May 18, 2009
By J.D. Foster, Ph.D.
Last week the government reported 539,000jobs were lost in April. As a sign of
the times this was considered good news. Some are crediting
government, including President Obama's just implemented policies,
for the good news. Spring is in the air.
On balance, the Federal Reserve has performed admirably, meeting
its responsibility and implementing bold new approaches to
sustaining financial markets. The Bush and Obama administrations
also played important, but decidedly mixed, roles in this crisis.
Sometimes they offered a steady hand, but more often they sowed
seeds of uncertainty, doubt and confusion.
Obama could pursue policies designed to help restore the broader
economy to health. Unfortunately, his policies likely will have the
opposite effect -- prolonging the recession and weakening the
Take small businesses. Obama acknowledges they are the source of
most newjobs, but he intends to jack up their taxes. Indeed, Obama
has issued a steady source of tax hike threats against American
companies competing globally, family businesses, energy producers,
energy consumers and many others. There is no modern school of
Economics that counsels raising taxes, or threatening tax hikes,
during a recession.
President Obama talks about responsibility, but the budget
deficit this year is approaching $2 trillion and the national debt
is set to double in just four years. Imagine what he would deem
irresponsible! Yes, he inherited a plunging economy and soaring
deficit. But then his stimulus and budget plans made a bad picture
much worse. Politically and substantively, he now owns the
irresponsible deficit -- lock, stock and pork barrel.
As the economy tries to recover, Obama threatens a massively
expensive and disruptive environmental program to dent global
warming. It is pure fantasy to suggest this program won't weaken
the economy significantly and permanently. To deal the economy such
a blow when it's already weakened is economic policy insanity.
A little government intervention can be a good thing.
Conservatives, after all, support limited government, not zero
government. But Obama is proposing megagovernment -- massive,
permanent increases in government intervention, federal spending,
taxes and national debt. This remains enduringly a bad thing.
Foster, Ph.D., is the Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the
Economics of Fiscal Policy at The Heritage Foundation.
First Appeared in USA Today
Last week the government reported 539,000 jobs were lost in April. As a sign of the times this was considered good news. Some are crediting government, including President Obama's just implemented policies, for the good news. Spring is in the air.
J.D. Foster, Ph.D.
Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy
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