Commentary Magazine


Contentions

False Choices, Indeed

Conservatives aren’t the only skeptics when it comes to the president’s grandiose plans. Ruth Marcus writes:

President Obama’s plan to put the country on a sustainable fiscal path hinges on three huge bets. First, that the government can get health-care costs under control even while expanding coverage. Second, that enacting a cap-and-trade emissions plan would generate revenue along with easing global warming. Third, that the looming expiration of the Bush tax cuts can be a forcing mechanism to write a saner tax code and bring in more revenue.

Sounds great, but I wouldn’t risk the kids’ college funds on it — if there were any money left in their college funds.

For starters, the goals are mutually contradictory and devoid of realism. Putting in place cap-and-trade regulations for every business limits economic activity. The notion that you’re going to make money on this proposition is analogous to a quack diet promising that you will lose weight eating chocolate cake four times a day. Paying for healthcare for tens of millions of new beneficiaries costs lots of money. You can say you want more healthcare and want to pay less for it, but just saying it and crossing your fingers doesn’t make it remotely feasible.

All of these endeavors require exquisite, near superhuman skill, unlimited funds, and a belief that the people who decided to save AIG and let Lehman Brothers fail, unleashed Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae on the subprime lending market, and currently support entrenched special interests (e.g. trial lawyers and Big Labor) are going to get this all “right” — and save money, to boot.

I think Obama was the one who talked about “false choices.” But the notion that you can have it all by government fiat without incurring huge economic cost and wrecking a vibrant economy is the greatest falsehood of them all.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.