Say, what exactly is Barack Obama’s second-term agenda, anyway? I mean, besides saving us from the eeeeevil capitalists at Bain — except for his own Bain bundler Jonathan Lavine, who was managing director during the layoffs Obama keeps bringing up, of course. We know that he’ll issue executive orders blocking people from putting dog carriers on the roofs of their cars, and that he wants to keep government out of the bedroom but force employers to subsidize what happens there, even the employers whose religion prevents them from doing so. Other than that, has Obama articulated even a hint of what his second-term economic policies will be?
Apparently Bill Clinton thinks so. He’s featured in a new Obama ad extolling the Obama second-term agenda that will somehow differ from the stagnation-producing first-term policies to deliver prosperity to the middle class:
“This election, to me, is about which candidate is more likely to return us to full employment.” Er … yeah. Obama has been President for nearly four years with the economic policies that have delivered chronic stagnation and low growth. If Obama plans to continue his high-regulation, tax-increasing, and energy-strangling policies for another four years, should we expect a different outcome? And if Obama has something else in mind, why isn’t he talking about it on the campaign trail?
Clinton asserts that Romney’s plan is to cut taxes for high-end earners. That’s actually false. Romney’s plan is to not raise tax rates on high-end earners and holders of capital, so that they can put their capital to work in a sensibly and predictably regulated environment. Don’t forget that the tax “cut” Clinton claims Romney would pursue is just the act of keeping the rate the same as it has been for the last nine years. Obama’s plan is to hike taxes on them in the middle of a recessionary/stagnating economic environment. Even Bill Clinton knew better than to do that as President; he waited until the recovery was well established to raise top rates.
Finally, Clinton insists that deregulation created the Great Recession and the fiscal near-collapse, but the opposite is true. The financial collapse came from an artificial housing bubble that the federal government deliberately created, and then spread its risk by having Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securitize bad loans that they backed with the imprimatur of government. Absent that artificial pressure, the bubble never would have existed in the first place, and we’d have had normal growth for the decade. Clinton himself was the author of most of that mischief, but there’s enough blame to spread to Republicans and Democrats alike.
But let’s give at least one cheer to former President Clinton — at least he’s talking about economic policy, even if he’s vague and misleading. When will the Leader of the Free World conclude his multi-city exposition on roof-riding dogs and rubbers to deign to discuss what his specific economic plans are for a second term?
Update: Instapundit reminds us of the Obama administration’s track record on “full employment”:
If that’s what Bill Clinton thinks a path to full employment looks like, he’s going to be a real problem for the Hillary 2016 campaign.
Update II: Reminds me of this moment:
The Obama team doesn’t have a plan. They gave up on proposing any solutions almost two years ago when they rejected the Simpson-Bowles plan.