Paul Greenberg

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The possibility that the patient might recover on his own, if just given the chance, never seems to occur to the doc. He is forever fiddling with the struggling American economy, poking it here and jiggling it there, prescribing everything except what it may need most: a good leaving-alone. Especially now that the economy is showing the first signs of recovery.

But our economist-in-chief just won't be still. He's always got more taxes to impose, more stimuless (sic) programs to propose. And the more he taxes and spends, the more unstable the economy seems, and the less certain its prospects.

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The administration's theories about the economy would work out beautifully if not for people. Contrary bunch, they keep going their own way, making their own decisions, and generally making a hash of the president's projections.

Somehow unemployment never fell to less than 8 percent, but actually rose on this president's watch. Despite his grand designs and sophisticated economic policies. ("The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design." --Friedrich Hayek.)

But with the determination of a true believer, this president presses on. Every time he loses a bet on this roulette wheel of an economy, he just doubles down on debt. How can he lose? Every time one stimulus fails to stimulate, he comes up with another. He's nothing if not game, so long as the money is somebody else's.

It was Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady herself, who pointed out the big problem with such a happy theory: Eventually the spenders run out of other people's money. Which is another reason it's hard to imagine how anyone can take President Obama's latest budget seriously, including President Obama. After all, he's an intelligent man. Surely he can see through himself.


Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.