Tony Blankley

It has become sadly obvious that even if the current administration veers into an occasional pro-business policy (such as the lame duck extension of the Bush tax cuts) -- investors and businesses correctly have become convinced that the administration's default policy position is a social justice based ideological hostility to free markets, business and profits.

Thus, it has become not only a political fact, but probably an economic fact as well, that the "uncertainty" will only dissipate -- and thus recovery begin -- with the departure of the current administration after the 2012 election.

If a sizable percent of the voting public comes to the same conclusion that investors and businesses have clearly come to, then even current supporters of the president may well conclude that his presidency has become an obstacle to economic recovery. With the current Gallup polling data, among many others, showing that only about a quarter of the public has confidence in the president's economic policy, it is a fair guess that the public may be moving to the business and investor view of the matter.

Thus, only by a legislative embrace and resulting statutory law of such free-market policies, could the president convert his presidency from being seen as an obstacle to recovery into a force for recovery.

But here is the point about the president's speech. A speech -- any speech -- will no longer do it for the public on the matter of the economy. If he proposes a timid hodgepodge of previous proposals, including some reference to $4 trillion dollars in deficit reduction over the next 12 years, it is unlikely to change the economic fact that investors, businesses and the public have lost confidence in the president.

If he proposes new "shovel-ready" spending, the various chambers of commerce, understandably, will support it because it means dollars to their members. But while they will take the money with smiles, they will not change their view of the larger danger of Obama's economic policy.

If he proposes a Paul Krugmanesque left-wing, anti-bank, huge statist initiative, he will thrill his deflated base, but he will not gain enactment of his proposal, he will not change the economic facts, and he will not regain the public confidence in his presidential stewardship of the economy.

Of course, it is always possible for the economy spontaneously to explode with growth and jobs -- half a million jobs a month for the next year, say. But few economists of any stripe believe that any longer.

I concede it is extraordinarily unlikely that the president would take up my free-market economic policy proposal. Sadly, many presidents, both Republican and Democratic, fail because they remain enthralled to their early policy positions -- ineffective as they may have proven to be -- and find themselves emotionally unable to divorce themselves from those early mistakes.


Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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