The Perils of Inattention

In many sports, players are advised always to “keep your eye on the ball.” In 2008, we took our eye off the ball; as a result, we chose a president, and an administration, that did the same.

In the 2008 election cycle, voters were fed up with George W. Bush – and certainly not without some justification. They were ready to vote “not Bush” and “not Republican.” However, in a time fraught with enormous economic difficulty and peril, we elected a president whose background showed no particular familiarity with or interest in economics, and whose record revealed that he was likely to pursue, and to prioritize, the very sorts of policies he has in fact pursued.

For a man who has been president of the United States for nearly a full term, there is much that is not known about Barack Obama. What we do know,however, and can say with some certainty, is that Obama sees himself as a transformative figure in American history. His deepest and most abiding concerns are with his perception that the economic system is unfair and demands reform, particularly in the form of more social benefits to those he sees as in some way underprivileged, a larger government role in the regulation of business, and higher tax rates for high earners.

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