Not since the voice of God rattled Mount Sinai have words stirred as much buzz as Warren Buffett’s admonition for Washington to “stop coddling the rich.” The plea by the self-loathing billionaire is now a rallying cry of President Barack Obama’s supporters.
But declarations by another mega-rich Obama backer are getting much less play. Publisher Mort Zuckerman, owner of the New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report, penned a piece for the Wall Street Journal last week questioning Obama’s competence.
“Mr. Obama seems unable to get a firm grip on the toughest issue facing his presidency and the country — the economy,” Zuckerman wrote, expressing incredulity that nearly 1,000 days into his tenure, Obama is just now “pivoting” to jobs.
Zuckerman was part of the media mob that tossed its journalistic standards overboard in 2008 and lost its mind for Obama.
That the scales have fallen from his eyes is not surprising — Zuckerman is a businessman, and Obama’s policies are strangling business.
His defection to the Obama doubters is part of a broader national awakening, polls suggest. And no wonder.
Despite laying down a $1 trillion bet on a Keynesian economic juicing, growth is barely above 1 percent, teetering toward another recession.
Also writing in the Journal, Stephen Moore noted that Obama, like President Ronald Reagan, inherited a severe recession. But at this point in Reagan’s first term, the economy was booming and would keep growing for 80 months.
Reagan’s success secret was unshackling the private marketplace. Obama chose the opposite path, and the result is stagnation and insecurity.
Although the president ballyhoos an end to burdensome regulations, the reality is his administration is a regulatory octopus.
Regulatory actions have increased 15 percent this year, and include 219 mandates with an impact above $100 million each.
No private marketplace can withstand such an onslaught.
Nearly everything the president has done on the economic front has failed. He’s made the 2009 stimulus spending surge a permanent part of the budget, yet no net new jobs are materializing. He’s put billions into stabilizing the housing market, yet foreclosures persist and home values are down.
Now we are waiting for Obama to deliver another major speech on the economy — his fourth or fifth since taking office — and there’s no credible expectation that he’s found the answer this time.
He’ll call for even more spending on programs similar to the ones now failing. His strategy is to present Republicans with a plan he knows they’ll reject, and then head back to the campaign trail to blame them for the misery.
But he’s fooling fewer people. As Zuckerman writes, “the buck stops with him. … It is the president’s job to offer a coherent program for the twin threats of a static economy and an unsustainable explosion of our debts and deficits.”
It’s a job he’s not doing.
Read more: http://detnews.com/article/20110828/OPINION03/108280316/Obama-can’t-get-grip-on-economy