Monday, March 2, 2009

First Do No Harm

Consider a person who leads a healthy lifestyle - low fat diet, exercise, no smoking, moderate drinking, sufficient sleep, etc., and yet still develops cancer. That person would be foolish to give up his good habits because they didn't seem to do any good. He'd be ignoring the possibility that there were other factors that could have (and probably did) cause his cancer such as genetic predisposition, or exposure to radon or other carcinogens. He would be blaming behavior that not only didn't make him sick but could help him overcome his disease.

This is what Obama (and other Dems) do when they repeatedly use the canard, "we can't go back to the failed policies of the past" in an attempt to justify absurd levels of spending on just about anything that suits their fancy in the name of "stimulus".

Of course, there's more to the analogy. The cancer victim did not follow a perfectly healthy lifestyle. He managed to slip in a couple of Big Macs and cinnamon rolls with his salad every day and he skipped too many days of exercise while lounging around on the couch watching TV. This is what our government's been doing, so to speak, as it indulged in profligate spending the past several years. (Yes, Bush and the Republicans deserve their portion of blame for this too). So Obama wants to ratchet up these bad habits, while disdaining the good ones - low taxes, incentives for investment and risk taking, fiscal restraint and free trade. How perverted and disingenuous. Typical Obama.

Representative Paul Ryan, the up and coming GOP congressman from Wisconsin, has the right prescription for our economic malady.He describes it in an op-ed piece in today's WSJ. The key points are - lower the top marginal income tax rate to 25% from 35% (soon to be 39.6% if Obama has his way); create a flat rate of 10% for all income below $100,000; lower the corporate tax rate to 25% from a near worldwide high of 35%; eliminate the capital gains tax, preasently 15% (Obama wants to raise it to at least 20%); stand back and watch prosperity happen.
Instead we get to watch despair happen. The S&P 500 closed today right at 700, down more than 30% from the last day it was above 1000, November 4, 2008, Election Day. The day hope died.

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