It was back in the early days of the Clinton administration, perhaps, that the lines began to blur. Bill Clinton appointed key members of his campaign message team to his White House staff. Guys like George Stephanopoulos realized campaigning was easier than governing, so the unending campaign was born.
Let’s face it: People expect to be misled during a political campaign. Candidates promise to deliver jobs, slash taxes, control spending and dozens of other things that we know, once in office, they’ll be unable to deliver.
President-elect Barack Obama engaged in that during his own campaign, of course. His “tax cut for 95 percent of Americans” isn’t likely to materialize, for example. Those gullible enough to vote for him on the strength of that promise deserve whet they get.
Problem is, some weeks after the election, Obama’s still at it -- making campaign promises instead of actual plans.
Consider his big economic plan, announced over the weekend. He’s purportedly “developing a plan to create or preserve 2.5 million jobs over the next two years by spending billions of dollars to rebuild roads and bridges, modernize public schools and construct wind farms and other alternative sources of energy,” The Washington Post’s front-page story announced.
Wow. What a great idea.
Our country has been cursed with some foolish leaders, and blessed with some great ones these last two centuries. Isn’t amazing that nobody ever thought of this before? Apparently, when asked whether the government can eliminate unemployment, its answer is supposed to be, “Yes we can.” Now, few reporters seem to think President Bush is the smartest man to ever occupy the Oval Office. But they need to ask themselves, “If Washington can create these jobs, why didn’t he do so?”
Clearly Bush would be leaving a better legacy if he could create jobs by, say, building wind farms.
The evidence that Obama’s plans won’t work is right there in the same newspaper.
“The federal government has invested billions of dollars over the past 16 years, building a fleet of 112,000 alternative-fuel vehicles to serve as a model for a national movement away from fossil fuels,” another front page story began. “But the costly effort to put more workers into vehicles powered by ethanol and other fuel alternatives has been fraught with problems, many of them caused by buying vehicles before fuel stations were in place to support them.”
In fact, the government’s green plans have actually made things worse.