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The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute
After he was defeated for re-election in 1989, New York Mayor Ed Koch was asked if he would ever run for office again. “No,” Koch replied. “The people have spoken … and they must be punished.”
Well, it’s November 2012, and the people have spoken. Here’s how they will be punished.
Exit polls show that by a margin of 52-43, Americans want less government, not more. By a margin of 63-33 they do not want to raise taxes to balance the budget. And by a margin of 49-45, they want Obamacare either partially or entirely repealed. None of those wishes will be honored. Instead:
1. Obamacare will now become a permanent feature of the American political landscape. It will never be repealed.
2. The unprecedented levels of spending in Obama’s first four years will become the new floor, as America sets new records for fiscal profligacy and debt.
3. Job creators will face massive tax increases, and more Americans will come off the tax rolls—resulting in fewer citizens with a stake in keeping taxes low and more with a stake in protecting benefits.
4. Government dependency, already at record levels, will continue to grow.
5. Four lost years in dealing with the entitlement crisis will become eight—digging us into a hole from which we may not be able to emerge.
6. Obama, unworried about the impact of gas and electricity prices on his reelection, will finally wage the regulatory war on fossil fuels the Left demands.
7. He will unleash the Environmental Protection Agency to impose crushing new burdens on U.S. business.
8. His administration’s assault on religious freedom will go on and expand to new areas.
9. The Defense Department will be gutted, with cuts so deep that America will no longer be a superpower.
10. Obama will almost certainly have the opportunity to appoint more liberal Supreme Court justices, possibly replacing conservatives on the high court — ending the Roberts court in all but name for a generation.
And that’s only the beginning. Welcome to Obama’s second term.
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