President Barack Obama has turned fearmongering into an art form. He has repeatedly raised the specter of another Great Depression. First, he did so to win votes in the November election. He has done so again recently to sway congressional votes for his stimulus package.
In his remarks, every gloomy statistic on the economy becomes a harbinger of doom. As he tells it, today's economy is the worst since the Great Depression. Without his Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he says, the economy will fall back into that abyss and may never recover.
This fearmongering may be good politics, but it is bad history and bad economics. It is bad history because our current economic woes don't come close to those of the 1930s. At worst, a comparison to the 1981-82 recession might be appropriate. Consider the job losses that Mr. Obama always cites. In the last year, the U.S. economy shed 3.4 million jobs. That's...
Obama is smarter than the WSJ pundits. He has this scripted and is following the plan. This is a catastrophe leading to a great depression, so we have to act immediately without thinking. Then, the socialist-style spending spree will begin. The economy will rebound anyway, so he can take credit for it. If not, he simply says we didn't spend enough and of course the economy didn't rebound and we need to spend more. Obama is not stupid. He is crafting a scenario where no matter what happens, he can go ahead with what he wants to do. There's no way to tell if the stimulus works or not.