CEI Comment on Obama 100 Days

Obama Bombs on Spending, Energy in First100 Days, Hope for Progress on Regulations, Credit Crisis

CEI Comments on Obama 100 Days and What’s Ahead

Washington, D.C., April 29, 2009—President Obama’s first 100 days in office set an economically devastating precedent in economic policy and broken promises, but the administration has opportunities in the near future to make significant reforms, too, say analysts with the Competitive Enterprise Institute.  

Comment by CEI legal analyst Hans Bader

One thing [the networks] probably won’t do is ask him any inconvenient questions about all his broken campaign promises, like his pledge to enact a ““net spending cut,” his promise not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year, and his promise not to sign bills without first giving the public five days of notice. Obama has broken his campaign promises far more flagrantly than his predecessors did in their first 100 days in office.  >Read the full commentary on OpenMarket.org.


Comment by Iain Murray, CEI Senior Fellow

When it comes to energy and the environment, President Obama’s policies in his first 100 days have set not just the nation but the President himself on course for disaster.  His energy policy is focused on raising the cost of traditional energy and pumping large amounts of money into expensive alternative energy.  His environmental policy is based around the idea that America has to de-carbonize, whether or not the rest of the world wants to.  Both these policies are problematic in the extreme.  Raising the cost of traditional energy is unpopular with voters, as anyone will tell you after last summer’s high gas prices, and the plain fact is that, as Energy Secretary Chu has admitted, alternative energy just cannot meet America’s demands without Nobel-level scientific breakthroughs.  Yet even if Congress rejects the Obama approach, as is looking more likely, the President has instructed the EPA to act to regulate greenhouse gases, so forcing energy price rises, probably with much more wide-ranging economic effect than if Congress acts.

In other words, President Obama is forcing through an anti-stimulus policy at the same time as is stimulus policy.  This is unlikely to end well for the nation, with either a new energy tax forestalling or a mass of energy red tape tying up the recovery.  If the President belatedly realizes exactly what effect his policies will have, he may try to climb down, but could well find himself forced to go through with his plans by lawsuits launched by his current environmental allies.  Like his predecessor Jimmy Carter, President Obama may find his Presidency defined by energy issues.  The difference is that the problems he will have to confront have been almost entirely of his own making in these first 100 days.


Comment by Eli Lehrer, CEI Senior Fellow

It’s too early to judge many aspects of the Obama presidency. The 100 day mark has a lot more to do with the media than any real way of evaluating a president. I’d give the President good marks for his openness, the appointment of professional administrators to many key posts, and his decision to undo many of the Bush administration’s worst last-minute regulations.  On the other hand, he has continued the previous administration’s record of overspending and expanding the size and scope of government.

Comment by Fred L. Smith, Jr., CEI President, and Ivan Osorio

As the Obama administration and Congress struggle to address America’s credit crisis, they should take the Chilean experience into consideration. As the billions thrown at the nation’s economic troubles have turned into trillions, the last thing we should do is to go further into debt. Instead, we should unleash the wealth and savings creating capacities of the world’s most formidable economic engine: the American workforce. >Read the full commentary on Real Clear Markets.