Barack Obama claims to be pro-growth. So does Greece, Spain, and almost everyone else. Why? Because admitting preference for the alternative—crushing, heavy-handed government interference that kills initiative and destroys wealth—is not attractive to any citizen of any country.
The problem lies in the meaning of “pro-growth”. As an unabashed capitalist, and as a supporter of free markets, I believe “pro-growth” means less government interference and more individual accountability where private sector businesses create the jobs and government pretty much stays out of the equation. But it's increasingly clear that our president has a much different idea and defines “pro-growth” far differently.
Of course, Barack Obama often says he is “pro-growth”—but the question to ask is: growth of what?
After three years in office, it seems rather clear that Obama believes in the growth of government. At the core of all of his policies is a belief that government can allocate resources more efficiently than can the private sector.
According to Obama, only the government can make wise “investments”. According to Obama’s view, private money and private investors are simply not as capable or as wise as is government in choosing the kinds of investments that will lead to growth and job expansion.
Not too surprisingly, Obama’s strange definition of “growth” is actually a call for a growth of government, growth of debt, growth of bureaucracy, growth of taxes and growth of government regulations. Barack Obama simply believes that taxpayers should be required (or compelled) to send more money to Washington where the political class can then decide how best to “invest” the money.
The “growth” that Barack Obama seeks, ultimately, is growth in government’s control over the lives of all Americans. As we have already learned from three years of watching our president try to apply this tragic economic theory, we have seen our economy stagnate as entrepreneurs and small businesses get squeezed. The only “growth” in Obama’s economy has been the growth of economically harmful and dangerous trends.
Obama has overseen a growth in the price of gas at the pump, growth in the nation’s dependency on foreign oil, growth in unemployment, growth in the number of people receiving and the amount of dollars allocated to entitlements, growth in the number of Czars designed to evade oversight from congress, even growth in the number of foreclosures.
In general, after three and a half years of the Obama administration’s “pro-growth” efforts, Americans are poorer and more dependent on the federal government.