“The private sector is doing fine” – Barack Obama, June 8, 2012.
There’s a deeper issue here than just Obama being thoughtlessly glib about the slow-growth nature of the U.S. economic recovery. (In an earlier post, by the way, I highlighted some of the ways in which the private sector is most certainly not “doing fine.”)
The remark reveals the government-centered nature of Obama’s thinking. He just doesn’t give private enterprise very much thought, particularly when it comes to all the ways government can muck up the free enterprise system. To Obama, the private sector is always “doing fine,” so it really doesn’t matter if the public sector overloads it with too many taxes and too much regulation. The private sector? Oh, you means guys like Bain Capital who like to fire people.
No wonder there’s been so little sense of urgency by the Obama White House to cut the sky-high corporate tax rate or so little consideration given to the impact on small business of letting the Bush tax cuts expire. The private sector is “doing fine,” after all. Unintended consequences? What are those?
Approve the Keystone pipeline? Why? The environment comes first, especially at a time when the private sector is “doing fine.”
The private sector isn’t just millionaire CEOs of America’s largest companies. It’s also workers (who bear most of the burden of high corporate taxes) and investors and entrepreneurs. Again, Mitt Romney yesterday:
Where my vision believes in the ingenuity of the American people, his vision trusts the wisdom of political appointees and boards, commissions and czars. It’s one in which ordinary Americans must get permission from people in Washington before they can buy, build, invest or hire. It’s a world of federal mandates and waivers, tax credits and subsidies, federal grants and loan guarantees. It’s an economy where a company’s lobbyists will be more important than its engineers, and federal compliance lawyers will outnumber patent lawyers. Business models based on building a better mousetrap will give way to those that seek the right mix of government subsidies, waivers and loan guarantees. And Chief Government Officers will join the ranks of Chief Financial Officers and Chief Operating Officers in corporate America’s executive ranks.
President Obama trusts in the wisdom of government. I put my trust in the ingenuity and creativity and commitment to hard work of the American people.
Indeed, it seems that Obama thinks the only big flaw in the Obama recovery is that government isn’t hiring enough public union members. Everybody else is “doing fine.”
You know who really is doing fine? Washington. Federal spending is at record levels. Of course, it’s easy to be “doing fine” when you can just keep taxing the private sector. As Ben Bernanke joked yesterday, “A trillion here, a trillion there …”
But the real economy? It’s not doing fine at all.