Abarackadabra! A 21st Century “New Steal”

JOBS, ROADS, BRIDGES, SCHOOLS, BROADBAND, ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS, ENERGY…blares the Drudge Report. It’s President-elect Obama’s weekend plan—not to produce, but to transfer yet more of the nation’s dwindling wealth to those with political pull.

On Sunday’s Meet the Press interview he stressed “shovel ready” projects — shoveling from right-hand to left remains the extent of it. Look at the 5-points in the Politico article: Each wave of the wand diverts an awestruck media and a truly fearful public from the “instead of” –from the reality of what free citizens would have done instead with the resources.

Genuine leadership does not consist of promising to take yet more of other people’s stuff and giving it to corporations, government contractors, the GAO and other federal agencies that should’ve already been energy efficient, wasteful “renewable” energy plans, drafty school buildings, inferior broadband schemes, medical-record “computerization” that can’t work anyway because of still other government regulation. New candidates are sure to pop up next week.

I wrote about stimulus follies in an early 2008 report called Still Stimulating Like It’s 1999 and in several followup articles, not knowing the crisis stage we would reach; but the elements of the wrongheadedness of the bailout culture exist in All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Yes, you share; but you don’t take other people’s stuff. That notion seems alien to the political class. Washington’s primary function is wealth transfer rather than the actual modest governing referred to in the Constitution (Fred Smith’s line is a good one: “The Constitution isn’t perfect; but it’s better than what we have now.”)

I was off a few decades in the earlier report: in the “New Steal,” we’re stimulating like it’s 1929. Lessons remain unlearned (speaking of investing in education) among politicians of both parties, to whom freedom is a loophole.