There is one certainty about the shape of things to come if President Barack Obama wins approval of his extraordinarily ambitious proposals to remake America: We won’t recognize our country when he’s finished.
Perhaps the most prominent feature of Obamaland will be long lines, starting with the unemployment offices, thanks to coercive new powers to force unions on unwilling workplaces, and the skyrocketing prices for gas and electricity that his anti-global warming energy program will produce.
On the labor front, Andy Stern, head of the Service Employees International Union, optimistically predicts labor will gain “1.5 million members a year, not just for five years but for 10 to 15 straight years,” with many of the gains coming in the 22 right-to-work states located mainly in the South and Southwest.
Stern’s optimism is based on his confidence that the Democratic Congress will pass the horribly misnamed Employee Free Choice Act, aka card check, that abolishes secret ballots in workplace representation elections. Obama has repeatedly promised to sign the bill into law. But those new union members will cost millions of jobs for others, according to multiple data-driven studies. Anne Layne-Farrar, an economist with the nonpartisan LLEG Consulting, projects that unionizing 1.5 million jobs via card check in its first year would result in 600,000 lost jobs the next. That’s like the entire city of Boston becoming unemployed.
And it would get worse in every succeeding year because for every 3 percent gain in union membership, there would be a 1 percent drop in employment nationwide, according to Layne-Farrar.
Millions more people will be forced into unemployment lines by Obama’s embrace of former Vice President Al Gore’s strident predictions of imminent ecological disaster caused by global warming, purportedly caused by man’s excessive burning of carbon-based fossil fuels, chiefly oil.
Gore failed during the Clinton years to gain passage of a carbon tax, but Obama’s cap-and-trade program amounts to the same thing. Obama’s plan aims to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2030.
In the meantime, companies that exceeded the annual emissions reduction goals would be able to sell “carbon credits” to companies that fail to reach the goals, with the government collecting revenue on each transaction. Estimates of how much revenue will be raised range from $645 billion to as much as $1.8 trillion. The problem is that every penny of cap-and-trade revenues paid by corporations would be passed on to consumers, making the program effectively a back-door tax increase of massive proportion.
That tax increase will cost as many as four million more jobs, according to the American Council on Capital Formation.
Finally, there is Obama’s vision of a nationalized health care system. A Federal Health Board like that envisioned by former Sen. Tom Daschle, Obama’s first choice as secretary of health and human services until unpaid taxes derailed his nomination, would become America’s equivalent to Britain’s National Health Service.
Among much else, Obama’s FHB would ration health care treatment based on Competitive Effectiveness Research that ranks treatments for specific conditions according to a complex array of factors like cost, cure rates, patient age, and drug prescriptions.
As Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute notes in her “Top 10 Myths of American Health Care,” long waiting lines for doctor visits, medical tests, and surgeries are commonplace in Britain and Canada, which have similar nationalized health care systems.
As Sen. Jim DeMint noted Monday in The Examiner, Claire Everett, a 23-year-old British wife and mother of two small children, died last September of lung and lymph node cancer. She died because under Britain’s version of the CER standards, women under 25 were denied the screening tests that would have caught Everett’s cancer early enough to be treated and saved her life.
Good luck to Kathleen Sebelius, Obama’s second choice to head HHS, when she tries to explain to millions of potential Claire Everetts in America why their treatment is being prescribed not by a doctor, but rather by research averages.