Sunday, February 15, 2009

A look back

Almost four weeks ago President Obama spoke the following words:
The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works, whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.

Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.

And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.
Can this in any way be reconciled with what has actually occurred since then? Obama implied a government guided not by ideology but pragmatism -- but has clearly governed as a traditional liberal. He has expanded programs but ended none. He spoke of managing money wisely, but has spent with abandon. He spoke of doing business in the light of day but is set to sign legislation that even members of Congress were not given an opportunity to fully digest before voting on.

He then followed with this bit:
Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched.
If Obama truly believes this then why did his stimulus package do nothing to promote the market? If it is unmatched in its ability to expand wealth -- which we surely need more of -- then why is the stimulus package based on the expansion of government rather than the market? If he truly believes in the awesome power of the market to spread prosperity then he should let slip the surly bonds that hinder it.

So far it's all sizzle and no steak.

Update: An excellent analysis of the state of Obama's presidency here.