When arrangements were made for this series of columns, we proposed to write about business topics. Very early in this literary journey, however, it became clear at least initially that the columns would need to be much broader.
You will recall our new President campaigned largely on “hope” and “change,” with minimum specificity. Most of the media gave the then-Senator a free pass for months, until he set forth what he really meant: “change we can count on.” That was some clarification!
Future historians, political scientists and others may well inquire about how a young, charismatic, inexperienced candidate could hope to win the American presidency largely with such ethereal terms. They would have no further to look, however, than to the radical social activist, Saul D. Alinsky. He gave candidate Obama a roadmap leading first to the White House and now to an America no one has ever known.
Throughout both of his books, Alinsky makes frequent and favorable reference to radicalism, socialism and communism. In the interest of “full disclosure,” why didn’t Obama reveal that he is a virtual disciple of Alinsky? I suggest it was because he knew full well he would never be elected if he had done so.
In addition, it’s doubtful that most of the nation really wants astronomical increases in government spending, inflation, deficits, the national debt or income taxes. Nor do we want a doubling of the capital gains tax and the tax on dividends, a return to confiscatory estate taxes, a virtual impoverishing of future generations or a weakening of our national defense. Those changes to America are simply not what we bargained for.
As to the promised “transparency,” it’s doubtful that we really would have wanted a 1,400 hundred page stimulus bill costing nearly a trillion dollars which had to be passed before any in Congress could read it. And, it’s even more doubtful that the citizenry would have wanted such a stimulus bill without any evidence or even any discussion of probable outcomes. Why were there no Congressional hearings? Whatever happened to looking at experiences elsewhere and to our own history for answers as to what has worked and what hasn’t?
Although most Americans, I believe, want our new President and Congress to succeed, these past two months have been nearly disastrous. For example, some 48 prominent economists currently give the President a grade averaging 59 and Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geitner, a 51. Both low Fs.
Mr. President: Stop campaigning, stay home and get down to governing sensibly. Businesses and consumers simply cannot function effectively amidst the current turmoil.
David R. Dilley is a retired economist living in Pelican Landing. Dilley received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Indiana University. He has taught at Indiana, Pittsburgh and NYU’s Graduate School and retired from U.S. Steel in 1985 as chief economist. Reach Dilley at firstname.lastname@example.org.