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Somehow, the Fact We Aren’t All Dying of Starvation Proves that President Obama Is a Genius

August 25, 2009

After the recent release of several economic reports showing a potential slowdown of the recession, Democrats are fighting with one another to see who can be quicker to declare the recession over and the Obama administration a group of economic Wittgensteins. 

Missing what’s called “the point” by at least several miles, E.J. Dionne has penned a piece of Obama apologia so profoundly sychophantic in nature that one literally get the impression that Mr. Dionne will never be able to breath through his nose again.

Mr. Dionne claims that “recovery”–which, strictly speaking, in the technical sense, hasn’t occured yet–is due to speedy infusions of behemoth sums of government cash into the economy.  If that were true, would Bush be the manifestly more obvious choice for Statist praise after having passed TARP? 

Mr. Dionne’s argument, and that of many Keynesian worshippers like the New York Times resident tinfoil hat wearing “economist” Paul Krugman, seems to be “it could have been worse”:

The hardest slogan to sell in politics is: “Things could have been a whole lot worse.” No wonder President Obama is having trouble defending his stimulus plan.

Alternately, and more in line with what sane people call “reality”, it could have been much, much better.

Let’s pretend for a moment that the recession is indeed over.  By the Obama administration’s own reckoning, the job losses alone that occured with porkulus far exceed the administration’s dire predictions of what would occur had porkulus not been passed at all.  Witness exhibit A:

Change is here!  Before Obama=job, after Obama=no job!  Feel the hope!

Change is here! Before Obama=job, after Obama=no job! Feel the hope!

Seemingly oblivious that what they said yesterday has any bearing on what they say today, liberal apologist like Dionne and Krugman attempt to turn reality on its head; in the case of the latter, that means making demonstrably absurd assertion about Reaganism that are starkly at odds with reality.

The liberal bag of tricks is finite in its depth and complexity, so Krugman sets about proliferating long-discredited myths about Reagan, with the standard Clinton book-licking thrown in for good measure.

Washington, it seems, is still ruled by Reaganism — by an ideology that says government intervention is always bad, and leaving the private sector to its own devices is always good.

Reaganism is not equivalent to free-market anarchy.  Krugman obviously confuses the two.  Conservatives simply believe that government’s role in economic activity ought to be limited to playing referee according to a set of minimal guidelines.  This is in contradistinction to the Keynesian belief that government should serve as a referee, a player, a nanny, a piggy bank, and a wet-nurse to select group interests.  Undaunted by reality, Krugman continues on:

Call me naïve, but I actually hoped that the failure of Reaganism in practice would kill it. It turns out, however, to be a zombie doctrine: even though it should be dead, it keeps on coming.

Let’s talk for a moment about why the age of Reagan should be over.

First of all, even before the current crisis Reaganomics had failed to deliver what it promised. Remember how lower taxes on high incomes and deregulation that unleashed the “magic of the marketplace” were supposed to lead to dramatically better outcomes for everyone? Well, it didn’t happen.

To be sure, the wealthy benefited enormously: the real incomes of the top .01 percent of Americans rose sevenfold between 1980 and 2007. But the real income of the median family rose only 22 percent, less than a third its growth over the previous 27 years.

In what world has Reaganism failed, other than the dystopian fantasy land in which Krugman and other nanny-staters dwell? 

Krugman fails to tell the reader that real median income rates rose $4000 between 1981 and 1989.  Also not occurring to Krugman is the possibility that maybe–just maybe the rich get richer absent onerous regulations of markets because they earn that money.  More than that, everything from savings to durable goods sales increased tremendously during Reagan’s presidency.  He created a boom that would continue until 1999, the very mild recession of 1991 notwithstanding.

Oddly, no one bothers to wonder if massive government entitlement programs have any effect whatsoever on median income figures.  Since entitlement programs were once again expanded under Bush 41, it’s a safe bet that plenty of workers were disincentivized right out of productivity. 

Moreover, Krugman’s assertions that the Clinton years were the result of Clinton policies is demonstrably false.  There isn’t a single “Clinton” era initiative, from corporate tax cuts all the way to downsizes in entitlement programs, that wasn’t the brainchild of a Republican congress that had the ability to bend Clinton to their will. 

Hence, Krugman relegates “Reaganomics” to nothing more than a term of opprobrium.  Liberals alone are uniquely gifted in matters of economics.  Krugman is a rarity: a so-called “economist” who hates free markets.  He’s a class-warfare demagogue with a degree.  Sound familiar?

If liberals are going to insist on practicing the low art of deception, perhaps they should at least do some homework:

Or, since the facts aren’t on his side, perhaps Krugman should just go for the gold and attempt to get the First Amendment repealed.  Then, he’d be free to impugn Reagan and exalt idiot liberals without the fear that anyone could find out the truth.

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