Commentary Magazine


Success in Failure?

The Wall Street Journal‘s editors note that Beltway Democrats are in panic mode, watching the non-recovery, the unemployment figures, and the reduction in third-quarter GDP. The problem, the editors point out, is ”that politicians think everything they do is free-standing. Markets, however, combine all the potential costs of Washington’s policies and then decide whether to invest, or not.”

On the horizon are a monstrous health-care bill, a not-quite-dead cap-and-trade bill, and lots and lots of new taxes. The solution might just be to stop doing things that alarm the people who will have to hire and invest. But as the editors explain, “The Democratic agenda is doing precisely the opposite, which is how you get subpar growth and fewer new jobs.”

It may be that in political paralysis and legislative failure the Democrats save themselves. Should the lion’s share of their domestic plans collapse, the voters — and the investor class — may very well breathe a sigh of relief. But for now, Democrats naturally want to “succeed,” even if that success unnerves and hobbles the recovery on which their political futures depend.