Obamateurism of the Day

Barack Obama used his Saturday speech to offer a mantra that he has been chanting a lot lately as an excuse for Obamanomics, which our friend and occasional Green Room contributor Dafydd ab Hugh caught:

“Of course, there’s been a real debate about where to invest and where to cut, and I’m committed to working with members of both parties to cut our deficits and debt,” Obama said in his weekly radio address. “But we can’t simply cut our way to prosperity,” he added.

Er … says who? Who is it exactly who believes that spending cuts cancel out prosperity? In the two biggest boom periods of the 25-year expansion started by Ronald Reagan, federal spending growth slowed to near zero in two periods — in Reagan’s second term, when budget growth turned slightly negative, and in Clinton’s first term, when the GOP-controlled Congress applied discipline to spending that almost flattened growth.  In both periods, job creation exploded and the economy soard.  Here’s the Heritage chart that shows the trajectory of federal spending growth:

In fact, the one thing that can be said is that big spending absolutely doesn’t bring economic expansion.  Obama’s own Porkulus showed that the government cannot spend its way to prosperity.  If it did, we’d be enjoying the most massive expansion in American history over the last three years, but instead, we’re entering stagnation at best and probably heading for a double-dip recession.

Instead of chanting mantras, maybe Obama should be learning from history and his own mistakes.  Leaving capital in the hands of people who best know how to use it instead of bureaucrats who mainly waste it might not guarantee immediate prosperity, but it is an important first start.


Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

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