What the President Should Say Tonight


My colleague John Berlau has a vision of a more perfect union over at Openmarket, where he has drafted the speech that the president ought to give tonight. An excerpt:

I realized what I and my colleagues had done wrong. We were subsidizing and mandating the grass to grow through the stimulus and the continuation of the bailouts of my predecessor. But this was all for dubious effect not just because of what I discovered are the flaws in the deficit spending theories of John Maynard Keynes, but because we still had not removed the regulatory rocks of previous administrations, and we were laying on the grass some pretty big boulders of our own.

In 2010, just as the economy was starting to recover, my administration put in 100 regulations that we ourselves classified as “major rules” costing the economy more than $100 million a year. In addition, there are hundreds of pending regulations from the health care law and the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul I championed that are creating major uncertainties for business large and small and are causing them to put off hiring.

I now realize that is not nearly enough to simply review past regulations and throw out a mere token few. So I am putting a moratorium on new regulations, and will put on hold those my administration has already issued, even from the health care and Dodd-Frank laws that I previously had called off limits in my administration’s regulatory relief efforts. I will also support passage of the REINS Act in Congress to give Congress the opportunity, and more importantly, the responsibility to reject major rules that stem from the often vague laws it writes.]

(Of course, I heartily approve of the fantasy president giving copies of Stealing You Blind to his Cabinet. By the way, I did a fun interview on the book with the guys at Political Vindication this week.)

Meanwhile, Hans Bader has some useful things to say about the speech the president will actually be giving. The proposal to rehire teachers (like in Wisconsin?) is particularly worthy of a raspberry:

The President’s proposed subsidies for laid-off teachers discriminate in favor of one occupation, without any legitimate reason for doing so: the unemployment rate among teachers is vastly lower than for many occupations, and lower than for most. It is best understood as the Administration pandering to the teachers’ unions.

Personally, I think the president might as well say, “We’re on the road to becoming Greece. Now, who’d like an ouzo?” and let us get on with watching football.

Iain Murray — Iain Murray is the Competitive Enterprise Institute's vice president of strategy. For the past decade with the Institute, he has concentrated on financial regulation, labor, employment and immigration regulation, and ...

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