On the morning after the President's speech, we looked for a good estimate of the total cost of all of his new spending proposals. We did not find one, which is probably because mathemeticians are still busy doing the calculations. How does one even begin to provide an accurate projection for all of these self-aggrandizement schemes?
The President proposed creating 15 manufacturing investment institutes, spending untold sums on energy research, creating two additional stimulus programs for infrastructure spending ("Fix It First" and "A Partnership to Rebuild America"), creating a national public preschool program, funding the complete redesign of all American high schools, establishing a program to "put people back to work rebuilding vacant homes in rundown neighborhoods," and starting a new initiative to "eradicate ... extreme poverty" in the Third World and save "the world's children from preventable deaths" and eradicate AIDS. All the while, he said, "in the Middle East, we will stand with citizens as they demand their universal rights, and support stable transitions to democracy."
These are to come at the same time the federal government reshapes the entire health care sector, imposes new environmental, workplace and voting regulations, and brings 11 million or more illegal immigrants out of the shadow economy and into the regular labor market, where businesses will be required to pay everyone at least $9 an hour. On top of that he intends to throw new restrictions on gun ownership.
Such a grandiose plan is, of course, impossible to achieve, which Obama knows. It also will further weaken the economy, which he does not know. But if he accomplishes only a fraction of it, he will have cemented a leftist legacy that will ensure fawning reviews in textbooks written by left-leaning historians for decades to come.