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Congressional Budget Office warned that if Obama leaves his economic program in place, a recession in 2013 is all but certain.


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Initial post: Jun 10, 2012 4:26:16 AM PDT
Slow Learner

Fred Barnes

June 18, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 38
President Obama has been touted by friends and family as the smartest man ever to sit in the White House. Perhaps. Yet he surely is the slowest learner to gain the presidency and probably the most intellectually inflexible. Obama is not only presiding over the most sluggish economic recovery in 80 years, but the economic future looks even worse. In May, a woefully small number of jobs were created, the unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent, and the rate of growth in the first quarter of 2012 was shaved from 2.2 percent to 1.9 percent. Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office warned that if Obama leaves his economic program in place, a recession in 2013 is all but certain.

His response? Let's do more of the same. This means a tidal wave of tax increases would hit the economy. The Bush era tax cuts for incomes over $200,000 ($250,000 for couples) would expire, boosting the top rate to 42 percent, when deduction phaseouts are included. And two Obama-care increases would take effect, a 0.9 percent hike in the Medicare tax and a 2.9 percent surcharge on investment income.

That's not all. Obama is bristling with plans for "some things we do better together," his euphemism for jacking up spending on anything he can think of except defense. Government programs, he suggested last week in Chicago, are "what has made this country great." His 10-year budget would increase the national debt by $6 trillion.

True, the president routinely feigns love for free markets. "We believe in the marketplace," he declared at a fundraiser with Bill Clinton last week. "We believe in entrepreneurship and rewarding risk-taking." This was followed, as always, by a "but" and the claim that government is at the core of what made America "an economic superpower."

No doubt Obama believes that. Having never been an entrepreneur or risk-taker, he hasn't a clue about what prompts them to invest their time and money in ways that produce growth and jobs. And he's too ideologically committed to government programs to find out how the private economy works.

Which leads us to President Reagan, the record of economic recoveries around the world, and suggested reading over the summer to broaden Obama's economic understanding.

As Obama must know, the Reagan recovery was a stunning success. And it wasn't spurred by government spending. It was based on a 25 percent cut in individual income tax rates, phased in over three years, and initial spending cuts followed by efforts to curb spending growth.

Five months before Reagan was reelected, the jobless rate had fallen from a high of 10.8 percent and was heading to 7.2 percent on Election Day. Reagan was talking about "morning in America." Five months before the 2012 election, Obama is reduced to concocting misleading economic claims to justify his reelection-or changing the subject.

Reagan's economic record is not unique. Harvard economists Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna studied policies aimed at stimulating the economy in 21 countries between 1970 and 2007. Their conclusions were unequivocal. "Fiscal stimuli based upon tax cuts are more likely to increase growth than those based on spending increases," they wrote. "We would argue that the current stimulus package in the United States is too much tilted in the direction of [federal] spending rather than tax cuts." They added that spending cuts are "much more effective than tax increases in stabilizing debt and avoiding economic downturns."

The Alesina-Ardagna study is hardly a secret. It may not have come to the president's attention, but his economic advisers are bound to know of it. In any event, it hasn't had an iota of influence in the Obama White House.

But there's still a chance Obama could learn the error of his economic ways. Every summer, he puts together a list of serious books he intends to read while on vacation. Last year, the list included books on civility, migrations, and a novel by Geraldine Brooks.

This summer, the president would benefit from including Job Creation: How It Really Works and Why Government Doesn't Understand It. The authors are David Newton, a finance professor at Westmont College in California, and Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants.

They make two main points. One is that "private enterprise, unencumbered by excessive government intervention, will create jobs. Period!" The other: "If job creation and economic prosperity were the result of government action and stimulus, currently we should be experiencing one of the greatest economic booms in our history."

When the freshman class of House Republicans elected in 2010 arrived in Washington, Representative Paul Ryan gave a copy of Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt to each of them. Hazlitt's overriding lesson: There is a "persistent tendency of men to see only the immediate effects of a given policy .  .  . and to neglect to inquire what the long-run effects of that policy will be." If Obama is as smart as he's supposed to be, he'll ask Ryan for a copy.

-Fred Barnes

Posted on Jun 10, 2012 4:36:09 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 10, 2012 5:19:19 AM PDT
M. Gaudet says:
In my opinion every President since Reagan has basically governed as a Reagan/Bush Republican and failed the country and its people by doing so.

Obama is no different send him back to Chicago and put in an actual democrat not a pretend one.

More debt ceiling clash and look what happened last time the US got downgraded the Rightwingers wanted a collapse so we could default much worse than what actually happened.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 6:11:36 AM PDT
M. Gaudet says:
How do we know he is the smartest when his college transcripts have not been released?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 6:37:16 AM PDT
Agree. he doesn't show any evidence of being particularly smart, especially about economics.

>>--> " Harvard economists Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna studied policies aimed at stimulating the economy in 21 countries between 1970 and 2007. Their conclusions were unequivocal. "Fiscal stimuli based upon tax cuts are more likely to increase growth than those based on spending increases," they wrote. "We would argue that the current stimulus package in the United States is too much tilted in the direction of [federal] spending rather than tax cuts." They added that spending cuts are "much more effective than tax increases in stabilizing debt and avoiding economic downturns." <--<<

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 6:37:50 AM PDT
Intrepid says:
Harvard Magna Cum Laude has definitions online. Please check instead of repeating this yet again. It has been posted too many times already. Almost as bad as the birther stuff.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 6:43:30 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 10, 2012 6:46:30 AM PDT
M. Gaudet says:
What were his grades then you tell me. What did he teach, what papers did he write.

I know about the Harvard law review yet cannot find any of his stuff printed free online. Maybe i need to look harder.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 6:43:56 AM PDT
Intrepid says:
Brian did AIG, GM, BofA, and Citi want tax cuts in 2008? No they needed cash to even make payrolls.

If your company needs venture capital or a capital improvement loan and all you offer is a tax cut there is not enough cash to achieve what is desired especially in a recession.

Posted on Jun 10, 2012 6:46:16 AM PDT
and harvard has impeccable record of truth telling in documentation
see liz [fauxcahontas] warren's transcript.

Posted on Jun 10, 2012 6:49:18 AM PDT
Kilgore says:
exactly what economic plan? the republicans have been blocking job bill legislations since 2008 with their party of no. i wasn't aware obama was a dictator and overrides congress. another smear campaign, and obvious who is to blame if you check the record of congress the past 4 years.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 6:50:20 AM PDT
Intrepid says:
Look up magna cum laude definitions. He had to be in the top 10-20% of his class if I recall. You should verify since it concerns you. I checked 2x and don't have the desire to do it a 3rd.

I cannot readily find the thesis of my parents or siblings unless I know the titles. They are buried as citations not online. Try to look up things you wrote in college online. Who put them online for others to see?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 6:52:34 AM PDT
Intrepid says:
You can be sure they compile GPA's of cut throat law students carefully. Look up Latin honors and Harvard and Obama and please give credit where due.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 6:55:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 10, 2012 6:56:57 AM PDT
M. Gaudet says:
I read his books and while he was a conversational talker and indeed bright and intelligent as far as wit goes. But tells me nothing of his leadership ability or his ability to cross the aisle and come to a consensus on things like creating jobs. Not that i blame him entirely the tea congress is an embarrassment.

Academically brilliant does not allows translate into brilliant in the real world. There are many genius level people who could never be pres because they lack common sense, or never get out of the library.

Not saying i want a moron on the order of the last guy either.

Posted on Jun 10, 2012 6:58:52 AM PDT
Kilgore says:
http://pleasecutthecrap.typepad.com/main/2010/10/want-proof-that-the-republican-party-is-against-the-people.html#tp

a list of 375 bills the republicans blocked for the helping american citizens and the economy..
sound bites won't change congressional records.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 7:03:02 AM PDT
Intrepid says:
Please compare record and statements of candidates in the nonpartisan site OnTheIssues.org

It helped me very much to compare and contrast candidates in 2008. Rec it highly no matter your personal politics.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 7:04:11 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 10, 2012 7:06:06 AM PDT
M. Gaudet says:
And i hope the ones who got elected to create jobs are gone in NOV. Boehner is the most incompetent speaker since ginrich or pelosi.

I only include Pelosi because she should have backed W's impeachment.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 7:10:02 AM PDT
Kilgore says:
pelosi's record in job bill implementation is far more superior then the boehner's forget job bils but push social conservative job bill implementation. i see quite a distinction... pelosi was given the party of no childish antics to deal with.. even, boehner can't control this hornet's nest of tea bagger congress members. hopefully 2012 will change the madness that we are witnessing in congress.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 3:39:44 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jun 10, 2012 4:07:27 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 3:41:56 PM PDT
and many of these foolish bills were before the 2010 elections; where a grateful populace showed their appreciation for opposing these stoopid, left-wing extremist debacles

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 4:04:37 PM PDT
Lientje says:
Brian: Ah, Fred Barnes, the expert.

OK, I think it is true that the budget is not a good one. There is too much of the Republicans in it. Spend
spend spend. Get the economy moving. Then cut back on spending. Until the unemployment is under 7%,
do what needs to be done. Take the risk.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 4:07:16 PM PDT
Lientje says:
Brian: see liz [fauxcahontas] warren's transcript.

Just exactly how irrelevant can you get, and still not embarrass yourself? When Harvard doesn't know what it
is doing, let us know. Until then, assume they know a whole lot more than you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 4:09:37 PM PDT
Lientje says:
Brian: Just as they can bestow native american status on a lily white caucasian, Fauxcahontas, i

Would you like to show us where it says that Harvard hired the brilliant Ms. Warren because she was an Indian!
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Discussion in:  Politics forum
Participants:  5
Total posts:  21
Initial post:  Jun 10, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 10, 2012

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