Regardless of whatever else one may believe about President Obama and his motives for advancing an agenda that is bankrupting the nation (Cloward-Piven, committed Marxist, garden-variety statist, etc.), I am convinced that he is a die-hard Keynesian. His faith in this failed theory is so strong that he cannot digest empirical evidence disproving it.
Leftists like Obama, who fashion themselves as open-minded and academically curious, are largely indoctrinated with liberal revisionism in history and economics and reinforce their myths and errors via echo chamber by limiting their intellectual interaction to likeminded colleagues. They are further intellectually burdened by their emotional commitment to redistributionist policies, from which they seem to derive their sense of self-worth.
Their worldview dictates that large-scale redistributionism (and that’s putting it mildly now that we’ve seen them in action with control of both political branches) is not only morally imperative, but creates prosperity as well. I know, I know, Obama admitted for a moment to Charlie Gibson that he favored increases in capital gains tax rates “as a matter of fairness,” even knowing such increases reduce revenues. But in his heart of hearts he really believes that socialism can work – that confiscatory taxes do not shrink the pie – as evidenced by his recent absurd remark about the wealthy not being deterred from spending money (e.g. buying flat-screen TVs) with increases in marginal income tax rates.
So when socialism doesn’t work anywhere in the world, leftists rationalize that it hasn’t been properly implemented or distort the data to suggest that it does work. And when it doesn’t work in the United States, they always blame the market, not government intrusion.
It’s a recurring pattern: they force government intervention in the market, completely mess things up, scapegoat the excesses of capitalism, greedy capitalists, and “deregulation,” and then demand yet more government. The subprime meltdown and our experience with healthcare are two recent egregious examples.
These committed Keynesians are impervious to evidence suggesting that New Deal spending exacerbated rather than ameliorated the depression. They are oblivious to what Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow J.D. Foster calls the “simplest of realities: Government spending must be financed. So to finance deficit spending, government must borrow from private markets, thereby reducing private demand by the same amount as deficit spending increases public demand. In effect, the theory says that if I take a dollar from my right pocket to my left, then I’m a dollar richer. No wonder it always fails.”
Obama was so convinced that Keynesian pump-priming would work to “jump- start the economy,” that he promised that if implemented, his stimulus package would keep unemployment from exceeding eight percent. (Neither he nor his Keynesian brain trust ever bothered to explain how the nation could afford an extra $1 trillion in debt even if his spending would have worked, but that’s another subject). Though unemployment jumped above ten percent and has hovered between nine and ten percent ever since, there is no indication that Obama’s blind faith in Keynesian is remotely shaken. That’s why he can tell us with a straight face that he wants $50 billion more for infrastructure to create jobs when $868 billion (not all of which has yet been spent) did not make a dent in the unemployment rate. You see, he doesn’t accept that his stimulus package didn’t work. All the evidence indicates it was a miserable failure. But he has something better: his economic theory says it must have worked, therefore it did.
How many times have we heard him make the unprovable assertion that without the stimulus, things would have been much worse or that because of his spending we averted another Great Depression? His illustrious sidekick Joe Biden applies a different spin: “The Recovery Act didn’t do enough because we couldn’t spend enough.” For these people enough is never enough. Heritage reports that since Obama’s term began federal spending is up more than 21% and the national debt has risen by $2.9 trillion.
If all this weren’t bad enough, Obama is in the process of further destroying any prospects for growth by saddling our economy with the largest tax hike in U.S. history, according to Heritage. “Taxes on individual income, capital gains and dividends are all set to rise.”
In his little Marxian bubble, Obama believes that punishing the wealthy will not harm the economy as a whole, as another article of the leftists’ faith is that trickle down growth or constriction is a construct of evil corporatists and capitalists.
In the end it really doesn’t matter much whether or not Obama is deliberately trying to harm the economy because his reckless agenda is destroying the economy and bankrupting us irrespective of his motive.
Which is all the more reason his band of congressional enablers must be ousted in a few weeks.