If you were give President Obama a grade on his performance so far, what would it be? MSNBC asked that question, and the results are remarkable. Initially, and with over 100,000 votes collected, 60% gave him an F. Now, left wing sites have mobilized their people, and, with over 300,000 cast, 39% give him an F. Professional economists, on a scale of 0-100, give him, on average, a 59—a failing score. Newsweek is complaining about his inconsistencies. So far, he appears to be following Roger Kimball’s 12 steps to destroying the economy.
Meanwhile, Jeff Pope marvels at the arrogance of Congressional Democrats and wonders whether voting matters anymore. The arrogance (earmarks, anyone?) is astounding, but so is the cluelessness. Alexander Bolton describes the increasing nervousness of Congressional Democrats:
Some Democrats have started to worry that voters don’t and won’t understand the link between economic revival and Obama’s huge agenda, which includes saving the banking industry, ending home foreclosures, reforming healthcare and developing a national energy policy, among much else.
Oh, I think they understand the link very well. The bailouts have vastly increased federal spending and debt, placing a tremendous burden on the future and slowing necessary adjustments. Reforming health care will burden the economy further while greatly reducing the quality of care. (For detailed arguments, see Maggie’s Farm.) The “national energy policy” Democrats propose is to eliminate domestic energy exploration and development while burdening almost all current energy sources with heavy new taxes. Gateway Pundit has been arguing that carbon cap and trade will cost the average family $700-$1400 a year. That’s surely an understatement. It’s more like $700-$1400 a month. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that such a program would raise gasoline prices about 145%—given the current price of oil, to about $5 a gallon. Electricity? The goal is to make coal, natural gas, etc., just as expensive as solar and other alternative sources. Right now, that would require increasing the cost of fossil fuel energy at least 500%. Imagine paying $100 to fill up that SUV, and imagine that summer $200 electricity bill being $1000 instead. Now imagine what that would do to the economy.
Once, when I was a young faculty member, I graded a student’s final exam. It was not just bad; it was terrible. It seemed not only idiotic but willfully idiotic. I wrote a large red ‘F’ that took up most of the first page. That wasn’t satisfying enough. So, I turned the horizontal bars of the ‘F’ into a pirate flag and drew a ship below it, with a pirate on deck brandishing a sword and exclaiming, “Way to go, Bucko!”
That’s how I’d grade Obama.