Bloodletting was once routinely prescribed to eliminate impurities that doctors believed caused disease. So when George Washington was stricken with malaria and a sore throat in December 1799, his physicians bled a quart of blood from his weakened body, and followed that with laxatives and emetics.
A few hours later, Washington died – from a cure far worse than the disease.
Today, our nation is in a recession. Millions are unemployed. The financial services, housing and stock market meltdown has hammered incomes, consumer spending, college and retirement savings, profits, tax revenues, charity, remittances and foreign aid. Europe, Asia, Canada and Australia are also reeling, and Mumbai has again shown how terrorists can disrupt lives and economies.
President-Elect Obama and Congress have responded with promises to spend $1 trillion or more, to bail out banks, homeowners, taxpayers, auto makers and other beleaguered groups; fix roads and bridges; and weatherize buildings, develop renewable energy and create “green jobs.”
The economic situation is so dire, they say, that we can’t worry about federal deficits. The “patient” needs a large “blood infusion” stimulus to “get the economy moving.”
But the proposed infusion is artificial blood: government loans, largesse and massive indebtedness for our children. How the patient will respond to these experimental treatments is uncertain. Reduced taxes and regulations would stimulate many more private sector initiatives and jobs; but those curatives are not on the table.
Instead, there is a real danger that the stimulus actions will be followed by the economic equivalent of medical practices that killed our first president.
The appointment of moderate economists to the Obama team cheered markets. However, energy and environmental appointments and proclamations underscore an agenda of higher taxes, more regulations and other malpractice that will ensure reduced investment, increased layoffs, shorter work weeks, and more families forced to choose between heat, food, medicine, gasoline, vacation and saving.
Precluding access to oil, gas, coal and uranium would deprive America of fuels that produce 93% of the energy that makes quality jobs, living standards, food, health and transportation possible. Locking up those resources would force us to continue spending our children’s inheritance on foreign oil – and to forego $2 trillion in leasing, royalty and tax revenues that could help pay for defense, bailout, stimulus, renewable energy and low-income energy programs.
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