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Barack Hussein Obama: The Most Conservative Republican President Since Eisenhower

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Hm, let’s see here. During the first term of President Obama, we’ve got the lowest tax burden that we’ve had for the past sixty years. Does this sound like something a fiscal conservative would approve of? Absolutely.

During the first term of President Obama, 2011 saw the the lowest level of corporate taxation since 1972. Of course, it’s projected to go back to what was pretty much the average rate from 1987 to 2000, but no Republican president since Nixon can claim to have been such a friend to business when it comes to taxes. And let us not forget that despite the fact that America has the highest nominal corporate tax rate in the developed world, America actually has the second-lowest effective corporate tax rate in the developed world; please note the difference in the wording between the two. Of course, that’s not something that FoxNews would ever allow to see the light of day. But do such low corporate taxes sound like something a fiscal conservative would approve of? Certainly.

On the day that President Obama was sworn in, the Dow Jones closed at 8228 and our economy was in free fall. It would fall as far as 6763.29 before it began its long, slow climb. As of the time of this writing, the Dow Jones stands at 12,486.50, an increase of 34.21 percent since President Obama took the oath of office, and 45.85 percent from its nadir less than three months later. Would a fiscally conservative Republican president be boasting about such a performance by the stock market on his watch? You betcha!

During the first term of President Obama, government spending increased at its slowest rate since Eisenhower. Of course that doesn’t exactly match what Republicans have been saying about Obama’s “reckless spending spree”, so they’re doing their utmost to reject the Wall Street Journal-affiliated MarketWatch article by Rex Nutting, but I’ll go with what Politifact said about Nutting’s findings. Would such fiscal restraint be a “plus” in the eyes of a fiscal conservative? Oh, yes!

While the word “bailout” is verboten in modern conservative discourse (unless it’s used to insult liberals and Democrats), one can easily see Ronald Reagan not only approving of the bailouts (which were not bailouts, but loans) that rescued General Motors and Chrysler but also going on a publicity blitz (as he did with Lee Iacocca) to show the American people the record profits that GM was making only two years after the (wrongly named) bailout, not to mention the millions. Millions! Of jobs that were saved by the rescue of GM and Chrysler. But in today’s Republican party, Reagan would have been condemned as a tax-and-spend socialist, so we won’t count this particular accomplishment.

But enough about the economy; let’s talk other domestic issues. Under President Obama, the Department of Homeland Security has been deporting a record number of illegal aliens. Granted, there are many on the Republican side who would deplore such a record, but there are many more Republicans who would exultantly advertise such an accomplishment; if the occupant of the White House were a Republican, that is.

Under President Obama’s watch, the past two years have seen greatly-increased prosecutions of Medicare fraud, and the government recovered record amounts: over four billion dollars, in each of those years. This was done by bringing fraud enforcement into the twenty first century. Here’s a more detailed description of this “War on Health Care Fraud.” What would any conservative worthy of the title think of such aggressive enforcement against Medicare fraud? They’d be shouting it to the rooftops, and probably using it as an excuse to defund Medicare (except for those who comprise their political base, of course). But one wonders how many conservatives realize that the increased enforcement was enabled by the Affordable Care Act they hate so much?

About Glenn Contrarian

White. Male. Raised in the deepest of the Deep South. Retired Navy. Strong Christian. Proud Liberal. Thus, Contrarian!
  • Glenn Contrarian

    Les –

    There’s no way you’ll ever get me to believe that Gore would have invaded Iraq. For one thing, look at what Republicans do today – if a Democratic leader says “let’s do this thing”, the GOP will oppose it bitterly…whereas at the time the GOP had both houses of Congress and Dems were trying to hang onto office for dear life – they didn’t dare oppose Bush after 9/11, for to do so was political suicide. If Gore had said “let’s invade Iraq”, the GOP would have fought it tooth and nail (to their credit). But their fight would not have been because it was a matter of right and wrong, but because it was something the Dems wanted to do.

  • Les Slater

    Glen-

    The precedent to 9/11 was Pearl Harbor. The Roosevelt administration pushed Japan to the point that they felt the necessity to attack. This was a cold and calculated move on the part of that Democratic administration. The Tonkin Gulf fabrication was yet another example of the shenanigans of Democratic administrations.

    It’s been very many decades that there has been no fundamental difference between Democratic and Republican administrations on foreign policy. Now there ain’t a hill of beans between them on domestic policy either.

    It’s easy to claim that a particular politician WOULDN’T have done something IF they were in power. The record of their parties is what we must go on.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Les –

    Your error lay in the fact that regardless of how Japan was pushed by us – and there are several sides to that story – it was JAPAN that attacked at Pearl Harbor. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, except in the mind of the one who wanted them to be blamed.

  • Les Slater

    It doesn’t matter who actually fired the first shot in WWII. The war was wanted by the U.S. all the while the Democratic administration was whistling the isolationist tune.

    We also must not forget that several prominent industrialists and politicians were not so shy about fondness of Hitler, this included JFK’s father Joseph P. And then the Cold War against democratic rights started by Truman.

    There’s too much of a pattern to be dismissed by appeals to legality or ‘so and so would not have done that’. The Democrats have just as much blood dripping from their hands.

  • Igor

    @50-Les: obsessiveness and blind self-interest does not preclude crazy.

    They are not crazy.

  • Igor

    30 years of radical right rule in the USA have proven 3 things:

    1- trickle down doesn’t work. The cream is always skimmed off at the top. Nothing is left to trickle.

    2-deregulation leads to instability and crashes. Hey sucker, we just bet your savings on the latest bubble.

    3-tax cuts for the rich and corporations does not produce jobs. They just take the money and run.

  • Les Slater

    I’m not saying that agents of capital can’t be crazy. What I am saying is that capital has a force and logic of its own irrespective of anyone’s desire or ability to control.

    It’s neither the individuals nor their collective efforts that are primary in the operation of the capitalist system. It’s the markets themselves; all its agents are but cogs and are quite interchangeable.

    Only people consciously organized in opposition to the markets can put a stop to this insanity.

  • Igor

    Economists have known for 200 years that capitalism is unique in that it’s boom/bust cycle is systemic, i.e., results from the internal organization of capitalism and not from externalities like war and famine.

  • Les Slater

    Igor -

    As a matter of fact war and famine now have more to do with the capitalist system than any other cause, including nature.

    You mention the past 30 years of radical right rule. That would have to include the Clinton and Obama regimes. Terms such as right or left lose their meaning in such context. I wouldn’t say they’re radical either. It turns out the bipartisan drive to shore up sagging profits, or more properly, rates of return on investment, has become the mainstream status quo.

    This phenomena has actually been going on for more than 30 years. I put the most significant date as August 15, 1971. In the broader sense it has everything to do with WWII. The U.S. did not really come out of the depression until the gearing up for war production. The main thing though that saved world capitalism’s ass was the huge destruction done to much of the world’s productive capability.

    It was the investments in rebuilding this destroyed capacity that gave rise to the post-war economic boom centered in the United States.

    This was very profitable for U.S. investment but eventually created powerful competitors. Somewhere around the mid 60s the relative economic power of the U.S. peaked. The legally declared gold exchange rate of the dollar was no longer sustainable.

    Along with going off the gold standard in 1971 the Nixon administration instituted a ‘wage/price’ freeze. The only serious intervention was to attempt to put a damper on wages.

    By the mid 70s it became quite clear that what we see happening now, would happen, on both economic and political fronts, including attacks on democratic rights.

  • Igor

    This is a strange statement: As a matter of fact war and famine now have more to do with the capitalist system than any other cause, including nature.

    What argument do you base that on?

    Intrinsic instability is the most prominent quality of capitalism.

    Bubbles.

    Bubbles.

    Recurrent bubbles are the signature of instability.

    Incidentally, we capitalists LOVE bubbles and instability because we win when extrinsic value is unrelated to intrinsic value: on both the win and the lose side.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Igor –

    You sound like an options trader.