Editors' Note: Every month, Townhall Magazine highlights some of the outstanding blogs written by users in our community. The following is an entry from Lance Thompson of Low Down Central and appears in the April issue of Townhall Magazine.
Transformational candidate Barack Obama is now President Obama. His promises to change the way Washington works, bring health care to all, alter world climate, restore America’s prestige and solve our economic crisis will now be put to the test.
Obama supporters might have expected their man to come in with a game plan to do all of those things, full of innovative ideas and inspired strategies to right our ship and put us back on course.
Instead, Obama comes to Washington with an alarmingly simple program. Basically, he wants all the money we have and to bury every single problem under mounds of freshly printed currency.
Banks failing? Bail them out. Auto companies floundering? Send cash. Medical costs going up? Create the world’s most expensive and all-encompassing HMO. Poor people complaining? Send them checks.
Obama’s approach has the merit that liberals seem to prize most—consistency. Every problem can be solved by spending “billions and billions.” Astronomer Carl Sagan’s near-infinite estimate of the number of stars in the universe now seems like spare change when talking about federal dollars.
There are two troubling aspects to Obama’s approach. First, the economic crisis, sparked by unqualified homebuyers defaulting on their loans, is a crisis in which the value of American real estate, stocks and other investments is sharply declining. In short, American taxpayers are short of money. It’s very difficult to argue that the shortage of taxpayer money can be solved by spending more taxpayer money and then borrowing against future taxes many times what the expected revenue will be.
In addition to the irresponsibility of this approach, it points to an uncomfortable question. Was this Obama’s plan all along—to dump the burden of the economy on the dwindling percentage of American individuals and businesses that pay taxes? That certainly seems to be the case with Obama’s “tax relief,” a scheme in which the 60 percent of Americans who pay taxes will see that money split among the 100 percent who live here.
If solving the nation’s economic woes is really just a matter of massive deficit spending, then Obama’s campaign was exactly right. Hope and change are all we need. Experience as a chief executive—unnecessary. Knowledge of business and the private sector—Who needs it? A résumé with actual accomplishments—that’s so last term! If Obama’s approach to economic crisis is merely to write checks that the Treasury can’t cash, then the only experience a president needs is that of overspending, overtaxing and underperforming. Perhaps a community organizer from Chicago has all the qualifications necessary.
Whether he does or not, we shall soon have our answer. But it won’t come cheap.