Larry Elder

President Barack Obama walked into the Oval Office in January 2009 during a severe economic downturn led by a meltdown in housing prices -- and promptly made things worse.

By bailing out banks, insurance companies and auto firms -- done to a lesser extent by the previous administration -- Obama rewarded poor performers and punished their better-managed competitors. Prevented from pouncing on wounded rivals and thus increasing market share or buying the assets of the wounded at fire sale prices, Ford, for example, watched GM and Chrysler get a cash infusion from taxpayers. Despite GM's recent "successful" public offering, taxpayers lost billions of dollars.

Obama and the Democratic congressional supermajorities passed a nearly trillion-dollar economic "stimulus" package and then proceeded to award fiscally irresponsible states with "stimulus" funds, helping postpone the day of reckoning when states must meet their budgets by reducing spending and cutting the size of government. Stimulus supposedly "saved or created" 3.5 million jobs, but it merely succeeded in transferring money from the pockets of producer taxpayers into the pockets of others.

Obama spends billions to "invest" in mythical "green jobs of the future." Investing is the job of the private sector, which uses private funds to produce a product that addresses a need or desire. Success is determined by the willingness of the consumer to pay good money for said product. A bad bet means somebody loses his own money -- a possibility that the private investor weighed before he chose to risk his capital.

But government "investments" are driven by politics, with decisions made by bureaucrats operating under rosy scenarios with romantic wish lists. When taxpayer money goes down a rathole -- as is far more likely than with privately invested money -- nobody gets fired, but the country is impoverished a little bit more.

ObamaCare puts 30 million Americans on the rolls of the medically insured. Since its passage, insurance companies -- citing the cost of ObamaCare mandates, rules and regulations -- jacked up their premiums and cut coverage. Over 100 waivers have been granted to companies and organizations that, but for these waivers, would have had to drop coverage, increase copays or reduce medical benefits. Nice to have friends in high places.

The AARP, a staunch proponent of ObamaCare, announced a reduction in benefits for its own employees, lest the tax kick in for so-called "Cadillac plans." To "bend the cost curve," ObamaCare promised cuts in Medicare reimbursement. So doctors are dropping their Medicare patients.


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.