Well, he said a year and a half ago that we talk about him like a dog, so presumably the above metaphor is grandfathered in. But in any case, as Victor Davis Hanson asks “Now What? The Obama administration’s real problem is existential: What if it gets what it wants, but then finds that either it or the country really is uncomfortable with what it got?”
Take energy. We were long ago lectured by hot-house administration plants, including the president himself, about the desirability of high-cost energy in curbing fossil-fuel use and making subsidized wind and solar power and electric transportation competitive. By midsummer, the technocrats may get their wish with $5 or even $6-a-gallon gas (not quite as high as Secretary Chu may once have wanted). Will they say, “But $7 or $8 would have been more truly European”?
And if we were to go back to the “Clinton tax rates” as the president repeats as a daily mantra, then what? The deficit would not drastically be cut, given the huge rates of borrowing, and the budget would not even come close to being balanced. Would the president then come back with, “We need to raise taxes a lot more than just those pay-your-fair-share Clinton-era rates”?
And Obamacare? Once it passed, there were new taxes leveled to pay for it; health-care premiums are rising; the latest squabble with the Catholic Church reminds us that few Americans had any idea about what was in the 2,000-plus-page bill; and soon Medicare will be trimmed to pay for it. In reaction, will the administration say, “We need a truly comprehensive Obamacare II bill?” or “Next round we will offer you a single-payer plan”? or “We had too little government control the first time around”?
To sum up, “Distorting the Economy Is the Whole Point,” Jacob Sullem writes at Reason. For those of us who lived through all this once before, take heart: “In January 1980, the Gallup Poll showed: Carter 63% Reagan 32%.”
Update: White House tries to take credit for increased drilling, which the president has consistently criticized: “In Response To Skyrocketing Gas Prices, Obama Tries To Take Credit For Policy Actions That He Once Campaigned Against.”
More: Ben, I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Algae.