The Obama Administration’s “Bridge Across The Valley Of Death” Is Riddled With Land Mines It Put There

This week’s must-see TV is this video, brought to us by Michelle Malkin, of White House advisor Austan Goolsbee explaining how the Administration is going to help “build a bridge across the valley of death” that separates plucky entrepreneurs from success.  It is simplistic amateurism incarnate, reminiscent of the old-school educational videos films regularly lampooned on the Simpsons.  But let’s set that aside.

Let’s also set aside for the moment the fact that neither Obama nor Goolsbee has spent a minute of time in the private sector, or has ever started or run a business.  They really don’t have the experience to do what they purport to be doing.  The best they can usually do is insist — yes, insist! — that businesses innovate and produce things people want to buy.  No shit.  I think a few folks in the private sector may have thought about trying that.

Let’s focus instead on the land mines the Obama Administration has strewn across its own bridge — ObamaCare, massive new regulatory regimes, tax uncertainty, threat of unionization, carbon (and milk!) control by the lawless EPA, faith-based drilling moratoriums, a politicized NLRB, and so on.  These are the problems that, for example, are causing the private sector to keep a cool $1 Trillion on the sidelines instead of hiring, starting new product lines, or making capital investments.  Eliminating them would go a lot further than a flurry of new government interventions.

Meanwhile, even in his simplistic tutorial of the benefits of government intervention, Goolsbee just couldn’t help himself.  He makes clear that the Administration’s plan is all about targeted tax relief, targeted mentoring, targeted regulatory reform, and targeted assistance in the capital markets. 

In other words, government bureaucrats lacking real world experience in the private sector will be deciding which businesses should be given a government-financed competitive advantage over other business.  But central planning does not create innovation; it stifles it.  It prevents the market from determining who has the best new product or service, and instead doles out advantages to the connected, the incumbents, and the fashionable.  Thus, we will see great benefits to Administration-friendly companies such as GE, union-dominated industries, and “green technology” companies, to the detriment of everyone else, who will be stuck with the bill.

We would be far better served by permanent general tax relief, broad-based regulatory reform, and freeing up the capital markets from government intervention.  The economy works best with a light touch from the government, not heavy-handed intervention.  Despite its two years of utter failure in fixing the economy through government intervention, the Administration has failed to learn this basic lesson.

Published in: on February 4, 2011 at 10:23 am  Leave a Comment  

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