Crisis and Opportunity
For months now, we’ve been treated to variations of assertions that “a time of crisis is a great opportunity.” First it was Rahm Emmanuel, then the President and now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The endless repetition of the phrase is making it the first catch phrase of the new administration, taking its place among the ranks of Presidential sound bites such as “I did not have sex with that woman” and “Read My Lips, no new taxes,’ with just about as much benefit to the country.
It is clear that the administration has emphasized the notion that we are in a crisis, or even a catastrophe “from which we may not recover” simply to justify extraordinary government intervention. It is clear that creating and sustaining an atmosphere of crisis is the administration’s strategy for action, its way of achieving the rapid enactment of legislation to yank this country away from free market capitalism and freedom and toward socialism.
It is also clear that the ‘change’ that the administration promised in the campaign is being morphed into a more substantial transformation of government than most Americans initially assumed. Now even Whoopi Goldberg is coming to an understanding that Obama might be doing more than she bargained for, based on her words on “The View” last week.
So there are two main points:
1) Don’t buy into the idea. Things have been worse in our history, and in all but one case, known as the Great Depression, it was private sector action that restored the economy to health. The fact that it’s called the Great Depression should be a clue that we don’t want to go there again–so we need to alter course now before it’s too late.
2) Challenge the idea. If a tornado or flood is destroying your house, you don’t spend time during the storm thinking about redesigning the house. After the storm has passed, there may be time to rethink things–but not during the crisis!
Now is not the time to cram National Health Care, free college education for all and a half trillion dollars of needless pork projects down the throat of the choking economy. Now is not the time to expand the national deficit with redistribution plans that harm economic growth (by the Congressional Budget Office’s own analysis).
Now is the time to restore order and confidence in the financial system of the free market, and thus far we haven’t made a dent. In fact, it has gotten demonstrably worse since the election, and the past six weeks of the new administration have steepened the slide, if anything.
The President and his team seem to be locked in and experiencing ‘target fixation,’ a condition that plagues military pilots, causing them to crash their aircraft right into the target rather than maneuvering to safety.
We need to use any means available to break this fixation before the economy crashes. Now. Not later.