Christmas is coming and we’re just happy that, in today’s post-politically correct world, we feel safe using that word again.
“Happy Holidays” was such a blah, generic pronouncement, it was impossible to say it and sound sincere. So “Merry Christmas” to all, even if you’re offended by the mere mention of the most joyful holiday ever created.
In the spirit of Christmas, I’ve made a list. It’s a wish list, and I understand that it may takes years to deliver everything on it, but I’m patient. And I’ve waited a long time, so a little more waiting won’t hurt.
1. A Growing Economy. Throughout the Obama administration, we heard predictions of strong growth, but it never happened. It should be clear to anyone now, except maybe Paul Krugman, that Keynesian economics doesn’t work.
Hopefully, the Trump administration will not rely on stimulus spending and loose monetary policy as President Obama has, but we’re somewhat concerned that he’s bringing in talent from Goldman Sachs, which tends toward Keynesian thinking.
However, his support of tax reform and less regulation is promising.
Since the financial crisis ended in 2008, the U.S. and much of the developed world has added more debt and more regulation than at any time in history. In the U.S., tax cuts were allowed to expire, amounting to a tremendous tax hike, and when businesses moved out of the U.S. to avoid high taxes, the federal government attempted to punish them.
As Michael Solon wrote in The Wall Street Journal, “Since 2008, the largest developed economies, in an effort to build financial stability and economic prosperity, have engaged in unprecedented coordination of financial regulation, monetary policy and business taxation. What the G-7 nations got instead was the weakest economic growth, the largest surge in government debt, the riskiest monetary expansion and the gravest deflationary pressures of the postwar era.”
He notes that since 2008, the debt of the G-7 nations, excluding Canada and Germany, has soared from 52% to 130% of gross domestic product.
Spending money doesn’t cause prosperity, it destroys prosperity.
2. Fewer Regulations. If there’s one thing that President Obama and his bureaucratic appointees are good it, it’s creating new regulations. In fact, they set a record for doing so. New regulations such as the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Dodd-Frank, the Department of Labor fiduciary rule and the Clean Power Plan are proving to be expensive and time consuming to implement without creating the promised benefits.
The Affordable Care Act is making health insurance far less affordable, with premiums rising an average of 25% this year. President Obama has ignored Congress since Republicans gained a majority and has created many regulations without Congressional approval. The Clean Power Plan, for example, which was designed to destroy the coal industry, was created without Congressional support and is being challenged in court.
Less regulation will mean greater economic growth and more freedom.
3. Less Debt. As noted above, debt at all levels has soared during the past eight years. Federal debt is about to hit $20 trillion and is projected to increase to $27.3 trillion by 2025, while the bill for unfunded liabilities (Medicare, Social Security, pensions for government employees) is now a whopping $104 trillion.
4. Better Education for Our Kids. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that the performance of U.S. 15-year-olds on its Programme for International Student Assessment in math fell 18 points between 2009 and 2015.
“As the Obama administration was carrying out its main education initiative, ‘Race to the Top,’ the United States was sliding further downward,” Harvard’s Paul Peterson wrote in The Wall Street Journal, “falling from a tie for 26th place to a tie for 31st among the OECD’s 35 nations, coming out ahead of only Greece, Chile, Turkey and Mexico.”
In a separate study, the OECD found that the United States spends more per student than almost any other country (Austria, Luxembourg, Norway and Switzerland spend a bit more).
So we’re near the top in spending and near the bottom in results.
5. Bipartisanship. Donald Trump hasn’t even been inaugurated yet, and the Democrats are already sticking it to him. The same people who criticized Trump for saying, “The election is rigged” are now running around Washington saying, “The election is rigged.”
First, the electoral college was the culprit, because, after all, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. Hillary supporters are urging (i.e., threatening) electoral college members and attempting to persuade them to cast their votes for Hillary, even though Trump won the popular vote in their state.
How much “urging” are they doing? Ashley McMillan Hutchinson, who will be casting an Electoral College vote for Kansas, wrote in The Wall Street Journal that, “At its peak, I was receiving 500 emails an hour. At least 20 letters arrived at my office daily, and the calls came in 24 hours a day.”
Do you think this would have happened if Donald Trump won the popular vote and Hillary Clinton had more electoral votes? President-elect Trump received 306 electoral votes to 232 for Clinton. That’s a significant margin of victory.
Now we’re told that Hillary lost because Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee’s computers. It didn’t receive nearly as much media attention, because it’s not in keeping with the liberal narrative, but Russians also tried to hack the Republican National Committee.
Why would Russia want to prevent Hillary from becoming president? Do you really think Russia would prefer the tough, volatile, unpredictable Donald Trump as president instead of Hillary, who promised to carry on the legacy of milquetoast lead-from-behind Barack Obama?
You may have heard that the Clinton Foundation made it possible for Russia to purchase a quarter of U.S. uranium reserves. Even The New York Times acknowledged this. So, while President Trump’s machismo will make him a good match for Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Russia would likely be better off with Hillary in the White House.
Democrats need to grow up and accept the election results, and their representatives in Congress need to work with the majority party.
6. A Peaceful and Prosperous 2017 for all. Is this really too much to ask for?