We just witnessed Gates-gate — the triumph of an ideologically driven narrative (America is as racist a country as it’s ever been) over facts. The president even told us he didn’t know the facts — and then proceeded to embroil us (and him) in a tale of racial profiling contrived out of thin air.
That’s the story of health care reform as well. For months we were told that Obama’s health care reform would save money. Facts? None. Experience (on everything from Medicare to farm subsidies to the Post Office) and common sense tell us that if the government sets up a program and then chases the private sector out of business, it will cost more (e.g. for medical care, food or mail service) than it did before — and much more over time than was promised. It took the CBO to finally rain on the “bend the cost curve” fantasy of the Obama team.
On domestic policy nothing has topped the stimulus plan for faith-based government — the boundless belief in the power of government to create jobs and of government spending to create wealth. Neither the New Deal experience or the research of their own economic advisor dissuaded them from spending a trillion dollars (interest included) to “save or create” 3.5 (or was it 4?) million jobs.
But “impervious to empirical evidence” is especially, and dangerously, in ascension in foreign policy.