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VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Old ‘Not Enough’ Excuse – National Review Online

August 26, 2011

The Old ‘Not Enough’ Excuse

True believers in government spending can never be proved wrong.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON

AUGUST 25, 2011 12:00 A.M.

To newly inaugurated Barack Obama and his prime-the-pump technocrats, the logic seemed so simple. America’s problem was a struggling economy. The solution was to spread around even more borrowed government money. The result would be a return to prosperity.

But after nearly three years and $4 trillion in borrowed “stimulus,” things have only gotten worse. Unemployment is stuck at 9.1 percent. Consumer confidence is approaching a record low.The stock market is tanking. National debt is increasing at a rate of $4 billion a day. Economic growth has almost vanished. America’s creditworthiness has been downgraded. The housing market is still depressed. Food and fuel prices are skyrocketing. In response, only 26 percent of the public expresses confidence in the president’s handling of the economy.

Apparently, as even the president himself recently confessed, government cannot so easily manufacture “shovel-ready” jobs. But it did far better at scaring cash-hoarding businesses into a historic hiring paralysis with nonstop talk of higher taxes, more national debt, more regulations, them vs. us class-warfare rhetoric, threatened government shutdowns of private plants, and higher-priced energy.

Obama is still promising to borrow more for “infrastructure” and “jobs.” Despite nearly $15 trillion in federal debt, the administration apparently wants to defy the rules of logic and do more of what made things worse in the first place, under the euphemism of “investments.” American popular culture has coined all sorts of proverbial warnings about such mindless devotion to destructive rote: “Don’t flog a dead horse,” “If you are in a hole, stop digging,” and “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

via The Old ‘Not Enough’ Excuse – Victor Davis Hanson – National Review Online.

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