Commentary Magazine


Better Be Some Sales Pitch

Karl Rove, in critiquing the president’s first 100 days in office and his penchant for outsourcing his agenda’s details to Congressional Democrats, writes:

The stimulus bill turned into a liberal spending wish list that will retard, not hasten, recovery. Already, with mounting job losses the gap between the 3.675 million jobs he said he would create or protect in his first two years and the number of actual jobs in the economy has risen to nearly five million. Reaching his job target now requires creating 249,400 new jobs a month for the next 20 months. Democrats will not fare well in next year’s elections if there is a yawning Obama “job gap.”

That’s always the rub with the Keynesian schemes — they don’t work. Usually “the problem” is that the economy bounces back before the money gets spent so the government spending is, in essence, a wasted effort. Obama, having boldly declared a trillion dollar (interest included) boondoggle to be the solution to our woes, now claims responsibility for its results. With the “job gap” widening as unemployment creeps ever higher, GDP contracting at an alarming rate and his toxic bank clean-up plan still up in the air, the recovery seems a long way off. And if you had any doubt, Larry Summers himself told us this was the case.

And if we don’t experience a robust recovery, including dramatic reduction in unemployment, who will the voters blame? Goerge W. Bush is a distant memory. The Republican Party can’t be blamed because they said, well, “no.” So we return to the president and Congress who spent a few weeks cobbling together a pork-a-thon and, the rest of the year on items not related to job growth or economic recovery. In fact, most of the projects Democrats have pursued may retard recovery even further with a bevy of new employer mandates and regulatory schemes.

We are told the president is a very good salesman. I suspect his skills will soon be put to the test.