Fixing Government with Government?
By William Warren
Staring down a gargantuan deficit and an ever worsening economic crisis, how does America's next President react?
First of all, by fattening the bureaucracy and adding another person to the government payroll.
Just yesterday, Mr. Obama announced that he would be appointing a brand new “chief performance officer.” The individual's task, according to a Democrat official, is to “help put us on a path to fiscal discipline.”
It appears that “fiscal discipline” is also above the President-elect's pay grade.
Nevertheless, what is the big deal? After all, it's just one more government employee.
The President-elect's decision to add yet another government post to oversee the economic crisis is a tell-tale sign of Mr. Obama's fundamentally flawed approach to the nation's economic needs. This most recent example—and we all know there are dozens more where this comes from—illustrates Barack Obama's propensity to react to any crisis with more government. His ingrained and perfectly honed reaction is one of kneejerk-Big Government empire-building.
For Mr. Obama, government is the panacea; the ultimate miracle-drug for any and all societal ills.
What Mr. Obama forgets, however, is that sometimes—perhaps, most often—societal ills stem from government inadequacy itself. So when penicillin triggers an intense adverse reaction in a patient, is the doctor to prescribe more penicillin? Of course not.
Likewise, when handling an economic crisis whose root cause was government itself—via such methods as the loose dollar policy, easy credit, and excessive spending—it seems counter-intuitive to prescribe even more government as the solution. Unfortunately, this appears to be the trend in Washington these days.
So with Mr. Obama at the helm, what is the nation in store for?
Well, the “chief performance officer” certainly won't be the only new government employee added to the payroll. In his weekly radio address last Saturday, Mr. Obama suggested that as President he will strive to create 600,000 new government jobs.
What better way to stimulate a free-market economy than by padding the very bureaucracy which impedes it? Once again, more counter-intuitive logic from the 44th President.
If that doesn't fill you with insurmountable hope, perhaps Mr. Obama's predictions regarding the deficit might do the trick. On Tuesday he once again buoyed America's hopes by bluntly stating that the country was in store for “trillion-dollar deficits for years to come.” And this comforting prediction does not even factor in the massive stimulus package—estimated to range between $800 billion to $1.3 trillion—that the President-elect plans to implement.
However, with regard to the massive budget deficit, Mr. Obama has pledged to “invest an extraordinary amount of money,” and take “extraordinary steps” to revitalize the economy. Taken out of context, the following Obama quote might even appear sarcastic:
"When the American people spoke last November, they were demanding change — change in policies that helped deliver the worst economic crisis that we've see since the Great Depression. They were demanding that we restore a sense of responsibility and prudence to how we run our government."
All sarcasm aside, here's a bit of crucial advice for the incoming President: America needs less government, not more. And the government we have needs how to learn how to run on empty. Throwing money at a problem—especially when said money is exorbitantly extorted from threadbare Americans or drunkenly borrowed from foreign nations—is no plan to alleviate the county's financial burdens.
If a President Obama truly seeks to engender hope in the American people, he needs to make the American people—the American individual, more specifically—the ultimate solution to the economy's problems. Not government. Not money. And certainly not “chief performance officers.”
American ingenuity and economic prosperity can best flourish outside the tangles of Big Government bureaucracies, restrictions, red tape, and regulations.
If Barack Obama can cut through this web and free up the American people, perhaps we'd at least be on the right road to economy recovery. Until then, however, a spanking new “performance officer” riding shotgun in a vehicle helplessly careening deeper and deeper into the pit of financial ruin isn't the answer for pulling us out of the Abyss.
William Warren is a contributing editor of ALG News Bureau.