We’re Not Stupid

What is it about our economic crisis that has caused our leaders to think we’re idiots? This started in the crisis’s earliest days under President George W. Bush (R), Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and Fed. Chairman Ben Bernanke, but continued apace or accelerated under President Barack Obama (D), Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and Obama-reappointed Fed. Chairman Bernanke.

Paulson told us he desperately needed 700 billion dollars in bailout funds to buy up distressed mortgages under TARP, and then he and Bush used the money to buy banks and car companies instead (Constitution be damned). Bush presided over the largest federal intervention into the American economy since President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s (D) ‘New Deal’ and then, shortly thereafter, toured the world lecturing other countries not to interfere in the free market. Bernanke stood by, signing off on these monstrosities and encouraging massive deficit spending, before suddenly changing course and declaring that deficits were bad (I’m wondering which version of Bernanke was the one that Obama intended to reappoint . . . and how reappointing Bush’s Fed. Chairman constituted ‘change’ anyway).

Now Obama wants us to believe that his massive ‘stimulus’ spending programs, widely regarded as having had little-to-no impact on our economy except to accelerate our federal debt to crisis levels, reversed the recession until ‘bad luck’ intervened. You know, I can accept political spin. This isn’t spin. This is a lie.

An honorable, talented politician can admit when his policies have failed, and will seek to improve them—even to the point of making a 180-degree turnaround if the situation warrants it. This results in some short-term political harm, which is why it’s a good idea to implement sound policy in the first place, but most people respect somebody who can change his mind (provided it doesn’t have the appearance of ‘flip flopping’ for purposes of political expediency). The worst thing you can do when your policies have failed—particularly when they have failed as spectacularly as Obama’s economic policies have—is dig-in, lie about them, declare that they work, and continue them. It’s politically suicidal because, despite a fair amount of evidence to the contrary, the voters aren’t stupid.

If President Obama actually intends to try and win reelection, this is the wrong strategy. As he digs-in on failed Keynesian economic policies that are deepening and lengthening our economic malaise, he is reducing his chances exponentially by the week. If he holds out against reality until election day, his chances of reelection will have approached zero (barring an unlikely fringe nomination from the Republicans like Sarah Palin or Representative Michele Bachmann [R-MN 6th]). Claiming responsibility for a recovery we all know never happened, based entirely on inflation that the Fed. has artificially written off the books, is not the way to win an election . . . unless your constituents are morons.

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.