Jennifer Rubin on the unveiling of a President:  Obama Removes the Mask

President Obama’s speech Tuesday night should put to rest the argument as to who he really is. He revealed plans so sweeping and so expensive that, if they came to pass, we would permanently refashion the role of the federal government in the lives of every American.

She has some advice for Republicans, in the wake of the President’s speech last night.

In short, Republicans need to explain why the heavy hand of government is not the vehicle for navigating complex and intricate problems that are best left in the hands of citizens and the free market. As Robert Higgs reminds us, even when it comes to more mundane tasks like jump-starting the economy, proposals to expand government action should be greeted with a heavy dose of skepticism:

“Federal intervention rests on the presumption that officials know how to manage the economy and will use this knowledge effectively. This presumption always had a shaky foundation, and we have recently witnessed even more compelling evidence that the government simply does not know what it’s doing. The big bailout bill enacted last October; the Federal Reserve’s massive, frantic lending for many different purposes; and now the huge stimulus package all look like wild flailing — doing something mainly for the sake of being seen to be doing something — and, of course, enriching politically connected interests in the process.”

Good idea.