This column perfectly captures my own sentiments—both the hope that the new Administration would succeed, and the growing concern that its confidence is misplaced.
One unpleasant surprise in the Administration’s economic plans, at least to me, has been Obama’s lack of empiricism. When discussing stimulus packages, I expected the President to say something like: We will take this approach and, if it works, we’ll do more of it; if not, we’ll try something else. Instead, the new President usually exudes confidence that his experiments will succeed—all of them. Can he really believe that? If not, isn’t he setting himself up for failure? When he first took office, FDR promised “bold, persistent experimentation.” Obama promises that all our problems will be solved. The gap between those promises is worrisome.