ANTI-GROWTH

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - / Bruce Tins­ley

“The Obama bud­get en­vi­sions an ex­plo­sion of eco­nomic growth as the coun­try re­cov­ers from the cur­rent re­ces­sion — more than 4 per­cent a year from 2011 through 2013. This will sup­pos­edly be suf­fi­cient to halve the $1.75 tril­lion deficit it projects for 2009. But there is some­thing off here,” John Steele Gor­don writes at www.com­men­tary­magazine.com.

“Many of the poli­cies Obama and his team are pur­su­ing, ca­pand-trade [a tax on car­bon­based en­ergy] be­ing the most ob­vi­ous, are likely to in­ter­fere with growth in ex­actly the sec­tors in which the United States will need it. If the goal is growth, as it should be, the role of gov­ern­ment should be to de­ter­mine ways in which its con­duct can fuel that growth. And that is pre­cisely what Obama is not do­ing,” said Mr. Gor­don, au­thor of “An Em­pire of Wealth: The Epic His­tory of Amer­i­can Eco­nomic Power.”

“The cap-and-trade tax will in­escapably and ad­versely im­pact the eco­nomic re­cov­ery and fu­ture growth rates. If passed, it will act on the econ­omy as a whole ex­actly the way a gov­er­nor acts on a steam en­gine, in­creas­ingly re­sist­ing any in­crease in rev­o­lu­tions per minute. With the sup­ply of li­censes to emit car­bon diox­ide fixed, the price of the per­mits will in­evitably rise as eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity picks up. That means that any in­crease in over­all de­mand will in­crease the price of en­ergy, and thus, in a feed­back loop, nearly ev­ery­thing else. That will damp down de­mand. The more the econ­omy tries to speed up, the more the car­bon tax will work to pre­vent it from do­ing so.

“The same is true of many of the other poli­cies em­bed­ded in Obama’s bud­get. He will raise taxes on high earn­ers rather than low­er­ing them to give those earn­ers an in­cen­tive to put their money into the pri­vate mar­kets. He in­tends to in­crease the num­ber of fed­eral reg­u­la­tions on pri­vate busi­ness and in­dus­try, rather than re­duce the num­ber of those reg­u­la­tions for the pur­pose of elim­i­nat­ing bar­ri­ers to growth. Taken to­gether, th­ese coun­ter­pro­duc­tive ac­tions will make job cre­ation in the pri­vate sec­tor dif­fi­cult, be­cause they will make it more ex­pen­sive to hire new work­ers. The Obama plan will, in gen­eral, make it more ex­pen­sive to do busi­ness at a time when one would think he and the na­tion as a whole have ev­ery rea­son to make it as in­ex­pen­sive as pos­si­ble to do busi­ness.” the Pen­tagon Web site — www.de­fenselink.mil — for the re­port. We did. It wasn’t there,” Mr. Hayes said.

“It hasn’t been re­leased. And it now looks like the Pen­tagon is at­tempt­ing to hide it fur­ther be­hind a bu­reau­cratic blind. In an e-mail two weeks ago, we were told that in or­der to see the re­port we would have to sub­mit a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act re­quest — a process that can take months, even years. Why did the self-de­scribed ‘most trans­par­ent ad­min­is­tra­tion in his­tory’ sud­denly re­verse it­self? Where is the re­port?…

“As it hap­pens, the con­tin­ued sup­pres­sion of the Gitmo re­port took place dur­ing na­tional ‘Sun­shine Week,’ a ‘na­tional ini­tia­tive to open a di­a­logue about the im­por­tance of open gov­ern­ment and free­dom of in­for­ma­tion,’ spon­sored by the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of News­pa­per Ed­i­tors.

“In a nod to­ward in­creased gov­ern­ment open­ness, At­tor­ney Gen­eral Eric Holder an­nounced that he would or­der gov­ern­ment agen­cies to lean to­wards open­ness and trans­parency when con­sid­er­ing the pub­lic dis­clo­sure of gov­ern­ment in­for­ma­tion. It’s a move that won him high praise from trans­parency ad­vo­cates. But the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion risks los­ing that good will — or at least putting it at risk — if it engages in se­lec­tive open­ness.”

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