In the waning days of the crumbling Soviet Union, a Russian expatriate I met at a Washington reception told me a story of Soviet leaders Josef Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev on a rail journey across “mother” Russia.
Here’s how the story went: The men’s train had run out of coal and came to a jerking halt far short of their destination. After 10 minutes of delay, short-tempered Stalin gruffly put down his pipe and said to his companions, “I’ll go forward and discern the problem and we’ll be back under way.” A shot was heard, and a minute later, as he returned to the compartment, Stalin tersely declared, “I had the engineer shot for his incompetence.”
After another few minutes of no movement, Khrushchev put down the speech he was writing and left the compartment. He also returned after a short time and proudly pronounced, “We will soon be on our way. I’ve had the engineer posthumously rehabilitated!” Still, there was no movement of the train, so both Stalin and Khrushchev looked over at Brezhnev, who snorted with derision as he read his paper. “Well, Leonid,” they said. “How can you solve our predicament?” Being a man of few words, Brezhnev merely reached over and pulled down the window shade, replying, “Comrades, our new economic policy train is now moving forward again!”
By declaring that America is “moving forward” and attempting to pull the wool over our eyes, President Obama has become our Leonid Brezhnev. Outstripping all previous presidential fiscal overspending back to George Washington, Mr. Obama has personally stoked the boiler of America’s economic recovery express locomotive with more than $5 trillion.
In spite of his frenzied “shoveling,” Mr. Obama hasn’t even raised enough steam to get our train out of the station. So there he sits, perched in the coach window, grinning his nice-guy grin and “spreading the wealth” by throwing cash at all those people gathered by the track.