In today's Wall Street Journal, professor Edward Lazear's article hits the nail on the head: the great problem we face is the explosion of federal spending, not the size of the budget deficit. Here is his conclusion:
"Let us not be confused by promises of job, coupled with fiscally responsible sounding language that masks the underlying irresponsibility of budget decisions. Proposals that increase taxes and spending, even if they do not increase the deficit, will place a substantial burden on our recovering economy and on future economic growth."
Here's the gigantic blind spot that big government advocates (of all parties) have: They fail to understand that because resources are limited, the more the government spends on the variety of things politicians like, the less is left for the private sector, where wealth is created and where innovation occurs.
Bill Clinton at least appeared to learn something from his defeats. Obama is too blinded by his statist ideology to acknowledge that his agenda of expanding the power of the government everywhere is not just unpopular but certain to cause terrible consequences. Either he can't or won't think through causal chains to see that policies based just on their hoped-for nice results boomerang.
The News & Observertells us this morning that North Carolina is slated to receive $520 million today in federal "stimulus" money for high-speed rail.
Randal O'Toole explained in a June 2009 John Locke Foundation report why these projects don't make sense:
"The average North Carolinian will take a round
trip on a high-speed train only once every 27 years," said report
author Randal O'Toole, senior fellow at the Cato Institute. "That's
certainly not worth the cost of pursuing high-speed rail service for
this state. The administration's proposed high-speed rail plan will
cost $1,000 for every federal income taxpayer, yet the average American
would rarely or never ride high-speed trains."
Read Rich Karlgaard's Wall Street Journal op-ed. Karlgaard, the publisher of Forbes, gets it.
We do know the following: One, Steve Jobs is a much better salesman than Barack Obama. The president should visit Cupertino and take some lessons. Two, if America is to rediscover its mojo and grow its way out of debt and deficits—and not just pin the tail on the rich, or inflate it all away—it needs to liberate the new generation of Steve Jobses. Today, that challenge seems daunting. But the 1970s, the decade of Apple's birth, offers hope that hardy seeds can take root even in bad climates.
Mr. Obama and his advisers need to grasp this essential fact: Entrepreneurs are not just a cute little subsector of the American economy. They are the whole game. They will give us tomorrow's Apples and the multiplier effect of small businesses and exciting new jobs that go with them. Entrepreneurs are necessary to keep our large multinationals on their toes. It's no coincidence that the entrepreneurial flowering of the 1970s forced a managerial revolution in large companies during the 1980s and 1990s. Without Steve Jobs, there would have been no Lou Gerstner to reinvent IBM in the '90s. Entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs make everyone better.
"Entrepreneurs are not just a cute little subsector of the American economy. They are the whole game." True dat.
Dozens of people crowded the John Locke Foundation offices Wednesday night to hear President Obama's first official State of the Union address, along with commentary and reaction from Americans for Prosperity North Carolina and guests.
In the video clip below, AFPNC state director Dallas Woodhouse critiques the president's efforts to stimulate the economy.
In the next clip, JLF Fiscal Policy Analyst Joseph Coletti discusses North Carolina's continuing unemployment woes.
In the next clip, Civitas Institute Executive Director Francis De Luca discusses poll results involving the president and his health-care proposals.
We'll post the entire AFPNC program in another blog entry later this morning.