Of course, it was only three months ago when Chairman Ben Bernanke admitted that he had “no idea” why our economy is so “fragile.” This is the man who has overseen the lending of more than $3 trillion American taxpayer dollars to foreign banks; the rapid-fire acquisition of the former giant Merrill Lynch by the gargantuan Bank of America; the multi-billion dollar taxpayer bailout of Wall Street; and – although he craft legislation or sign bills in to law, he nonetheless supported the $800 billion “economic stimulus bill” from the Congress and the Obama Administration.
And after all that – and before the latest stimulus effort announced less than two weeks ago – the Fed Chairman nonetheless admits that he has “no idea” what is wrong with our economy.
The talent, econometric models, and superb analysts at the Federal Reserve notwithstanding, Americans of all stripes need to come to grips with some basic economic realities. If it is still a goal of our country to create wealth and opportunity for all, then we’ll have to start demanding that our government officials think and act differently.
For example, we will not have entrepreneurs once again using those “fallow trillions” to create new businesses and jobs in large quantities, until we demand that government stops bullying private enterprise. Despite the claims at the recent Democratic National Convention that President Obama “saved G.M” with government bailouts, last week General Motors announced that it wants to sever ties with our government. According to G.M. leadership, the restrictions on executive salaries that President Obama has forced upon the company have put G.M. at a competitive disadvantage with other car companies.
The fact that the Obama Administration would use an entire car company to satisfy its political agenda of cutting executive salaries, even at the expense of the company’s wellbeing, does not create a business-friendly environment. It conveys to entrepreneurs that President Obama’s agenda is preeminently important, and prosperity is secondary.
And did you hear about the Gallup organization? After publishing both political polling data and unemployment data that reflected poorly on the President, Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod engaged Gallup in a series of intimidating conversations demanding that Gallup change their methodologies. Gallup didn’t budge – and mysteriously found themselves targeted with a lawsuit from the Department of Justice lawsuit over an “unrelated issue.”
Americans must also demand that both Washington, and Wall Street, embrace the economic wisdom of Main Street. Most of us realize that, just as a drunken person cannot drink himself sober, no individual, household, nor organization can borrow and spend itself out of debt. This reality applies to our government, as well.
Americans deserve, and must demand, better.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.