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Thread: As he faced an ailing economy, what could Obama have done differently?

  1. #1

    As he faced an ailing economy, what could Obama have done differently?

    Interesting read and puts a lot things in perspective.


    [QUOTE]BOOKS
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    As he faced an ailing economy, what could Obama have done differently?
    by John Cassidy
    MARCH 26, 2012

    Presidential reputations often turn on economic factors beyond anyone’s control.
    In Presidential politics, timing is everything. If the 1992 election had been held six months later, when an economic recovery that was already under way had become unmissable, George H. W. Bush might well have won a second term, and the technology-driven “Clinton boom” of the nineties might have become known as the “Bush-Dole boom.” If the 1984 election had been held a year earlier, when the unemployment rate was above nine per cent, Ronald Reagan might well have been a one-term President, and a Mondale Institute, in Minneapolis-St. Paul, might have become a regular stop for ambitious young Democrats seeking high office. If the Great Crash of 1929 had occurred eighteen months earlier, on Calvin Coolidge’s watch, the Democrats might have won the 1928 election and lost, as the economy worsened, in 1932—in which case F.D.R.’s New Deal might have been Hoover’s New Deal.
    That may be pushing it. But the point remains: the reputations of our Presidents often turn on economic factors beyond their control. The Great Depression was a global event. The contractions in the early nineteen-eighties and in the early nineteen-nineties were driven by the Federal Reserve, as Paul Volcker sought to bring down inflation and Alan Greenspan sought to head it off before it got established. Sometimes changes in the financial markets—changes that aren’t under anybody’s direction—can prove decisive.
    President Obama (in contrast to the Presidential candidate Obama) was a victim of unfortunate timing. When he entered the White House, in January, 2009, the gross domestic product and employment were both declining alarmingly, and his term in office has been largely defined by efforts to right the economy. In a diligently reported and informative new book, “The Escape Artists: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery” (Simon & Schuster), Noam Scheiber, a writer at The New Republic, quotes a conversation, during the transition, between Obama and Timothy Geithner, his choice as Treasury Secretary. “Your signature accomplishment is going to be preventing a Great Depression,” Geithner said. Obama shot back, “That’s not enough for me.” Geithner persisted, saying, “If you don’t do that, nothing else is possible.” To which Obama replied, “Yeah, but that’s not enough.”
    Until now, most accounts of this Presidency have been written in a context of halting growth, stubbornly high unemployment, and disaffection on the part of many of Obama’s early supporters. That was true of Jonathan Alter’s “The Promise: President Obama, Year One,” which came out in the spring of 2010, and of Ron Suskind’s “Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President,” which came out last fall. In an epilogue that appears to date from late last year, Scheiber writes, “That Team Obama helped avert catastrophe is indeed beyond question.” But, he goes on, “the Obamans nonetheless failed at the task they set themselves—of restoring the economy to something resembling its precrisis vitality. . . . Almost three years after Obama took office, unemployment hovered around 9 per cent.[/QUOTE]”


    Read more [url]http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2012/03/26/120326crbo_books_cassidy?printable=true&currentPage=all#ixzz1pqhkJkM6[/url]

  2. #2
    [QUOTE=cr726;4410154]Interesting read and puts a lot things in perspective.





    Read more [url]http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2012/03/26/120326crbo_books_cassidy?printable=true&currentPage=all#ixzz1pqhkJkM6[/url][/QUOTE]

    I do believe the economy is somewhat cyclical, and anyone who came in 3+ years ago would've only had a limited impact in the short term.

    I think the bigger question is where is he positioning us for the future. Is more entitlements the answer? Is higher taxes the answer? Is "forcing" green energy, jobs, etc. the answer?

    Only time will tell, but to me it's somewhat Tebow-esque -- perhaps it COULD work (in theory), but there are a whole lot of potential issues that could hurt the team (nation) more than it helps it . . .

  3. #3
    Medicare is bankrupting (bankrupted?) the nation. He could have not expanded it to cover everybody--- by force.

  4. #4
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    Reformed and simplified tax policy. Lower rates, remove most deductions, install a corporate tax system which promotes domestic employment.

    True health care reform. Stripped down nationalized system for basic and catastrophic coverage supplemented with private and more comprehensive plans. Obamacare is a status quo system with expanded Medicaid and a few individual and insurance mandates. It drives up costs tremendously, and really doesn't solve any of the fundamental issues.

    Social Security system similar to the health care system described above.

    End the wars, shrink the empire.

    True finance reform. Banks are bigger than ever, we're going in the wrong direction.

  5. #5
    [QUOTE=parafly;4410721]Reformed and simplified tax policy. Lower rates, remove most deductions, install a corporate tax system which promotes domestic employment.

    True health care reform. Stripped down nationalized system for basic and catastrophic coverage supplemented with private and more comprehensive plans. Obamacare is a status quo system with expanded Medicaid and a few individual and insurance mandates. It drives up costs tremendously, and really doesn't solve any of the fundamental issues.

    Social Security system similar to the health care system described above.

    End the wars, shrink the empire.

    True finance reform. Banks are bigger than ever, we're going in the wrong direction.[/QUOTE]

    Devil's in the details, but I could support this.

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=parafly;4410721]Reformed and simplified tax policy. Lower rates, remove most deductions, install a corporate tax system which promotes domestic employment.

    True health care reform. Stripped down nationalized system for basic and catastrophic coverage supplemented with private and more comprehensive plans. Obamacare is a status quo system with expanded Medicaid and a few individual and insurance mandates. It drives up costs tremendously, and really doesn't solve any of the fundamental issues.

    Social Security system similar to the health care system described above.

    End the wars, shrink the empire.

    True finance reform. Banks are bigger than ever, we're going in the wrong direction.[/QUOTE]

    I support most of what you said here as well.

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=parafly;4410721]Reformed and simplified tax policy. Lower rates, remove most deductions, install a corporate tax system which promotes domestic employment.

    True health care reform. Stripped down nationalized system for basic and catastrophic coverage supplemented with private and more comprehensive plans. Obamacare is a status quo system with expanded Medicaid and a few individual and insurance mandates. It drives up costs tremendously, and really doesn't solve any of the fundamental issues.

    Social Security system similar to the health care system described above.

    End the wars, shrink the empire.

    True finance reform. Banks are bigger than ever, we're going in the wrong direction.[/QUOTE]

    Much of your post is very sensible but Obama should have followed the example of FDR's first term and simply focused on jobs.

    In Obama's second term he then could have focused on healthcare, finance reform, social security reform, etc.

    But Obama came into the Presidency with absolutely no management experience on his resume. So he adopted the "Wing-It" management approach and has had absolutely no success with anything. :dunce:

    Likely President Romney will have a much more common sense approach to managing the US government. :yes:

    :jets17

  8. #8
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    He could have not promised the sun, moon and stars to begin with.

    He could have not bashed Bush without knowing what is was like to walk a mile in his shoes.

    He could have gotten some more experience in the Senate.

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