The American people can see President Obama’s fundamental transformation of America, and they are quite rightly worried about the resulting future for their children. In his eye-opening new book, Plunder and Deceit, Mark Levin explains the future President Obama’s so-called “progressives” are building for your kids.
Forget about the American Dream. That was the promise of the original, untransformed America, built by centuries of world leading, history breaking, compounding economic growth. Through that vision of America’s Founding Fathers, America grew to become the richest, most prosperous, and consequently most powerful nation in world history.
Churchill explained that the great vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. But the great virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. That is the future that Obama’s progressives are building for your kids. Plunder and deceit are exactly how those so-called progressives are winning that future today.
Levin reports that today’s younger people are the first in modern history to have higher levels of poverty and unemployment and lower levels of wealth and personal income than their two immediate predecessor generations at the same ages. Instead of growing up and starting their own homes and families, record numbers are moving back in with mom and dad after “graduating” from college.
That is because instead of jobs and prosperity, Obama and his progressives have delivered record-smashing deficits and national debt, and long term stagnation. That is the inevitable result of skyrocketing taxes, spending, and a national prison of walls of regulatory barriers and burdens blocking growth. The federal government itself projects decades of federal debt growing faster than GDP, which is the road to Greece, not to the American Dream. Levin emphasizes that national debt is another millstone on today’s younger generations.
Driving that road to fiscal ruin are the nation’s entitlement programs, which, while the baby boom generation is just now starting to retire, already account for 70 percent of all federal spending. That includes Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare and other federal health programs, Income Security (welfare), veterans benefits, and net interest on the national debt. By 2025, that will have grown to 78 percent. That leaves only 22 percent of the budget for everything else, including national defense and homeland security.
Social Security and Medicare are fundamentally constructed based on redistribution from younger workers to retirees, Levin rightly emphasizes. A lifetime of savings and investment by today’s working people through a personal savings and investment account alternative to Social Security would be the most powerful answer to the left’s concerns about inequality. It would also feed mighty rivers of saving and investment into the economy, promoting economic growth and prosperity by creating millions of new jobs, and skyrocketing wages and incomes. If you want smaller government, such reform has to be your number one priority. For shifting retirement benefits to be financed through private financial markets rather than through taxes and spending in the federal budget would involve the greatest reduction in government spending in world history.
But instead of economic growth and prosperity, what Obama’s progressives want is “degrowth,” Levin reveals. The concept of “degrowth” is opposition to economic growth and prosperity, seeking instead affirmatively to power down standards of living to return to the Dark Ages before the industrial revolution. Such “degrowth” is supposed to be good for the environment, and the final nail in the coffin of capitalism.
Levin explains that such degrowthers “reject the traditional economic reality that acknowledges growth as improving living conditions … . They embrace the notions of ‘less competition, large scale redistribution, sharing and reduction of excess incomes and wealth.’ Degrowthers want to engage in policies that will set ‘a maximum income, or maximum wealth.” No wonder they hate America, which has always stood for exactly the opposite, the most rapid economic growth and prosperity in world history, with no limits for anybody. In other words, precisely the American Dream.
“Degrowth” is another reactionary response to the industrial revolution, just like socialism, communism, Marxism, and, indeed, progressivism itself, which is just a polite, Americanized word for such reactionary philosophy. But degrowth is the most honest version of such reaction, because it openly embraces the ultimate results of such reactionism, which we see today in countries like North Korea or Cuba, or in the former East Germany.
Levin instructs, “Lest we forget, before the Industrial Revolution, for many centuries mankind’s condition experienced little improvement.” Life expectancy of 30 to 35 years was no higher in 1800 than for the hunter-gatherers millennia before. The stature of humans was higher in the Stone Age, reflecting both the nourishment of diet and exposure to disease as a child.
As Levin explains, under President Obama, “The EPA is the main federal governmental fortress for the degrowth agenda. Consistent with the ideological aims of the degrowth movement, the EPA has dedicated itself to gutting the production of carbon-based resources such as coal, oil, and natural gas as supplies of relatively cheap and abundant electricity and fuel. In recent years, the EPA has tenaciously ramped up its regulatory efforts to cripple the production of energy from these sources.”
Levin documents these observations, writing, “[I]n 2013, 2014 and 2015, the EPA released (or is planning to release) a series of regulations designed to destroy the coal industry and diminish the oil and gas industries.” One such regulation is the “New Source Performance Rule” (NSPS), which, as Levin explains “mandates that every newly constructed coal-burning power plant in the United States use a costly and unproven technology to reduce its carbon emissions. The cost of implementing this technology is so exorbitant it makes building most new, coal-burning power plants impracticable.”
Another is the “Existing Source Performance Rule” (ESPR) which, as Levin further explains, “sets preposterously high emission standards for power plants, including those that burn coal. The goal of this rule is to force current power plants that use carbon sources such as coal and natural gas to charge increasingly higher rates to consumers for power, eventually driving these energy companies out of business.”
Levin summarizes that these EPA rules would “institute by coercion major parts of the degrowth agenda through deindustrialization, drive up the cost of energy production and use, and ultimately drive down the quality of life and living standards of Americans.”
You have been manipulated and deluded by Democrat Party controlled “news sources” if you think any of this is necessary to counter man-caused “global warming,” or “climate change.” The incorruptible record of global atmospheric temperatures compiled by U.S. government satellites shows no increase in global temperatures for over 18 years now. That period of no global warming will soon be longer than the period of actual global warming, which only lasted 20 years, from the late 1970s to the late 1990s. Before that was 30 years of global cooling.
That global cooling is where we are headed now, based on the latest science, which indicates due to patterns of sunspot activity that we are headed back to a Little Ice Age within 15 years or so, similar to the extended period from about 1300 to 1850 A.D. Within the past year, the Heartland Institute has published three, one thousand page volumes of objective, dispassionate science, produced by global teams of top notch scientists, under the moniker Climate Change Reconsidered II, documenting that global temperature patterns are predominantly the result of natural causes, and the chance of human emissions of so-called greenhouse gases producing catastrophic results are essentially less than zero.
The discouraging trends noted by Levin seem to be cemented in place only because of the Democrat Party’s wildly overconfident, hopelessly left wing extremism in the Age of Obama. With Republicans now in complete control of Congress, the rule and reign of that extremism over the American people can be entirely displaced in next year’s presidential election.
Peter Ferrara served in the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under President George H.W. Bush. He is a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, and Senior Policy Advisor on the Budget and Entitlement Reform at the National Tax Limitation Foundation. He is the author of Power to the People: The New Road to Freedom and Prosperity for the Poor, Seniors and Those Most in Need of the World’s Best Health Care.