Pre-eminent political/economic author George Gilder thinks “fiscal cliff” is the wrong term to describe what the country faces. It’s actually a “fiscal swamp,” and it’s President Barack Obama who has filled that swamp, Gilder tells Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.
As for the morass, “we’re in a fiscal swamp today that leads into the future as long as you can see, and the cause of the fiscal swamp is mainly a whole series of anti-enterprise policies by Obama,” Gilder says. That includes “anti-energy policies, anti-defense policies, anti-American policies,” he adds.
“People actually imagine they can negotiate with him. Having high hopes for the second Obama administration is like having great expectations for a second date with Ted Bundy. I mean, it’s just not going to work out.”
So Republicans need to focus on winning the debate on issues, “rather than allow ourselves to be lured into some media trap by Obama in this fiscal cliff nonsense,” Gilder says.
That means pushing a government default is a bad idea. “We don’t want to do things that are going to be unpopular in which we lose the debate,” he says.
Spending cuts aren’t even on the table for Obama. “The only cuts anybody even thinks of making are in defense,” Gilder says. “As long as this is the situation, there’s nothing for us to do in this kind of confrontation with Obama. We’ll lose it. We’ve got to win the debate.”
Gilder's book “Wealth and Poverty” made him famous, and he recently released "Wealth and Poverty: A New Edition for the Twenty-First Century."
Obama has encrusted the economy with bureaucracy, regulation and tax complexity, to the point that it can no longer function productively, Gilder notes.
“We need a massive transformation which requires a massive Republican/tea party triumph in the next elections, and that’s got to be our target.”
The president can’t be reasoned with, he says. “Obama is running this country down. He’s an anti-American president. He’s the Manchurian candidate incarnate, and . . . we’ve got to beat him.
Gilder doesn’t approve of the Fed’s near-zero interest rate policy. “Zero interest rates, like free anything, mean that only the politically privileged get access,” Gilder explains.
“So the Fed is fighting against capitalism by channeling savings to the government. We have an infinite loop of money going to the government.” And that’s very destructive for the economy, he notes.
“Entrepreneurial creativity and innovation is the only force for transformation and growth in the world economy,” Gilder says.
An administration focused on manipulating interest rates, regulating carbon dioxide emissions and suppressing energy can’t generate economic growth, regardless of fiscal policy, he adds.
Gilder doesn’t pretend that he can forecast the short-term economy, and those who do are “delusional.” But he feels comfortable enough to offer an outlook on the economy for this year. “We’re going to have a bad economy in 2013. How bad? I can’t tell you.”