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Works and Days

Government by the Faculty Lounge

June 13th, 2010 - 9:20 am

The Professors Are In Charge

We are being run by the mindset of the faculty lounge, as if the philosophy or English department has taken over running the country. Let me adduce some random examples.

Taxes

Tax proposals in haywire fashion are thrown out almost every day from various Obamians, as if at a faculty bull session over coffee. Can we count them all — much less can small businesses plan to hire a worker when they don’t know how much more they will shortly owe the government?

Here is what we hear from Barack Obama: a restoration of the death tax. Trial balloons for a national sales tax or a VAT. How high will capital gains hikes go? Rates are to go back to or beyond (?) the Clinton income tax schedules? Was the cap to come off income exposed to the full FICA bite, and was it to be set at $150,000, $200,000, or $250,000? What exactly is the new health care surcharge? And when and if these federal income hikes are added to the states’ raises in state income, property, and sales taxes, what will the aggregate tax bite be? Does anyone know? Do any of these guys care how “they” are going to make enough money to pay “us”?

Finance

Match that tax uncertainty with a weird financial policy. Are Americans really saving more or is the new thrift simply a result of skipping out on mortgages and maxed out credit cards that has resulted in less collective debt —the banks eating the loss quite well by paying depositors about 1% on their savings while lending out at 6% and more, or having the government cover their bad debts? Are we not seeing a massive transfer of wealth as retirees and savings holders are getting nothing — or rather less than nothing when inflation is factored in — on their money, while debtors pay little in interest and now find class sympathy by not honoring their obligations? Is not the person who borrowed, spent, and defaulted now seen as the better American than those who saved, paid on time, and passed something on to their children? It’s as if the economics and political science departments now set  policy.

Race

Let me review the progress of the last two years, because the national mood reminds me of the free speech area at any California university where groups segregate by race while their professors celebrate “diversity.”

We had a green czar who claimed that whites pollute the ghetto and are more likely to be mass murderers. Our attorney general called the nation one of “cowards” for not holding racial conversations on his terms. He has no interest in trying Black Panthers who disrupted voting, but a great deal in trying the architect of 9/11 in a civilian courtroom, replete with Miranda rights, in Manhattan a few hundred yards from Ground Zero.

The Black Caucus, stung by serial charges against its members of corruption, wishes to prune back the House Ethics Committee as we now know it, presumably because it is “racist” as a bad messenger of inconvenient tidings.

The president came to the defense of a shrieking Harvard professor (not much going on in the world elsewhere) by claiming the police acted “stupidly” and characteristically stereotyped the non-white. Our new Supreme Court justice believes race and gender inherently make people smarter, or in her words a “wise Latina” is often a better judge than the old white guys who dominate the courts.

The doyen of the White House press corps, a liberal icon with a front-row seat at briefings, wishes not just that Israel disappear but that the Jews go back to Poland and Germany — and wins praise from Hezbollah and “sympathy” from her peers in DC.

Our governors of Massachusetts and New York allege their own unpopularity is due to racism — in the manner apparently unlike a most unpopular California governor who earned bad polls on his own.

To suggest that the president should not have said “kick ass” or “bring a gun to a knife fight” or “get in their face” or “tear up” a talk show host is to traffic in anti-black stereotypes.

Note the “no more disown Rev. Wright,” clingers of Pennsylvania, and “typical white person” of the campaign led to the above, just as the above in the next two years will lead to even more — given that our president has always sensed that racial identity politics is a sanctuary for setback and an embryo for career promotion.

Are the ethnic studies departments running the country?

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