WASHINGTON -- Last Sunday the New York Times released a picture of President Barack Obama giving an interview to its reporters in Galesburg, Ill. Truth be told, he looked surprisingly gaunt. Not to put too sharp a point on it, but he looked desperate! He was in Galesburg to launch another series of speeches on the economy, which reportedly grew at an anemic 1.8 percent in the first quarter and is predicted to have grown even more slowly in the second quarter. During the economic recoveries of the Reagan-Clinton years, the economy grew at 3 to 4 percent. Our President spoke in Galesburg about income inequality. He ought to be concerned about growth for everyone, not only the middle class or the down and out. The problem is the economy is growing too slowly for everyone.
On Monday, he had Hillary Rodham Clinton over to the White House for a mysterious luncheon. It was not made known what they talked about, but my guess is that he asked her for the services of her highly accomplished make-up artist. The creases in her forehead and face run deep from her decades of service to the Clintons' great cause, namely, winning public office and putting a damper on all the attendant scandals that follow. She has subdued the collateral damage admirably. Now she can come to the aid of the president by handing over her gifted cosmetician. His needs grow with every quarter of economic inactivity.
In historic Galesburg, as he began what must be his seventh or eighth effort to get the American people to swallow his economic hogwash, the strain has been obvious. During his first years in office the wobbly economy was all George W. Bush's fault. Then it was the Wall Street bankers plus George W. Bush. At some point, even his dutiful supporters among the young, the illiterate, and the women desirous of free birth control are going to ask that he take some responsibility upon himself.
In Galesburg he spoke to a large throng and dissolved into gibberish. "This growing inequality isn't just morally wrong; its bad economics." As though he knew something about economics, and then he went on to say, "When middle-class families have less to spend, businesses have fewer customers. When wealth concentrates at the very top, it can inflate unstable bubbles that threaten the economy." So he wants to tax still more income from the fabled one percent to feed government's maw. That lessens inequality supposedly, but it also impedes growth. He also wants to end "sequestration" and spend money on such things as "infrastructure," which does nothing for long-term growth, as the money has to be paid back at some point -- hopefully at a time when President Obama is retired to his presidential library in Blue Island, Ill.