Donald Lambro

Obama came into office on a platform to redistribute the nation's income by taxing the rich and big business -- the people who invest the most and start businesses -- to expand a sea of giveaway programs that he said would "transform America."   

Obama soon set about giving away billions of dollars to environmental companies and other special interests that he said would produce millions of new jobs. But his turned out to be someone you wouldn't trust managing your own 401(k), let alone a nationwide investment portfolio.   

Many if not most of his federal investments created few jobs and some big ones went bust, including the notorious Solyndra solar panel company whose stunning bankruptcy cost taxpayers half a billion dollars.   

Thus, three years into Barack Obama's presidency, the once great American jobs machine remains broken, much of our workforce remains idle and capital investment is on strike.   

What this economy needs if a strong dose of venture capital investment, the mother's milk of a prosperous and growing economy and new job creation. And that is what Obama wants to tax and drive into oblivion.   

Our economy has lots of risk capital ready and waiting, but it's locked away in stock assets or cash accounts when it could be used to expand our economy and put people back to work.   

One stunning set of statistics illustrates the critical role that disappearing investment has played in the recession. Between the fourth quarter of 2007 and the recession's official end two years later, the economy shrank by just 5.1 percent, but investment expenditures fell by a job-crushing 34 percent.   

"The subpar recovery has coincided with a historically weak investment recovery," Harvard economist N. Gregory Mankiw wrote earlier this year in The New York Times in a revealing article titled "How to Make Business Want to Invest Again."   

Compare Obama's meek recovery period with the early 1980s when we had a severe two year recession that sent the jobless rate to nearly 11 percent.   

"That recession ended in the fourth quarter of 1982. In the subsequent two years, investment spending grew by a total of 54 percent. By contrast, in the first two years of this recovery, it grew by half that amount," Mankiw says.

What made that happen? The big difference between the two recessions is that President Reagan cut income tax rates across the board and reduced taxes on capital gain that unlocked a flood of new business investments that sharply boosted economic growth and job creation.   

We are presently on track to raise taxes on our entire economy if Obama has his way and the Bush tax cuts of 2001 are allowed to expire at the end of next year. That would push capital gains taxes up to 20 percent and choke off new investment.   

What the U.S. economy needs now is a strong dose of capital investment, the same medicine President Clinton signed into law in his second term that led to a surge in new jobs and a budget surplus.   

But that won't happen if Barack Obama, who remains ideologically opposed to this medicine, stays in the White House.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.