Friday, March 7, 2008
Personal Aside: Obama an Economic Populist, No Joke.
Hillary Clinton who is crowding Barack Obama for the nomination but is frustratingly far behind in the complicated math of delegate selection (devised as a legacy from Eli Segal whose work is outlined below in Flashback) is ready to settle for Obama to be her vice presidential nominee but that eventuality which would be ideal from the standpoint of the Democratic party might not happen. It conceivably could be the other way around but the Obamas (and particularly Michelle) do not want ex-president Bill padding around in the White House offices.
Also it would do Hillary no good to be vice president if, as is projected, Obama serves as such an extreme economic populist. Better she stay in the Senate because the likelihood is that the economic populism will not be an economic success in Obamas first term. Whether or not he means it, he says entire cities have been devastated as consequence of trade agreements that were not adequately structured to make sure that U. S. workers had a fair deal. Hillary cannot possibly run with him with that kind of rhetoric being married to the man whose legacy has been the successful negotiation and passage of NAFTA. I dont care what Hillary says about NAFTA, it is still her husbands baby and she cant possibly endure a running-mate relationship with Obama and continue in a political partnership-marriage which has been very good for both.
He would use the threat to pull out of NAFTA and force Canada and Mexico to renegotiate (although his chief economics adviser at the U of C Austan Goolsbee has been caught winking at the Canadians which means that Obama will have to go through with it as president to keep his credibility. In any event it is inconceivable to imagine that Obama will use his presidency to revive global trade talks which is sorely needed to continue or revive prosperity. Hillary is a little populist herself on the housing crisis more so than Obama by vowing to freeze interest rates on subprime mortgages for five years, a step that would indubitably cause rates to spiral for everybody else, speed the collapse of house prices (well that wouldnt be bad) and in the words of The Economist deter banks from lending to the impecunious.
But this is nothing compared to what Obama has been advocating. He joined with Iowas radical Tom Harkin last year in co-sponsoring get this the Fair Pay Act which would force businesses to pay men and women the same wages for work the feds themselves would adjudge as equivalent. That effort if successful would put the economy in socialistic irons. Then Obama tees off with the Patriot Employers Act which would reward U.S. companies for not expanding overseas. Can you imagine more regimentation than that. Old Rexford Guy Tugwell the New Dealer who designed the unconstitutional NRA for FDR must be pounding on his coffin lid trying to get out and scratch his way upward through the frozen dirt to be part of that bonanza. And consider that none other than Paul Volcker is on Obamas advisory team along with well we should have known Warren Buffett who is guilt-ridden that his secretary and file clerk pay more taxes than he does.
The huge grab bag of goodies comprehensive health care, huge infrastructure increases et al and cutting taxes for the middle class will be paid by pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq quickly, by removing the Bush tax cuts on the top income producers sending the top rate of income tax rising from 35% to 39.6%, allowing the payroll tax to apply to the high rollers as well adding another 12.4% divided between employer and employee, added to which state and local taxes (over 10% in New York city) would be elevated.