It would seem that the tax compromise laid out by the GOP and Barack Obama is not yet a done deal. Karl Rove lays out the tricky math of getting the idea passed through the House and writes: “Mr. Obama’s advisers are reportedly warning Democrats that allowing taxes to rise may cause a double-dip recession. The president can also warn them that it’ll be worse to settle this issue after Republicans take over the House in January.” So liberals are being faced with two monster realities, 1) that their president isn’t going to sacrifice his political hide to support their radical principles, at least not yet, and 2) that he and his economic advisors may have been lying to them all along about the power of the stimulus they were urged to pass so quickly, the same stimulus that was responsible for sending so many of them home before they felt their work in Congress was done.
Never fear liberals, Barack Obama is most assuredly still one of you, even though he may have to break ranks once in a while to hold onto power. That’s the Obama two-step. You see, the Dennis Kucinich model simply won’t work for most of the country, so if you want to control the levers of power, you must at least put up the front of centrism. To play the moderate part, President Obama has abandoned his liberal base on quite a number of issues. The war in Iraq still rages, gays are still kept quiet in the military, the rich are still paying Bush-era tax rates, the prison at Git-mo is still open (nearly a year after the president’s one year deadline for shutdown), the Department of Justice is still using wiretaps without the warrants guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment and has even added other forms of surveillance to the program, and the list goes on. No doubt that is disheartening to the ACORN volunteer on the streets of Berkeley, CA. (Speaking of Berekely, they want to honor the Wikileaks source, Pfc. Bradley Manning for sending the website all the stolen U.S. diplomatic cables, read it here.)
Daniel Henninger writes today that even though the president has had to compromise, he will surely be using his next run for president as a chance to discuss the top tax rates with Americans. He wants to use his great communications skills to convince Americans that they are wrong about taxing the rich. He is setting the field for the Marxist agenda of the kind pushed by his supporter George Soros and his top advisor John Podesta. It is doubtful that Barack Obama can become a compromiser on the scale of Bill Clinton. It is more likely that in the two years to come, there will be an all-out battle for the American soul. On the one side will be congressional Republicans, led by the recent Tea Party additons, and on the other will Barack Obama, the unions, and Podesta’s Center for American Progress(CAP). But Americans aren’t interested in the grand utopian plans offered by CAP, or the wealth redistribution ideas pushed by Barack Obama’s friends at the SEIU or AFL-CIO. They want to be left alone, not bothered by the federal government. They want a Jeffersonian federal republic, one that does what they ask it to, and nothing more.
Watch to see what course the president takes. You will learn a lot about his values. His two options are 1) continue to pivot to the center to pick up independent votes, or 2) to move hard to the left to secure his base against any primary challenge from his own party. This will be some dance.
Farmland Inflation – E.J. Smith
Farmland prices in the Midwest are booming. The next bubble has formed. Thank you Mr. Bernanke. Yes, demand from China may be strong but it’s an overused narrative. Ditto for demand from the other BRICs. As the WSJ writes “This is where monetary policy comes in. As the greenback declines amid easy Fed policy, commodities rise in value. Farmland booms have typically coincided with periods of Fed easing, such as the 1970s and the late 1980s. It’s no accident in our view that the latest commodity price surge began this summer when the Fed’s talk about another round of quantitative easing began in earnest.”