Where was this guy when McCain ran to Washington to destroy his campaign over the Wall Street financial crisis? Kevin Hassett, a director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and former advisor to the McCain campaign, came out with both barrels blazing on Bloomberg.com today:
"The California morass has Democrats in Washington trembling. The reason is simple. If Obama's health-care plan passes, then we may well end up paying for it with federal slips of paper worth less than California's (IOU's). Obama has bet everything on passing health care this year. The publicity surrounding the California debt fiasco almost assures his resounding defeat."
Hassett goes on to provide additional perspective:
"California has engaged in an orgy of spending, but, compared with our federal government, its legislators should feel chaste. The California deficit this year is now north of $26 billion. The U.S. federal deficit will be, according to the latest numbers, almost 70 times larger."
And then lays the blame precisely where it belongs:
"The federal picture is so bleak because the Obama administration is the most fiscally irresponsible in the history of the U.S. I would imagine that he would be the intergalactic champion as well, if we could gather the data on deficits on other worlds. Obama has taken George W. Bush's inattention to deficits and elevated it to an art form...
"The Obama administration has no shame, and is willing to abandon reason altogether to achieve its short-term political goals....
"Obama has no story. Nobody believes that his unprecedented expansion of the welfare state will lead to enough economic growth. Nobody believes that it will pay for itself. Everyone understands that higher spending today begets higher spending tomorrow. That means that his economic strategy simply doesn't add up."
Hassett goes on to call out moderate Democrats to wake up and smell the manure being shoveled out of Washington. Shovel-ready indeed. He predicts two possible outcomes:
"Given the increasing public concern about deficits that heightened significantly last week because of the California crisis, there are only two possibilities left. Either the Obama plan will come crashing down or Senate Democrats will concoct some bill that has health in the title but costs almost nothing and does even less."
The gloves are clearly off. You've got to like this guy. If only we had heard something from him back in October of 2008. Or was he being muzzled as part of the "hands-off Barack" strategy?