Excerpts of Obama’s Theorems By Victor Davis Hanson
If borrowing money is the right way to get us out of the recession, the public wants to know why we do not call it “borrowing,” rather than “stimulus.” If well over a trillion dollars in new debt was supposedly essential to restarting the economy, why not three, four, or five trillion more to make recovery a sure thing? And if Americans know from first-hand experience that charging purchases on their credit cards is optional, quick, easy, and fun, but that paying them off is necessary, slow, difficult, and unpleasant, why would they think their government’s charges would be any different? . .
The annual World Gas Association conference in Argentina just announced that new finds — many of them in North America — have pushed natural-gas reserves up to 1.2 trillion oil-equivalent barrels. Recent discoveries of huge fields in the Dakotas, the Gulf of Mexico, and the interior of California remind the public that there are still enormous domestic resources, which, if tapped, could tide us over until solar power, windmills, and biofuels become more economical. Developing all our energy resources, rather than using often-changing parameters to brand some sources environmentally incorrect (is nuclear power still taboo, sort of okay, or acceptable in terms of global warming?), seems far wiser to voters.
Health-care reform presents the same disconnect. The public is told the president’s radical overhaul of American medicine will save trillions of dollars. But the public wonders how that could be when more people are to be covered, with greater government intrusion.
They do not believe that the government — given vast unfunded liabilities from Medicare, Social Security, and the Postal Service — is particularly efficient. . .
If ridding Medicare of waste and fraud will help pay for nationalized health care, why have we waited this long to realize such economies? And if Medicare is admittedly rife with abuse, why would an even larger government-run program be singularly exempt from the same inherent dangers? . .
Americans want out of the recession and wish long-term problems of war, energy, and health care to be solved. They welcomed a young, charismatic president who seems eager to tackle these challenges head-on. The problem, however, is that they are not convinced that he understands the challenges, let alone that he offers the right solutions. In short, what Obama says seems pleasant to the ear, but an increasing number of Americans believe that his answers are not just unlikely, but perhaps not even possible.