The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Monday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs comparing the business climate now to that at the end of 2008:

Every question [administration spokesmen] get on the economy, their answer is “Bush drove us into a ditch.” I think they ought to wear it on a t-shirt, and in that way they could have an interview and not have to say anything. They could have a sandwich while being interviewed.

It’s no answer. It’s also no answer to say that big business is cynical and unprincipled. That’s not news. But what is news is an administration that is adding not just costs but uncertainty.

There are three major areas a corporation, small or large, has to worry about: health-care costs, energy costs, and the cost of money. In each of these, the administration either has or is planning regulations worth thousands of pages which are going to raise costs, as we know, but also are going to interact in ways that nobody understands and that are going to create uncertainty.

If you‘re trying to figure out who you‘re going to hire and how many, and you have no idea if you’re going to be able to afford the extra health-care costs, you‘re not going to hire. With energy and cap-and-trade, you know it’s going to increase the cost of energy. And with the cost of money, the financial regulations are not just going to affect the big banks, but this consumer agency — so-called — is going to involve itself and regulate every kind of lending from auto dealers to shirt-makers.

So in every area, there‘s going to be an increase in uncertainty. You know there’s going to be an increase in regulation. And when you don’t know what’s going to happen, you don’t invest. [That’s why] we are having a capital strike.

On debt, deficit, and spending issues in light of Erskine Bowles analogizing the debt to cancer:

The real money is Medicare and Medicaid. However, health-care reform — Obamacare, which is now the law, has locked [Medicare and Medicaid] up, increases the deficit, and it’s no longer an avenue of reducing our deficits. Any cuts in Medicare that are going to happen are siphoned off into a new entitlement. That’s catastrophic.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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