Thursday, January 08, 2009

Meet The New President, Not All That Different From The Old President

I caught some of Obama's speech on the economy on the news earlier and color me terrified. Some excerpts ...

Now, I don't believe it's too late to change course, but it will be if we don't take dramatic action as soon as possible. If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years. The unemployment rate could reach double digits. Our economy could fall $1 trillion short of its full capacity, which translates into more than $12,000 in lost income for a family of four.

Spreading the wealth around also means spreading around the losses.

It is true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or long-term growth, but at this particular moment, only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe.

Only government can break the cycle that are crippling our economy -- where a lack of spending leads to lost jobs which leads to even less spending; where an inability to lend and borrow stops growth and leads to even less credit.

Only government can save us.

And this plan begins with -- this plan must begin today, a plan I am confident will save or create at least 3 million jobs over the next few years. It is not just another public-works program; it's a plan that recognizes both the paradox and the promise of this moment -- the fact that there are millions of Americans trying to find work even as, all around the country, there's so much work to be done. And that's why we'll invest in priorities like energy and education; health care and a new infrastructure that are necessary to keep us strong and competitive in the 21st century. That's why the overwhelming majority of the jobs created will be in the private sector, while our plan will save the public sector jobs of teachers, police officers, firefighters and others who provide vital services.

I just wish someone could explain to me why the government pouring money into infrastructure, education, and health care is going to spur job growth and get the economy going.

And that is why the time has come to build a 21st-century economy in which hard work and responsibility are once again rewarded. That's why I'm asking Congress to work with me and my team day and night, on weekends if necessary, to get the plan passed in the next few weeks. That's why I'm calling on all Americans -- Democrats and Republicans and independents -- to kut -- to put good ideas ahead of the old ideological battles, a sense of common purpose above the same narrow partisanship, and insist that the first question each of us asks isn't "What's good for me?" but "What's good for the country my children will inherit?"

Take one part JFK, add one part George W, throw in a law school education and a dash of charisma and you've got President Barack Obama. The JFK "ask what you can do for your country" moment is obvious, but maybe my George W reference isn't. We've spent the last eight years with a President who has repeatedly told us to trust him- In Bush's case it was mostly about terrorism and now Obama's bringing that same theme to the economic crisis. Liberal or conservative, think about Bush what you will, but "trust me, I'll take care of things, and don't worry about the details" is not good government.

And remember what I've said about the push to crush small and limited government opposition? Here, Obama writes off small government as an old idealogical battle, framing opposition to any stimulus as merely a partisan relic of the past.


Anonymous rose said...

"It is true that we cannot depend on government alone to create jobs or long-term growth"

How telling is the wording of this comment? Obama seems pained to admit that, just maybe, the free market might play a small role in creating jobs and long-term growth. For some reason I can't imagine Bill Clinton saying something so stupid.


"What's good for the country my children will inherit?"

I can't imagine that transferring the debt bubble from consumers (w/ negative savings rates and unaffordable houses) and banks to the government is a good thing for our children. His stimulus package is basically an attempt to avoid feeling the neccessary short-term pain that deleveraging should bring, by instead just transferring debt to the government and keeping the bubble going. He'll be around for an artificially fast recovery, but won't be around when it pops.

I really feel like the stuff that is happening is paving the way for the libertarian party (or a libertarian type republican) to become much more competitive at some point in time. The pendulum has swung so far left and when the problems emerge (INFLATION), which they will, the pendulum will probably swing back just as hard the other way.

Unfortunately, it'll probably be 8 awful, 1970s type economic years from now until it happens.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous rose said...

I was skeptical of the supposed huge moral hazard and precedent set by TARP (the bailout) and I assume you were far more worried. I didn't see it playing out. I was wrong.

It is unbelievable how quickly the precedent that was set is being used by democrats (and some republicans). As if the auto-bailout wasn't enough, they're saying that congressional dems are trying to overhaul TARP, using the remaining $350b to bailout individual home owners instead of solidifying the financial system.

The more we realize how screwed so many banks were the more you can appreciate that something, if not TARP, was neccessary. But its clear that a precedent has been set and the dems are gonna exploit it as best they can.

2:25 PM  

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