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'We Can’t Wait!' Obama Harnesses More Control Over Private Businesses

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

“We Can’t Wait!”

Barack Obama often seems annoyed by the limitations of his office these days, especially with a Congress that occasionally disagrees with him.

So rather than let something silly like the co-equal branches of government get in the way, the President has chosen instead to harness the mantra “We Can’t Wait!” (do an online search with the mantra and his name), and then impose his controls over our economy by executive mandates.

With an unending supply of programs to stimulate everything from domestic tourism to farm production, President Obama has huge chunks of the American economy firmly within his grasp. 4 years ago this kind of government control seemed like a good idea to some, but who still thinks that way now?

I remember back in the fall of 2008 when I attended an Obama campaign “meet up” at a bar. It was in Phoenix, Arizona – the home of Mr. Obama’s opponent at that time, John McCain, and home to a brutal real estate crash - and a mortgage lender friend told me “you gotta come meet these people. They’re young, hip, smart, lots of MBA’s and lawyers, and they’re all supporting Obama.”

What I observed as I mingled with the young, hip, smart people was that they liked to talk about how young and hip and smart they believed Barack Obama to be. They’re confidence in this one man was unending, while specific details about economic and public policy concerns weren’t discussed much.

“Why did so many banks and borrowers agree to ARM loans in the first place?” I asked one of the hipsters, trying to engage a discussion about how bad government policy can incentivize bad consumer behavior. “Obama will implement a program to stop the foreclosures” was all the answer I could get.

“Why do healthcare insurers continue to raise their rates?” I asked another hipster, hoping we could talk about the ways in which government policy prevents competition among insurance companies.  “Obama has a plan to expand coverage and reduce premiums” I was told.  End of discussion.

That was in 2008. Now, after nearly three and a half years of President Obama’s all-seeing and all-knowing wisdom forcing private companies and individuals to do what he wants them to do, we should pause and ask ourselves:  does more government control over our economy produce more prosperity for us all?”

The President and his supporters like to pretend that anything short of Obama’s controls over the economy is tantamount to no government regulation at all.  “We can’t go back” the President has said, suggesting that before he became our ruler, banks and insurance companies and oil corporations were completely unregulated.

This, of course, is false.  Our economy is heavily regulated, and while some regulations are necessary and helpful, others are not. Federal law, for example,  forbids health insurance providers from competing with each other across state lines; it forbids oil corporations from developing petroleum energy throughout much of the U.S.; and federal banking policy – much of which emanated from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – incentivized reckless borrowing and lending during the last decade.

But one of the most costly and destructive realities of the Obama economy is the incalculable amount of taxpayer money that is being spent, and ultimately wasted, on things that benefit only the President and his supporters.  Take for example, the President’s signature healthcare reform law (“Obamacare” if you will).

Early in his term, President Obama sold his plan with glowing promises. “If you like your Doctor, you can keep your Doctor,” the President told us, and “this will bend the healthcare cost curve downward.”

Yet just last week, President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius reluctantly admitted in a Senate hearing that the funding mechanisms for government provide healthcare are collapsing, the costs of administering Obamacare are spiraling out of control, and since the law came in to existence the price of private insurance has skyrocketed, causing a few million Americans to lose their coverage. Obamacare has been horrible for everyday Americans, yet Mr. Obama enjoys the status of being the President to finally “reform” healthcare, and some 1600 other people enjoy the new government employment positions that the programs have necessitated.

A similar scenario has unfolded with the President’s “green energy” efforts.  Consider that since taking office in January of 2009, President Obama provided General Motors with more bailout funds (beyond the amounts that President Bush had handed-over to them in 2008); forced the resignation of former General Motors C.E.O. Rick Wagoner and handpicked his successor; mandated that G.M. step up production of the hybrid electric Chevy Volt; then offered government-funded subsidies to get people to buy the cars.

Despite all this, the Volt has sold so poorly that G.M. has called a five week production hiatus to allow “excess inventories” to get bought. Once again,  everyday Americans suffer the consequences of government control and planning, yet President Obama wears the “green” badge with pride.

The President’s mandates and controls are still hampering private businesses, while future generations of tax revenue are being spent on his selfish pleasures.  We desperately need of relief from his stranglehold – and we can only wait so long.

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