Everywhere the headlines seem to paint the same picture---a bleak jobs outlook, tepid economic growth, a declining stock market. Dare I say it, it's almost as if America is suffering from an economic "malaise." The ruling liberal elites and the chattering class of the press seem perplexed and bewildered that President Obama's vaunted stimulus package, not to mention his very presence in office, hasn't led to universal prosperity. Of course, there is one subset of the economy that's doing well, the public employee sector, beneficiaries of the Democrats' statist leanings. We'll accept the exception, noting our skepticism that public sector employment drives economic expansion.
Across our great nation one can sense the almost palpable anxiety of the people. Where are the jobs? How can I continue to provide for my family? As a physician I see a cross section of people in my practice, and anecdotally I can confirm the hurting is real and widespread. Our national sense of confidence has fallen so far that no one now even asks the quintessential American question, "Will my children be better off than I've been?'' Sadly, I think the expectation is that that's just not possible.
Contrary to the Democrats' expectations, the passage of Obamacare hasn't lessened economic anxieties. Instead, most people rightly understand that it transfers control from individuals to a bureaucracy, at an untold cost saddled onto our children and grandchildren.
Is there then no solution? Are our leaders correct? Obviously not. It's time to proclaim that the emperor has no clothes. President Obama and his socialist allies have no clue how to create jobs or grow the economy, themselves having never respected market economics and the creation of wealth. If the stakes weren't so high, it would be almost pitiful to see their bumbling incompetence revealed for all to see. Unfortunately, their worldview is so fatally flawed and intransigent that I fear there's no chance they will change their economic policy.
Here's a truth worth shouting from the rooftops. The single biggest hindrance holding back economic growth is the upcoming expiration of the Bush tax cuts, less than six months from now. Not only are employers staring down the oncoming freight train of the largest tax increase in history, incredibly that's just the devil they know. The devil they don't know is the degree of extra taxes that will be required to fund Obamacare and the various bailouts and other statist policies pursued by this Administration.
Employers generally aren't amenable to committing economic suicide, and I think the prevailing sentiment among entrepreneurs is one of hunkering down and simply trying to survive the times in hopes of a more friendly policy environment in the future. Incredibly, I hear no one in any position of authority even recognizing that there might be merit in maybe lessening the impact of the coming tax hikes.
It's discouraging. So many of our nation's policies are misguided, and we fear that we're continuing to head in the wrong direction. I've not even touched on foreign policy, or the fact that our leaders refuse to even recognize that our enemy is Islamic radicalism. Or that President Obama, who bows to kings and emperors, is probably viewed by real and potential foreign adversaries as a boob and an incompetent at best.
Over thirty years ago President Carter in one term managed to preside over a profusion of foreign policy disasters, among them the loss of Iran to Islamic radicalism, a high-profile and demoralizing hostage crisis in Iran punctuated by a disastrous attempted rescue debacle, the loss of Rhodesia to a thuggish dictator, and the encouragement of an aggressive expansionist Soviet foreign policy that required a man like Ronald Reagan to overcome. It's my fear that the fruit of a single Obama term will make the Carter foreign policy seem successful. With regard to Obama's economic policy, comparing the current situation to Carter's seems unfair to Jimmy Carter.
November can't come soon enough.