21 Aug 2011

Why Obama is So Confused Right Now

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John Hinderaker shrewdly diagnoses the source of recent liberal paralysis of will in Washington.

Many liberals believe that government policies have little impact on the economy. A number have expressed that view to me privately. They think that the private sector will produce wealth regardless of what happens in Washington, and the only question is how to split it up. I think that is what President Obama and his advisers believed when he took office. The country was in economic turmoil from which it inevitably would recover, as it always does. When it did, Obama would get the credit.

In the meantime, the administration’s mantra was “never let a crisis go to waste.” Obama saw economic decline as an opportunity to pave the way for socialized medicine, to enact a near-trillion-dollar payoff to public sector unions in the guise of “stimulus,” and to extend the government’s control over various sectors of industry.

I think Obama and his advisers were genuinely surprised, not that their policies didn’t bring about economic recovery–they couldn’t have expected that–but that recovery didn’t happen of its own accord. That is why they are so nonplussed today.

I think John is perfectly correct.

Barack Obama and the democrats in general thought the Panic of 2008 was just a bump in the economic highway, contrived by smiling liberal Fates intending to deliver them into power. A panicked public would accept the leadership of the left during a momentary crisis and find themselves soon after living in a European-style welfare state. The New Deal’s march in the direction of socialism would be completed. President Obama would join the pantheon of progressive builders of grand collective entitlements, going down in history beside Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. The economy would fix itself; it always does. And President Obama would receive the credit for both the recovery and for Obamacare.

But, then, the economy did not heal itself.

There comes a point in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, after the announcement of Directive 10-289, when the efforts of capitalist heroes Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden to keep the railway system operating and steel mills in production begin to fail.

Somebody like James Taggart, one of the leftist supporters of the regime, begs Dagny or Hank to keep the failing system afloat. The hero assures the collectivist that the burden of regulations and redistribution has made it impossible. But we want it, insists the second-hander looting collectivist. It’s your responsibility to make it work for us.

Barack Obama is no more able to understand than James Taggart the incompatibility of limitless liberal demands and a viable economy.

2 Feedbacks on "Why Obama is So Confused Right Now"


Obama’s hope was the fallacy of Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc. He hoped that the “usual” recovery would be linked to the statist actions he planned to take.
As you point out, though, he (and much of the rest of the country, sadly) dwells in a Humpty Dumpty fantasy land where things are supposed to work in whatever manner they say they ought to. These are people who can simultaneously hold that taxes on carbon will result in less carbon dioxide, but that taxes on the most productive individuals won’t result in any less productivity. Shared sacrifice, being a morally superior position, must surely trump the behavioral laws of economics. Because the anointed one says so.
Remember “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Also sprach Zarathustra.

Chuck Gallup

There is only one important question in America.
Everything else is subterfuge and political dogma.
The question is: Who or what is Obama?


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