Is Obama Insane?
A popular definition of insanity, variously attributed
to Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, and Ben Franklin, is, “doing the same thing over
and over and expecting different results.”
By this standard the
President of the United States is clearly insane, if reports are true that Obama
will tonight call on Congress to pass for yet another stimulus program, this
time in the ballpark of $300 billion.
What will this latest “stimulus”
consist of? More government spending, of course (oops, I mean “investment”).
True, some tax cuts are reportedly in the mix, but don’t get too
excited: According to Reuters, Obama would “…offset those short-term costs by
calling on Congress to raise tax revenues.” So really, in the end, Obama wants
to tax more and spend more – that’s his jobs proposal (again, if press reports
are accurate), you know, the one he had to wait until after some late summer sun
and surf at Martha’s Vineyard to unveil.
This is insane, going by the
popular definition, for the simple reason that the President has already tried
this approach on a massive scale — the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
of 2009, which injected nearly $1 trillion in government “stimulus” into the
How did that go? Well, it was a dismal failure, but don’t take
my word for that. In January 2009, a report by Christina Romer, then-chairwoman
of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, predicted that, “Without the
stimulus (the baseline), unemployment was projected to hit about 8.5 percent in
2009 and then continue rising to a peak of about 9 percent in 2010. With the
stimulus, they predicted the unemployment rate would peak at just under 8
percent in 2009,” as PolitiFact succinctly summarizes.
got their stimulus, and two years later the unemployment rate is still above 9
percent, while the economy added a horrifying zero net jobs in August. In other
words, the unemployment rate is higher with the stimulus than the administration
told us it would be if there had been no stimulus at all.
In spite of
this massive (and expensive) policy failure, Obama wants to do the same thing
all over again.
Of course, insanity has another, legal
definition: “A mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot
distinguish fantasy from reality.” According to this measure, I am seriously
worried about the health of our Chief Executive’s psyche, for government
redistribution (which is what any stimulus really is) has never produced
prosperity, ever. The fact that it does or can is a fatal fantasy. In February,
2011, economist J.D. Foster summed up why in testimony before The House
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform:
“This policy does not work for the simple reason that
government must somehow fund this additional spending, and it does so by
borrowing. Suppose you take a dollar from your right pocket and transfer it to
your left pocket. Do you have a new dollar to spend? Of course
A frank assessment of Obama’s fiscal stewardship of
our country would conclude the following: 1) He is committed to long discredited
economic theories, in spite of their utter and repeated failures, and 2) he is
unwilling — or unable — to consider any other course of action. Having tried
the only thing he knows — spend, spend, spend — Obama is now at a complete
loss. His flawed theory is now our failing economy.