Update: Welcome Instapundit readers!
I took the advice of Bride of Rove and Mary Katharine Ham and spent the afternoon reading Charles Krauthammer's essay on the decline of America. It took me a while because it's long (9 pages printed out) and I wanted to really absorb and understand what he said. It's a fascinating piece and should be required reading.
Since the CBO report on Baucus-care came out, and since it's becoming more and more clear that Obamacare will be paid for by the middle class and seniors, it's becoming more and more clear that we are in real trouble. Add that to what Krauthammer says about the state of America now, and in the near future, and one has to wonder where, exactly, we will be, say, one year from now. Should Obama's foreign and domestic policies continue unchecked, and should this health care reform issue pass as Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi plan to write it, there will be plenty of Americans seriously hurting.
Consider first the fact that some kind of health care reform is going to pass. Some form of it. Every possible plan on the table involves a tax increase. There will be tax increases on insurance providers to pay for all of it which will be passed on to the consumer. There will be tax increases on the wealthy, too. There will be fines for non-compliance.
Well, okay. Say you are fine with that - you don't mind paying a little more so that others can have the same coverage you do. But consider that there are also other huge increases on the horizon. Waxman-Markey has already cleared the House. Should it clear the Senate there will be massive hikes in your energy bills. Massive. Huge. Add that to the extra cash you're paying to pay for health coverage for other folks, and well, it adds up.
But wait. Nancy Pelosi wants to talk about a Value Added Tax. That's going to hit the middle class very hard. So add THAT to the health care tax increase, and the Cap 'n Trade increase and you're getting hit on multiple levels.
Meanwhile, we are still forbidden from tapping our own energy sources and rely on imported oil. Despite our own vast offshore reserves and our Arctic reserves, we continue to import. No nuclear plants in the works. Energy costs will continue to rise. We are held hostage to Venezeula and others for our energy.
Then you factor in one thing that Krauthammer mentioned, the devaluation of the dollar, which he points out will lead to hyperinflation. Yet the more our national debt increases, and it's exploding, baby!, the less valuable our dollar becomes. Krauthammer reminds us that more and more voices are calling for the replacement of the dollar as the world currency.
So where will we be one year, or even six months, from now? Two years? The whole point of Krauthammer's peice is that we are headed in a very dangerous direction. I think when you compound the points he makes about Amercian ascendancy and decline, on top of all these inflationary issues and tax increases, we are, in fact, in grave danger. People are going to feel the pinch in that paycheck.
There is no doubt that some form of health care reform will pass; the Democrats don't need Republicans to do that. It will happen. Waxman-Markey is already in the pike. And if Pelosi wants a VAT, she's likely to get it; the Dems have to pay for their massive social agenda and domestic agenda somehow.
Pay close attention, folks. And remember, 2010 is coming.