Since its inauguration, the Obama administration has done its utmost to convince us that the recession we’re in is unlike any other the United States has experienced, with the exception of the Great Depression. While it’s true we’re in a recession, John Stossel writes, it’s hardly time to panic. While it’s true we’ll have to deal with some unique circumstances before climbing out of this recession, it’s nothing that can’t be solved by thinking things through and reacting rationally.
Stossel points out a phenomenom that we’re watching play out today:

Even smart people like Paul Volcker say, “This crisis is different.” Politicians say things like this because they’re too close to the problem. They’ve panicked. I saw this again and again doing consumer reporting: People closest to problems often panic beyond reason. After 9/11, people overreacted because of fear of terrorism. We federalized airport security and spent tax money on nonsense like bulletproof vests for dogs. In 1999, it was the Y2K computer technicians themselves who were most convinced that computers would freeze and planes crash. It was the bird flu specialists who were convinced that millions would die from the bird flu. Today, it’s the scientists creating global warming computer models who are most insistent that we take economically destructive steps to stop climate change.

A friend of mine held a key position in Fingerhut’s Y2K team. At the time, I was working at Quebecor in St. Cloud. Another friend of mine was involved in getting Quebecor Y2K compliant. Both were telling me that the crisis was vastly overblown, that newspaper articles were long on crisis hysteria and short on actual facts.

The effect of the media’s fearmongering? You couldn’t buy a generator if your life depended on it. One guy in Wisconsin bought enoough Hamburger Helper to last 15 months and stored it in his basement. At the time, USA Today showed a picture of the guy’s basement. Not only did this gentleman buy that much Hamburger Helper, which might be considered cruel and inhuman punishment in the Obama administration, he bought the metal shelving for that Hamburger Helper.

My point is that this ‘crisis’ is a fiction created by the Obama administration’s desire to spend money at unprecedented and unsustainable levels coupled with Wall Street’s corruption and greed.

America, it’s time we stood together and sent these panicmongers this bold, clear message: Enough’s enough. You made bad decisions? Deal with it. You want to throw more of my money at your panic-driven and ill-fated decisions? Not in my lifetime.

This pork-filled bill is a disaster that Democratic politicians want to hang around OUR necks. We The People should refuse the check. In fact, We The People should get irate that this new administration thinks so little about working people’s wallets.

Here’s another notworthy paragraph from Stossel’s article:

Vice President Biden informed ABC News that “Everyone…says the scope of this package has to be bold. It has to be big.” Everyone? Hardly. More than 100 prominent economists signed a petition against the stimulus package, and more than 200 signed a petition against the financial bailout.

When Vice President Biden says that “Everyone…says the scope of this package has to be bold”, what he really means is that everyone that he hasn’t tuned out because they disagree with him says that the government must bail out the free market system.

It isn’t dramatically different from Al Gore saying that consensus has been reached on MMGW. In both instances, discord and disagreement reached significant levels. Those asking legitimate questions about MMGW were ignored because the liberals had to save the planet. Those raising doubts about the “unprecedented crisis” are being ignored because this administration thinks that it has to save our economy from the capitalists.

Here’s the part of Mr. Stossel’s article that I most appreciated:

I liked the headline that the Wall Street Journal gave to an op-ed by George Mason University economist Russ Roberts: “Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There.” Roberts pointed out that politicians can’t wisely spend the trillions they commit, “even if they want to. The information about who needs to be bailed out and who needs to fail is too complicated…It is time to let the imprudent fail and the prudent pick up the bargains.”

This re-inforces two of my long-held beliefs:

1) Free markets occasionally create messes.
2) Governments don’t have enough money to clean up those messes.

Years ago, I was a big fan of This Week With David Brinkley. I think TW was the first show that featured interviews and conducted a roundtable discussion. One particular Sunday morning during the Clinton administration, the subject turned to a difficult situation in the economy. George Will offered the voice of calm, said that this situation would pass. Carol Simpson’s reply didn’t disguise her do-gooder intentions. She said “Surely, we’ve got to do something.” Mr. Will’s rejoinder was classic. “More money has been poorly spent in the name of ‘Surely, we’ve got to do something’ than on anything else.”

Washington would be wise to heed Mr. Will’s wise words. Unfortunately for the taxpayers, Washington is more interested in listening to the echochamber’s conventional wisdom than it’s interested in listening to voices of reason and true wisdom.

The truth is that I can make a strong case that The Unifier has been a bigger fearmonger than the Democrats accused President Bush of being after 9/11. The Obama administration is peddling this recession as an economic catastrophe of historic proportions. It isn’t.

President Bush could point to verifiable terrorist threats as reason why we had to dramatically change tactics against the terrorists. President Bush could justify the need because we got frequent reminders of their capabilities from Madrid, Bali, Beslan and London.

This crisis mentality can’t just be placed on the Obama administration. Nancy Pelosi bears part of the blame, as does President Bush. Here’s something that Ms. Pelosi said that we should remember:

Of course some of those companies would fail, and suddenly letting that happen is a political no-no. When the automakers came to Washington to beg, Nancy Pelosi said, “We reject those advocating bankruptcy.” Why? Bankruptcy can be a good thing. Kmart declared bankruptcy in 2002, but it didn’t disappear. Filing for bankruptcy allowed the company to reorganize itself and reemerge stronger.

The mindset that we shouldn’t let businesses fail because we don’t want to see pain or suffering is troublesome. Once we got on the backside of Jimmy Carter’s disastrous “America must make do with less” policies, we got Reagan, who corrected things and ushered in a generation of prosperity.

The dirty little secret that Ms. Pelosi doesn’t want people examining is that the Detroit bailouts weren’t for the car companies but for the unions. Had Detroit not gotten those bailouts, GM would’ve filed for reorganization, which would’ve forced the unions to renegotiate. That’s the last thing Ms. Pelosi wanted.

The Obama administration’s ‘Surely, we’ve got to do something’ mantra isn’t smart policy. That attitude won’t lift us out of this recession. And the pork contained in this bill certainly doesn’t do anything other than pay off the Democrats’ political allies with our money.

The economy isn’t on the verge of collapse. The sky isn’t falling. And the Obama prescription for prosperity is nothing but smoke and mirrors.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

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