The small man at the center. ||| CREDIT: Whitehouse.govCREDIT: Whitehouse.govWriting at CNN Opinion, Reason Editor in Chief argues that President Barack Obama's now-familiar philosophy of urging government "investment" to create an ever-elusive "broad-based growth" presents a fundamental conflict of visions with those who believe that the federal government on balance hinders rather than hastens prosperity. Thankfully if belatedly, Welch writes, there's a politician giving direct voice to the latter proposition. Excerpt:

"Let's cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next 20 years," said the president, who promised a "Recovery Through Retrofit" three years ago. "The American people deserve a tax code that ... lowers tax rates for businesses and manufacturers that create jobs right here in America," said the man who before he took office vowed to, uh, give "tax breaks to companies that are investing here in the United States."

That "aging infrastructure badly in need of repair"? Well, what happened to the $50 billion from the stimulus package dedicated to precisely that task, or the $50 billion plan 18 months later? Making college "more affordable"? That has been the motivation for continuous ratcheting of government involvement in higher education, which has -- surprise! -- coincided with a several-decade increase in tuition costs and student loan debt.

Do-something politics works when Americans have amnesia, or are reacting to headline-making tragedies, or when they just want free stuff. But this irresistible force is butting up against the immovable object of a have-nothing U.S. Treasury.

Read the whole thing here.