I am not an ideologue………really, I’m not. — President Barack Obama speaking to the Republican House caucus.
Well, if you believe that, I’m like George Strait, with oceanfront property in Arizona. At some point in time, we must separate the rhetoric from the action on the ground. The truth is that this President may be the most ideological President since Woodrow Wilson. He consistently laments that he is a pragmatist supporting “whatever works”, but disallows from consideration tax policies that have been recommended by Republicans which have worked well for many years. Meanwhile, in the wake of the “Massachusetts tea party”, the President is taking a new populist approach by attacking the banks and alienating much of the business community, the foundation of the job growth that he so desperately needs to maintain political viability.
Populism, particularly the “spread the wealth” variety, has never worked in America. Obama and his team have greatly misjudged the sentiments of the American people in assuming that they are attuned to policies advancing economic redistribution. Americans, unlike Europeans, still believe that there is a correlation between effort and merit and reward.
Meanwhile, there are currently in play some attempts at rapproachment between the White House and the business community, or at least the big business community represented by the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. I am always skeptical of big business/government collaboration. The Fortune 500 as a whole hasn’t created a net new job in about 40 years, yet they continue to be the “voice of business”, which gives them a seat at the table in the formulation of industrial policy. Lately, they have reached out to the administration in the interest of finding common ground in policies that will stimulate job creation, but I see nothing in their suggestions that indicate anything more than support for items in the Obama plan on which they can agree, most of which are inconsequential for economic growth and job creation. If this is an attempt to avoid open warfare, spare me; let’s have a confrontation and settle it on election day in November.