Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say, Part 2

What is the President really planning to do? You may be justifiably confused if you listen to what he says and compare it to what he does.
Editorial: Obama's proposal, goals don't line up
He promises fiscal discipline and expensive new initiatives

The Detroit News
February 25, 2009

Credit President Barack Obama for heeding calls to strike a more hopeful tone in his address to Congress and the nation Tuesday night. Americans needed a break from the relentless predictions of economic doom and to instead hear that things will indeed get better.

But the programs, policies and promises laid out in his speech are a mess of contradictions that the president will have to reconcile if he hopes to keep the public's confidence.

An overriding theme of the address was fiscal responsibility. Obama repeated his promise to halve the federal deficit, now well in excess of $1 trillion, by the end of his first term. Even if he does that, it will merely take the deficit back to where it was before the stimulus spending began late last year. Overspending revenues by a half-trillion a year doesn't shout fiscal discipline. ...

And pledging a tax hike on those Americans who invest the most private money in the economy would seem to work against the president's stated goal of creating jobs by stimulating private investment.

For a guy who claimed not to believe in bigger government, Obama promised to make it much bigger with an array of new initiatives from energy to education. Financing those programs will require higher taxes on a far broader swath of Americans than the 2 percent of wealthiest citizens he said he would limit the tax punishment to. ...

The lack of a detailed financial plan from the administration is eroding investor faith in its ability to handle the job and is contributing to the ongoing stock market decline. ...

The president ought to simplify. All Americans want him to do right now is get the economy moving. Policies that work at cross-purposes won't accomplish that goal.