Oh, For a Smarter Obama

There are some things that can be endured only with irony, or a lot of drink (and I don’t drink).

Last night, as I listened to Barack Hussein Obama’s fifth “State of the Union” Address, I chose irony:

Obama just said he wants a smarter government, not a bigger one. So, surely, the new slogan will be: FREEZE GOVERNMENT SPENDING! Washington Will Simply Work Smarter for the Same Money! Now we’re united. Go Obama!

Live-blogging on Facebook in this manner allowed me to breeze through the rest of the tedium pretty well: my blood pressure didn’t rise one bit.

But this “smarter government” theme is actually a serious issue.

The problem with current government is not the IQs of the folks in our bureaucracies or running for office. The problem is the systemic effects of the incentives and disincentives that modern, barely limited government present to us all. We don’t need smarter government to improve conditions, we need wiser governance. And the wise person knows when to leave well enough alone.

Actually, there’s a lot of intelligence out there. And knowledge. But these are dispersed amongst “We, the People.” Government concentrates power, but it cannot concentrate knowledge or IQ in any multiplicative way. When people live under the right incentives — as provided by liberty and the rule of law — they become more responsible, they learn from their mistakes, and they even achieve some great things.

Government must learn to back off to allow this — or at least freeze spending!

I wonder if President Obama is smart enough, wise enough, to learn that.

Probably not as long as enough people laud him for saying inane things about “smart government.”

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Feb
    14
    9:51
    AM
    Drik

    Might as well wish for rainbow stew. Or a unicorn.

  2. Feb
    14
    9:53
    AM
    Roger and Lynn Bloxham

    there is such a vast difference between wise and smart/knowledge. Wisdom is what is in such short supply among the DC crowd and you definitely called that in this article.

  3. Feb
    14
    11:33
    AM
    Jay

    BUT TO CUT (OR EVEN FREEZE) SPENDING WOULD MEAN AN END TO ‘FREE’ OR ‘DISCOUNTED’—- FILL IN THE BLANKS.

    FLOOD INSURANCE; FOOD; “MESS I MEAN MASS TRANSIT-IN AREAS LIKE FL., OR SOUTHERN CAL. ; ETHANOL; AGRICULTURAL SUBSIDIES 9I KNOW, IN BIG TOE NEBRASKA OR SOMEPLACE THERE ARE STILL THREE FAMILY FARMS); THE RURAL ELECTRICATIO AGENCY; AD INFINITUM AD NAUSEUM

  4. Feb
    14
    12:46
    PM
    Paulina West

    The claim to be helping the middle class as the engine of the American economy was an enormous Falsehood. As VP Biden said, “The middle class is getting crushed.”

    Americans should be able to see through this. The EPA and the D of Ag, and many other unelected, unaccountable bureaucracies are raising costs through fees and regulatory takings on our energy and resources.

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