Banks continue to fail at an alarming rate, the dollar is under assault, and Washington is looking at a future of trillion-dollar deficits. One might have guessed it would take a decade of Obamanomics to produce European welfare state levels of youth unemployment, but at 18.5% we’re there.
About the only positive sign is the price surge in normally uncorrelated assets—stocks, bonds, commodities, gold—as fund managers use cheap credit to play the carry-trade opportunity.
All this might be defensible if time were being bought to clean up an accumulation of past excesses. Instead, the president is creating a new one. It’s no exaggeration to say the Senate health-care bill taking shape is the equivalent of climbing aboard a train about to plunge into a canyon and deciding what it really needs is a bomb on board.
By one metric alone, it might succeed—somewhat reducing the numbers of those who tell pollsters they are “uninsured.” But it does so in a fashion reminiscent of the means the Clinton and Bush administrations used to raise the homeownership rate from 64% to 70%—which produced the subprime wreckage around us.