Monday, February 09, 2009

Obama Press Conference, semi-live

I was watching the Presidential press conference, but I sort of lost President Obama when he once again started discussing the supposed unanimity among economists about the need for an economic stimulus from government. Either he doesn't realize that strong intellectual opposition exists or he's lying in an effort to portray a unanimity that isn't actually there. Bush was derided for calling himself "the decider," but at least he understood the President's role was to make decisions and not to create a false sense of political and intellectual harmony.

Just a few other thoughts-

# If we really have this problem of frozen credit markets, where individuals and businesses with perfectly good credit are having trouble getting loans, why doesn't the government just step in to act as banker and provide these loans as part of the stimulus package?

# I actually don't have too much more to say, other than how clear it is that Obama's economic crisis is Bush's war on terror. Right down to the language used and the need for haste, we're being sold a bill of goods and honest debate has been thrown out the window.

3 Comments:

Anonymous rose said...

Can we please fact-check this guy?

He claimed numerous times that republicans want to do nothing, which is an obvious attempt to cast republicans as the Hoover of this crisis. First, Hoover was anything but a non-interventionist. And secondly, the republicans actually did put together a counter proposal. Often the party out of power sits back and criticizes with out offering solutions, but that's not the case right now. Republicans want more tax-cuts (not credits) to actually create incentives and a more targeted, smaller spending package. Only the most blind and faithful should be able to listen to Obama mis-represent things so badly.


Secondly, Obama continues to say that Bush's tax cuts caused this recession. Are we really uninformed enough to get lied to this blatantly?


I continue to see economist after economist talking about this type of fiscal stimulus package as if it was some nice idea in theory, that as far as they knew, disappeared from economic thought after the atrocious 1970's following LBJ. And they are successfully getting shouted down by the Obama/Pelosi duo who would probably struggle to pass an intermediate macro college course.

So here we are. Tax cuts as a disproven economic ideology that led to crisis...and fiscal stimulus as the tried and true solution.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous rose said...

A couple more observations from the department of "if you say it often enough it must be true":

1) The early 1980's recession was substantially worse than this one by all quantitative metrics.

2) Spending does not neccessarily equal stimulus. As was pointed out in the WSJ today, the stimulating effects of stimulus largely depend on whether you're simply taking resources away from private industry, or employing unemployed resources. They pointed out that spending on home construction would create the most jobs immediately because of how many people have been laid off in the industry. Conversely, Health IT spending, which we're putting $20b into, will likely create very few jobs. The jury is out on whether the spending could even pass a real long-term cost-benefit analysis. BUT, the point is that spending does not neccessarily equal stimulus regardless of how many times our president says so.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous rose said...

A couple more observations from the department of "if you say it often enough it must be true":

1) The early 1980's recession was substantially worse than this one by all quantitative metrics.

2) Spending does not neccessarily equal stimulus. As was pointed out in the WSJ today, the stimulating effects of stimulus largely depend on whether you're simply taking resources away from private industry, or employing unemployed resources. They pointed out that spending on home construction would create the most jobs immediately because of how many people have been laid off in the industry. Conversely, Health IT spending, which we're putting $20b into, will likely create very few jobs. The jury is out on whether the spending could even pass a real long-term cost-benefit analysis. BUT, the point is that spending does not neccessarily equal stimulus regardless of how many times our president says so.

10:03 AM  

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