His friends advise Barack Obama to launch a “New” New Deal. Maybe that’s because the old New Deal is sinking fast.
Mr. Obama’s one deeply false note during the campaign was his harping on “deregulation” as if that were the source of current troubles. His real problem is the crack-up of the world FDR built.
Fannie Mae was a New Deal creation, subsidizing the securitization of mortgage debt. FDR’s successors piled on the subsidies for housing debt and incentives directed at low-income borrowers. Kaboom.
Then there’s the UAW, born in 1935. For decades the UAW steadily traded away domestic auto market-share to imports and transplants to keep its aging membership toiling away toward their golden pensions and collecting wages and benefits twice those of their competitors. It worked for a while . . .
Mr. Obama must be looking around and beginning to suspect he will be pouring his political capital, along with considerable taxpayer capital, down bottomless holes for the next four years. He won’t be building a legacy as the new FDR, but cleaning up after the last one.
In contrast, Jonah Goldberg channels Paul McCartney, and suggests that Obama simply Let It Be:
By all means, let’s hope President Obama will project confidence. But maybe he should express less confidence in the government’s ability to get people working again, and more in the ability of regular Americans to rise from the ashes of any hardship. In short, don’t just do something, President Obama, stand there.
Read the whole thing.