Having praised President Obama's job performance in two recent columns, it is with regret that I now worry that he may be deepening what looks more and more like a depression and may engineer so much spending, debt, and government control of the economy as to leave most Americans permanently less prosperous and less free.
Other Obama-admiring centrists have expressed similar concerns. Like them, I would like to be proved wrong.
But with the nation already plunging deep into probably necessary debt to rescue the crippled financial system and stimulate the economy, Obama's proposals for many hundreds of billions in additional spending on universal health care, universal postsecondary education, a massive overhaul of the energy economy, and other liberal programs seem grandiose and unaffordable.
The markets have also been deeply shaken by Obama's alarming failure to come up with a clear plan for fixing the crippled financial system -- which has loomed since his election four months ago as by far his most urgent challenge -- or for working with foreign leaders to arrest the meltdown of the world economy.
Perhaps President Obama will come to some agreement with foreign leaders on constructive action during the upcoming G-20 meeting in London.