Obama’s Washington: No experience necessary
posted at 12:57 pm on August 24, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
Wonder how Recovery Summer turned into Wreckovery Bummer? How an administration ginned up its entire economic strategy into one stimulus bill and has done nothing since, even as the economy disintegrated? Marty Robins advises his readers to check the CVs of the people in charge in Washington to understand just how incompetence has triumphed — and not just Barack Obama’s:
If Washington seems out of ideas on how to get the private-sector jobs machine running again, there’s a pretty straightforward reason — the people in government have virtually no experience in business.
In a major departure from prior administrations, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the current administration with any real business experience. Even offices such as treasury and commerce secretary, which have traditionally been occupied by successful business people, are occupied by a career central banker (with his own tax-compliance problems) and a lawyer/politician.
The situation is little different in Congress, where the “barons” — Pelosi, Frank, Dodd, Waxman, Reid, Rangel — are all career “public servants.”
This increasing disconnect between the government and the business world is a big, if unrecognized, problem, if for no other reason than that it deprives government officials of the knowledge and experience that successful business leaders can bring to solving difficult problems.
Of course, they’re led by the least experienced President in modern times, in the private sector sense (non-existent), executive experience (non-existent), and political senses (only three-plus years in national politics). Incompetence should have been expected under the circumstances, and certainly was by Obama’s critics.
The answer to those arguments during the election was that presidential experience mattered less than the people hired to do the actual work. Obama’s supporters pointed to Ronald Reagan as an example of this, but they forgot that Reagan spent two terms as California Governor (and a term running the Screen Actors Guild before that), learning how to hire qualified people for posts in his administration. By the time he got to the Oval Office, Reagan understood how to pick and then run a team, and how to get the best performance out of them once in harness.
The results have been as dismal as anyone could have predicted. Obama stuck with ideological allies heavy on academics and with no real-world experience, reflecting his own profile rather than complementing it as an experienced executive would have known to do. Obamanomics is the result. It’s a classic command-economy approach that works on every university campus where it’s discussed — and in no real-world setting where it’s ever been tried.
After February 2009 and the establishment of Porkulus, Obama and his team haven’t deflected from its trajectory an iota, mainly because no one on his team has the experience to know how to change course. None of them, as Robins points out, has ever had to run a business and reconsider strategies on the fly. None of them have been responsible for managing stockholder assets nor held accountable for the real-world implications of their actions. In short, this administration is a one-trick pony on economics, and now has no clue on how to formulate a Plan B.
The entire administration reflects incompetence. They need a massive change in leadership, or more accurately, we need a massive change in leadership.