Just when you think you’ve heard it all, President Obama comes out with another doozy reflecting the economic fantasyland in which he operates. This time he declared, “We should have one secretary of business, instead of nine different departments that are dealing with things like giving loans to SBA or helping companies with exports. There should be a one-stop shop.”
How much better to run industrial policy? The thought of creating a centralized, uber-business (crony business) department on top of Commerce and Treasury should send shivers down the spine of Americans. It’s not only a recipe for more meddling, corporate welfare and picking winners and losers, but it concretizes Obama’s silly notion that there’s nothing wrong with the economy that rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic (i.e. government bureaucracy) can’t fix.
Mitt Romney spokesman Ryan Williams responded tersely, “We don’t need a ‘secretary of business.’ We need a new president who actually understands business and wont punish it with the job-killing regulations that have been imposed by the Obama Administration. Mitt Romney spent his career in the private sector as a successful businessman, and as president he will promote pro-growth policies that will create jobs, help small business and strengthen the middle class.
That was a silly turnover and easy layup, wasn’t it? Obama has had four years to address entitlements, the debt, tax reform and the rest. He’s proved not to be up to the job. But now his big idea for the second term is a new Cabinet department? You can’t make this stuff up.
Oh, and the deficit will be a top priority, he assures us. That’s odd coming from the president who added $6 trillion to the debt, never submitted a budget with less than a trillion-dollar deficit, rejected the Simpson-Bowles debt plan and, as Bob Woodward amply documented in “The Price of Politics,” couldn’t negotiate a grand bargain with Congress to save his life (or the country’s credit rating). Obama isn’t even honest enough to admit the disastrous defense sequestration plan was his idea. (Woodward chided the president’s false statement that it is was all Congress’s idea, saying, “After reviewing all the interviews and the extensive material I have on this issue, it looks like President Obama told a whopper. . . . I have asked the White House to correct the record.)
The president certainly isn’t sounding like the incumbent on a winning campaign. To be honest, he’s not even sounding like someone who knows his way around the economy and has a solid working knowledge of the federal government. No wonder he resorts to petty insults and feigned outrage.
Maybe Obama should don a windbreaker, visit storm victims and say as little as possible until Election Day. It would certainly be an improvement over what we have seen in the last week or so.