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Unintended Consequences: Outline of a Presidency

President Obama is clearly a victim of his own lack of experience.  Experience breeds wisdom, which can help leaders and thinkers understand what the consequences of their actions or inactions will be.  This President has education, a gift for eloquence, but his lack of experience is leaving Americans to deal with the end results.

After the BP disaster, his first task was to get a Duke basketball jersey.  His second, was to shut down drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.  This populist idea is of course a reaction that any normal person, not responsible for an entire nation, might rush headlong into.  Unfortunately, it may well shut down the economy in the entire Southeast of the United States.

..with Gulf lawmakers decrying the moratorium as an overreaction to the BP oil spill that  will compound the economic damage the disaster is inflicting on their states.  Lawmakers and industry groups warn that the moratorium could cost thousands of jobs and drain hundreds of millions of dollars out of the local economy. ..the deepwater drilling ban, which is estimated to affect 33 rigs in the Gulf, could eliminate up to 4,000 Louisiana jobs in the short-term and “possibly 20,000 jobs throughout the course of the year.” (link to full article)

While the disaster itself is not Obama’s fault, his inability to handle it is a direct reflection on his lack of leadership abilities and dearth of experience.  Of course Obama wasn’t thinking about the thousands of additional families that would now have their lives destroyed.  The BP accident is putting fishermen and tourism-based businesses at-risk, what’s one more private sector business?  We’re building government jobs at a rate of 10 government jobs for every one private sector worker.  Will your paycheck support ten government workers that are currently paid higher than their private sector counter-parts?  Maybe we need those roughnecks, roustabouts, engineers, seismologists and logistics providers after all.

Now certainly a Keynesian could get financial reform right – right?  Not hardly.  It’s already been made official that financial reform won’t put an end to financial institutions that are “too big to fail”.  That intended consequence just won’t happen.  Now, it’s becoming evident that the unforeseen will be more unpleasant surprises.  Timothy Ryan, the CEO of a financial markets association said that the financial reform will, “..limit banks’ ability to hedge their risks, Ryan said, and deplete institutions of capital. This also would raise mortgage and credit costs, he said.  That means mortgages will be less available to those with limited resources.  This will hurt main street as much as Wall street, perhaps more.

Health care reform is fraught with unintended consequences.  These are already being felt.  Primary care physicians are dropping Medicare patients or refusing to accept new Medicare patients in huge numbers,pharmacies are walking away from Medicaid drug coverage, and emergency rooms are staffing up for the increase in visits for non-emergent cases that will be generated instead of the reduction promised by the President.

One could point to how cash for clunkers actually delayed the recovery of the automobile industry by 4+ months, employers ceasing to hire due to Obamacare, employers choosing to stop providing health insurance, or wealthy Americans ditching their citizenship due to unfair taxation, etc, etc, but the list is ridiculously long.

Obama has no clue what he’s doing and even worse, no clue what his actions are going to do.  His successor will have plenty of reasons to talk about the mess that is being left to them – Obama, “Karma’s a Bitch”.

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