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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Carter Must Be Lovin’ It

Is it just me or has this entire administration seemed a little like one long malaise speech? It’s making the Carter years look positively upbeat.

In between telling us that we’ve turned a corner (when we obviously have not), we get messages about how things are horrible and, just maybe, it isn’t going to get better.

More than a year on, the message remains just how bad the last administration was, how unlucky they were to have inherited such a mess, and, gosh, life is tough. Here are a few messages I really think President Obama and Vice President Gaff-o-Matic need to learn if they want to do something other than offering excuses for the next few years before being ushered out of office with nothing to show for their effort but a pair of “I’m With Stupid” t-shirts (which I’ll be happy to send on my own dime--assuming I have any dimes left after the program of threatened tax hikes, fee hikes, energy cost spikes, and new health care costs that have been leveled toward me like the barrel of a freakin’ 12-gauge).

  1. Stop blaming. I don’t care who’s fault it is right now, all I know is that America hired this duo because they said they have the answers. They promised answers to the wars, to the economy, to our energy policy, and to our political divisions--and so far, the answer has been to blame someone else for just how rough life is in the White House. Get to solving the problems.
  2. Don’t tell me it won’t get better. “There’s no possibility to restore 8 million jobs lost in the Great Recession.” I tell you what, Vice President, step the hell aside and let American businesses and ingenuity do the job, then. If you don’t have any ideas, I guaranty you that there are people out there that do have ideas--and if government won’t make it too hard, they’ll put their time, their money, and all their ideas to good use in finding ways to get us working and making money. It won’t always work, but you won’t win a lot of money betting against America. You guys weren’t hired to tell us that we can’t fix the problem--and if that’s what you really believe, then get the hell out of the way.
  3. Stop making it hard for us to dig our way out. This isn’t a good time to saddle us with more taxes and regulations. This isn’t a good time to make it unattractive to hire new help. This isn’t the time to threaten businesses with new barriers to entry or to make it harder or more worrisome for businesses to expand, invest, and hire. And yet, that’s exactly what you are doing under the guise of saving us from this recession. You don’t have to spend us into prosperity; not only will that plan only leave us hurting, but there is an easier plan that doesn’t involve piling debilitating debt on top of our already crippling debt--and leaving our next few generations to clean up the mess. Here’s the solution: leave us alone. We don’t want handouts and free crap, we just want the freedom to pursue opportunity without worrying about how the government will punish us for our risk-taking.

Businesses are like consumers: when they understand the rules, when they know the costs and risks, they adjust, they expand, they take calculated risks in hopes of creating reward. The problem comes when the rules and risks aren’t understood, when folks believe that the rules are changing faster than they can keep up have no space from which to take those risks. They have no way to judge whether the potential reward is worth the cost.

None of which changes the fact that Youth in Revolt, (which, in the simplest terms might well be described as a quirky, humorous look at a boy suffering a psychotic break who obsesses dangerously over a pretty girl) is absolutely wonderful. Smart, beautifully shot, entertaining, and morally questionable, it’s still not for everyone. But if the sound of seeing Better Off Dead as written and directed by Wes Anderson sounds intriguing, then this might be the movie for you.

Update: Michael Steele hasn’t quite been the person that I expected when I supported him for his job as head of the RNC, but on this issue I find that I am echoing his words:

“ Americans know that job creators thrive and hire when the economic environment is stable and predictable, not when politicians are taking over whole industries, passing sweeping thousand-page industry overhauls and empowering unelected bureaucrats with hundreds of regulatory decisions. It’s time to stop the economically illiterate micromanagement of our life-blood industries and let us work.”

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