The Wrong Direction

Barack Obama, by all accounts, is a bright individual.  Yet he seems determined to ignore that timeless lesson: It’s the economy, stupid.

Obama must have created quite an insular bubble at the White House if he thinks the public’s foremost concern is the deficit.  No, Mr. President.

I know this may sound shocking, but when the country is mired in double-digit unemployment — with little hope for significant improvement in the near future — the electorate is bound to be angry.

But Mr. Obama evidently has placed a higher priority on triangulation than he has on job creation.

Obama’s plan to enact a three-year freeze on a large portion of discretionary spending shows he just does not get it.  Robert Reich explains why this course of action is wrongheaded:

A pending freeze will make it even harder to get jobs back because government is the last spender around. Consumers have pulled back, investors won’t do much until they know consumers are out there, and exports are miniscule.

Simply put, the government should be spending more, not less.  In the short term, Obama’s problem is that the deficit is too small.

The country needs another FDR; however, Mr. Obama seems intent on channeling Herbert Hoover.



Not surprisingly, Mark Thoma and Brad DeLong both have harsh words for Obama’s Herbert Hoover initiative.

“It is hard to imagine a less competent legislative operation,” writes Delong.