To Scott’s fine explication of President Obama’s clueless quote about the private sector, I would only add a note on what I take to be its source. In my view, Obama was driven to his unfortunate remark by frustration with the private sector for “sitting on its money.” Since the president always thinks it’s about him, I imagine that he takes it personally that businesses are hoarding their money, rather than expanding rapidly, as he wishes he could direct them to do. Since he naturally takes an adversarial view of the private sector, he must feel it is out to get him.
The private sector’s conduct is “about Obama” in a sense. Businesses are not out to get Obama, though, they are merely reacting rationally to an extremely uncertain economic environment. Obama has contributed substantially to the uncertainty (though there are other important factors at work, as well). But his social democrat ideology and lack of economic knowledge prevent him from realizing this.
What a sorry combination of self-pity and ignorance. And how ironic, coming from “no drama Obama,” our “smartest president.”
The spectacle would be amusing, were it not so harmful to so many.