Good intentions, bad results
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.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.