Valentine: Democrats don't understand economy

Friday, September 9, 2011

As obvious as the solution to the jobless problem is some Democrats still just don't get it. Take Maxine Waters . . . please! No, seriously, Rep. Maxine Waters says we need a $1 trillion jobs program. Didn't we already try that? Didn't the stimulus program bomb?

Still, some people cling to the notion that the government is the solution to high unemployment when, in fact, it's part of the problem.

Jobless numbers for July were flat. We gained about 17,000 jobs for the month in the private sector while shedding an equal number of government jobs. I will say that the reduction in government jobs is the silver lining in this jobs report. Maxine Waters and others point to it as the bulk of the problem. That's because jobs, for them, mean government jobs.

As President Obama unveils absolutely nothing new in his jobs speech this week America still struggles to rebound from what media types are calling the worst recession since the Great Depression. Of course, we know better. The recession of the late '70s that lingered into the early '80s was far worse by almost any measure yet we rebounded quickly once the proper remedy was in place.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, tax cuts are the answer. JFK knew it. Ronald Reagan knew. George W knew it. Every time we cut taxes we stimulate the economy. Every time we use Keynesian economic policies to solve a recession we prolong it.

Is it me or does it seem like this current presidential administration has been in power a lot longer than two-and-a-half years? If we were ever looking for a way to make time stand still, this is it.

It's often been said that this is the second term of Jimmy Carter. The only thing Obama is missing is the sweater. Like Carter, Mr. Obama is in way over his depth. He had not a clue what he was doing when he took office but, even more dangerous, he thought he knew everything.

And now, as he sues the big mortgage lenders, it's becoming frighteningly clear what his plan is. Extend unemployment benefits, increase food stamp usage, put union workers to work doing busy work and muscle banks into keeping high-risk, bad-credit borrowers in their homes. All of those are a recipe for disaster.

You won't hear the Wall Street banks crying about it. With the government forcing them to re-write mortgages they can shrug their shoulders and lift their hands in the air to their stockholders and say the government made them do it. Meanwhile, if any of them need more money there's always someone like Warren Buffett waiting in the wings like Mr. Potter from "It's a Wonderful Life."

The question is, where's our George Bailey? Where's our collective conscience that tells us that hopping into bed with tycoons who make a living capitalizing on panic and misery is not a good idea?

Financial firms like Goldman Sachs use the government as a sort of giant chess board moving their pieces from Goldman to the government then back to Goldman again. If there were ever the proverbial fox guarding the hen house, this is it.

And it's not just the Obama administration. This little game of musical chairs has been going on for decades. It's time we lifted the needle from the record. Stop the music. And the guys whose fannies land on the floor without a chair should be these same so-called financial experts who claim to have never seen this economic calamity coming. It's time to say "game over."

Phil Valentine is a syndicated radio talk-show host. His Web site is