What If the President Liked Businesspeople?
Barack Obama should be encouraging the engine of American growth.


Victor Davis Hanson

The United States should be in a renaissance. In a food- and fuel-short world, we have vast agricultural and energy resources. While there are riots, strikes, and unrest from Europe to the Middle East, America remains quiet. Foreign depositors even now still believe that the United States is the least likely nation to either confiscate their capital or renege on the interest owed on it. China, Russia, and India have enormous environmental, demographic, and social challenges ahead, of the same sort the United States dealt with decades ago. Our military is far superior to the competitors.

After nearly three years of blaming, apologizing, and explaining what America cannot and should not do, it is past time for a confident President Obama to remind the country that we can do almost anything we wish.

Instead of lecturing some Americans about why they owe their existing wealth to others, why not inspire them to create even bigger new profits to enrich everyone? And in these tough times, let the first family give up vacationing at Vail, Costa del Sol, and Martha’s Vineyard; trim White House entertainment expenses; and set an example of thrift for the country to match new budget frugalities.

In short, President Obama could end the current psychological depression and acrimony by promising to lead from the fore rather than continually harping from far behind.

 — Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author, most recently, of The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern© 2011 Tribune Media Services, Inc.


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