Professor Epstein characterizes Obama’s economics as “primitive” and explains: “First, it is not possible to gain more money for the public treasury by taxing heavily those practices that are efficient for a firm. Putting a special tax on corporate jets will cut corporate profits, leaving nary a dime to fund the worthy causes that the president promotes.Efficiency is the hidden driver that government seems to want most to ignore. Renewable energy sources are less efficient; government doesn't care. Overwhelming pro-union and other work rules (such as mandated paternity leave) make companies less efficient; government doesn't care. Picking winners and losers by bailing out, waivering, or taxing some and not others, reduces efficiency; government doesn't care. Arcane and overly-complex tax law reduces efficiency; government doesn't care.
Every time government doesn't care about efficiency, it pushes down on the economic brake pedal.