“Get out of the way.” With this statement, John Galt articulated the simple and necessary policy solution to the disastrous centrally-planned economy in Atlas Shrugged. It’s also sage advice that President Obama should consider before he unveils his latest jobs plan before the Joint Session of Congress tonight.
This advice is strikingly prescient as our nation’s economy moves ever-closer to mirroring the calamitous state of affairs that befell society in Rand’s novel.
During his two and half years in office, Obama has crushed the labor market with a pro-statist agenda, which includes ObamaCare, the stimulus package, coziness to Big Labor, crony capitalism, and green-energy initiatives.
Of these policies, ObamaCare poses the biggest obstacle to job creation. If it’s found constitutional, the employer-mandate, and thousands of pages of regulations and bureaucratic mandates will hammer businesses with exorbitant compliance costs. Making matters worse, the pending legal challenges are causing uncertainty that leaves the business community stagnant. It’s nearly impossible for businesses to plan for the future when they have no way of predicting the structure of their healthcare plan.
Obama’s deep reliance on crony capitalism is another major hindrance to economic growth. During his administration, Obama’s campaign contributors and favored industries have been the primary recipients of government’s largess. This approach has lead to massive spending with very little results.
Take the solar firm Solyndra as an example. As part of the administration’s goal to create “green jobs,” Solyndra was able to secure two loan guarantees worth more than $545 million dollars since 2009. Yet despite the administration’s best effort to pick a winner in the market place, Sylondra recently filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy – leaving 1,100 workers unemployed and costing American taxpayers over half of a billion dollars.