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January 11, 2010


Characterizing Barack Obama as a "prisoner of circumstance" is a little troubling. Not only does "prisoner" evoke invidious cultural stereotypes, it also wraps the President in a mantle of victimhood he surely wouldn't welcome. Instead of treating him as a strong and powerful man, Brendan uses a term that suggests passivity, subjugation, servitude and emasculation.

Of course, Brendan's comments were "all in the context of saying positive things" about President Obama--the Tim Kaine defense of Harry Reid's unfortunate remarks. I guess that makes it okay.

I disagree with the excuse that the current bad economy is based on "circumstances", rather than bad policy. Here's why:

1. Despite Krugman, I can think of no case when a stimulus actually worked to end a recession. OTOH Bush's tax cuts worked brilliantly.

2. The Dems "stimulus" was a fraud, to boot. They insisted that it must be passed quickly. Thus, people didn't have time to read it. Yet, its spending actually has been coming on gradually. Much of the spending was pork to Dem special interests, rather than traditional stimulus. Even if some sort of stimulus could have worked, this slow motion pork was never doing to do the trick.

3. The Dems have been wildly wrong about the economy. They said without their stimulus, the unemployment rate would be 9%; but with their recovery plan it would be nearly down to 7% by now. Instead it went up to 10%. And, the number of jobs has continued to decline.

4. Another reason for the decline in jobs is the Dems' threat of other bad laws: health "reform", Cap 'n Trade, etc. Also, the enormous continuing deficit means that taxes will rise substantially and/or we will have high inflation. All this uncertainty discourages businesses from forming or from expanding.

In short, it's reasonable to believe that the current economic problems are not due to "circumstances", but to wrongheaded policy by President Obama and the Democratic Congress

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