The administration signed into law new banking and financial regulations that keep intact the very government agencies that helped precipitate the housing meltdown -- Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Under policies aimed at allowing everyone with a pulse and a dream to buy a home, these "government-sponsored entities" allowed the players in the housing market -- banks, borrowers, investment banks and buyers of "exotic securities" -- to play with taxpayer money.
The Obama administration's various government efforts to "keep homeowners in their homes" are floundering, serving only to postpone the necessary market re-pricing of homes that are now worth less than they once were. Cash for Clunkers induced people who were going to buy cars anyway into making their purchases earlier. When the program ended, car buying slumped. The result was more taxpayer dollars removed from the hands of producers and put into the hands of recipients.
The administration, with some Republican support, increased the minimum wage and several times extended unemployment compensation -- both well-intended policies, but job killers nonetheless.
Obama promised to raise taxes on the rich, who, under Bush, got tax cuts they "didn't need" and "didn't ask for." So the rich sit on their money, not knowing whether they will be allowed to spend or save or invest it -- or whether Washington has other ideas. Most Bush-era tax cuts expire at the end of the year, and if not extended, rates will go up on income, capital gains, dividends and estates.
The recent Republican takeover of the House and loss of the Senate's Democratic supermajority likely mean that the rates will be extended for all -- including the dastardly, job-creating rich. But businesspeople cannot plan -- and are thus reluctant to hire -- until they know whether their taxes are going to increase.
Candidate Obama demagogued against trade agreements that "shipped jobs overseas," and promised to tweak the Bush administration-negotiated treaty with South Korea. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the pact would create 250,000 jobs in America and it would open up exports to a NAFTA-sized market. But during his recent trip to Asia, Obama failed to get the South Koreans to go along with his changes aimed at benefiting the American auto and beef industries. The South Koreans said no, insisting that they had a deal and that if the U.S. won't do business with them, other countries will.
For two years, Obama has practiced Obamalism: Spread the wealth; redistribute income; punish success; reward ineptitude; and encourage the victicrat-entitlement mentality by making the lack of health insurance the responsibility of others.
Larry Elder is a syndicated radio talk show host and best-selling author. His latest book, "What's Race Got to Do with It?", is available now. To find out more about Larry Elder, visit his Web page at www.LarryElder.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2010 LAURENCE A. ELDER
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