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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Drill, Don't Redistribute


By Kevin A. Hassett, Senior Fellow
Why is consumer sentiment so low? As Democrats cater to dissatisfied voters with redistributive policy proposals, there may be an alternative explanation. Kevin A. Hassett discusses the relationship between high gas prices and the sour sentiment among American consumers. This analysis suggests that the presidential candidate who can wield an effective plan to subdue gas prices may the one ahead in November.

Over the past two months, consumer sentiment has settled in at the lowest level in almost thirty years. The stark drop in sentiment is at odds with many other economic data points. Economists now believe, for example, that economic growth in the second quarter was around 2 percentage points, hardly a cause for deep depression. The unemployment rate hovers around 5.5 percent, about its postwar average.

What explains the low sentiment despite the moderate economy? Democrats and Barack Obama offer a populist story: While the economy as a whole has not done that poorly during the Bush years, the little guy has fallen farther and farther behind. Mr. Obama suggests that the weak sentiment is a call for a major change in economic policy. Americans yearn, the story goes, for massive new redistributions.

Read entire article at AEI.


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