Take your bailouts and shove them, part 2
Since I wrote two weeks ago about the stock market's negative reaction to the Obama Administration's steady stream of bailouts, "investments", and socialism, the market has fallen further (about 8% at yesterday's close) to levels not seen since 1997. It is stunning to watch the administration seem to completely miss the basic concept of "if you find yourself in a deep hole, stop digging." While Joe Biden talks about how he and Obama were put in a difficult spot by the prior administration handing them a large budget deficit, do they think that the American people won't notice that government's response was to immediately and massively increase the deficit? Barack Obama will soon own the economic mess, despite the interference running by TV talking heads, newspaper editorial boards, and Democrats in Congress. And he knows it. It's why he's trying to put a slightly fiscally responsible face on his disastrous spending binge. But it's not working. On Monday, Gallup reported that US investor confidence hit an all-time low. On Tuesday, the Conference Board reported a new all-time low in consumer confidence as well. And why wouldn't they fall? It is only ivory tower academics or liberals with no understanding of real-world economics (the same people who assume that people's economic behavior doesn't change when tax rates change) who believe that Americans are stupid enough to believe that we can all get rich by running up our national credit card bill. Now Ben Bernanke is saying that there will probably be no substantial economic recovery this year, and only maybe next year...and that any recovery may create far fewer new jobs than we'd like to see (which makes one wonder just what definition of "recovery" they're using.) And why wouldn't we have a "jobless recovery", with Americans who might consider starting a business knowing that government will regulate and tax them to death if they can get past their companies being unionized through strong-arm tactics applied to their workers after "Card Check" passes? Just who is going to start a business, especially one that requires more than a half dozen workers and requires taking some real financial risk, in that environment? Barack Obama spent much of the past few weeks arguing that if the stimulus bill didn't pass, a crisis would turn into a catastrophe. As many of us warned, I believe the American people are going to soon learn that the stimulus bill itself was the catastrophe, with follow-on bailouts and additional government spending just serving as a little more fuel on the fire. The American people certainly don't understand economics well. But they understand unemployment. And if they won't learn a lesson about the terrible outcomes of socialist policies without that lesson being exceptionally painful and expensive -- a problem that most of us have in some aspect of our lives -- then that's just how the lesson will be. People were talking about Obama having 6-9 months during which he could attempt to keep blaming others for the economic mess. My guess is that his and Congress' aggressive over-reaching, such as the stimulus' bill (1) lack of infrastructure spending, (2) assault on our health care system, and (3) rollback of the welfare reform signed by Bill Clinton means that his deadline has been moved up. Obama will be owning this mess by Memorial day, possibly much sooner, and he'll richly deserve to. Unfortunately we'll all be much poorer for it (except for the lines of lobbyists slobbering over the billions of our tax dollars). Update: Just after I wrote this (about 14 hours before it went up on my site), I got the following update from Gallup in my e-mail: Obama Job Approval Dips Below 60% for First Time One interesting micro-trend: Versus the same poll taken a few days earlier, all of the drop in Obama's approval came among Independents and Democrats; the approval number among Republicans was steady at a (low) 27%.
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