How did the world's most dynamic economy tumble into this prolonged unemployment recession with falling middle-class incomes?
It began in the 2000s when a well-intentioned Congress, believing in affordable housing for all, pressured banks to provide below-prime interest loans to people regardless of their ability to pay. This triggered the 2008 subprime meltdown of housing, the economy and the prolonged recession.
Then we twice elected as president an intelligent, charismatic, young, politically talented Harvard law graduate with no business management experience or background in economics. He believed a federal redistribution of citizen wealth was the best way to help the needy. His government spent our money for numerous stimulus programs in the misguided hope of ending the recession and putting the 8 percent unemployed back to work.
This resulted in the highest federal deficits ever and squelched the growth of our job-producing economy.
The federal government, over the years, lowered eligibility requirements for food stamps, disability and unemployment, greatly increasing these programs' costs and likelihood of fraud.
Now, to provide health insurance for the 15 percent of the population without it, ObamaCare, will disrupt the medical industry — one-sixth of our economy.
Good intentions do not necessarily mean good results. The administration's progressive economic policies have failed. We need to find better economic, political and private ways to help the poor and unemployed.
Massive government spending, redistributing wealth, new taxes and more regulations are not the answers. They de-energize the productive sector and demoralize entitlement recipients.
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