It is certainly appropriate to congratulate the president and his supporters for winning re-election. I was actually amused by the number of people asking me “how am I doing” and “are you all right” after the election results were in. I reassured them that my personal happiness certainly has nothing ever to do with who wins political elections. I actually wish that more felt the same.
As a country though, it seems fair to ask what happens next. It was a little disappointing to see one of the first actions of President Obama was waiving his pen saying he’s ready to raise taxes on the wealthy. Not jobs, not the deficit, not fixing entitlements. Let’s raise taxes. Of course the media was quick to say, he won the election so he gets to do what he wants. The problem is that if it was a dumb idea in the campaign, why is it a good idea just because he won?
The basic problem is that President Obama’s tax hikes on the rich will fund government for a total of four or five days. This is not a serious solution and it should be a non-starter. Our political leaders have increased annual spending by more than $1 trillion since 2007, and we’re left with the largest government as a share of the economy since World War II. The reason that tax revenues are low is that there is less job creation and there is very little economic growth.
During the campaign, President Obama took a lot of credit for the success of President Clinton’s economy during the 1990s, but somehow he never remembered the “Era of big government is over” after the 1994 elections. The federal government shrank from 20.6 percent to 18.0 percent over the last six years of the 90s and somehow we continued to have prosperity. President Obama is starting his second term with federal spending at 24 percent of GDP and we’re still looking for signs of prosperity. All we can see for now is trillion dollar annual deficits, and a plan to raise taxes to reduce that by a mighty 5 percent. What about the other 95 percent? And guess what, if federal spending were still at 18 percent of GDP today, the federal budget would nearly be balanced!
So again, what happens next? Do we continue on the path toward Greece and other European nations with unsustainable spending and high taxes (and rioting in the streets), or do the two parties work together to grow the economy and create some new jobs?
I don’t know about all of you, but after the previous 12 months of bitter campaigning, the upcoming holidays are a great time to count our blessings and remember the things that really bring happiness, like family and friends and faith and freedom. And for those on the left, you can count your blessings that I won’t be writing any more letters in 2012. But just wait for January!