The Washington Post leaks the latest and lamest scheme: "New Democratic strategy for creating jobs focuses on a boost in manufacturing." Opening paragraph:
President Obama and congressional Democrats -- out of options for another quick shot of stimulus spending to revive the sluggish economy -- are shifting toward a longer-term strategy that promises to tackle persistently high unemployment by engineering a renaissance in American manufacturing.You can almost see the palms slapped against foreheads at that meeting, can't you? Why didn't we think of this before? It's so simple!
Why, we'll just engineer our way to prosperity!
What's the "new strategy"? Well… sorry, but they've been real busy doing other things for the past year and a half, and they're almost done figuring it out, and—hey!—we know one thing that will be there for sure (emphasis added):
That approach, heralded by Obama last week in Detroit and sketched out in a memo to House Democrats as they headed home for the August break, is still evolving and so far focuses primarily on raising taxes on multinational corporations that Democrats accuse of shipping jobs overseas.Ah, raising taxes! Is there anything it can't do? Especially when you can raise taxes on easily-demonized scapegoats.
Now the WaPo headline trumpets this as a "new" strategy, but that's only because it's buying the Democrats' spin, and it has no long-term memory. In fact, it's a perennial theme. For example:
When I am President, I will end the tax giveaways to companies that ship our jobs overseas, and I will put the money in the pockets of working Americans, and seniors, and homeowners who deserve a break.That's then-Senator Barack Obama, November 3, 2007.
I've proposed a new economic plan for America. It begins by putting an end to tax incentives that are encouraging American companies to ship jobs overseas.That's John Kerry, back in 2004.
Or, a campaign brochure full of promises like:
Eliminate deductions for companies that ship American jobs overseas and reward outrageous executive pay.That's Bill Clinton, 1992.
Yeah, but this time I'm sure the Democrats really mean it.
Alternative explanation: it's a stupidly counterproductive idea, but an effective campaign soundbite when used on the rubes. The Democrats dust it off every election season, and put it right back on the shelf afterward.
But that's not all, continues the WaPo:
The strategy also repackages policies long pursued by the White House -- such as investing in clean energy, roads, bridges and broadband service -- with more than two dozen legislative proposals aimed at developing a plan for promoting domestic manufacturing.I.e., the "New" strategy is really just a bunch of old stuff, spending labelled as "investing", plus more corporate welfare aimed at politically well-connected firms.
And it will work this time, because…?
Really, someone needs to lead these guys away quietly from the levers of government before they do more damage.