[Ed. note: Maybe his wife could set one up for him on the White House lawn.]
If President Barack Obama has entertained an economic insight that wasn’t fashionable in 1933, I haven’t heard about it. It’s doubtless he’s for recycling glass and plastic, but he’s even more wedded to recycling ideas that were fresh and interesting during the New Deal era but have since been discredited.
All of this was clear when he became the Democratic Party’s pinup in 2008 (just by way of example, I wrote then that while Obama was “shiny, bright and new,” his ideas were “suffering from senility”). What’s dumbfounding now is Obama’s detachment from his own presidency. He continues to campaign (well, speak, but it always sounds like a stump speech) as if someone else were sitting in the Oval Office, as if someone else’s policies were responsible for the state of things and as if someone else should shoulder the blame.
This week, the president delivered a lengthy (his admirers would say “important”) speech about income inequality — the “defining challenge of our time,” he declared. The speech was a kite string of flapping factoids — many of them untrue, such as the hoary nonsense about women earning only 77 cents on the dollar compared to men — held aloft by an attitude of resentment.