01.03.2012 0

2012 — Battleground for America’s future

Obama 2012 LogoBy Richard Manning — Hold onto your horses, 2012 promises to be even more filled with political acrimony, finger pointing and low approval ratings than even the just departed 2011, but that is not a bad thing.

Every piece of legislation, regulatory action, speech and appointment coming out of Washington, D.C. in 2012 will be subjected to intense political scrutiny as advocates for vastly increased government responsibilities and power seek to maintain control of the White House.

Yes it is going to get contentious and personally I am glad.  Our country and its future are worth fighting for, and there are two distinct views on that future.

The current occupant of the White House won with calls for “change” and a promise that he would be the first post-partisan president.  He has spent the past three years attempting to institute a transformative government whose powers extend deeply into the economic and personal lives of every American.

From Obamacare which was designed to not have a major individual impact until after the 2012 election but will permanently change a patients relationship with their doctors to far reaching environmental rules that have taken forty year old laws and used them to expand standards resulting in the likely shut down of more than 75 coal burning electric power plants threatening the very electricity grid that Americans take for granted.

Obama’s attempts to transform the workplace by creating rules in an attempt to force labor unions back into relevance, and force companies to get government approval prior to building manufacturing plants in states where workers have a choice to not choose to be a union member.

The Obama economy has created an even more transformative event, fewer people now pay income taxes than don’t in America ensuring that any income tax cuts in the future will be cast as for the “rich” and not for the “majority of Americans.”  In the not too very distant future, a majority of Americans who do not pay income taxpayers will likely view it as their right to tap the pockets of those who do creating a tipping point where the government beneficiaries enslave those who produce wealth.

That is where we are at.  The past year has seen skirmishes fought, but the willingness of Obama and his sycophantic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to plunge the country toward default or a government shutdown and the unwillingness of Republican leaders in either the House or Senate to call their bluffs has led to a virtual stalemate in the budget with little progress made toward reversing the on-going one trillion dollar plus U.S. deficits that threaten the U.S. and world economies.  And even little agreement on whether it is important to cut the deficits at all, as Obama’s intellectual left argues for ever more spending coupled with higher taxes on those unfortunates who happen to be successful financially.

In this framework, this year will see at least five areas where this battle will play out:

1. Obamacare — The regulatory machine facilitating the government takeover of America’s health care system will continue to roll onward with sparks flying over particularly onerous rules.  The insurance co-ops consisting of small cells fueled by taxpayer loans will begin the process of dislodging existing insurance providers from system.  Government projections are that more than a third of these co-ops are likely to fail creating the debris of dozens of mini-Solyndras and confusion in their midst.

On top of the regulatory mechanism grinding the pre-existing health care system into extinction, the Supreme Court will be hearing and deciding upon the constitutionality of Obamacare.  No matter what the decision, Americans will be debating what their relationship with their doctor should be throughout much of the upcoming year.

2. European bailout — All of the king’s horses and all the kings men, couldn’t put socialist European economies together again in 2011, and as the situation control the United States taxpayers will be asked by Obama within the first six months of 2012 to stand in the gap to prevent the collapse of the European Union.  Already, U.S. taxpayers are bailing out Greece, Portugal, and Ireland through the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Congress is likely to consider Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers legislation which would rescind the $100 billion line of credit that was granted to the IMF by the Pelosi-Reid Congress in 2009 in order to prevent a raiding of the U.S. Treasury by this extra-national entity to pay for the excesses of European socialism and to make whole those bankers who enabled and were trying to reap the last bit of money that could be siphoned off of the European government debt death spiral.

3. Regulatory overreach — As Obama faces an even more difficult election year Congress where even his political party mates in the Senate race to the middle in a once every six year dash to seem like they represent the people in states like Montana and Missouri, rather than their far left D.C. benefactors, he will resort to imposing his will through even more extreme regulations.

This process has already begun as Obama’s Labor Department is in the process of issuing regulations under the guise of child safety that will prohibit farm kids from working on the farm and the National Labor Relations Board has issued regulations that say independent contractor musicians can now be unionized because they cross their legs and the conductor tells them how loudly they can play.  These are just the beginning of the regulatory silly season where the Administration ignores the regulatory rule making laws in order to press their agenda before the election.

4. Environmental rules versus jobs through energy development — Obama needs the environmental movement to be “all in” for his election campaign.  Obama also needs jobs to be created in order for him to make the argument that he has turned America around.  The Keystone XL pipeline is just the first of many decisions that he will face this year which put these two election imperatives in opposition.

It can be anticipated that Republicans will force Obama and Democrats to choose between their environmental extremist allies and economic growth and jobs.  It is likely that arguments will rage over the 800,000 job killing EPA boiler regulations, the Interior Department’s failure to re-open oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico even as Cuba and China are punching holes as fast as they can, and the shutting down of up to 75 coal fired electricity generating plants on the altar of preventing minute amounts of mercury emissions (while encouraging every American to put mercury laden light bulbs in every socket in their homes.)

5. Election process and voter registration guidelines — Every ten years America goes through a process of changing the representative districts to reflect population shifts.  This process puts an inordinate number of incumbent elected officials in political jeopardy.  When combined with a presidential race, it is guaranteed that both new and legacy media will be filled with stories about the political electoral process.

Layered on top of the redistricting ramifications, the Obama Justice Department and many on the left have declared war on state laws which seek to ensure that only those who are actually eligible to vote, get to participate at the ballot box.  This battle over who gets to vote becomes even more significant with the increased prevalence of mail in voter registration and mail-in voting.  These two innovations have made it so an actual voter may never actually have to be seen by another living soul, and opens the door to the potential of voter fraud that the old Daley machine could only have dreamed about.

This fight over who gets to vote and where will be filled with accusations of racism and over the top claims by the left, but ultimately, it is about the very integrity of our democratic republic.   If the American people become convinced that the ballot box is not legitimate, the fabric that holds together a belief in our system of government will be ripped to shreds and our political freedom will be lost forever.

While there are many other obvious battleground backdrops in 2012 ranging from the budget to potentially nuclear Iran, to the various wars our brave military men and women are fighting around the globe, the battle for America’s future will largely be fought here at home.

Ultimately, in November of 2012, there will be no split decision and our nation’s future will be set.  To paraphrase Bette Davis’ famous line, “Fasten your seatbelts — it’s gonna be a bumpy year!”

Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government. You can follow Rick on Twitter at @RManning957.

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