Riding the Tiger

You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before. This is an opportunity. What used to be long-term problems — be they in the health care area, energy area, education area, fiscal area, tax area, regulatory reform area — things that we had postponed for too long that were long-term are now immediate and must be dealt with. And this crisis provides the opportunity for us, as I would say, the opportunity to do things that you could not do before.

If you want to understand what is happening and what will happen keep this statement of philosophy in mind.

Even though Chicage pol and fixer Rahm Emanuel said this on November 19, 2008 to take it as a slip of the tongue would be mistaken. Just today secretary of State Hillary Clinton said virtually the same thing in Brussels.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told an audience Friday “never waste a good crisis,” and highlighted the opportunity of rebuilding economies in a greener, less energy-intensive way.

Highlighting Europe’s unease the day after Russia warned that gas flows via Ukraine might be halted, she also condemned the use of energy as a political lever.

Clinton told young Europeans at the European Parliament that global economic turmoil provided a fresh opening. “Never waste a good crisis … Don’t waste it when it can have a very positive impact on climate change and energy security,” she said.

In order for Barack Obama to see his agenda come to fruition he needs an overarching crisis that will enable him to push it through Congress.

There is no doubt that we were in the early stages of a recession with Obama took office but in my view, it is hard to credit the idea that we’ve gotten were we are by accident.

When one looks at the number of times Obama invoked “crisis” in his telepromptered addresses one is left with the image of a man who believes the crisis he has is not sufficient to justify his remedy. We see further evidence of this in the extraordinary “stimulus” package pushed through Congress with only a modicum of real study and debate which will ultimately do little or nothing to stimulate economic activity but which will insinuate the federal government into areas, such as bank ownership, where it has never ventured before.

Hillary’s statement, delivered in a matter of fact you-have-to-break-eggs-to-make-an-omelet style simply accentuates my belief that not only is the Administration completely satisfied with the way things are going but they may push them farther.

The open question is whether the Administration will be able to calibrate its actions and responses to control the level of fear and prevent an utter stampede into economic chaos. Nothin Obama has read from the teleprompter so far gives confidence that he can pull this off.