Where is the long-overdue economic recovery? Buried under a heap of Obama tax hikes

Why are more and more Americans needlessly unemployed? Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics and a Keynesian, points his usually government-spending-loving finger squarely at Barack Obama's love of punitive taxation.

The well-to-do appear unusually sensitive to changes in their finances, probably because their nest eggs are significantly smaller with the drop in stock and housing prices. Only the top 3 percent of households would have to pay higher taxes if the president got his way, but this rarefied group currently accounts for a fourth of consumer spending. If they pull back, even a bit, the recovery could be derailed.

Successful small-business owners, who power the nation’s job-creation machinery, make up one-third of these high-income taxpayers. They have set up their businesses so that their profits are taxed at personal rates. Raising marginal tax rates, even a little, on those who have suffered during the past several years would be a mistake.

Zandi is no free-market conservative. In fact, he's open to the long-discredited idea of spurring economic growth by exploding government spending. But Zandi says this economic slowdown is like few others.

What does Keynesian Zandi prescribe?

Past experience with fiscal austerity at home and overseas strongly suggests that it is best for the economy’s long-run performance to restrain government spending rather than raise taxes, but taxes must also be part of our national debate.

In this recession, the government has necessarily made a string of momentous economic policy decisions. Some have worked well; others have been a disaster. We can’t afford any more mistakes.


James J. Kilpatrick, 1920-2010

James J. Kilpatrick, noted conservative commentator, author and columnist, sharp defender of federalism and states' rights and former segregationist who became a defender of a black handyman falsely convicted of murder, has passed away Sunday in Washington.

"Mr. Kilpatrick popularized interposition, the doctrine that individual states had the constitutional duty to interpose their separate sovereignties against federal court rulings that went beyond their rightful powers and, if necessary, to nullify them, an argument traced to the writings of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John C. Calhoun," The New York Times reports in his obituary this morning.

Though he changed his once-segregationist views on race, Kilpatrick did not embrace the power of the federal government to impose policy on the states outside its constitutional limits, brilliantly defending the conservative point of view, mostly notably on "60 Minutes" "Point/Counterpoint" segment through the 1970s.

A patriot to the end, Kilpatrick's home in Virginia's Blue Ridge mountains flew two flags, that of the United States and that of the Revolutionary War's Culpeper Minutemen.


Marshall calls out McDonnell for yet more runaway spending

Months after signing off on a budget that funds Planned Parenthood and taking a tax surplus and handing it out to government employees instead of refunding overtaxed citizens, Bob McDonnell is once again jumping at the chance to make sure Virginia government doesn't go on a diet. McDonnell is happily accepting his share of Nancy Pelosi's government union bailout rather than challenge local school boards to stop their runaway spending on bloated administrations.

At least one Republican is doing the right thing -- calling out McDonnell.

"To spend this money is to tacitly accept that [Republican congressmen] voted against Virginia's better public interest and that [Democrats] cast the better vote for Virginians," says Marshall.

Marshall is right. Big, bloated, expensive government is not in the public interest. Neither is taking part in the Obama administration's plan to pump taxpayer money into Democrat campaigns this election season by laundering it through government unions.

Between this, giving away the tax surplus to government workers, the near-million dollars in stormwater pork, funding Planned Parenthood and his defending the unconstitutional road tax from a lawsuit by citizens, is there any runaway spending Bob McDonnell doesn't like?