Obama Rattles Business

June 27, 2010 18:25

You don’t have to be an insurance company executive to identify with those hauled into the White House last week and told by the president that although he has no legal authority to do so, if they raise premiums to reflect the increased costs imposed by his health care bill, he will make them regret it.

BY Irwin M. Stelzer at The Weekly Standard

Americans are fighting what Winston Churchill called “a Black Dog … on his back.” Americans are losing the fight, which is odd since the economy is finally gaining rather than losing jobs, and the manufacturing sector is growing nicely. The new Wall Street Journal-NBC poll shows that the Black Dog is the unwelcome household pet in most Americans’ homes. More than 60 percent say the country is on the wrong track, 48 percent disapprove and 45 percent approve of Obama’s job performance, and 50 percent disapprove of the way he is handling the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill (42 percent approve).

The unhappiness is due to several factors. The Greek financial collapse, which ordinarily would be a yawner here, has focused Americans’ minds on the perilous state of our nation’s finances. Lay the relevant fiscal facts of Greece and the U.S. side by side, and there isn’t much difference in such things as the deficit relative to the size of the respective economies. Of course, there is no prospect of an American default — we can always print money — but it has come home to many Americans that the large deficits being run up by the Obama administration bode ill not for our grandchildren, as we thought until recently, but for our children. That’s why a Democratic Congress last week turned down the president’s request for a second stimulus — just as he was preparing to head for Toronto to try to sell his G20 colleagues on the need to spend and spend.


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