In this time of bailouts and stimulus packages I think the incoming Obama administration should study how Governor Wilder dealt with the economic downturn in the early 90’s.
If they do, but I doubt they will, they will discover that the Wilder administration battled the economic downturn by shunning calls to raise taxes, and focused instead on identifying and cutting waste out of the state budget. Rather than taking a page out of the Doug Wilder playbook, today’s liberals are consulting the studies of John Maynard Keynes; that is higher government spending, and multiple bailouts.
I remember watching one of Governor Wilder’s state of the commonwealth addresses and hearing him tell the legislators that despite their desires for pork, he wouldn’t raise taxes, and he would insist on cuts in spending. They just sat there, stone faced and silent. It was stunning, when he finished his speech there was no applause just silence when he exited the chamber.
Several years ago I had a conversation with Governor Wilder where he told me that the economic downturn created an opportunity to comb the state budget and cut waste. I fear the Obama administration will use the economic crisis as an excuse to increase the power and scope of the federal government.
I would like to recommend Doug Wilder for OMB director, but alas I doubt that will happen.