How can President Obama save the U.S. economy and create all the jobs we need? The answers are perfectly straightforward and even simple. They’ve worked brilliantly three times in the past 90 years.
Warren G. Harding did it in the 1920s, Dwight D. Eisenhower did it in the 1950s and Ronald Reagan did it in the 1980s. Here is what they did.
First, they restored business and investor confidence in the United States, for both domestic investors and international ones.
They did this by having the guts to let interest rates soar as high as they needed to go to attract money into the United States in the short term and thus restore the fiscal credibility of the dollar currency and of the United States Government. George W. Bush and the current Revered Incumbent both lacked the clarity, the wit and the simple raw courage to do this.
Second, those Three Great Presidents either refused to raise taxes or pushed through taxation cuts.
Third, when they did spend on big federal programs, they steered clear of pork barrel and they invested wisely. The widely criticized growth of the Department of Defense budget under Ronald Reagan launched a golden age of communications and information technology (IT) growth that powered American prosperity for a generation. Ike did the same thing with his interstate highway program.
Fourth, they pulled out of wars and avoided them like the plague. Harding wisely buried all the interventionist, do-gooding, nation-building insane dreams from Siberia to Armenia that Woodrow Wilson had cooked up in his infernal brain. Ike ended the Korean War. Reagan avoided getting embroiled in any wars in the Middle East against Syria, Iran or anyone else.
Fifth, these Three Great Presidents clearly understood that the business of America is business. They worked intelligently and constructively with serious industrial and financial leaders to craft successful policies.
There were differences between these Three Great Presidents like anyone else, they weren’t perfect. To wit:
The personally incorruptible Harding trusted a couple of crooks and was appalled when he learned that they had stolen the strategic oil reserve of the United States Navy. Even by Bernie Madoff standards, that was a pretty big scam.
President Reagan bequeathed the dangerous and delusional idea that Deficits Don’t Matter. He could get away with this because he did so much else right. His successors, especially the second President Bush, lacked his skill and his blessed luck.
If Obama, that supposed Great Intellectual and serious Student of History, was really serious about solving the economic problems of the United States, he wouldn’t have far to look. All he has to do is to Google explanations of what those Three Great Presidents did and why they did them. Then he could have us out of the hole and even have a shot at reelection in 2012. But, of course, to do those things, he’d have to think, and act, like a conservative.
Martin Sieff is a former senior foreign correspondent for The Washington Times and the former Managing Editor, International Affairs, for United Press International.
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