Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Tuesday, 09.16.2014
Classifieds
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7
 8  9  10  11  12  13  14
 15  16  17  18  19  20  21
 22  23  24  25  26  27  28
 29  30  31
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local




Members Of



Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Mar 20,2009
Obama on the economy: Both sides now
by Debra J. Saunders

How the tables have turned. In September 2008, when GOP presidential nominee John McCain said "the fundamentals of our economy are strong," unemployment was 6.1 percent, the credit crunch had yet to reach the point that prompted President George W. Bush to propose a bailout, and Team Obama proclaimed that an out-of-touch McCain "just doesn't get it" on the economy.

Now with unemployment at 8.1 percent, the $700 billion-plus Bush bailout has been followed by the $787 billion Obama stimulus package, and some D.C. Democrats already are arguing for another stimulus package because the first Obama stimulus bill didn't do the trick. Yet top Obama economic adviser Christina Romer told "Meet the Press" on Sunday, "Of course, the fundamentals (of the U.S. economy) are sound in the sense that the American workers are sound, we have a good capital stock, we have good technology." (Those qualifying statements sound a lot like the McCain explanation for his positive diagnosis of the economy — "that the workers of America are the fundamentals of the economy.")

President Obama himself said last week, "If we are keeping focused on all the fundamentally sound aspects of our economy ... then we're going to get through this."

If Obama is confident about the soundness of the U.S. economy, does that mean he "just doesn't get it?" No, it means that he is president. Now he has to pay the political price for incessant badmouthing of the U.S. economy. Now he has to prop up the very system at which he had been sniping for years.

And I do mean years. Of course Obama spent 2007 and 2008 talking down the economy — he was running in a Democratic primary. But as far back as 2002, before he became a senator, Obama suggested that Bush was waging war against Saddam Hussein "to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression." Factually, Obama was incorrect. There had been four bigger one-month drops since the Depression — but there was little downside to over-trashing the economy, albeit inaccurately, during the Bush years.

Now Obama owns the economy — so the economy fear-mongering must end. As top White House economic adviser Larry Summers told the Brookings Institution, "We need to instill the trust that allows opportunity to overcome fear and enables families and businesses to again imagine a brighter future." In what he called "the central paradox of financial crisis," Summers observed "that while the problem was caused by excessive complacency and excessive optimism, what we need today is more optimism and more confidence."

That sounds like a column I wrote last September when I thought Democrats were being overly pessimistic about an economy that had been wounded by a government loan to AIG (then $85 billion), a $30 billion bailout in May for JP Morgan to buy Bear Stearns and the pricey shoring up of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Clearly, I was wrong about looming damage of overly swapped bad credit and Wall Street panic.

Six months later, two Washington administrations have thrown another $2 trillion into the pit — and some Democrats are arguing that more spending is needed to stimulate the economy.

On the one hand, I think Summers is right. Fear and panic are stalling an engine that still has plenty of kick left — but it won't start purring until the public believes again.

Now that they're on the running-things side, Obama and company are learning that it's a lot easier to kick the economy than to jump start it. Too bad that they were a lot better at kicking it.

Copyright 2009 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
838 times read

Related news
Obama, Clinton focus on McCain by UPI posted on Apr 02,2008

Tax rebates, breaks part of Bush plan by UPI posted on Jan 18,2008

Mr. Credibility by Debra J. Saunders posted on Feb 16,2009

Obama sinks the markets by L_Brent_Bozell posted on Mar 16,2009

Clinton reveals $70B stimulus package by UPI posted on Jan 11,2008

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 2 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County
Fairgrounds

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum

Advertisements



Deschutes County

Google  
  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
Advertisement
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?