Flip Side: Mr. President, why do you support expanding the Federal Reserve'ês powers to regulate financial institutions?
Obama: I believe in Building on Failure. The Fed failed to avert the economic meltdown. My solution is to give them more powers to use next time around. The Fed will use them poorly, if at all.
FS: So you believe we should build on the failures of the past?
Obama: Roger that! Our motto is 'êBuild on Failure.'ê We take what hasn'êt worked and do more of it.
FS: Fascinating. Can you give another example of Building on Failure?
Obama: You betcha! We are in an economic mess because Bush ran up huge deficits. Our plan to save the economy is to run even larger deficits.
FS: Can you Build on Failure in other areas?
Obama: You better believe it! Consider health care. Everyone knows that we have a terrible health care system. We spend twice as much as other advanced nations and get less in return.
FS: Are you going to build on this failed system?
Obama: Right as rain! There will be some minor tinkering, but the end result will be to expand coverage and increase spending on the failed system.
FS: How can you be certain there will be no fundamental changes in health care?
Obama: Because I am leaving it up to Congress. The congressional committee chairmen working on this legislation are 79, 70, 83, 69, and 77 years old. Revolutions are not led by the senile.
FS: Was bailing out Chrysler and General Motors Building on Failure?
Obama: No buts about it! We faced a unique opportunity to build on myopic executives, truculent unions, insular bureaucracies, ossified corporate cultures, abysmal product design, and inefficient manufacturing processes. One seldom gets a chance to build on this much failure.
FS: So why then did you demand a new CEO for GM?
Obama: Politically, it was necessary. But I replaced him with his protÃ©gÃ©, GM'ês Chief Operating Officer, a 25-year GM employee. You need people experienced in failure to Build on Failure.
FS: Is that why you never demanded the firing of any bank executive?
Obama: Yes indeedy! We wanted to keep intact the management teams that caused the greatest economic collapse since the Depression. Their demonstrated colossal incompetence is something to build on.
FS: So the bank bailouts were another attempt to Build upon Failure?
Obama: More than an attempt. The bailouts succeeded in keeping sick banks alive, giving us a firm failed foundation on which to rebuild our banking system.
FS: Will there be limits on executive compensation at financial institutions?
Obama: Sure thing! I support a 10 percent excise tax on entertainers paid more than $100,000 by hedge fund operators to appear at their daughters'ê Bat Mitzvahs. Of course, headliners will be exempt.
FS: Who are headliners?
Obama: Anyone charging over $100,000. We must to be pragmatic in introducing pay limits. It is a very sensitive issue.
FS: Will the American public support Building on Failure?Obama: You'êre darn tootin'ê. Look at the War on Drugs, sanctions on Cuba, abstinence-only sex education, smaller class sizes, and limits on congressional spending. The more these policies fail, the more Americans support them.
FS: Are Americans comfortable with failure?
Obama: This is nation that elected and then re-elected Richard Nixon and George W. Bush.