I have mixed feelings about the inauguration of Barack Obama as our 44th President. I join in the millions of Americans who are pleased that we have overcome the racism of the past and finally elected a black president. That is a great thing, and finally makes true the old saying that any American child can grow up to be president.
I am reasonably impressed by most of his cabinet selections. Most of them are well qualified and experienced. There are a few exceptions, of course. But I will not go into names here. I will note that far too many of them are former Clinton people and do not fulfill his promise of “Change We Can Believe In.” I fear that his administration will be just more tax-and-spend politics. Both major parties have loaded us with too many taxes and too much government in recent decades, and less government tax and spend would be a welcome change.
Now let me tell you why I am concerned. Obama’s inauguration is bringing with it a massive wave of unjustified optimism. The idea that we can talk the terrorists of the world into stopping their attacks will quickly be proven to be nothing more than pipe dreams. I am afraid that we will do all the talking while they are reorganizing and rearming for more and larger attacks. I just hope the new administration will realize that before serious damage is done to our society.
Secondly, I am concerned about the misguided efforts to boost our economy. The first step in solving a problem is to define the problem. And none of our government or business leaders have been able to do that. Just as President Reagan once said, “Government cannot solve the problem. Government is the problem!”
You see, the purpose of money is to facilitate the exchange of goods and services. People earn money by creating goods and services to exchange. When government starts dumping money into the economy over and above the value of goods and services being created, we get the kind of financial crisis that now faces us.
The solution is not to toss more and more money at the problem. The solution is to use tax incentives to promote greater production of goods and services for the marketplace. When President Reagan inherited the economic disaster following the Carter administration, that is exactly what he did. His tax program was designed to boost small-and-moderate-sized business to increase their production, which boosted the amount of goods and services available, and created well-paying jobs so that workers would have the money to buy those goods and services.
Now if we are lucky, President Obama’s team will quickly see what is not working and modify their programs early in his administration. If not, our nation’s economy and safety will be at even greater risk.
I congratulate President Obama as he takes office. I congratulate the voters of America for proving that racism can be defeated. And I wish Obama and the nation the best of luck. We will both need it.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His website can be accessed at http://frankgillispie.tripod.com/