Remember the old saying, that it’s “hard to hit a moving target”? It must be a lot harder, if there is no target. Well it must be the most difficult to hit the target, if you don’t not even fire.
In 1933, as FDR came into power as the new President, he made it very clear things were about to change. He pushed hard, for a very aggressive increase in government involvement in the economy. The big problem was jobs and he was going to get government to work, providing those jobs directly.
Now in the end, FDR’s actions actually prolonged the Depression by helping create a “second dip” recession. (see here for more info on that http://tiny.cc/lph4w ) But his “New Deal” was a comprehensive plan on how to deal with the terrible economic problems he inherited. It was a plan of new government agencies and Departments that got government directly involved with banking and other areas of the economy. Regardless of it working or not it was a very well organized plan of action.
In 1981, as Ronald Reagan became President, he carried a very Different plan forward, for the terrible economy he inherited. His plan, was a broad based tax rate cut, and a reduction in Federal rules and regulations, to help get government out of the way, so businesses and entrepreneurs could create new jobs, and expanded business opportunities. His plan was not only short term, but a long term solution to fixing the broken economy.
Now both of these President had very different outlooks on how to get the economy moving again. But both had a plan. A well thought out and comprehensive plan for the economy. We can debate which was better (I believe Reagan’s plan was far better) but they had a big vision. Not just the vision, but plans on how to make the vision a reality.
Now, let’s fast forward to 2009. President Obama takes office and inherits a bad economy. No, not as bad as Reagan or FDR did, but still it was bad. What plan did he bring to the table for the economy?
Sadly, there was no plan whatsoever. Healthcare reform was his administration’s top priority and focus. They pushed hard and got pretty much what they wanted. But what about the economy?
Well, the Administration offered an “economic stimulus”. Bailouts were extended to the U.S. automakers as well. But what about a basic plan of action? Even the most Left wing economist will tell you, that throwing a “stimulus package” out there, is not a plan. It is a reaction instead of action. It is a short term “fix”, almost an emergency measure to try and get jobs started quickly, into the economy.
Even if that is “effective”, where is the follow up plan? Even just a basic plan of action. I am afraid, that there is none. True, Obama is on the Left, and favors big government fixes for most things, but even that is missing. Think about this now, the biggest problem facing this nation for the last 3 and a half years has been unemployment and the economy. Yet, this administration does not have a plan. They don’t even have a bad plan.
Even for the broader economy, what is the administration’s plan on dealing with the economy? The budget they proposed, was not a plan, it was not even a serious attempt at a plan. It received zero votes in the Senate. Not even a Democrat took it seriously.
I am confronted at times by people who say Obama is “trying to ruin the country” or something similar. I honestly don’t think he could be this bad if he tried. He is not acting poorly, he is not acting at all. His government is adding regulations sure, but I believe he divorces this from anything to do with the economy. He views this as his way of “protecting” the public from the evils of business. None of it is aimed at making this economy better.
Maybe his administration will come forward with a plan in the next year. But how likely are they to have a plan now, since they have had none for the last 3 and a half years?
Let’s face it, there is no plan and doesn’t seem to be a plan for making a plan anytime soon.