More like the From Your Fingers To God’s Eyes of the Day, William Murchison edition:
Every Easter/Passover ABC returns the old DeMille semi-classic, “The Ten Commandments” for renewed viewing. We all could benefit by watching the Egyptians try to build a city by flogging the Hebrews half to death. It works only up to a point: The point at which the taskmasters reduce the work force to stuporous failure or rebellion. Along comes Charlton Heston. We know the rest of the story.
The pharaohs of the Beltway have a comparably odd way of inspiring ingenuity, inventiveness, vision, sacrifice and risk. It amounts to telling the risk takers, thanks, good work, now hand over. An intuition arises concerning the federal method: Namely, that the risk takers won’t be taking much risk before November in the way of new hiring, business expansion, etc. They will sensibly wait to see the American people’s judgment, delivered at the polls, on their government’s half-baked formula for putting Americans back to work.
We’ll see what the Republicans offer by contrast. It helps to remember that Charlton Heston was a Republican.
It’s all about the jobs this cycle. A lot of people have been calling the health care debacle a ‘Hail Mary’ pass, which is nonsensical: nobody sane expects a program that takes that much earned wealth and sequesters it away into government purdah to somehow create more wealth. Government never creates wealth. It ‘merely’ provides the security – both external and internal – needed for others to create wealth. A lot of people seem to miss this distinction, possibly because they’ve gotten distracted by the ongoing spectacle of the government using up wealth. The government’s good at that, and it’s usually personally profitable for an inefficiently small portion of the population… so it sometimes looks like wealth creation. If you’re not paying attention.
To go back to the football metaphor, a true Hail Mary play for the administration would be an almost-insane break from existing policy on job creation. Something along the lines of radical corporate tax cuts across the board; zeroing out enforcement budgets for government regulatory agencies; executive-ordering a suspension of enforcement of Sarbanes-Oxley until Congress can revisit the legislation; and firing pretty much the existing executive staff and replacing them with people with actual business experience. That would be a true Hail Mary play – which would probably fail, because it’s a desperation strategy that focuses on job creation now and ignores everything else.
It would still, however, be preferable to the current administration strategy, which is to throw the football straight up into the air and hope that it doesn’t come down before January.
PS: Jim Geraghty helpfully explains why you should be careful before you start jumping up and down at the unemployment news… this Friday? At any rate, the Census is hiring! For two months.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.