It’s the same old song

Bill Clinton presumably didn’t do much to smooth over his family feud with “upstart” President Barack Obama — running scared from today’s already heavily understated jobless numbers — when the former president came up with a plan, published in last week’s Newsweek, called “14 Ways to Put America Back to Work.”

It would have been refreshing to see a renewed embrace of the free market. Instead, what’s simultaneously most discouraging and least surprising in these “new” Democratic proposals is how they continue to focus on precisely what’s been failing now for years — heavy-handed government initiatives to subsidize politically correct “winners,” paid for by taxing and crushing everyone else in red tape.

“Speed the approvals,” is Mr. Clinton’s first proposal.

Repeal the time-consuming environmental and other reviews that bog down projects for years, multiplying their costs till many won’t pencil out, at all?

Not quite. Instead, Mr. Clinton wants to “keep the full review process when there are real environmental concerns, but when there aren’t, the federal government should be able to give a waiver to the states to speed up start times on construction projects.”

To “the states”? He isn’t talking only about GOVERNMENT construction projects, isn’t he? And who would decide when there “aren’t real environmental concerns”? Have the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity and their ilk all agreed to refrain from suing?

Mr. Clinton also wants federal cash handouts (from higher government taxes on everything “not green”) every time someone creates a “green job.” And how are we to define a “green job”? Why, just send your pricey lobbyists to Washington to get those definitions written to suit your project, of course.

What’s that? You don’t HAVE a high-priced government lobbyist? Awww. As Mrs. Clinton once said, it’s not her “job to save every underfunded business” in America.

Third, Mr. Clinton appears to assert that finally adopting the long discredited Kyoto “global warming” accords will “lower unemployment” while leading to “more new business formation and less income inequality.”

Those not heavily dosed on one of today’s more popular psychoactive drugs probably won’t need to proceed much further to get a sense of the quality of the “flashback” fever dream we have in hand.
For those still following, however, Mr. Clinton does go on to propose that the federal government should back 75 percent of the value of bank loans in order to encourage more lending to businesses. (Surely there’d be no politics involved in deciding which outfits would be designated for these “loser loans,” for which banks would need no such incentives if they met standard lending requirements in the first place.)

The misallocations of the housing bubble have been SUCH fun; let’s create some NEW ones!

“Every analysis shows that TARP and the stimulus saved us from a second Great Depression,” says Mr. Clinton, while in fact every analysis by economists of the Austrian school (the only one that successfully predicted the money-printing policies of the Keynesians would bring on this looming Great Depression II) shows it merely stretched out the recession indefinitely, preventing the needed correction by propping up failed enterprises, the largest of these being the big banks and the FDIC.

“After the GM and Chrysler bailouts, we have something like 75,000 more jobs in the industry,” Mr. Clinton writes. “Closure of the factories and the suppliers with them would have cost a million jobs.”

But allowing GM and Chrysler to go through standard bankruptcies, under which they could have shed their costly white elephant union contracts, would hardly have halted auto production in America. Where did the “straw man” alternative of ending American auto-making come from?

(Remember, the Clinton-Gore ticket was sold to America in 1992 as the “new, moderate, pragmatic Southern wing” of the Democratic party, not beholden to old-line, big-city union bosses like those bad, Humphrey-Mondale “Farm Labor” Democrats.)

New operators, buying up those factories in a fire sale, would have put most of those workers back to work in the same plants, with lowered labor costs allowing more effective competition with foreign rivals.

In fact, we have no idea whether GM and Chrysler are now “succeeding,” nor can we know, until they again stand free of taxpayer support.

Mr. Clinton does at least acknowledge that America needs to cut corporate taxes, acknowledging “It’s true that our corporate rates are the second-highest in the world.”

But there are caveats, of course, including the inevitable call for “eliminating loopholes” (why is it everyone ELSE’S deductions of costs and depreciation are dubbed “loopholes”?) and “broadening the tax base so that all of them pay a reasonable amount of tax on their profits” — which sounds suspiciously like a corporate version of the “Alternative Minimum Tax” which has driven so many successful entrepreneurs into early retirement if not outright expatriation.

“The most thought-out and specific” of these proposals, writes Joseph Lawler at the American Spectator, “seem like they were taken out of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, especially the five that are ‘green’ initiatives,” one of which is to paint every roof in America white, so they’ll better reflect away sunlight.

Seriously. “Every roof.”

“The idea that the government could put unemployed people to work on green jobs to the benefit of the economy was fatuous in 2008,” Mr, Lawler writes. “That Clinton doesn’t have any better ideas now, three years later, is frightening, if it’s any indication of what the Democrats and Obama are thinking.”

2 Comments to “It’s the same old song”

  1. Chris Says:

    Paint every roof in America white?

    Wouldn’t that be seen as “racist” by some unemployable “progressive” retard?

  2. Gary Says:

    Hey! “retards” are good people (for the most part), please don’t sully their pejorative nick-name by applying it to progressives!