The Ignorance of Doing Fine

In his already-infamous press conference yesterday, President Obama announced that the private sector is “doing fine,” and that our continued economic difficulties are due to hardships faced by state and local governments as they struggle with continuing budget cuts.  He went on to assert that if Republicans want to spur economic growth, they need to focus on what the federal government can do to help out state and local governments, and the construction industry.

Under a deluge of criticism from Republicans (and people with even a trace of common sense), the president backed down from his “doing fine” remark later in the day.

From CNS News:

“The private sector is doing fine,” Obama said at a press conference on Friday. “Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy, have to do with state and local government — oftentimes, cuts initiated by governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don’t have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in.”

But even though the president backed down from his “doing fine” comment, he cannot escape the kind of extreme economic ignorance on display in these remarks.

Yes, state and local governments are struggling right now, but the way President Obama talks, it sounds as though his idea for a solution is for the federal government to bail out struggling states and municipalities.

And this is where the Wisconsin recall ellection comes into play.

If state and local governments “don’t have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government” when revenues down, then you can bet that public employee unions have a lot to do with that.  The unions locked state and local governments into labor agreements that provide most union members with better-than-average salaries and benefits.  There are government employees in states across America who don’t have to pay a dime toward their health care or pensions – and with the Baby Boomer generation retiring, state and local governments have to meet ever-increasing pension obligations that their budgets just cannot afford.

This is what made the outrage over Governor Walker’s proposals in Wisconsin so outrageous: the state could no longer afford the labor unions, and they needed to do something about it.  Asking government employees to pay for a small percentage of their benefits is only a part of the “shared sacrifice” that President Obama keeps telling us all about – though, apparently, the sacrifice is only to be shared among the hard-working private-sector taxpayers who pay all of those government workers’ salaries.

In the 2008 presidential campaign, one of the strongest arguments against then-Senator Obama was his lack of experience.  Well, that lack of experience continues to shine forth.  This latest statement from the president only proves that his detractors were right: Barack Obama doesn’t know how the American economy works.  And while he is full of political ideals, his idealism is hurting our economy because his understanding of economic policy just doesn’t jive with the reality of America’s economic situation.

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