A person has recently taken me to task over my treatment of the Obama administration. Or rather, they griped near me about persons like me. Essentially, their beef is that a lot of Americans seem to actively desire the Obama administration to fail at anything and everything it does. These Americans are accused of doing so out of their own sour grapes over losing the election. Well, I'm a libertarian, so I didn't really expect to win the election. I made it perfectly clear on this website that I considered either a McCain win or an Obama win to be a loss for liberty.
I also realize that I do gripe a lot about Obama, but I also griped a lot about Bush. And I wanted to make one thing very clear: I don't want the administration to fail. I have long believed that if we were ever going to have a fiscally responsible government at the federal level, it would have to be run by a Democratic president. Only Nixon could go to China, only a Democrat can balance the budget. I actually applaud the fact that Obama is at the very least paying lip-service to the idea of reducing or eliminating the deficit. It gives me hope that there's a sliver of a chance he might be the Democrat I've been waiting for.
The reason I believe this about Democratic presidents is simple: If a Republican tries to balance the budget, he will be forced into the role of Ebenezer Scrooge by the Democrats who will play the role of angels to the hilt. They will stir up popular sentiment against any hard choices he has to make (no matter how necessary and well-reasoned), and because Republican politicians are almost universally spineless, he will cave to the pressure. Republicans have to play the giveaway game because they're far too afraid not to. They won't gamble votes on fiscal responsibility. The only person who can therefore balance the budget is a Democrat who's willing to stop playing Santa Claus and start playing the responsible adult. The Democrats are the ones who have to say "the giveaways need to stop, or at least slow way down". Their leaders, especially their president, have to be willing to push the members of their party into line on those issues. It's a tall order, and it will require incredible fortitude to pull it off. But Obama could do it if he really wanted to.
Unfortunately, Obama's burning the candle from both ends. The stimulus package cannot work. It is based on flawed assumptions compounded by flawed reasoning. It's not that I don't want it to work, or that I hate Democrats so much that I fervently wish it wouldn't work. It's that I know it CAN'T work. Economically speaking, we are on a one-way speed train to hell, and every time the government pulls a "stimulus" plan, no matter who is president, it's just another shovelfull of coal into the engine. I griped about it when Bush was president, and I'm not going to stop griping about it just because it offends some Democrat sensibilities.
Economics is a science, just as much as physics (though it is a different kind of science). If you roll a snowball down a mountain, it absolutely will gather more snow and it absolutely will impact something at the bottom, most likely in devastating fashion. It doesn't take a physicist to know this, it only takes some basic knowledge of physics coupled with some common sense. The same goes for economics. It doesn't take much to predict what will happen as a result of this stimulus bill. IF it has any positive effect at all, it will be temporary, and the fall afterwards will be even harder. Predicting that this will happen is not wishing for the effects any more than predicting the snowball is going to hit a ski lodge equates to wishing for the lodge's destruction.
I never thought I'd say this, but after 8 years of Bush and one month of Obama, I'm starting to think the Clinton presidency wasn't all that bad. Sure, he had way more than his share of goofs that enraged me (I can think of 3 big ones off the top of my head, none of which have anything to do with Monica Lewinsky), but at least he had the presence of mind to largely stay out of the way while the internet economy was being built.