The Obama Honeymoon
Karl Rove has an excellent piece up at the Wall Street Journal. In it, he points out that Obama criticized “deficit spending” last February and yet now has plans for massive spending of his own. To wit:
He seems to be mistaking what may be good ideas for economic stimulants. Ensuring “that within five years, all of America’s medical records are computerized” is a fine idea, but the Bush administration already set that goal and developed standards and structure to make it happen. Mr. Obama will claim credit for it but it won’t quickly create jobs.
And then there’s Medicaid. Mr. Obama wants to give about $100 billion to help states expand the program. This will add $100 billion or more a year to the baseline of an entitlement everyone admits is out of control.
Many Obama proposals are spending marketed as stimulus. Much of his “middle-class tax cut” goes to people who have no federal income tax liability. It’s really a $500 per worker annual tax credit. Is $20 a week ($40 for couples) in welfare stimulative?
Rove also points out that Obama has made some big promises concerning job creation:
Take the “green jobs” he promises. There are 6,856 people who work for companies that make solar cells in America and 2,150 people who work for the biggest wind equipment maker. Mr. Obama says he’ll create 459,000 new “green energy” jobs like those. Can he really do that? A lot of people will be keeping score.
Mr. Obama says 244,000 of his new jobs will be in government. Will these new government employees disappear when the economy recovers? Or is Mr. Obama pushing the largest expansion of government since LBJ’s Great Society?
Mr. Rove closes with the following warning:
For all the pride America can have next Tuesday, these issues are real and not going away. The inauguration is a moment of constitutional significance and important symbolism. Team Obama should enjoy it. As I can attest personally, it won’t last long. By the next day, the realities of governing will intrude.
Indeed, president-elect HopenchangeObama, reality is fast approaching.