President Obama is tired of the old ideas, the Washington that existed for the last eight years when we suffered under policies that didn’t work. He insists that we need a new, bold kind of politics—his stimulus package is the first expression of this kind of approach. But directing a large portion of GDP toward projects that were haphazardly assembled in Congress isn’t change at all. It’s more of what Mr. Obama calls “The failed policies of the past.”
To be sure, the past several years haven’t seen America at its best. Just like the bubble that led to the recession in 2001, Wall Street has funneled money toward an area of the economy that wasn’t worth what everyone thought. Main Street was at fault too. Home flippers and even average folks who thought they’d be able to turn a profit on their homes after the prices rose even more, took loans they couldn’t afford and bet on a market that couldn’t sustain itself.
Those are just the actions of the past, not the policies. Mr. Obama is focused on what he can change—the policies made in Washington. Those policies are, indeed, in dire need of change.
The last eight years have seen the national debt double—you, me and every man, woman, and child in America are responsible for about $35,000 of the over $10 trillion the US owes to its creditors. We’ve also seen Washington throwing fuel on the fire, pushing policies that were supposed to promote the “American Dream” of home ownership, which is now the cause of our national nightmare.
So what has Mr. Obama proposed as his bold, new solution to this problem? Nothing bold or new at all. Mr. Obama seeks to spend more, misallocate another trillion dollars and take the economy down more dead ends, and deepen our already deep recession.
The bold initiatives we need aren’t even being talked about in Washington, because they’re politically unpopular, they challenge the status-quo, and they threaten the power of those entrenched in the Washington machine.
The policies that would prevent us from channeling resources down the dead ends that lead to recessions—tax code simplification, tax cuts, and overhauling the regulatory system—would be a real change. But bold leadership would be required for huge policy reforms like these to occur.
Watching Mr. Obama now extolling the virtues of his “debt to end all debts” in Elkhart, Indiana, I don’t see the kind of leadership we need. Instead, I see politics as usual.