If I’d heard the following words, instead of reading them, I might have assumed they were being delivered by a President Obama impressionist on “Saturday Night Live.”
But the words were from Obama himself in his latest weekly radio address. “I wish I could tell you there was a quick fix to our economic problems,” he said. “But the truth is we didn’t get into this mess overnight, and we won’t get out of it overnight. It’s going to take time.”
Obama has repeated this line ad nauseam ever since it became impossible to deny that reality had shattered his arrogant guarantee, more than two years ago, that he would keep unemployment below 8 percent if we would just pass his $800 billion “stimulus” package.
At the same time, he also introduced his phantom metric of “creating or saving” 3.5 million jobs — a device that was as bloated with sophistry as Bill Clinton’s verbal gyrations with the word “is.” Though the claim is as improvable as it is immeasurable, our sustained horrendous unemployment levels nevertheless render it insultingly ludicrous on its face.
Obama apparently has no plays in his playbook other than to call for more government intervention and further blame his predecessor. He believes economic growth can only be rekindled through government intervention at the direction of his band of central planners.
So what type of grandiose government plan does he have in store for us now? He has proposed — and been met with fierce opposition to — further “stimulus” bills and a separate high-speed rail program that he is convinced we need even though the American people and the states disagree.
Undeterred, he’s pursuing other government programs to stimulate economic activity, such as smothering oil drilling in the Gulf, extending unemployment benefits, promoting quixotic alternative energy sources and new automobile emission standards, higher tax rates for the evil rich, a government takeover of health care, further bailouts for Greece, and obstructing entitlement reform. Oh, wait, those wouldn’t stimulate the economy.
What about Obama’s Ivy League economic advisers, who know how to make an economy hum — the theoretical, classroom widget-centered economy, that is. Not the real world. For in the real world, they’re fresh out of ideas and full of excuses.
Instead, they just keep quitting — not amid the shame they’ve earned, but in counterfactual triumph — and returning to their cushy jobs in academia, where on their obedient blackboards they map out compliant economic models “proving” that government spending would trigger those fabled multipliers and cause their phantom economies to explode.
Meanwhile, back at the real White House, Obama dithers and points fingers. Oh, yes, he perfunctorily apologizes from time to time for not making jobs his first priority, but then he continues not to make them his first priority, until it’s time for the next speech to blame Bush again. And so it goes.
Increasing numbers of economic analysts are warning that our fiscal condition is even worse than that of Greece, which has become the metaphor for national bankruptcy, but Obama persists in lusting after the European socialism “ideal.”
Reasonable people, unshackled by the poisonous class-warfare mentality that has Obama imprisoned in a no-growth straitjacket, realize that we have to decrease government regulations and cut taxes if we want to rejuvenate the economy. Even Obama’s former White House aide Larry Summers is calling for tax cuts for that purpose. But more urgent components of any recovery plan are dramatic spending cuts and entitlement reform.
President Obama is correct that it has taken a long time to get into this mess. And without question, it will take a long time to pay down the national debt. But he’s wrong that it should take a long time to reverse the economic malaise we’re in, unless he means as long as we continue with his anti-growth policies.
It’s time for him to man up and quit pointing scapegoating fingers at George W. Bush. Upon inheriting an egregious economic mess and unimaginable “misery index” from President Carter, President Reagan didn’t proceed to blame Carter. He rolled up his sleeves and inside of a few years had the economy soaring again.
Obama must declare a cease-fire in his war on business and the private sector and abandon his pursuit of environmental nirvana. If he and the ruling class would finally legislate into existence a comprehensive reform plan, such as that proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, to repeal Obamacare, cut nonmilitary discretionary spending and income tax rates, implement structural entitlement reform, and eliminate onerous government regulations, we would see an immediate and profound reduction in the crippling anxiety that envelops this nation over our uncertain future. We’d see a genuine explosion in consumer confidence and economic growth that would make Obama’s further scapegoating utterly moot.