Obama II, from New York Times

The New York Times lays out the agenda for the second term of President Barack Obama. It could be “invigorated,” the newspaper writes.

The Times editorialists write that now the president “can make real progress on issues neglected in the first.” I wonder: Why did he neglect these issues?

Then: Obama intends to “build on and improve the significant accomplishments of the last four years.” The problem is that these accomplishments are harmful to our country. They harm our economy, they extinguish liberty and freedom, they will lead to less prosperity for everyone.

Here’s what a second Obama term might attempt, according to the Times

“Address climate change with more vigor, going beyond auto-mileage standards and renewable-energy jobs to possibly advocating tougher carbon emissions standards.” I’d like to think that the Obama Administration learned from debacles like Solyndra, but there’s no evidence it has.

“Working with Republicans to fix the immigration system.” We’re long overdue for this, and I think I can support what the president is likely to propose. We’ll see.

“He also hinted that combating poverty might move higher on his priority list.” But Obama’s vision of fighting poverty is likely more of the same: direct payments, government job training, more spending on public schools, etc. None of this supports what is really needed: a vibrant economy.

“In coming months, after he persuades Congress to keep taxes from rising on the middle class, he should push to restore a fair estate tax and raise the low capital gains rate to the level of ordinary income.” A pro-growth policy, one that would create prosperity for everyone, would be to eliminate taxes on capital. Raising this tax means that there will be less investment in the United States as investors seek to find more attractive grounds for investment. This is so important. Ask yourself this: Who earns the higher wage — the man digging a ditch with a shovel, or the worker operating a power backhoe? The backhoe is capital. Someone had to defer current consumption in order to save to buy the backhoe. As taxes on capital rise, people have less incentive to save and invest.

The Times says Obama’s victory was decisive. At least they didn’t say it was a mandate, as some have said. We’ve suffered through a campaign, won by a man who showed that he would do anything to hold on to power.

We’ve heard President Obama tell Russia that he can be more “flexible” after the election. Some might interpret this — considering domestic policy — as meaning that Obama will govern more to the left, seeking to expand government spending even more than he did in his first term.

But there’s a possibility — small, I’m sad to reckon — that flexibility might mean that the president disregards the radical left and embraces principles of economic freedom and personal liberty. This is the way Barack Obama could rescue our economy and build a legacy that he and the country could be proud of.


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