Tuesday, March 24, 2009
During the campaign, candidate Obama told us he would deliver a "Net Spending Cut" (one instance is near the beginning of this video). He indicated he was a believer in Pay-As-You-Go and would cut wasteful spending to match each spending increase.
What has he delivered and proposed since being elected?
The bottom line is that he's on track towards doubling the national debt. Not just by continuing the horrible Bush administration fiscal irrisponsibility, but "In fact, the budget office found that Obama’s projected deficits are more than double what they would be if the president had merely stuck with the current spending and taxation proposals left by the Bush administration."
No reasonable person could believe that these are the proposals of someone who intends to produce a "Net spending cut" or to practice his often mouthed "fiscal responsibility."
Absent a massive increase in productivity and growth (what I'm hoping for), and most of Obama's policies are extremely anti-growth, we're heading for debt levels that almost everyone agrees are unsustainable. The pain he's causing will be severe.
Yes, I know that it's par for the course for politicians to lie in order to get elected. But, many seemed to be so thrilled by his rhetoric and novelty that they believed something better was really about to happen.
Turns out it's not better at all. The conservative claims that he was the "Most liberal member of the Senate" seem to have been warranted.
What we've been getting so far is: Change You Can Believe In If You're An Idiot.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Next week (March 28, 2009 at 8:30 PM local time), lots of people will be recognizing "Earth Hour" by turning off their lights and electrical devices as a symbolic gesture to show their support for significant changes in human activity to address the Climate Change "crisis."
Partially because I'm still skeptical about the quality of the models, the estimates of net harm that are likely, and the wisdom of taking massive political actions and relying on highly politicized research to address it.
But, mostly, it's because I think that the symbolism of turning off our lights, and simulating a primitive lifestyle, is exactly the wrong way to express our support for a sensible approach.
Whatever challenges we have from climate changes will not be solved by masses of people huddling in the dark, or by governments dictating commercial activity. It'll be solved by smart people with their lights and computers on (discovering innovative ways to produce and manage energy, and to make other changes to counteract the environmental harm), and many people making voluntary exchanges with uncontrolled price signals so that resources will be allocated more efficiently.
My lights and computer will be on.
(HT Tom G. Palmer)