Here’s betting that in the war on the U.S. economy, President Obama will lose

Wednesday, March 16, 2011   E-Mail this story   Free Headline Alerts

I am looking for a bookmaker: I want to place a big bet against President Obama in his war on the American economy. It is a calculation made from a worm’s-eye view, of course, based on recent personal experiences and tidbits picked hither and yon. But they do have macroeconomic implications.

Truthfully, I am not really a betting man. (I don’t like to lose.) But were I to plunk down money on this wager, the odds would be long. Given the power of the presidency — and the possibility that Mr. Obama might get a second term, removing all restraints on his ideology — you see the problem of setting what bookies call the live price for the bet.

There isn’t time or space to argue about Mr. Obama’s intentions. In any case, one rarely can divine them. But it is harder and harder to counter accusations of a great left-wing conspiracy to wreck the republic’s fantastic economy, one which has given its people more than any regime in history. The president’s economic warfare speaks even louder than his denunciation of American exceptionalism. Whether it is medical arts, energy or financial regulation, the Obama economic policy is one big demolition derby.

With the Middle East in turmoil, the U.S. administration blocks domestic industry’s ability to expand offshore deepwater drilling — even when ordered to do so by the courts. The president’s disingenuous news conference statement Friday notwithstanding, his regulatory agencies defy congressional and public opinion, adding new impediments to the use of fossil fuels, including new coal technologies, our greatest energy asset. The president will not be able to talk down gasoline prices, which can be lowered only by unfettered markets exploiting America’s abundant resources.

On the budget crisis, the president blithely charges ahead with new government “programs” — for example, adding still more for retraining while 16 existing programs remain uncoordinated — while offering up only minuscule spending cuts. Another $1.5 trillion deficit is considered “routine.” Wall Street is hamstrung by regulations, while the White House pampers companies exporting technology and jobs to China. Those major miscreants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not spanked, much less defanged. The administration surreptitiously supports “special interests” — including bloated government unions in Wisconsin and other swing states — while stepping up its efforts to cast budget-cutters as so many Simon Legrees.

And having rammed through a mishmash billed as a “comprehensive” restructuring of our health care system, a sixth of the economy, the administration adds insult to injury by waiving provisions of its own law in order to buy off selected companies and the medical bureaucracies. (It’s probably unconstitutional, but then Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. picks and chooses what laws he will enforce.) Betting that pork — insurance coverage for children up to 25 on Papa’s chit, indeed — will buy off the electorate, Mr. Obama banks on re-election in 2012, two years before the real bill for Obamacare is scheduled to arrive. So? If things look that bad, why my optimism about the end result?

First off, I am growing my own tomatoes this year. Enough already of those red plastics. I’ve been to my local farmers’ supply store, and I am flabbergasted. In two decades since last I looked, dozens of new products for my fellow amateurs reflect revolutionary agro-industrial research. No wonder American agricultural productivity just doesn’t stop. No wonder warnings about individual crop failures so often prove premature, sometimes resulting in lower prices as happened a season or so back for oranges. This is a country with one big green thumb — and not the one the elitist Sierra Club sucks on — reflecting a scientific spirit that will not be squelched.

On energy, there’s little doubt that Mr. Obama’s legacy will include abandoned wind farms from Hawaii to California to New England, joining those willed to us by the Carter administration’s energy czar, Jim Schlesinger. Yes, China is subsidizing its own wind-energy firms, which now are exporting to the U.S. market. But the truth is that our proven fossil-fuel reserves are growing. “Petroleum peak moment” hysteria may tickle the fancy of academic enviromentalistas, but cold, hard cash — including investments from the Chinese — inevitably will produce a flood of new energy from shale oil. And just how long does 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. believe the public will wait for “drill, baby, drill” if gas goes to $5 a gallon?

Oh, yes, and then there are peaches. Apparently, the public is shifting its allegiance for my favorite fruit, with Chinese imports hounding our growers. What to do? Seems we have developed a new machine that selectively wanders through orchards trimming those magnificent blooms, shortly to be the glory of spring here in the Southeast. The machine thins mechanically and cheaply, so we will get bigger, better and cheaper fruit.

Now will somebody do something about those $1.75 hothouse pimentos, a spice of life, which we bring from the Netherlands, while I wait for the Obama anti-business warriors to collapse of their own dead weight?

   WorldTribune Home