• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Barack Obama's nebulous approach to economic crisis

Dari

Lifer
Oct 25, 2002
17,134
38
91
It seems like even when Obama's plans get put into law, he doesn't make much noise about it, always moving on to the next issue. He also doesn't want to go front-and-center in this crisis. You can't blame him considering the economic bailout package hasn't calmed nerves in the financial industry (although it has not been implemented yet). Is this a smart path or should he join McCain in heaping praise on himself, blaming the opposition when something goes wrong, and proposing every idea that comes to mind (just to get some traction)?

http://dyn.politico.com/prints...-70B2-A8B7F477C906FF4B

Obama cautious, vague in economic crisis

Senator Barack Obama has taken a commanding lead in the race for president not because of any dramatic gesture, but because of a signature political trait: His caution.

The nation's economic crisis triggered Obama's sharp rise in what had been a tight race. But Obama hasn't tried to seize the kind of central, national leadership position for which McCain grasped, and fell short. Nor has he been touting - Bill Clinton-style - a highly detailed plan for what he'll do the moment he takes office.

The result is that while virtually all observers agree that he has benefited from the crisis, his allies and critics alike remain a bit hazy on what exactly he'd do if he takes office January 20, 2009.

"He's certainly laid out all the right elements that are needed for an economic recovery, but nobody's sure at this point which ones will be at the very top of his priority list when he takes office," said Thea Lee, the chief economist for the AFL-CIO.

"To my knowledge, he's said absolutely nothing about what he would do," said Glenn Hubbard, a former chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisors who is now the dean of Columbia Business School.

Obama has often thrived in this campaign by talking in foggy terms about his plans, here and abroad. It frustrates critics ? and some voters looking for clear indications of how he would lead ? but also provides tremendous flexibility for adjusting positions now and in the White House if he wins.

In fact, Obama has talked about the economy - only softly. Many of his key plans - for economic stimulus, for attending to the troubled housing market, and for financial regulations - are policy prescriptions he and other Democrats have been discussing about for months or more. Several became urgent - and in some cases passed into law - when the crisis deepened last month.

Publicly, though, he's said little, repeatedly answering a question in the first debate about what priorities would have to be set aside owing to the cost of the bailout with a list of the many programs he'd nonetheless provide. McCain was hardly more specific, though he did finally say he'd seek to freeze almost all federal spending.

"Steady leadership is not just about having ideas - it's about having consistent ideas and working to make them happen," said Obama's director of economic policy, Jason Furman.

While Obama has been a quiet player in shaping the federal response, he's been avoiding a high-profile association with the policies, which have thus far failed to halt the financial markets' precipitous decline. In the early days of the crisis, Obama walked a tightrope between support and opposition of Treasury's moves - rescuing first the mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, then the insurance giant AIG, while allowing Lehman Brothers to fail. On September 18, after saying that Obama "does not second guess" the AIG bailout, his spokesman, Bill Burton, objected to Politico's description of Obama as "supporting" it.


"At what point did not second-guessing become support?" Burton asked, resisting McCain's demands that Obama take a stand.

Another demonstration of his style came the next day, when - as the scope of the crisis became clearer -- Obama immediately released a statement on what he wouldn't do.

"I have asked my economic team to refrain from presenting a more detailed blue-print of how an immediate plan might be structured until the Treasury and the Federal Reserve have had an opportunity to present their proposal," Obama said, citing a wish to avoid "partisan wrangling."

Then, as McCain nosedived in to Washington in what appeared to be an attempt to rally support among House Republicans for the White House's bailout, Obama worked quietly with congressional allies to craft a plan that fit the principles he'd articulated, and which matched the priorities of key Democratic committee chairmen. The final deal included protection for homeowners and limits to executive compensation, items Obama had pushed for. But Obama didn't celebrate it as a victory: He released a skeptical statement saying he'd keep a careful eye on its implementation.

"He played a leadership role in saying we're going to get a deal," said Dean Baker, the co-director of the left-leaning Center for Economic Policy and Research, who opposed the bailout. "Since then what he's had to do is look calm while you've had McCain looking very erratic."

Obama and McCain both voted for the bill, but by then McCain's public floundering had made all the difference.

"He mostly cleverly dodged being associated with the issue while McCain was happy to smear radiation all over himself," said Dan Mitchell, an economist at the libertarian Cato Institute.

This isn't to say that Obama doesn't have a thick stack of policy proposals. He proposed a $115 billion stimulus package in August, for instance, though - disappointing some on the left - he didn't make it a condition of his support for the bailout. He gave a detailed speech on financial regulation in March. He called for the government to take partial ownership of troubled banks, which is the latest Treasury plan, which he greeted Friday with measured support. And more recently he's rolled out a pair of smaller-scale initiatives: Raising the cap on deposit insurance and providing emergency loans to small businesses like those given after September 11, 2001.

"We have a plan to respond to the market crisis and the jobs crisis, and we've had it for a long time, and he keeps on talking about it," said Furman.

Still, Obama's response had some veterans of the last administration noting the contrast with former President Clinton, whose politics were always rooted in richly detailed policy plans.

"It's a wiser approach with regards to this crisis to not lay out what the 90-point plan is," said former Clinton White House chief of staff Leon Panetta. "I think what we're finding out is that everybody's 90-point plan is not working."

If Obama does come to office, the fact that he hasn't been selling a specific package may leave him more leeway to cope with what is expected to be a severe budget crunch, economists said.

"He's being cautious, and he's doing everything he can to leave his options open at this point," said Baker. "I don't think he sees any money in getting out there and saying, 'Here's my 47-point plan.'"
 

Butterbean

Banned
Oct 12, 2006
918
1
0
""I have asked my economic team to refrain from presenting a more detailed blue-print of how an immediate plan might be structured until the Treasury and the Federal Reserve have had an opportunity to present their proposal," Obama said, citing a wish to avoid "partisan wrangling."


"Avoiding partisan wrangling" is a lie. Obama is a Marxist who has difficulty speaking about his actual plans and that's why he stutters and gropes so much off the teleprompter. Right now he doesn't have to even say much because McCain isn't even pressing him like he should be.
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
62,452
15,747
136
Neither candidate should be saying anything specific right now on the financial crisis. The world will change before the election and certainly before the inauguration. Making commitments and promises that will make no sense in three months will only expose them to future attacks while gaining them and the American people nothing.
 

techs

Lifer
Sep 26, 2000
28,561
3
0
McCains policies are shoot from the hip. I would rather have a President who carefully considered all options, discussed them with the brightest people, then made a decision.
McCain has shown he just seems to wake up with what he thinks is a great idea and announces it. McCain has even said he makes impulsive decisions and lives with the results. Sarah Palin comes to mind.

So I prefer the smart, considered approach to the "I don't know much about the economy, but I am going to just going to wing it" approach.
Obama ftw
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
2
0
Right now he doesn't have to even say much because McCain isn't even pressing him like he should be.
Because McCain's approach is to jack up spending and slash taxes with the silly hope that the economy will be so hot that the decreased tax rate is more than offset by a higher GDP and therefore more tax revenue. It's worked fantastically for the Bush administration.
 

retrospooty

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2002
2,031
74
86
Originally posted by: Butterbean
""I have asked my economic team to refrain from presenting a more detailed blue-print of how an immediate plan might be structured until the Treasury and the Federal Reserve have had an opportunity to present their proposal," Obama said, citing a wish to avoid "partisan wrangling."


"Avoiding partisan wrangling" is a lie. Obama is a Marxist who has difficulty speaking about his actual plans and that's why he stutters and gropes so much off the teleprompter. Right now he doesn't have to even say much because McCain isn't even pressing him like he should be.
Foil hat, foil hat... put it back on quickly.
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
62,452
15,747
136
Originally posted by: retrospooty
Originally posted by: Butterbean
""I have asked my economic team to refrain from presenting a more detailed blue-print of how an immediate plan might be structured until the Treasury and the Federal Reserve have had an opportunity to present their proposal," Obama said, citing a wish to avoid "partisan wrangling."


"Avoiding partisan wrangling" is a lie. Obama is a Marxist who has difficulty speaking about his actual plans and that's why he stutters and gropes so much off the teleprompter. Right now he doesn't have to even say much because McCain isn't even pressing him like he should be.
Foil hat, foil hat... put it back on quickly.
Won't work. In this case that crap would just reflect back into his head.
 

heyheybooboo

Diamond Member
Jun 29, 2007
6,278
0
0
Originally posted by: Dari
It seems like even when Obama's plans get put into law, he doesn't make much noise ....
LOL

You lost me right there.

No one has a plan to fix the fooking mess that the Republican Party and the Bush Administration have done the the US and World economies.

Start with FRED and get back to us ....


:laugh:


And there is no reason to acknowledge any of BuggerBrain's thread crapping posts anymore ....
 

LegendKiller

Lifer
Mar 5, 2001
18,256
68
86
Originally posted by: Skoorb
Right now he doesn't have to even say much because McCain isn't even pressing him like he should be.
Because McCain's approach is to jack up spending and slash taxes with the silly hope that the economy will be so hot that the decreased tax rate is more than offset by a higher GDP and therefore more tax revenue. It's worked fantastically for the Bush administration.
More or less. McCain is far more of a cut-spend-debt RINO "marxist" than Obama is.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,499
4,169
126
Obama is bright. He knows that drowning people don't need instructions on how to swim nor do they need to master the art of lifeguarding. They need to be knocked unconscious, if need be, and dragged to shore. A drowning person will drowned you if he can.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
2
0
We know that John McCain has admitted the economy is not his strong suit, and we don't know how damn smart Obama is on the economy.

But we do know that GWB has screwed the economy up totally, and we do not yet know if a massive bailout will save the world economy. And worse yet, GWB&co. has added so much national debt that the policy of spend and borrow will no longer work because the credit markets have dried up. The exact thing that happened to GHB after Reagan, but the next POTUS will have the GHB problem greatly magnified.

Why we did not fire Paulson and ride his ass out of town on rail dressed in tar and feathers eludes me, but the GWB&co strategy economic seems clear, namely run out the clock, and hope the economy does not totally implode as the bottom drops out on his watch, and the hell with the long term.

We in the USA spend many years allowing our economic idiots dig this country into a very deep hole, and now we are going to have to hope to have a next President come up with sound economic policy that will hopefully start the slow process of digging ourselves out of the hole we are in. And lets not kid ourselves, those sound economic ideas are not going to come from the brains of Obama or McCain, these sound ideas
will come from the advisers team Obama or team McCain come up with.

And when we look at the team Obama set of economic advisers, I for one am impressed with a blue ribbon team. When we look at team McCain economic advisers, one cannot help be nauseated with a large number of lobbyists and Phil mental recession, Gramm.

 

Deadtrees

Platinum Member
Dec 31, 2002
2,351
0
0
Originally posted by: Butterbean
""I have asked my economic team to refrain from presenting a more detailed blue-print of how an immediate plan might be structured until the Treasury and the Federal Reserve have had an opportunity to present their proposal," Obama said, citing a wish to avoid "partisan wrangling."


"Avoiding partisan wrangling" is a lie. Obama is a Marxist who has difficulty speaking about his actual plans and that's why he stutters and gropes so much off the teleprompter. Right now he doesn't have to even say much because McCain isn't even pressing him like he should be.
No, he's a satan himself and Satan doesn't believe in Marxism. Don't underestimate Obama, he'll come up with somthing new that you couldn't possibly imagine. :disgust:
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
2
0
We do not even know if there will be any US economy left to save come 1/20/2009. A victorious McCain or Obama is going to have to evaluate where we are on 1/20/2009. And then and only then can long term plans
be hatched. Everything is in too much of a flux state now, as GWB&co will continue to screw everything up for their short term gain. We may know more in the three weeks and change until election, but I think things will look a lot worse when we go to the polls.
 

winnar111

Banned
Mar 10, 2008
2,847
0
0
Originally posted by: Dari
It seems like even when Obama's plans get put into law, he doesn't make much noise about it, always moving on to the next issue. He also doesn't want to go front-and-center in this crisis. You can't blame him considering the economic bailout package hasn't calmed nerves in the financial industry (although it has not been implemented yet). Is this a smart path or should he join McCain in heaping praise on himself, blaming the opposition when something goes wrong, and proposing every idea that comes to mind (just to get some traction)?
It's not a nebulous approach; its an 'I have no idea what I'm doing but thankfully I'm still only a candidate and I can bash on the other guy for 4 months' approach.

Funny how liberals first said the bailout was a Bush plan, then the Bush-Paulson plan, and now its Obama's plan.
 

Deliximus

Senior member
Aug 11, 2001
318
0
76
Obama is cautious because he is NOT THE PRESIDENT YET, neither is McCain. Bush is still the president and he should be the one right now leading the way.

There are so many facets to this crisis that it will take time to figure out what's the best thing to do. Obama has proven that his patience, temperament and intelligence is well beyond most politicians of today, he has the knack of surrounding himself with very capable personnel. When the time is right, then he will unleash his ideas. Politics is about timing. You dont' just think of something and speak. Look what happened to McCain because of 'maverickness'.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY