One of the more amusing claims to come out of the White House is that despite the massive increase in government involvement in the economy, and despite a massive commensurate increase in regulation that is headed our way like a freight train, Barack Obama bemoans the Czar of the Economy status he has appropriated for himself, and really doesn’t want government’s influence to be as pervasive in economic matters as he and his Administration are working to make it.
Gene Healy properly calls shenanigans, and points out that the President doth protest too much:
“I am a firm believer in the power of the free market,” President Obama told the Wall Street Journal recently. The “irony” surrounding his public image as a collectivist, the president insisted, was that “I actually would like to see a relatively light touch when it comes to the government.”
Either Obama is as confused about the definition of irony as pop singer Alanis “rain on your wedding day” Morrisette, or he was being disingenuous. Given the president’s ambitious, state-bloating agenda and longtime disdain for free enterprise, the latter is more likely the case.
Back in 2008, then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton declared “we need a president who is ready on day one to be commander in chief of our economy.” You can’t find that role in the Constitution, but Barack Obama has embraced it nonetheless. The president is hell-bent on further extending government control over Americans’ health care, and the administration-backed cap and trade bill that passed the House Friday, would, among other things, create a national building code. A “light touch,” indeed.
As Healy goes on to demonstrate, just about every statement the eventual President made in his past concerning the economy served as a harbinger of the unprecedented degree of governmental interference brought about by the Obama Administration. There can be no conclusion but that we should have seen this coming.
And some of us did see it coming. Too bad the media was too busy being enraptured by Obama’s star power during the course of the Presidential campaign to take a serious look at his economic policy proposals and their likely consequences.