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Policy: Economy

Obama's big government 'drives an upward distribution of wealth,' writes George Will

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Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney,Barack Obama,President,Big Government,Economy

President Obama, amazingly, talks as if he dislikes "trickle-down ideology." This is amazing because his entire economic program involves giving money to big businesses in the hope this money will trickle down.

Liberal blogger Matt Yglesias put it well when Obama was pushing his "new economic patriotism" during the campaign. If you want to help the working class, Yglesias wrote:

Taxing doctors in order to subsidize factory owners ("invest in manufacturing") so that they'll hire some waitresses to go become factory workers seems like an exceptionally roundabout way of accomplishing the goal.

I use the image of "feeding the horses to feed the birds," and point out that Obama's subsidies for Boeing, Pfizer, General Electric, and Archer Daniels Midland are more deserving of the name "trickle-down" than flattening out the tax code is.

George Will makes similar points in a great column this weekend on how Obama has begun to notice how government works, but is very far from figuring out how to fix it:

[B]ig government inevitably drives an upward distribution of wealth to those whose wealth, confidence and sophistication enable them to manipulate government. ...

[Government] becomes a bigger dispenser of inequality through benefits to those sufficiently clever and connected to work its levers. ...

Government’s dignity diminishes as government grows to serve factions of those sophisticated at manipulating its allocation of preferences.

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