Mr. President: Turn Back While There's Still Time
CNBC correspondent Nick Santelli, in a rant heard round the world, encapsulated what many conservatives and apolitical observers have been thinking: the Obama economic policies are making things worse, not better. "The government is promoting bad behavior!" Santelli declared. By bailing out the irresponsible (e.g., home buyers, banks, auto companies) and continually tinkering with major sectors of the economy, the Obama administration, according to Santelli (and other observers), has embarked on a misguided course which ultimately threatens the fabric of our free-market system.
Conservative media and economists have been sounding the alarm for some time. But now even the network news shows are noticing that the Obama economic policies are going over like a lead balloon.
It is getting harder to ignore the facts. Fred Barnes writes:
Obama the market killer. The Dow opened at 8281.22 on the morning of Obama's inauguration. Today it opens at 7465.95. That's a vote of practically no confidence in Obama's strategy for reviving the economy. The numbers were worse on the biggest days of the Obama presidency. The Dow fell 332.13 points on inauguration day, 381.99 points on the day Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner announced step two in the bank bailout, and 297.91 points when the president signed the stimulus bill three days ago. Financial markets are a bet on the future. The market's view is that an Obamanomics-driven economy looks grim.
Today was more of the same as the price of gold hit the $1,000 mark and the stock market plunged close to 7300. It seems the Obama administration has picked up just where the Bush administration left off. The markets are once again exhibiting a lack of confidence in the U.S. economy and downright fear about the impact of the administration's policies.
From a political standpoint, the idea that we should bail out irresponsible home buyers or incompetently run auto companies is proving to be very unpopular. Rasmussen polling revealed that 64% of Americans oppose further car company bailouts and only 38% back the president's mortgage bailout plan.
The president then has a two-fold problem. First, the economy is worsening. By seizing the tiller with a series of rescue plans (crafted and approved almost exclusively by Democrats) and promising he will "save" millions of jobs (the precise figure keeps shifting) he and his Democratic allies in Congress now "own" the economy and will be held responsible for the progress of the recovery. Second, the very policies which they intend to implement are proving to be unpopular both on Wall Street and on Main Street.