Nope, No Issues Here
So Isaac wants to talk about issues, let’s do that although, one wonders if he will pull the “good faith” gambit again when confronted with facts not to his liking. Even though Isaac has eschewed dealing the race card, he’s turned to the second progressive trope: I’m a conservative so ipso facto there must be some psychological problem causing my “projection.” I must be one of those clingy, bitter xenophobes.
Of course, when Isaac says he wants to “talk” about the issues, what he really means is a monologue where his assertions go unchallenged, or a forum where one must meet his own criteria for participating in the debate.
So let’s talk about the issues.
I happen to think Bill Ayers is an issue. Obama’s non sequiturs about being eight years old when Ayers bombed the Pentagon aside; it was Obama the adult who funded Ayers the unrepentant radical who seeks to turn our schools into centers of indoctrination. I happen to have personal experience with the type of “education” Ayers envisions. So yes, Obama’s funding of Ayers radicalism is an issue, unless of course you have no problem with “La educacion es revolucion.” But why let that fact or Obama’s very real and substantive ties with both Ayers and Khalidi, which portray a worldview at odds with the one he presents to the American people.
“George W. Bush, who’s presided over this whole mess”? This is technically true, but presiding is not causation. Not that I don’t think Bush bears a measure of blame, but Isaac needs to look at his own side as well. Congressional Democrats and ACORN are the central culprits in the subprime meltdown. It was ACORN who extorted banks to get them to loosen their credit standards and approve questionable loans. ACORN also got a lot of cash in payoffs as well. It was ACORN who partnered with congressional Democrats to force Fannie and Freddie (indeed ACORN rewrote Fannie and Freddie’s loan guidelines) to buy up the bad mortgages, i.e., regulation brought about by Democrats and ACORN led to the disaster.
In fact, it was the Bush administration and John McCain who offered legislation to reign in Freddie and Fannie. Yet they were blocked by the likes of Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, and Maxine Waters. Where was Obama on this in 2004-2005? He was too busy counting his 126,000 in campaign contributions from the GSEs.
Furthermore, you can trace this mess back to FDR and the New Deal. More on that later.
As for McCain’s health care plan, Isaac lies about it just as passionately as Joe Biden. Isaac says it will “tax employer-provided healthcare.” Not true, as James Capretta notes:
Today, when an employer pays $9,500 for family health coverage (which is closer to the true average), that’s $9,500 that can’t be paid to the worker as cash wages. Exempting that $9,500 health premium payment from federal income tax is worth a lot less than $5,000 for most workers. For instance, for a couple in the 25 percent marginal tax bracket, it’s worth $2,375. The McCain plan would give that couple $5,000 instead of $2,375. Moreover, with the tax credit in place, it doesn’t matter if the employer continues to pay for premiums or gives the worker cash income instead. Either way, the worker will come out ahead. The Tax Policy Center estimates that the average household would enjoy a $1,200 boost in income from the McCain plan.
Whereas, the Tax Policy Center says Obama’s plan will only save $780 per household. Furthermore his plan’s artificial price controls will move more people over to government run health care.
Obama’s (and Isaac’s) claim that McCain’s healthcare plan will drasticaly cut Medicare benefits is as CBS News describes as “among the biggest whoppers of the whole campaign. “
Obama says he does not support universal healthcare. However, in 2003 he said, “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal healthcare program. … And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”
Obama would be a fool to have suggested socialized medicine during this campaign. However, on Tuesday he very well may have the trifecta needed to implement a universal health care system. There is a word for that, but for some reason using that word to accurately describe a presidential candidate’s—or cosmopolitan blog’s—worldview is out of bounds.
Isaac rails at McCain’s support of the Bush tax cuts yet is strangely silent on Obama’s “plan” to cut taxes for 95% of Americans. Perhaps he knows, as well as anyone else not mindlessly lapping up that pablum, that you can’t give 95% of Americans a tax cut if one third of income earners pay no taxes to begin with. These people, who already receive payments from the government, will simply get an increase. That isn’t a tax cut it’s a transfer payment.
Furthermore, tax cuts increase government revenues, you know other people’s money Isaac wants the government to spend. Yet Obama, in the interest of fairness—not pragmatism—would increase the capital gains tax, even though it would mean less revenue. How progressive!
Isaac calls for larger government and increased spending in times of economic crisis a la the New Deal and Great Society. However, as history shows, that is exactly the wrong course of action. Contrary the prevailing myth and the cargo cult of Roosevelt, the New Deal prolonged and exacerbated the Great Depression. William Vogeli’s excellent piece in the Claremont Review of Books on reforming big government reveals the liberal conundrum—a question they refuse to address—that despite the inexorable growth of the welfare state (4% over 60+ years) poverty still exists. Of course, Isaac’s solution is to grow government even more. Einstein called that the definition of insanity.
Isaac’s signature is a quote from FDR’s second inaugural address, about heedless self interest/bad morals/bad economics. However, if you read a few lines below that Roosevelt reveals the true nature progressive project: “We are beginning to wipe out the line that divides the practical from the ideal; and in so doing we are fashioning an instrument of unimagined power for the establishment of a morally better world.”
The New Dealers (mostly Woodrow Wilson retreads) did indeed fashion that instrument of unimagined power, however the sunny uplands of that “morally better world” never materialized. Barack Obama’s program is essentially to create a new New Deal i.e., fashion another instrument of unimagined power. To point out the failure of that cornerstone of the progressive faith is of course, in their eyes, arguing in bad faith.