The definition of insanity (hat-tip to Albert Einstein) is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
So, what do you call it when a flailing U.S. administration, with a 26% approval rating for its handling of the economy, keeps trotting out the same failed economic policies? Do they honestly expect different results?
The government tried to jumpstart the economy with a fiscal stimulus, which didn’t work. So they tried a second stimulus, which also didn’t work.
They tried QE1, which didn’t work, so they tried QE2, which also didn’t work. Which naturally led them to where they are now: laying the groundwork for a QE3. What do all these Q’s and E’s mean? The long answer is: quantitative easing. The short answer is: invented money. The real answer is: all these Q’s and E’s matter far less than the ability to count to 3. If this idea didn’t work the first time, and if it didn’t work the second time, then why on earth would anyone believe it would work a third time?
The Obama administration has tried everything that doesn’t work — in some cases as many as 10 times — all with the same results. At best, America is stuck in a jobless recovery. At worst, America is stuck in a jobless non-recovery, made deeper and more painful by a government that keeps doing all of the things that are proven to not work — over and over and over.
Like trying to fix America’s debt problem by raising the debt ceiling and incurring even more debt. Which is “a failure of leadership” that “shift[s] the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren,” as Senator Barack Obama noted back in 2006 when he spoke out against raising the debt ceiling. But that didn’t stop Barack Obama, as president, from raising America’s debt ceiling not once, not twice, but three times while in the White House. Why? According to President Obama, “If we don’t come to an agreement [to raise the debt ceiling a third time], we could lose our country’s AAA credit rating.” So, what happened after he came to an agreement to raise the debt ceiling a third time? America immediately lost its AAA credit rating.
The president’s “laser-like focus on jobs” keeps leading him back to tax hikes, even though we’ve repeatedly seen that higher taxes kill jobs and lower taxes spur job growth. Exhibit A: America in its recent past. Exhibit B: Canada in its more recent past. Exhibit C: Texas, now. Exhibit D: Common sense that tells us that if you want less of something, you tax it more, and if you want more of something, you tax it less.
The president also tried to encourage job creation by insulting and demonizing job creators — not once, not twice, but six times in one speech alone — as greedy fat-cats who fly in hateful corporate jets.
I’m no Einstein or Harvard law professor. But, unlike President Obama, I have created jobs. And Rule #1 about job creators is: Do not speak ill of job creators. At the very least, try not to hold several nationally televised addresses from the White House to demonize job creators when you want them to save your presidency. This helpful Rule #1 operates under the same basic principle that says: Don’t punch a girl in the face if you want her phone number, and don’t call half the country “hostage takers” who “cling to guns or religion” or send your vice president out to call them “terrorists” if you want them to re-elect you.
I’m not saying the president is insane. I’m just saying that he keeps doing the same failed things — over and over and over again — and expecting different results.
So here’s a bit of advice for the president as he crafts yet another “laser-like” jobs plan for America: Instead of taking yet another run at the failed policies that have been proven to not work, try doing any one of the things that do work, for a change.
Michael Prell is a writer and strategist for America’s largest Tea Party Group, the Tea Party Patriots, and author of the book Underdogma: How America’s Enemies Use our Love for the Underdog to Trash American Power.