NR Digital

The Week

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We’re traditionalists on sex scandals: They ought to include sex.

In July, President Obama gave another in his long series of speeches that constitute “a pivot” to the economy. Most of his proposals — raising the minimum wage, adding to the plethora of federal job-training programs, spending on public works — could have been proposed in the 1930s (and were, and didn’t work then, either), while a few — subsidizing high-speed Internet connections, dumping more money on subsidies for politically connected energy firms — assume contemporary technology but are equally frivolous. The U.S. economy labors under the twin yoke of the regulatory state and the entitlement state, under a complex and wasteful tax system, a hostile public sector, and a mediocre primary-education system. The president has not proposed reforming these; he has proposed making them worse by entrenching the bureaucracy in the economy, by creating an enormous and unpredictable new regulatory-entitlement hybrid (Obamacare), and by standing in the schoolhouse door against reformers. Another speech won’t repair that damage.