As a candidate, Barack Obama was but one of many of the left in recent years who scolded Americans on their economic largesse–until they seemingly took his advice and drastically curtailed their spending, Mark Steyn writes in his newest column:
“Retail Sales Plummet,” read the Christmas headline in The Wall Street Journal. “Sales plunged across most categories on shrinking consumer spending.”
Hey, that’s great news, isn’t it? After all, everyone knows Americans consume too much. What was it that then Sen. Obama said on the subject? “We can’t just keep driving our SUVs, eating whatever we want, keeping our homes at 72 degrees at all times regardless of whether we live in the tundra or the desert and keep consuming 25 percent of the world’s resources with just 4 percent of the world’s population, and expect the rest of the world to say, ‘You just go ahead, we’ll be fine.'”
And boy, we took the great man’s words to heart. SUV sales have nose-dived, and 72 is no longer your home’s thermostat setting but its current value expressed as a percentage of what you paid for it. If I understand then Sen. Obama’s logic, in a just world Americans would be 4 percent of the population and consume 4 percent of the world’s resources. And in these past few months we’ve made an excellent start toward that blessed utopia: Americans are driving smaller cars, buying smaller homes, giving smaller Christmas presents.
And yet, strangely, President-elect Barack Obama doesn’t seem terribly happy about the Obamafication of the U.S. economy. He’s proposing some 5.7 bazillion dollar “stimulus” package or whatever it is now to “stimulate” it back into its bad old ways.
On the other hand, as Tom Blumer writes, “If a recovery begins too soon, a massive ‘stimulus’ package might not be needed. Democrats consider that a bad thing.”–hence even more negative jawboning from the incoming administration.