by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
During the eight years that President Obama and his team managed the economy, Americans were regularly assured that the president’s Keynesian policies would deliver striking growth in the years ahead. The growth repeatedly failed to materialize, and what followed was a master class in blamesmanship. No matter how far into the Obama term we were, the disappointing growth was a “new normal”– not the result of President Obama’s high tax and heavy regulatory policies. It was all the fault of the Bush administration. In some sense, Bush was portrayed for the entire eight years as a comic book villain. His policies were so terrible that they were able to overwhelm the economy for years.
Watching Vice President Biden prepare to be president gives one a strong feeling of déjà vu. Last week he called on Congress to pass Nancy Pelosi’s large and untargeted stimulus bill, chock-full of candy that is poison to Senate Republicans, such as a massive bailout for blue states. He added that it is going to be a “long dark winter” with the emphasis on long, and promised to return to his “Build Back Better” agenda of tax hikes and regulatory crackdowns as soon as possible.
Before they storm the castle, perhaps the Biden team should make a list of their assets. The first asset is a strong economy. The COVID-19 pandemic recession likely ended in the third quarter of this year, when real GDP advanced a whopping 33.1 percent. … [T]he economy will about return to the level of GDP it posted right before the pandemic began, back when we had the strongest economy in generations. So the “back” part of the Biden slogan is superfluous, as the economy will likely be back before he takes office.