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Ferrara also administers a well-deserved smack to Keynesian economics champion Paul Krugman, who claims the Obama administration hasn’t spent enough money stimulating the economy. Krugman uses WWll spending levels as the basis of his contentions. Ferrara explains what that means in actual numbers:
Federal spending in 1943 was 43.6% of GDP, with the federal deficit at 30.3% of GDP. In today’s equivalent terms, that would mean a federal budget of $6.54 trillion, or over 70% higher than today, and a federal deficit of $4.55 trillion, almost 3 times higher than today.
In other words, Krugman countenances a one-year deficit nearly equivalent to the 4.9 trillion years of debt accumulated by the Bush administration over the course of eight years. The same Bush administration Democrats and the administration blame for driving the economy into a ditch. So why continue the borrowing madness? “[B]ecause [Krugman's] devotion to the doctrine is religious, not intellectual, and so it can’t be falsified,” writes Ferrara.
Such religiosity was exemplified by the barrage of anger directed toward the Tea Party movement for daring to suggest that such economic policies are completely misguided. “Terrorist” was the word used persistently by the same progressives who were calling the supporters of fiscal sanity and limited government “racists” leading up to the 2010 election. Why the ongoing vituperation? The Wall Street Journal‘s James Taranto explains:
Obama’s failure is the failure of the liberal elite, and that is why their ressentiment has reached such intensity. Their ideas, such as they are, are being put to a real-world test and found severely wanting. As a result, their authority is collapsing. And if there is one thing they know deep in their bones, it is that they are entitled to that authority. They lash out, desperately and pathetically, because they have nothing to offer but fear and anger.
Along with the same tiresome solutions. Thus it was completely unsurprising when the president once again reiterated his commitment to the idea that “economic growth, making ourselves more competitive, isn’t just about cutting programs. It’s also about making investments in our people.” As if on cue, Democrats were recommending new job training programs to help the “long-term unemployed get back to work,” due to the fact that their “skill sets no longer fit the needs of hiring employers.” Perhaps that is due in part to the fact that some former workers have been eligible for 155 weeks of unemployment benefits. Benefits the president has expressed a desire to renew. The CBO estimates extending those benefits through 2012, aka the election campaign, would cost $45 billion. In borrowed money.
Jobs? Nowhere to be found. Why? A partial answer can be found in a memo put out by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) showing how many rules, how much red tape, and how many cancellation delays of existing regulations have been moved forward by the Obama administration — in the month of July alone. It is a sobering look at an administration dedicated to command-and-control policies. It is those policies, along with the uncertainties created by ObamaCare, that make businesses hesitant to hire.
Yet it is more than that. This administration in particular and the Democrat party in general never miss an opportunity to vilify the wealth-producers of this nation. It is a vilification so persistent and ongoing that the producers have, for all intents and purposes, gone on strike. And it is a strike driven in large part by an unprecedented fear of government, emphasized by both Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus and Las Vegas hotelier and self-professed “Harry Reid Democrat” Steve Wynn.
Are we entering a double-dip recession? All of the above combined leads one to the most disturbing conclusion of all: under the various banners of “social justice,” “spreading the wealth around” and “fairness,” incentive is being destroyed. It is being destroyed by a progressive movement which believes the stoking of envy, class warfare and guilt, all of which must be promoted and/or controlled by government itself, are sufficient substitutes for incentive. They are not, and they never will be.
On more than one occasion, Mr. Obama has wondered aloud what government can do to get America working. The answer is simple, even as it eludes progressives entirely:
Get government out of the way and let Americans be Americans again.
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