Shopaholic in Chief

Bloomberg.com: [emphasis mine]

President Barack Obama said he is “confident” that he won’t have to raise taxes on most Americans to close the budget deficit as long as the economy picks up steam.

“One of the biggest variables in this whole thing is economic growth,” the president said in an interview with Bloomberg News at the White House. “If we are growing at a robust rate, then we can pay for the government that we need without having to raise taxes.”

These comments expose Obama’s economic policies as unsound. First, note that they are contingent upon the economy picking up — not just improving, but growing at a robust rate. So the essential argument is that if the economy gets really good we’ll be fine. Well, of course.

A robust economy is one that creates wealth. Wealth is created by the private sector, whereas government consumes wealth. By putting all his efforts, and our money, into growing the government, Obama is building a house of cards on a deteriorating foundation. If our economic well being is contingent upon a growing economy, we should be putting money into the private sector, not funneling it off into the the government maw.

Second, there’s this business of the government we need. Budgeting requires discipline. Government programs are expensive (especially the “free” ones), and the money supply is limited. Obama has it in his head that everything he would like is absolutely necessary and that we must tax or borrow whatever it takes to buy it. This is irresponsible. It is the mentality of a shopaholic. We need to be prioritizing, not running up a charge card in the hope that someday, somehow, we’ll be able to pay for it.

Obama has repeatedly said he would keep his campaign pledge to cut taxes for 95 percent of working Americans while rolling back tax breaks for households making more than $250,000 a year.

And yet the reports keep flooding in that Obama is proposing increased taxes on energy, alcohol, tobacco, even employer-provided benefits. He may cut income taxes, but if he simply reinstates those taxes, and more, in other forms, what good is his pledge?

Obama warned that if economic growth remains “anemic” and Congress fails to adopt his plans to hold down the cost of health care, work on alternative energy sources and improve the U.S. education system, “then we’re going to continue to have problems.”

This is pure politics. What government program has ever held down costs?

Health care: take a look at Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. These programs are increasing our debt at an alarming rate and are on the brink of collapse. Any reason to think government-run health care will be any different?

Energy: In Obama’s own words: “Under my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. “

Education: Obama has proposed nothing that will reduce education costs. To the contrary, he vows to increase education funding and fails to support options like vouchers which provide better results at a lower cost.

Fiscal discipline that leads to lower budget deficits is important, Obama said, to ensure investors around the world keep buying U.S. government debt.

Obama said a large part of the current budget deficit was inherited from the administration of former President George W. Bush, his predecessor, and that extra spending was needed to address the worst global financial crisis since World War II.

This disconnect between what Obama says he’s doing and what he’s actually doing is astounding. He claims to be a champion of the free market while he imposes massive new restrictions. He claims he isn’t interested in owning or running GM, then proceeds to assume ownership and micromanage personnel, salaries, production, and plant and dealership closings. He calls for fiscal discipline while quadrupling the national debt.

I’m deeply concerned at the financial position this president is putting us in, but I’m more concerned about the way he’s transforming our government. As long as we stay free and capitalistic, I believe we’ll land on our feet in the long run. But if the tools of liberty and the free market are compromised, I fear even the spirit of the American people won’t be enough to save us.

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