Bill Murchison

Obama attempted a kind of Aristotelian gloss in telling the chamber, "The perils of too much regulation are matched by the dangers of too little regulation." "Matched"? That's a bit of a stretch, even when we take into account, as all should, the value of regulations desirable for public safety and the rule of law.

Total lack of regulations equals total anarchy -- not even any traffic lights. "Too much regulation" is a condition that describes the constraints facing -- to name two industries --- oil and banking, both so closely supervised by government as lately to impair employment and innovation.

The president used one word familiar to patrons of the marketplace -- "invest." That's what he wants business to do -- "invest in America" for the sake of jobs, etc. He used the same word in the State of the Union message with a different spin. The idea there was Spend Taxpayer Money on Green Energy and the Like. The difference? Business -- with the spirit of risk and venture Obama doesn't appear from his rhetoric to acknowledge -- pours money into a project with a clear, distinct idea of profits to come. A government "investment"? You equate that kind of money transfer with bridges to nowhere and ethanol subsidies: things government does inasmuch as from those things government expects voter gratitude.

The Chamber of Commerce and the president don't talk the same language. To them the same words mean different things. The words they speak past each other's heads. Oh, yes -- better by far the two parties should be talking than fighting. How much better if one of those parties -- guess which -- studied up on who started the fight and why?

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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