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Archive for August 22nd, 2011

Congressman Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, has a rather persuasive column in the Washington Post about the negative impact of President Obama’s big-government agenda.

… the Obama administration’s anti-business, hyper-regulatory, pro-tax agenda has fueled economic uncertainty and sent the message from the administration that “we want to make it harder to create jobs.” There is no other conclusion for policies such as the new Environmental Protection Agency regulations, including the “Transport Rule,” which could eliminate thousands of jobs, or the ozone regulation that would cost upward of $1 trillion and millions of jobs in the construction industry over the next decade. The administration’s new maximum achievable control technology standards for cement are expected to affect nearly 100 cement plants, setting over-the-top requirements resulting in increased costs and possibly thousands of jobs being offshored. There is the president’s silence as the National Labor Relations Board seeks to prevent Boeing from opening a plant in South Carolina that would create thousands of jobs. Such behavior, coupled with the president’s insistence on raising the top tax rate paid by individuals and small businesses, has resulted in a lag in growth that has added to the debt crisis, contributing to our nation’s credit downgrade.

The Congressman’s criticisms certainly are substantive and accurate, but I can’t help but wonder why he didn’t write this column years ago. Or, more important, why didn’t he object to big government when Bush was in the White House.

And, most important, why did he vote for all the wasteful spending and increased regulation of the Bush years. Such as:

Congressman Cantor voted for the no-bureaucrats-left-behind bill that further centralized education.

He voted for the Sarbanes-Oxley regulatory regime that dramatically raised the cost of red tape and drove business out of America.

He voted for the Medicare prescription drug entitlement that did more to increase long-term debt than Obamacare.

And he voted for the TARP bailout, exacerbating moral hazard and facilitating the corrupt mix of Wall Street and Washington.

I’m not trying to pick on Cantor. Most other GOPers were equally guilty of going along with big-government conservatism.

And I actually give Cantor a bit of credit for acknowledging that Republicans bear some of the blame for the current mess. The second sentence of his column refers to “decades of fiscal mismanagement by both political parties.”

All I’m really saying is that big government is the wrong approach, regardless of which party is in charge.

So while I’m glad Republicans are opposing Obama’s statist agenda, they would have more credibility if they also had opposed Bush’s statist agenda.

But the real purpose of this post is to wonder what will happen if we somehow wind up with a President Romney. Will congressional Republicans continue to do the right thing and oppose big government?

Or will they once again decide that the Washington cesspool is really a hot tub and join with Romney in making government even bigger and more wasteful? The experience of the Bush years does not give me much cause for optimism.

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I could write a lengthy post about why Obamanomics has been a failure, but this cartoon says it perfectly.

It has the same basic message as this classic cartoon – people are less likely to produce when government is too much of a burden.

If you want some empirical evidence about the impact of Obama’s statism, check out this picture of how much money companies are keeping on the sidelines and this one about loanable funds that banks have deposited at the Fed. Both are compelling signs that investors and entrepreneurs don’t trust the nonsense coming from Washington.

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