Conservative commentator George F. Will has an excellent column in The Washington Post this week in which he lambastes the government knows best mentality that seems to define the Obama Administration.
Despite the failure of a multibillion dollar “stimulus” program that was supposed to keep unemployment below 8 percent, the central planners in Washington continue to insist that they know how to run the economy.
Despite the many failures of “green” energy projects and federal subsidies for them, the Obama Administration continues to insist that they know what’s the right future for American energy, not consumer. Hence energy secretary Steven Chu’s defense of banning the incandescent light bulb as “taking away a choice that continue[d] to let people waste their own money.” Hence President Barack Obama’s pledge to “necessarily skyrocket” the prices of oil and gas to “nudge” Americans toward using cleaner fuels and energy.
Obama’s administration, which is largely innocent of business experience, knew its experts would be wizards at investing taxpayers’ dollars. Oops. After receiving more than half a billion stimulus dollars in loan guarantees, bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra has shed nearly all of its more than 1,100 workers.
It’s just one example of poor economic policy. Countless of laws and regulations have been enacted by federal and state governments in the last two and a half years that deny people choice and undermine competition.
Health care reform is but the most blatantly paternalistic of “reforms” introduced under President Barack Obama’s watch. Fuel effiency standards, net neutrality, additional regulations for credit cards and loans and the nationalization of banks and automakers all stem from the same conviction — that people and markets cannot be trusted to do what’s good for them; that central planners know what’s best for people.
Seventy years of communism apparently haven’t laid the theory to rest. The notion that a panel of “experts” in Washington can regulate an industry the size of France’s entire economy is, of course, preposterous. But it is championed by this administration nevertheless. The notion that government can indiscriminately ban products and services which it deems undesirable is not just preposterous — it is very dangerous. Where is the end?
According to George Will, the economic policy that Obama’s government should adopt can be expressed in five one syllable words: “Get. Out. Of. The. Way.”