With word now that the federal deficit is set to pass $1.5 trillion this year, one wonders why the president, supposedly committed to deficit reduction, proposed new spending initiatives, er investments, in the State of the Union address earlier this week.
Maybe he just can’t help it.
Unlike his most recent Democratic predecessor who, like him made a rhetoric pivot to the center, he cannot make a similar policy pivot. Evidence notwithstanding, he really does believe that increased government spending, er, investment, represents the only way to promote innovation, spur economic growth, make American more competitive in the world economy and to create jobs.
Beholden to the idea of a benevolent big government, the Democrat doesn’t have much confidence in the free market to effect the kinds of changes and create the types of breakthroughs we need to confront the challenges of a global marketplace. To President Obama, the age of Big Government is not over, it has only just begun.
That’s one reason, I believe, he’ll lose next fall. He’s out of touch not just with economic reality but with the emerging consensus of the American people who have seen the government’s balance sheet and know we need to hold the line on federal spending. They understand and appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit which built this country. To be sure, they share the president’s rhetorical confidence in the American spirit, but are skeptical of his conviction that that spirit needs federal support to spur it on.