Victor Davis Hanson: Ripples from the Election





NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The End of Sparta, a novel about ancient freedom.

Now that the election is over, we are starting to see the contours of what lies ahead for the next four years. Here are some likely consequences from the Obama victory.

1. Barack Obama is not very interested in tax reform, deficit reduction, or curbing annual spending. He believes in big government, and the bigger the better. His tenure is not so much a repudiation of Reaganism as it is of Clintonism, and the whole notion of keeping the annual growth of federal spending at or below 2 percent, balancing the budget, and declaring the era of big government over. Going off the cliff would give Obama the extra revenues from across-the-board tax hikes on the 53 percent that can fund further expansions for the 47 percent in federalized health care, food stamps, unemployment, and disability insurance and in block grants to bankrupt cities, states, and pension funds. Gorging the beast always demands more revenue; and more revenue will always come from those who must “pay their fair share.” That is also a good thing in itself given the innately unfair compensation of the marketplace, which must be rectified by an intelligent, always-growing government, run by humane technocrats rather than grasping Wall Street speculators. In other words, why should we expect serious discussions on the deficit? When so many have so much less than so few, we have hardly begun the necessary “redistributive change.” That is facilitated, not retarded, by large deficits and the need for much higher taxes on the fat cats who did not build their own wealth.

2. One could make the argument that Barack Obama was the first president since Jimmy Carter to put daylight between Israel and the United States — both rhetorically and materially on issues such as settlements, the Netanyahu government, and disputes with the Palestinians. Yet Obama still received over 60 percent of the Jewish-American vote. That anomaly might suggest a number of things. For all practical purposes, the supposed Israeli lobby is now analogous to the fading Greek lobby — with similarly diminishing clout in foreign policy....



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