Wednesday, January 27, 2010

There is only one question to ask while watching Obama's address tonight (other than why did he have to pre-empt 'Modern Family'?): will the American public hear something that makes them go out and start spending again? Or will they hear something that makes them continue to sit on their hands? Or, even worse, will they hear something that makes them hunker down even more?
(And for those who believe that production is the key, turn the question around: will business hear something that makes them want to ramp up the production line?)

Right now, banks aren't lending, customers aren't borrowing, consumers aren't consuming, businesses aren't hiring... all because Obama (with some help from the clueless Bush Administration) scared everybody into thinking that we were on the verge of total economic collapse (when in fact, there were pockets of trouble that could have been handled without scaring the pants off of everybody) and he has done nothing since then to give the equivalent of an 'ALL CLEAR'. The stimulus didn't make anybody feel better, his attempt to remake health insurance didn't make anybody feel better, nor did his bailing out GM and Chrysler and his attacks on banks and financial institutions.

So as Obama goes through his laundry list of proposals, the public (to the extent they're listening) is going to evaluate each one in terms of 'will this help, will it do nothing or will it hurt?'.

And unfortunately for Obama and unfortunately for us, he's not cut out for providing much of the first... in large part because he doesn't understand us. He thinks more government is going to make things better... while we think otherwise.

So he's not going to say or propose much that is going to give someone the comfort to go out tomorrow or this weekend and put money down on a new car or new house. Heck, I doubt he's going to say anything that makes someone even comfortable enough to go shopping this weekend at the local mall.

Nor is he going to say or propose anything that removes the fear of business that it is a waste of money to hire somebody new. He's not going to say or propose anything that makes a local company start planning on expanding its market, a package goods company to invest the money in a new line of products, a home builder to give the go-ahead to starting a new development, a loan officer to okay a business loan.

People are scared right now... and they're going to be looking to Obama to say that words that makes them feel just a little bit better. But they're not going to hear it, they're going to hear more of the same types of stuff that Obama and his allies have been pushing all along. More stimulus dollars, more regulation, more government employees doing more things. They're going to hear things that makes them think the light is a long way off.

I may be wrong... but I doubt it.