Politics

Robert Samuelson: "Obama has inspired a collective fawning"

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Washington Post econ columnist Robert J. Samuelson, citing this Pew Research Center survey, declares that the Fourth Estate's "Obama infatuation is a great unreported story of our time." As a result, Samuelson warns, "a great edifice of government may arise on the narrow foundation of Obama's personal popularity." Excerpt:

Fawning?

Are his proposals practical, even if desirable? Maybe they're neither? What might be the unintended consequences? All "reforms" do not succeed; some cause more problems than they solve. Johnson's economic policies, inherited from Kennedy, proved disastrous; they led to the 1970s' "stagflation." The "war on poverty" failed. The press should not be hostile, but it ought to be skeptical.

Mostly, it isn't. The idea of a "critical" Obama story is one about a tactical conflict with congressional Democrats or criticism from an important constituency. Larger issues are minimized, despite ample grounds for skepticism.

Obama's rhetoric brims with inconsistencies. In the campaign, he claimed he would de-emphasize partisanship — and also enact a highly partisan agenda; both couldn't be true. He got a pass. Now, he claims he will control health-care spending even though he proposes more government spending. He promotes "fiscal responsibility" when projections show huge and continuous budget deficits. Journalists seem to take his pronouncements at face value even when many are two-faced.

Whole thing here.

Some relevant Obama-skeptic Reason links:
* Ronald Bailey on "Obama's Clean Car Chimera," his "Fuel Economy Follies" and "Cap and Trade Delusions"…and how "alternative energy subsidies [are] mak[ing] their biggest comeback since Jimmy Carter."
* Jacob Sullum on "Obama's Green Snake Oil" and "The New Era of Irresponsibility."
* Veronique de Rugy on "The Age of Debt" and "The Era of Even Bigger Government"
* Me on "Obama's Double Talk," "The Two Faces of Barack Obama," and (with Nick Gillespie) "Obama's Vision Deficit."
* Robert J. Samuelson himself on "Lessons from the Great Inflation."