If the tone of the rhetoric coming from the White House is a reflection of how President Obama feels about House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new Path to Prosperity plan, then the Wisconsin Republican has scared Obama silly.
Yesterday, from a podium in front of the White House seal, Press Secretary Jay Carney said of the clean energy subsidy cuts in Ryan’s budget, “You have to be aggressively and deliberately ignorant of the world economy not to know and understand that clean energy technologies are going to play a huge role in the 21st century. You have to have severely diminished capacity to understand what drives economic growth in industrialized countries in this century.”
Which is an interesting statement considering an anecdote liberal author Noam Scheiber revealed in his new book The Escape Artists: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery:
Energy was a particular obsession of [Obama]’s, and therefore a particular source of frustration. Week after week, [economic adviser Christina] Romer would march in with an estimate of the jobs all the investments in clean energy would produce; week after week, Obama would send her back to check the numbers. “I don’t get it,” he’d say. “We make these large-scale investments in infrastructure. What do you mean, there are no jobs?” But the numbers rarely budged.
No, Obama doesn’t “get it.” And apparently neither does Jay Carney. Government subsidies do not drive economic growth. Just the opposite, they distort and slow growth. Investors know that if the only reason a business is profitable is because of artificial government subsidies, then the profit signal from that business is fake and should be ignored.
Economic growth occurs when entrepreneurs are allowed to discover new ways of producing goods and services that people need or want to buy. Those that identify new methods of delivering value to consumers that is greater than the cost of producing it, earn profits. Government policies that least interfere with this method of discovery are most likely to produce faster economic growth.
This is what Ryan understands and it is what his budget delivers: a simpler tax code, fewer disruptive regulations, and far less government spending in the health and energy sectors. Ryan’s budget passed the House Budget Committee last night and is expected to pass the full House next week. Meanwhile, the Democratic Senate has not passed a budget in three years.
Romney: Team Romney bungled yet another post-primary win Wednesday when top adviser Eric Fehrnstrom told CNN of Romney’s general election strategy: “I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.” Video of Fehrnstrom’s statement was quickly posted on ThinkProgress and was run repeatedly on cable news all day. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are both now carrying Etch A Sketches on the campaign trail to mock Romney. “You have an opportunity here in Louisiana to make a very clear statement: You’re not looking for someone who is the Etch-A-Sketch candidate. You are looking for someone who writes what they believe in in stone and stays true to what they say,” Santorum said.
Around the Bigs
The Washington Post, Supreme Court allows Idaho couple to challenge EPA on wetlands ruling: The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot force landowners into compliance with the Clean Water Act without judicial review.
The Wall Street Journal, Student-Loan Debt Tops $1 Trillion: The amount Americans owe on student loans is far higher than earlier estimates and could lead some consumers to postpone buying homes, potentially slowing the housing recovery, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Tuesday.
The Washington Post, Housing report disappoints as existing-home sales dip in February: Sales of previously owned homes in the United States dropped 0.9 percent in February, according to a National Association of Realtors report released yesterday. And many homeowners still owe more than their houses are worth. The share of underwater mortgages is at its highest level since 2009, according to a report released this month by CoreLogic.
Gallup, Americans Favor Keystone XL Pipeline: A solid majority of Americans, 57 percent, think the U.S. government should approve of building the Keystone XL pipeline, while 29% think it should not.
The Wall Street Journal, Deutsche Avoids Dodd-Frank Rule : Deutsche Bank changed the legal structure of its huge U.S. subsidiary to shield it from Dodd-Franks regulations that would have required the German bank to pump new capital into the U.S. arm.
Bill McGurn calls on Romney to fire Eric Fehrnstrom.
Power Line‘s John Hinderaker explains why Democrats can’t pass a budget.
AEI‘s Desmond Lachman explains how Obama is putting U.S. taxpayers at risk by funding the IMF.
Talking Point Memo‘s Evan McMorris-Santoro lists all of Team Romney’s post-primary victory gaffes.
Daily Kos‘ BoldProgressives tries to explain why neteroots favorite Ilya Sheyman lost to moderate Brad Schneider in IL-10′s Democratic primary.