Regular readers know that I link to Charlie at AnotherThink often and there’s good reason. I think him to be filled with Godly wisdom and insight. His focus is nearly always on faith and his latest post is no exception however this time he steers expertly into a topic that should resonate:
President Obama had the misfortune to inherit a housing meltdown which precipitated a credit crisis which shocked the US economy. These things happened in the larger context of a global financial contraction. A wise man would have focused his limited power on rebuilding confidence and strength in the economy before embarking on any bold new initiatives.
The President demanded the impossible: he would restart the stalled economy while hobbling the industries and demonizing the entrepreneurs his party disliked; he would increase the cost of energy in order to force the country to adopt “green” technologies; he would increase federal regulation of markets and business; he would demand historic increases in government spending and taxes; and he would expand government programs while creating a new federal healthcare entitlement.
Two and a half years later, with the economy “unexpectedly” worse, unemployment stuck above 9%, government debt growing at a dizzying rate and consumer confidence draining away, the President has decided that the reason the impossible didn’t work the first time is that government just didn’t try hard enough. With a few more programs, another trillion or so for “shovel-ready” construction projects, a few more regulatory tweaks and a new menu of incentives and taxes, America will finally get back to work.
Insanity is doing the same dumb thing over and over again but expecting a different outcome.
The unfortunate truth is that this administration has precisely the wrong set of political instincts and experience to build a thriving economy. They know how to slow it down, but not how to speed it up. They know how to drain it of life by transfusing its blood into the ever-expanding public sector, but not how to create new life. Every purported solution the President’s advisers have tried so far has made the problem worse.
So, for instance, the EPA is rolling out new job-killing regulations that will increase energy costs and decrease energy supply. Job-boosting trade agreements with friendly countries are rotting in the basement of the White House. Profitable companies like Gibson Guitar, among the few which still manufacture their products in the US, are being harassed by federal wood inspectors. The National Labor Relations Board is threatening to hobble a huge new Boeing plant in South Carolina. The ubiquitous and inexpensive incandescent light bulb is about to become illegal. Mandated fuel economy standards on future cars and trucks have been increased to impossible highs. A new and unaccountable federal agency has been created to safeguard consumer credit “rights.”
And Washington is astonished that US economy is moribund.
A little humility in the highest offices of the land is greatly needed right now, and would be welcomed by most of us.
Go now and read it all to understand from whence Charlie’s wisdom comes.
And learn from it.