed my home town of Detroit and that city is still in the death throws of trying to purge the unions out. Unions in American make inflation happen and make us uncompetitive in a modern global economy.
The bill also imposes a compulsory arbitration regime that results in an automatic two-year union "contract" after 130 days of failed negotiation. The point is to force businesses to recognize a union whether the workers support it or not. This would be the biggest pro-union shift in the balance of labor-management power since the Wagner Act of 1935.
– Taxes. Taxes will rise substantially, the only question being how high. Mr. Obama would raise the top income, dividend and capital-gains rates for "the rich," substantially increasing the cost of new investment in the U.S. More radically, he wants to lift or eliminate the cap on income subject to payroll taxes that fund Medicare and Social Security. This would convert what was meant to be a pension insurance program into an overt income redistribution program. It would also impose a probably unrepealable increase in marginal tax rates, and a permanent shift upward in the federal tax share of GDP. Watch for key code words here folks. ‘Invest’ means tax. ‘Credit’ means wealth transfer. ‘Create’ means newer, bigger, more clumsy government. Joe the plumber was told by Obama that his success would be ‘spread around’, meaning that the government will take money (taxes) and then give to those making less (credits). How is it people who don’t pay taxes in the first place get tax cuts? People who don’t pay taxes (those who get rebate checks or owe nothing on April 15th) will get additional rebates AND the promised services, who is paying for that???
– The green revolution. A tax-and-regulation scheme in the name of climate change is a top left-wing priority. Cap and trade would hand Congress trillions of dollars in new spending from the auction of carbon credits, which it would use to pick winners and losers in the energy business and across the economy. Huge chunks of GDP and millions of jobs would be at the mercy of Congress and a vast new global-warming bureaucracy. Without the GOP votes to help stage a filibuster, Senators from carbon-intensive states would have less ability to temper coastal liberals who answer to the green elites.
– Free speech and voting rights. A liberal supermajority would move quickly to impose procedural advantages that could cement Democratic rule for years to come. One early effort would be national, election-day voter registration. This is a long-time goal of Acorn and others on the "community organizer" left and would make it far easier to stack the voter rolls. The District of Columbia would also get votes in Congress — Democratic, naturally. Wisconsin has same day voter registration, meaning you can register at the polls. There is HUGE voter fraud in Wisconsin and Milwaukee. In 2000 and 2004 there were more votes cast then registered voters, and by tens of thousands. The state’s voter accountability board, backed by Democrat governor Jim Doyle, is refusing to comply with Federal Law by enforcing the Fair Voter Act of 2004. They are blocking all county and city clerks from checking their voter rolls to ensue the names match state DMV records. If the name is not found it is flagged and the voter told to cast a provisional ballot and once identity is confirmed the vote is counted, but Democrats are pushing hard to prevent this. I’m not even going to go into the slashing of tires and destruction of GOP offices by Democrats in Milwaukee in 2004 (government employee’s son caught and convicted but given commuted sentence).
Felons may also get the right to vote nationwide, while the Fairness Doctrine is likely to be reimposed either by Congress or the Obama FCC. A major goal of the supermajority left would be to shut down talk radio and other voices of political opposition. This act, shot down twice by previous Congresses, will force media outlets to mandate equal air time for opposition, meaning for every hour of Rush Limbauh the same station has to air an hour of left-wing talk radio. Seeing nearly all left wing talk radio tanked and no longer exists the mandate demands if the opposing view is not available then the other is not allowed to be on the air. The FCC would enforce, and being appointed by Obama we all know its enforcement would be directed in one way only.
– Special-interest potpourri. Look for the watering down of No Child Left Behind testing standards, as a favor to the National Education Association. The tort bar’s ship would also come in, including limits on arbitration to settle disputes and watering down the 1995 law limiting strike suits. New causes of legal action would be sprinkled throughout most legislation. The anti-antiterror lobby would be rewarded with the end of Guantanamo and military commissions, which probably means trying terrorists in civilian courts. Google and MoveOn.org would get "net neutrality" rules, subjecting the Internet to intrusive regulation for the first time.
It’s always possible that events — such as a recession — would temper some of these ambitions. Republicans also feared the worst in 1993 when Democrats ran the entire government, but it didn’t turn out that way. On the other hand, Bob Dole then had 43 GOP Senators to support a filibuster, and the entire Democratic Party has since moved sharply to the left. Mr. Obama’s agenda is far more liberal than Bill Clinton’s was in 1992, and the Southern Democrats who killed Al Gore’s BTU tax and modified liberal ambitions are long gone.
In both 1933 and 1965, liberal majorities imposed vast expansions of government that have never been repealed, and the current financial panic may give today’s left another pretext to return to those heydays of welfare-state liberalism. Americans voting for "change" should know they may get far more than they ever imagined. While impossible to see into the future and hoping cooler heads would prevail it is still scary to see my country shifting so quickly to the far left, into a direction I see everyday here in China. While I know Democrats will not go that far the measures I keep seeing pop up here and there and the lack of scrutiny by the press makes me more pessimistic about the state, freedoms, and integrity of my country. The polarization and glee the far left is showing now, coupled with the overboard fawning by the press into a starstruck teen girl air by the mass media and I can’t help but be reminded of history lessons of 1945 Russia, 1939 Germany and Italy, 1950’s Cuba and China. Anyone speaking out is quickly and overwhelmingly marginalized and silenced. Just like the outspoken Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya I fear this is where the voice of moderates will land. Joe the Plumber has been destroyed by the left wing press, blogers, and DNC hate machine all because he asked a good question and got a non-answer.
This is why I keep saying, show me the platform, show me your agenda, show me your plans. Without those I can not vote for you. The Democrats keep saying McCain is just like Bush, well, I know where Bush stands on many issues, I may not like some of them but I can live with them. I can not live in a socialists America, I am living in communist China already and need to know the country I left to further my personal, professional, and intellectual life will be there when I come back. It may not be perfect but it is better then any country on Earth just the way it is now. Moving the country to the far left and making it closer to Cuba, the old Soviet Union, and China then to our allies of England, Australia, Canada and India is a grave mistake and a crying shame.