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09 September 2011

From Tragedy To Farce

Daniel Mitchell had a great post today at Cato's website.
Obama’s Economic Policy: From Tragedy to Farce

Posted by Daniel J. Mitchell

Herman Cain probably had the best reaction to the President’s speech: “We waited 30 months for this?” My reaction yesterday was mixed. In some sense, I was almost embarrassed for the President. He demanded a speech to a joint session of Congress and then produced a list of recycled (regurgitated might be a better word) Keynesian gimmicks. But I was also angry. Tens of millions of Americans are suffering, but Obama is unwilling to admit big government isn’t working. I don’t know whether it’s because of ideological blindness or short-term politics, but it’s a tragedy that ordinary people are hurting because of his mistakes. The Wall Street Journal this morning offered a similar response, but said it in a nicer way.
This is not to say that Mr. Obama hasn’t made any intellectual progress across his 32 months in office. He now admits the damage that overregulation can do, though he can’t do much to stop it without repealing his own legislative achievements. He now acts as if he believes that taxes matter to investment and hiring, at least for the next year. And he now sees the wisdom of fiscal discipline, albeit starting only in 2013. Yet the underlying theory and practice of the familiar ideas that the President proposed last night are those of the government conjurer. More targeted, temporary tax cuts; more spending now with promises of restraint later; the fifth (or is it sixth?) plan to reduce housing foreclosures; and more public works spending, though this time we’re told the projects really will be shovel-ready.
And let’s also note that Obama had the gall to demand that Congress immediately enact his plan – even though he hasn’t actually produced anything on paper! And then, for the cherry on the ice cream sundae, he says he wants the so-called supercommittee to impose a bunch of class-warfare taxes to finance his latest scheme. What began as tragedy has now become farce.

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