Victor Davis Hanson observes what many economists already realize: when it comes to spurring investment, boosting business expansion, and creating the jobs needed to resurrect the economy, Obama’s quiver is empty of arrows. There is now a collective “Been there, done that” any time Barack Obama walks up to the podium to give yet another teleprompted speech [claiming that his adversaries] would expose children to mercury, neglect roads and bridges, and finally dissolve government altogether. His propaganda claims that the eight-month-old Republican-controlled Congress has foiled Obama’s legislative agenda for three years.
What Thomas Sowell wants from government concerning the economy is to leave it alone. History shows that a laissez faire approach allowing American entrepreneurs to do what they do best, create wealth, is most likely to succeed. The classic example is the Great Depression of the 1930s. What most people are unaware of is that there was no Great Depression until after politicians started intervening in the economy.
After the 1929 market crash, unemployment was briefly at 9%. It declined to 6.3% in June, 1930, when Congress passed the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. Soon, unemployment hit double digits, staying that way until 1940, including a 35-month period when it was over 20%. Obama’s schemes are like FDR’s, he smothered business with regulations and spent borrowed money hand-over-fist. Roosevelt turned a mild and short-lived recession into the Great Depression; Obama seems poised to do the same.
The crash of 1987 caused media demands for federal intervention, but President Reagan stayed the course. The market rebounded, and 20 years of low inflation, high employment, and prosperity followed. Intervention hurts the nation economically, but it is popular politically; FDR was elected four times, twice when unemployment was at today’s levels.
IBD’s view is that Obama’s so-called jobs plan is to increase taxes and spending; it is 100% politics. In typically devious fashion, President Obama kept it to himself that he was planning a full-frontal assault on tax deductions to "pay for" nearly $450 billion in new stimulus. He is attacking the very people and businesses that are vital to new job creation. Obama sees entrepreneurs as targets for revenue increases rather than essential elements in economic recovery. His plans for the oil and gas industries will reduce domestic oil production by 400,000 barrels a day, destroy 170,000 American jobs and lose $128 billion in government revenues.
UPI offers this bleak assessment. U.S. policy needs a complete overhaul to save the economy from a second Great Recession but instead U.S. President Barack Obama promises more of the same policies that have failed -- stimulus spending, higher taxes and onerous, ineffective business regulations and healthcare costs.
Rather than to address problems directly, Obama's jobs plan fails to increase domestic demand and will burden the economy with higher taxes and superfluous bureaucracy.
Obama is leading us on a downward economic gyre. Businesses cannot afford to expand or hire. Food and energy prices have skyrocketed due to quantitative easing. Apparently, this is all according to plan. In 2012, will we heed the Red Queen’s demand, “Off with his head,” or will we commit national suicide with Obama’s poisoned Kool Aid?
May your gods be with you.