The Truman Temptation
George F. Will says the president is, quite implausibly, attempting to mimic Truman’s 1948 reelection strategy. “The president really is tiptoeing up to the Truman temptation,” he says. Will tells ABCNews.com that Obama trying to “go back to 1948″ and run against a “do-nothing Congress.” This, he predicts in his usual manner, will not work.
This is a pretty good video.
Obama Won’t Have a Real “Jobs Program”
…HIS SPEECH WILL NOT BE ABOUT JOBS. INSTEAD, IT WILL BE A CAMPAIGN SPEECH IN DISGUISE.
Obama cannot propose a real jobs program. His constituents would rebel. A REAL JOBS PROGRAM ATTACKS TOO MANY OF THE CORE BELIEFS OF HIS PARTY, SUCH AS MINIMUM WAGES AND HIGHER TAXES ON THE BETTER OFF. Even if his presidency rested on it, Obama couldn’t emulate Bill Clinton’s 1996 Welfare Reform Act that triangulated him from his own party. There is no way for Obama to enunciate the equivalent of Clinton’s “We must end welfare as we know it.” His core beliefs rule out such a dramatic move to the center.
However, IF OBAMA REALLY WISHED TO CREATE JOBS, HE MUST:
1. CONVINCE THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY THAT THE PRESIDENT IS NOT ANTI-BUSINESS BY:
• Requesting the resignation of the entire National Labor Relations Board …
2. TAKE ALL STEPS NECESSARY TO HOLD DOWN THE PRICE OF ENERGY. The President should remind us that increasing energy costs are job killers as we learned in the 1970s and 1980s. Among the specific steps he should propose:
• Drop the EPA’s most recent rulings against coal-fired electricity….
3. CREATE ECONOMIC CONDITIONS THAT ENCOURAGE BUSINESSES TO HIRE AND THE UNEMPLOYED TO SEEK AND ACCEPT JOBS. To do this, the president should:
• Not extend unemployment insurance. Empirical studies show that the unemployed find jobs shortly before their unemployment insurance expires. Further extensions will keep the unemployment rate high….
4. INSTEAD OF TRYING TO PROP UP THE OVERBUILT HOUSING MARKET, THE PRESIDENT SHOULD PROPOSE MEASURES TO ALLOW THE ECONOMY TO WORK OFF ITS EXCESS INVENTORIES of housing and to find a bottom in housing prices. Only after the bottom is reached will construction resume. To do this, he should:
• Establish the equivalent of the Resolution Trust Corporation of the 1989 to 1995 period to sell off the stock of foreclosed homes quickly so as to achieve a bottom in the real estate market.
• Announce a credible plan for the liquidation of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. …
5. THE PRESIDENT SHOULD REDUCE THE UNCERTAINTY WITHIN HOUSEHOLDS AND BUSINESSES caused by excessive government spending, deficits, and uncertain future tax liabilities. To do this, he should:
• Support the extension of the Bush tax cuts so that businesses and households have clarity as to their future tax obligations…
This is a very good article. I’ve given only the highlights. For more specifics go to the article and see what author suggest. If you have any other suggestions I invite you to leave them in the comments section.
Fanniegate: Gamechanger For The GOP?
…The Tea Party WMD stockpile is currently stored in book form: RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT: HOW OUTSIZED AMBITION, GREED, AND CORRUPTION LED TO ECONOMIC ARMAGEDDON. By Gretchen Morgenson, one of America’s best business journalists who is currently at The New York Times, and noted financial analyst Joshua Rosner, Reckless Endangerment gives the best available account of how the growing chaos in the mortgage and personal finance markets and the rampant bundling of dubious loans into exotically toxic securities plunged the world, and millions of American families, into the gravest financial crisis since World War Two. It is gripping reading as well, and its explanations are clear enough that readers without any background in finance will have no trouble following the plot. THE VILLAINS? AN UNHOLY ALLIANCE BETWEEN WALL STREET, THE DEMOCRATIC ESTABLISHMENT, COMMUNITY ORGANIZING GROUPS LIKE ACORN AND LA RAZA, AND POLITICIANS LIKE BARNEY FRANK, NANCY PELOSI AND HENRY CISNEROS. (Frank got a cushy job for a lover, Pelosi got a job and layoff protection for a son, Cisneros apparently got a license to mint money bilking Mexican-Americans of their life savings in cheesy housing developments.)
If the GOP can make this narrative mainstream, and put this picture into the heads of voters nationwide, the Democrats are toast. The party will have to reinvent itself (or as often happens in American politics, be rescued by equally stupid Republican missteps) before it can flourish.
If Morgenstern and Rosner are to be believed, THE AMERICAN DREAM DIDN’T DIE OF OLD AGE; IT WAS MURDERED AND MOST OF THE FINGERPRINTS ON THE CORPSE COME FROM DEMOCRATIC INSIDERS. Democratic power brokers stoked the housing bubble and turned a blind eye to the increasingly rampant corruption and incompetence at Fannie Mae and the associated predatory lenders who sheltered under its umbrella; core Democratic ideas may well be at fault….
….The Morgenson/Rosner story is a simple and easily grasped one. It is made for campaign ads. THE GREAT VILLAIN, THE MAN WHO ALMOST RUINED AMERICA ACCORDING TO THE BOOK, IS JAMES JOHNSON, long one of the most important members of the Democratic establishment. He ran Walter Mondale’s campaign. He chaired John Kerry’s search for a vice-president — the brilliantly executed search that chose the revered anti-poverty warrior John Edwards….
Try putting this forward and the liberals come after you with a hatchet. It was the Republicans according to them who removed regulations that led to this disaster. However, the only financial regulations acted upon during the 8 year Bush Presidency was the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002 which required more disclosure and held employees criminally responsible for many of the disclosure required by the bill. Also when Bush tried to tighten up on Fannie and Freddie it was the Democrats who defeated this effort
Comparing Perry to?
While some wonder whether GOV. RICK PERRY’S RED-HOT RISE IN THE POLLS MAY COOL AS QUICKLY AS THE FORTUNES OF FRED THOMPSON AND WES CLARK BEFORE HIM, others see a more apt comparison to a different late-starting candidate.
He was a governor and natural politician with a knack for working the crowds. He was late to join what was seen as a less-than-stirring field, and he had a laser focus on the economy. PERRY MIGHT NOT APPRECIATE HIS POLITICS, BUT HE’D SURE LIKE TO EMULATE HOW BILL CLINTON CHANGED HIS ADDRESS IN 1992.
“Perry wouldn’t necessarily like the comparison, but he may turn out to be the Republican Bill Clinton for ’12,” said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.
There are clear differences — a Rhodes scholar who tacked to the center versus a proud Aggie decidedly on the right — but it’s the political path to which Sabato refers.
“Clinton wasn’t the winner in either Iowa or New Hampshire (though he finished second in New Hampshire and called himself the ‘comeback kid’ after his controversies had cost him). CLINTON FINALLY STARTED MOVING WHEN THE BATTLES MOVED SOUTH. IN THAT YEAR, THE KEY FIRST RACE WAS GEORGIA, WHICH CLINTON WON. IN 2012 IT WILL BE SOUTH CAROLINA,” SABATO SAID….
I remember being on a plane and talking with a young political operative for Clinton in 1991. He was gushing over how charming and in touch Bill Clinton was. If Perry gets this kind of a response in a year where Obama’s record is so bad, it could be a landslide for the GOP.
Living on minimum wage
MICHELE BACHMANN ANNOUNCED THAT SHE WOULD CONSIDER REDUCING MINIMUM WAGE AS A MEANS OF INCREASING EMPLOYMENT. …
…ACTUALLY, MINIMUM WAGE IS NOT ALL THAT BAD. WITH STATE AND FEDERAL AID, A $7.25 AN HOUR WORKER GETS $14 AN HOUR IN PAY AND BENEFITS FROM TAXPAYERS AND HER EMPLOYER.
Florida raised its minimum wage to $7.31 an hour on June 1, 2011. That would make 40 hours of work worth $292.40 a week. BACHMANN’S NET PAY WOULD BE $275.88 AFTER THE 5.65% FICA TAX. Next year, FICA is supposed to bounce back up to 7.65%, but we shall see. Florida has no state income tax and her income would be too low to pay federal income taxes to cut into that.
But wait, there is more. FOOD STAMPS WOULD INCREASE HER MONTHLY INCOME BY $133 — making her take home pay (based on 4.33 paydays per month — or 13 every 3 months) $306.57.
HER EITC — EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT — WOULD BE APPROXIMATELY $2,600 A YEAR — OR $50 A WEEK, BRINGING HER UP TO $356.57.
Low-income people in her state are eligible for assistance on the heating or air conditioning bills. THIS RANGES FROM A MINIMUM OF $150 A YEAR TO $300. ROUND THAT OFF TO $156 A YEAR AND SHE GETS ANOTHER $3 A WEEK. Every little bit helps. Her take-home pay is now $359.57 a week or nearly $9 an hour tax-free. She also would be eligible for federal rent subsidies, which would stretch her wages even further.
ADD IN THE $10,000 A YEAR MEDICAID BENEFIT AND SHE IS HAULING IN $14 AN HOUR, or about double what her apparent pay is. Don’t knock Medicaid. It is first dollar coverage, unlimited with no deductions.
In actual cash, she would have $275.88 a week, plus $30.71 in food stamps. Federal subsidies would cap her rent at 30% of her pay. Each spring she would collect a $2,600 bonus from the IRS in the form of that EITC. If she has any children under 18, she would get better benefits including a $1,000 per kid annual gift from the IRS, more food stamps and free meals for the children when they are old enough for school at age 4….
We have a fairly generous safety net to go along with minimum wage. We spend on average 16,000 per person who fall under the poverty line ($22,000 for a family of 4—that would be approximately $11 per hour).