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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Let's take government’s foot off the oxygen tube

Just as basic, far too many Americans are living in fear. What is President Obama doing about it? Perhaps too much. And, possibly, his efforts are too diffuse.

Good Intentions Aside, Are We Killing the Patient?
NYT - By BEN STEIN - Published: July 11, 2009

HERE’S a funny story that made the rounds in Washington a long time ago: It’s 1955, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower has just suffered a heart attack. He is recuperating in his hospital bed. Richard M. Nixon, the vice president, comes in and says: “General, I am so sorry this has happened. Is there anything I can do to help? I’ll do anything at all.”
Ike looks over at him wanly and says, “Well, you could get your foot off my oxygen tube.”
I heard this fanciful joke from my mother, who, like me, was a huge fan of Nixon. I tell it because it reminds me of what’s going on with the economy.
The sad truth is that the economy is still extremely ill. The recovery we were all waiting for has not started in any meaningful way.
True, by many metrics, the economy has stopped falling drastically, but we are still in a painful recession, large by postwar standards. The bank crises seem to have abated for now and Wall Street is paying itself fantastically well again, thank heavens, after being rescued with taxpayer money. But housing is still extremely weak, profits are miserable and, most important, far too many Americans are unemployed — roughly 9.5 percent, by the latest data.
Just as basic, far too many Americans are living in fear. (continues...)

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