Columnist Michael Barone has joined in the swelling chorus now pointing out that (pace the mainstream media and White House) bad economic news should not inevitably be characterized as “unexpected.” Until policies in Washington change, expect it.
Whenever they are forced to face that the economy really is in horrendous shape, the administration has two fallback positions: the economy was worse than they realized taking over (Blame George Bush!), and the failure to grow is the result of the tsunami (Blame the Weather!). It should be noted that President Obama is not the first president to exist in a world where there is weather.
Barone urges us to get real about the real cause of our economic failure to thrive:
But poor public policy is surely one reason why the American economy has not rebounded from recession as it has in the past. And political posturing has also played a major role.
Barack Obama and the Democratic congressional supermajorities of 2009-10 raised federal spending from 21 percent to 25 percent of gross domestic product. Their stimulus package stopped layoffs of public employees for a while, even as private sector payrolls plummeted.
And the Obama Democrats piled further burdens on would-be employers in the private sector. Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill are scheduled to be followed by thousands of regulations that will impose impossible-to-estimate costs on the economy.
That seems to have led to a hiring freeze. …
The message to job creators was clear. Hire at your own risk. Higher taxes, more burdensome regulation and crony capitalism may be here for some time to come.
This, Barone notes, is what the man billed as a combination of Edmund Burke and Reinhold Niebuhr has wrought. Even his supporters should no longer be surprised. Obama-friendly CBS seems to be realizing how bad things are.