The Recovery Obama Won’t Allow

Robert Barro writes in the NY Times on Sept. 11 that lack of investment, not lack of consumption stymies our every attempt to stage an economic recovery. He is right. Though I do not agree with his proposal for a VAT (Value Added Tax), he does get to the heart of our current problems. Obama will never, ever, do what is right for the economy.

Is that too harsh? Get over it. Obama’s anti-business inclinations are legion and in evidence every time he opens his mouth in public. No matter how many colors he paints his proposals, they always come up a pallid shade of socialism.

Not that Obama openly advocates that we all become good Communists. Even his tin political ear is attuned now to the backlash from what is left of Sensible America. His instincts for governance, however, remain with government–more and bigger. He just masks them better now.

The jobs bill that the President will send to Congress today will do little to spur job growth. On this point, Barro is right:

Today’s priority has to be austerity, not stimulus, and it will not work to announce a new $450 billion jobs plan while promising vaguely to pay for it with fiscal restraint over the next 10 years…

The markets already know this, as evidenced by the whopping thud we saw Friday. Before the Left starts dragging out lame narratives of a political conspiracy ensuring Obama’s failure, let me assure you that businesses want to make a profit no matter who is in the White House or what color he/she is. Businesspeople want to invest and grow because that’s what they do. Thank heaven for that, too, otherwise we’d all be eating our freshly-killed lunches just outside a wet cave.

So why aren’t they? One comes away from Obama’s every proposal with the sense that he thinks he is striking a temporary bargain with Satan. Businesspeople don’t trust Obama one tiny bit because they know he will pull the rug out from under them the first chance he gets. An Obama in the White House for a second term in which he does not have to worry about re-election would be even worse than this first term, and that, my friends, is a mouthful.

A businessperson has to plan far into the future in order to make good decisions. That is hard enough without the Chief Executive going on and on about “the rich” paying their fair share. The businesspeople who make an honest living know that he cannot fathom the difference between them and the tiny band of crony capitalists at the heart of our stench-filled banking system. They know that he despises profit on principle and is only placating them now in order to have something to steal later.

Were Obama to adopt the principles required to get us out of this mess, he would have to repudiate the ones he holds so dear now. That ain’t gonna happen, folks, and not because Obama is brimming over with integrity. It is because in him is deeply ingrained an irrational hatred of commerce. He doesn’t understand it and he doesn’t like the fact that he needs it at all. The result is a mishmash of pathetic overtures to the private sector for the short term. In the long term, he is the fabled scorpion. We’ll find another way across the creek, thank you.

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About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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