Overreaching At The Wrong Time

For no reason other than it’s blistering hot where I live, I started counting up the major initiatives that the Obama administration is taking on and, you know, it’s staggering.

Consider the following list:

  • Cap-And-Trade — A major effort to impose a limit on carbon emissions that would eventually increase costs throughout the economy.
  • Health Care Reform — An attempt to bring all of the uninsured in this country under some form of health insurance coverage. Though the effort is billed as a cost cutting measure, no sane minded citizen believes you can add forty million people to the insurance rolls without a significant cost.
  • Consumer Protection — Create a new consumer protection agency that’s going to make sure no one ever again signs a piece of paper that they don’t fully understand. I’ll leave it to you to calculate the cost of this piece of fantasy.
  • Education — They’re just getting started on this one but the billion dollar signs are rolling out the door. No one has stopped to notice that the education industry runs a close second to health care in terms of rising costs. Unfortunately, its output continues to disappoint.
  • Fiscal Stimulus — This one should probably have been first. We all know the numbers that are being spent here and sadly see the results of miserable execution.
  • Green Revolution — Part of cap-and-trade but it has a life of its own as well. The potential for a bottomless pit is substantial.
  • Tax Reform — This one is currently making a stealth appearance in health reform but it’s ugly head will rear itself time and time again. Actually, it’s not reform that’s the goal rather revenue raising is the driving force.

Takes your breath away, doesn’t it? Arguably, there should be one focus. Getting this country’s economy back on track. Instead the administration has assumed that the crisis opens the door for all manner of “reform”. Thought it shouldn’t be a surprise, it seems to have taken them as one that the electorate is pushing back.

Change at any time is difficult for a society to adjust to; change in abundance rarely comes to fruition and change in the middle of a crisis is inevitably a failure. The Obama administration and the President have vastly over estimated the public’s appetite for many of their programs as well as the its conviction that the most important item on the table is economic recovery.

They may be facing some crushing defeats in the next few months, in which case damage control will become the operative policy and change will become a four letter word. If it focuses their attention on the task at hand then so much the better.

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