To newly inaugurated Barack Obama and his prime-the-pump technocrats, the logic seemed so simple. America's problem was a struggling economy. The solution was to spread around even more borrowed government money. The result would be a return to prosperity.
But after nearly three years and almost $5 trillion in more borrowed "stimulus," things have gotten only worse. Unemployment is stuck at 9.1 percent. Consumer confidence is approaching a record low. The stock market is tanking. National debt increases at the rate of $4 billion a day. Economic growth has almost vanished. Credit worthiness is downgraded. The housing market is still depressed. Food and fuel prices skyrocket. In response, only 26 percent of the public expresses confidence in the president's handling of the economy.
Apparently government cannot so easily, as even the president himself recently confessed, manufacture "shovel-ready" jobs. But it did far better in scaring cash-hoarding businesses into a historic hiring paralysis with nonstop talk of higher taxes, more national debt, more regulations, them/us class warfare rhetoric, threatened government shutdowns of private plants, and higher-priced energy.