Retirement and Social Security Reform
Let's See What the U.S. Economy Can Really
Investor's Business Daily
July 22, 2009
By Ernest S. Christian and Gary A. Robbins
Like so much else in Washington - past and present - Barack
Obama's ever-expanding economic stimulus initiatives are for
the most part a gigantic hoax. Hundreds of millions of people
will suffer as a result.
Taking money out of the economy at great cost to everyone,
running it through the Treasury coffers, and shoveling what's
left back out the door to a select group of favorites is prima
facie dumb - if the goal is to help a damaged economy to recover.
Paying off cronies and debts to constituencies is great politics.
Calling it "stimulus" is a handy subterfuge. But
no matter what one calls it, robbing Peter to pay Paul is
not a formula for economic growth. It's a disguised Ponzi
scheme, similar to what Bernard Madoff went to jail for doing,
and exactly what Barack Obama's long list of political progenitors
have been doing to the American people for many decades.
If the Obama administration and the Pelosi-Reid-Franken Congress
actually wanted to give the economy an immediate and powerful
boost, they could do so by loosening - even if only for a
little while - some of the most severely painful restraints
that they and their predecessors have placed on the private
economy's ability to make people better off.
Without endangering anything other than the lucrative careers
of some environmental lawyers, America's coal and oil resources
could be developed, electric power plants and refineries could
be built, transportation infrastructure projects could be
undertaken, and the nation's decaying electric power grid
could be rehabilitated, expanded and made both "smart"
and secure for the new information age.
Vital growth-oriented improvements all across the economy
have been stalled for years by environmental guerillas who
use procedural tricks to delay (and in many instances, kill)
good projects that are - if ever allowed to get to the decision
stage - permissible even under presently restrictive environmental
If a few of the most absurd restrictions were loosened and
the harassment delays were eliminated, private enterprise
could proceed immediately with projects that are ready and
waiting. Numerous new construction jobs at good wages would
be created right away. Longer term, a renewed and rebuilt
infrastructure would produce more permanent good-paying jobs
and higher incomes in a rejuvenated economy.
An announcement from President Obama that he intends to release
the economy - even if only temporarily - from environmental
and regulatory bondage would have an immediate and powerful
effect. The stock market would go up, the dollar would strengthen
and consumer confidence would start to be restored. People
would look forward to better jobs, more abundant and cheaper
energy and new entrepreneurial opportunities.
And just imagine the euphoria if President Obama also announced
an intention to cut taxes, instead of increasing them, and
an intention to curb, instead of enhancing, the destructive
powers of union bosses. They must be stopped before they do
to the rest of the work force and economy what they so successfully
did to the ruined American automobile industry. A decision
to scuttle card-check and mandatory arbitration would all
by itself be a great help.
If Washington made and kept these promises, the economy would
take off like a rocket. America definitely would be back in
business. The recession would soon be over. The future would
be bright and secure for everyone - except Washington. With
America back in business, Big Government and its cronies would
be out of business.
If the government ever took its foot off the brake and let
the American people see what they and their economy can do,
Washington would find it very difficult to clamp down on economic
Unless the American people catch on to the scam and make some
radical remedial changes - starting next year with House Speaker
Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,
D-Nev. - none of the good things that Washington could do
to aid economic recovery are going to happen.
Government seems bent on forcing Americans back on the borrow-spend-borrow
merry-go-round, where everybody spends tons of Monopoly money
to buy more than they produce and earn.
Obama and company are plundering America's future by putting
us irretrievably in debt, and tightening their control over
the "means of production" and a widening range of
The federal government is by definition a dangerous instrument,
and its standards of integrity and competence have never been
high. But even by those comparisons, there is something particularly
scary about what is presently going on in Washington. It needs
Christian, an attorney, was a deputy assistant secretary
of the Treasury in the Ford administration. Robbins, an economist,
served at the Treasury Department in the Reagan administration.