We all make New Year’s resolutions and typically break them by the time the ball drops on Times Square.
With the same good intentions and low expectations of success, this year we’ve decided to suggest New Year’s resolutions we want others to follow. Some of our suggestions below may be carried out by the stated parties, but others have no chance of even being considered. They should be though, and that’s why we’ve included them.
President Obama: Resolve to golf daily. It seemed as though President Obama was always golfing when there was work to be done. Now, when he should be out golfing, he’s busy working on his legacy.
And what a legacy it will be! The economy failed to achieve 3% growth during any year in which he was president, which is a first. The federal debt doubled, Russia and China have filled the void left by leading from behind, and Iran and North Korea have moved closer to becoming nuclear powers.
He’s ignored Congress, using executive orders to break all records for new regulations. But he hasn’t ignored the world’s dictators, having lifted sanctions on Cuba and Iran, two of the world’s most repressive regimes.
And now, post-election, he’s shown his disdain for Israel by abstaining from a United Nations vote and “allowing a nasty and harmful anti-Israel resolution to pass the United Nations Security Council,” The Weekly Standard reported. The resolution says Israeli settlements in occupied territory have no legal validity and are a violation of international law.
National Review added, “The decision to clear the path for a resolution holding that the Western Wall is actually a Palestinian possession is a serious blow to our ally (and our honor) and proof that Obama’s rhetorical support of Israel was always more about political necessity than personal conviction.”
Apparently not taking the time to veto the resolution has freed up time for President Obama to create plenty of new regulations, pardon criminals and otherwise gum up the works for the incoming Republican administration.
“The president is preparing to spend the next few decades as a celebrity in liberal circles,” according to National Review. “Creating national monuments in Utah and Nevada, banning offshore oil drilling in the Arctic and the Northeast, deleting the database of Muslim men at the Department of Homeland Security: All of these things will earn him toasts at all the right parties.”
President-elect Trump. Resolve to keep tweeting. Donald Trump’s tweets are often unworthy of a president and they are sometimes cringe-worthy, but they distract the media from the real decisions being made. They are even helping him to achieve results, such as Ford’s decision to invest in Michigan, instead of building a new plant in Mexico.
Resolve to deregulate. A recent analysis, reported in The Wall Street Journal, shows that regulatory risk for corporate America has increased nearly 80% since 2010. As risk increased, capital expenditures fell, even though interest rates were near zero during the entire period. In other words, expansive regulation is at least partially responsible for the slow economic growth we’ve experienced during the Obama Administration.
To undo the regulatory logjam caused by the more than 600 major new regulations that were created during the Obama Administration, President Trump will need to focus a great deal of energy on deregulation or appoint people who will.
Fortunately, he’s already begun appointing people with the expertise to help. He’s named shareholder activist Carl Icahn to the position of Special Advisor on Deregulation and Paul Atkins, a former member of the Securities and Exchange Commission and founder of Patomak Global Partners LLC, has been named to guide deregulation of the financial sector.
Resolve to reform the tax code. As we’ve often noted, the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate (39%) of any developed country. The U.S. is also virtually the only country that taxes corporate income when it is returned to the U.S. The result is that businesses with overseas operations are taxed twice—first in the country where the income is earned and again when the money returns to the United States.
We’ll forgive all of his stupid tweets if President Trump is able to reduce the regulatory chokehold on the economy and reform the tax code.
Democrats. Resolve to do what’s best for the country, not what’s best for you and your party.
President Obama ran as a unifier, but as soon as he was elected he shut down the Republican Party and didn’t even try to negotiate a single piece of legislation with input from the opposing party. As Senate majority leader, Harry Reid likewise ran the Senate to the benefit of one party.
As the minority party, Democrats should have the humility and common sense to work on bipartisan solutions to the country’s problems.
Resolve to learn how the economy works. When’s the last time you heard a Democrat say anything positive about capitalism? The party has moved leftward to the point where U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders came close to capturing the Democratic nomination for president.
Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve Board. Resolve to stop recycling your policy statements from one meeting to another. How about starting over and writing something fresh? Hire a poet if you have to, but give us something new already. Even Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney would be embarrassed to repeat the same economic gibberish after every meeting. You’ve left the financial press with nothing to do.
Resolve to be nonpartisan. The Fed is supposed to be nonpartisan, yet, throughout the Obama administration, it projected an overly optimistic rate of economic growth, even as it continued loose monetary policy to fix the economy. Now, as President Trump takes office, the Fed is projecting slow economic growth, even as it tightens monetary policy, which indicates a strengthening economy.
If the economy were growing at anywhere near the rate the Fed predicted it would during the Obama years, the Fed wouldn’t have needed eight years of zero interest rate policy (ZIRP). If it’s going to grow as slowly as the Fed predicts it will during the Trump years, the Fed is unlikely to lift interest rates to the degree it says it’s going to lift them.
The media. Resolve to report the truth—even if it’s at odds with your personal opinion. As a whole, the media have become a mouthpiece for the far left. How much did you hear or read about the Clinton scandals during the presidential campaign? What about our mounting debt or the lack of growth our economy experienced under President Obama? Did you read or hear anything about the failures of socialism when Bernie Sanders was a candidate for president?
“The 2016 election dragged the media’s credibility to an all-time low,” according to Forbes. “By September, the media’s approval rating was a mere 19%—lower than the Democratic or Republican parties. … Ninety-eight of the top 100 newspapers endorsed Hillary Clinton, and on election eve, all major outlets were predicting a Clinton victory. Huffington Post suggested that Clinton had a 98% chance of winning. In sum, the media’s performance this election cycle satisfied no one.”
Try interviewing someone with a conservative viewpoint once in a while or at least someone who is objective.
Pundits and economists. Resolve to admit your mistakes and be more objective in 2017. You name it, the pundits and economists were wrong about pretty much everything in 2016—Brexit and the election are just the two most prominent examples.
Quarterly predictions about economic growth during the Obama administration were regularly overly optimistic and predictions about Fed action on interest rates were almost always wrong. The pundits and economists move on as if nothing happened. Ever hear any of them say, “Boy, I sure got that one wrong?”
Investors. Resolve to be realistic. Remember 2007, when the bottom fell out for the stock market. Maybe stock prices will continue to push higher under President Trump, but considering that the p/e ratio for the market as a whole is already in the stratosphere, it’s doubtful that stock prices will climb much higher.
Left wing extremists. Resolve to stop calling people who disagree with you Nazis. We’re already seeing allusions to Hitler and Nazism in reference to President Trump. Yes, some members of the “alt-right” are racists. And so are many liberal Democrats. In fact, the history of the Democratic Party is steeped in racism.
Hitler was the most evil person in modern history, exterminating six million Jews. President Trump has said things that most of us would consider to be sexist or racist. Associating him with Hitler, as people have in the past with President Bush and other Republican presidents, is ignorant.
Hitler was a socialist, but you wouldn’t compare Bernie Sanders to Hitler, would you?
Everyone. Resolve to put your smartphone down. Look around the next time you’re in a crowd. The odds are high that the majority of people you see will be on their smartphones. Driving on a highway, when you’re forced to pass on the right because the person in front of you is practically stopped, look over and you’ll likely see someone texting while driving.
Look around the next time you’re in a restaurant and you’ll see couples whose eyes are on their phones instead of on each other.
Leave your phone home when you go out. Resolve not to use your phone while driving, except for brief calls. And when you’re on your phone while driving, remember to pay more attention to the road than to your phone.
Resolve to have a happy and prosperous 2017.