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View Diary: Obama on the Economy: 'We Didn't Know How Bad It Was' (300 comments)

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  •  He received very good advice on the stimulus (37+ / 0-)

    Krugman and Stiglitz, among others, engaged in expert analysis and came up with proposals that were sound and fact based.

    Obama chose to not take their advice and ended up with exactly what they predicted - a too small stimulus with no lasting economic recovery.

    I would have a lot more respect for Obama if he followed the advice of economic policy experts instead of chasing the dream of "bipartisan grand bargains".  With the latter, he always ends up looking bad and we end up with an ongoing economic depression.

    "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."

    by Betty Pinson on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 03:39:29 PM PST

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    •  he received bad advice (5+ / 0-)

      by Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Arlen Specter, and Ben Nelson.  They voted.

      Economic policy experts are not experts on how bills become law.  Saying oh just ask for $1.2 trillion is a good way for nothing to get passed.  

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 03:53:32 PM PST

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      •  So Obama doesn't know how to negotiate? (23+ / 0-)

        That "pre-compromising" thing hasn't worked out to well for him so far.

        "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."

        by Betty Pinson on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 04:00:31 PM PST

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        •  well, we'll never know (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lying eyes, sunbro, Fireshadow

          whether the possibility of "just ask for everything" would have worked, but that does not mean he "doesn't know how to negotiate" because he didn't pursue that tactic.  Congress is under no obligation to pass a stimulus bill, believe it or not.  Clinton tried one in 1993 and got rejected.  If I'm one of those four senators and the President comes in with a demand I consider ridiculous, i don't say, wow the problem is really bad (which Krugman imagines would happen), i laugh.  Now, this would not make me a very good senator, but the four i mentioned are/were not very good senators, and that's not even mentioning Lieberman and Bayh.  

          Considering that the economy is no longer in complete free fall, actually having passed something worked out sufficiently well that i'll overlook that you're using Sarah Palin's phraseology.  Those criticizing Obama's negotiating skills seem less acquainted with negotiating than those who refrain.  But you don't want to be convinced of Obama's first term accomplishments, you just want to monday morning quarterback.  Which is fine, as long as everyone knows what game it is you're playing.

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 04:23:53 PM PST

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      •  Don't ask opponents, mobilize supporters (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse

        The thing that most rankles me is that even before taking office, Obama laid off all of the paid staff that had helped him get elected and essentially told all his volunteers to go home. He claimed it was now time to negotiate with Congress and we weren't needed anymore. This was really stupid. Any good organizer would know that you don't send your supporters home when it is time to negotiate -- you mobilize them to pressure your opponents.

        The corporate Right controls much of the media and much of Congress. Our strength is in the large number of mobilized progressive activists willing to lobby our Congresscritters. If Obama had asked us to help him -- instead of asking Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Arlen Specter, and Ben Nelson -- we might have been able to pressure a few of them to go along with him. But instead he tried to go it alone and the result is that we all got screwed.

        •  I get about 10 emails a day (0+ / 0-)

          impluing the exact opposite.  What is OFA if not exactly what you say isnt here?  Obviously, he cant run a campaign operation, but the networks were still there.  

          Anyway, we didnt get screwed, failing to pass anything would be being screwed, and i dont quite know what it means to go around the senate, and specifically the senators who were the deciding votes.  

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 08:19:42 PM PST

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          •  OFA? (0+ / 0-)

            As best I can tell, OFA mostly lobbies progressives to support the watered-down, compromised bills that Obama has already negotiated. On the stimulus bill, Obama should have staked out a stronger bill calling for at least $1.2 trillion of real spending (not tax cuts) and then mobilized OFA to fight for that. He might have had to compromise from there, but he might have been able to force the Repubs to compromise. Instead, he pre-negotiated a poor bill and then lobbied us to support it. Then he followed up by spending most of his time echoing Republican talking points about deficits and setting up the Catfood Commission to undermine Social Security and Medicare (and enlisting OFA to support that).

            And yes, we got screwed. The economy is still a disaster 3 years later. Democrats lost big in 2010 and may lose again in 2012. In Ohio, where I live, the Republicans won all the executive positions in 2010 and big majorities in the statehouse. Now the Republicans have just drastically gerrymanded the Congressional map so it is unlikely that more than 4 Democrats will be elected (out of 16 Ohio districts) for the rest of the decade. This is terrible.

            •  yes, which i think was the point (0+ / 0-)

              lobbying to support the President's bills, however one chooses to characterize them.

              "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

              by Loge on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 10:41:58 AM PST

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      •  Loge. Today, Thursday 12/15, the House GOP just (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        miningcityguy, dfarrah

        unveiled a $1 Trillion spending bill.  Obama could have asked for more and gotten it.  He just got stingy with the 99%.  He certainly wasn't stingy with the 1% bankers.

        •  Thats a regular budget bill, (0+ / 0-)

          not stimulus, and it represents a cut in discretionary spending.

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 06:44:26 AM PST

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      •  And had he said their stimulus was not enough (0+ / 0-)

        he could now rightly blame them for the bad economy and ask Congress to do it right this time.

        Unfortunately, he chose to side with Snowe, Collins, Spector, Nelson and all the other optimists, and now he owns the bad economy.

        It's amazing to me that the President feels the need to tout every compromise as a great victory that will fix all our problems.  I don't understand why he'd rather be a cheerleader than a realist.  Take the best deal you can get, yes, but acknowledge the shortcomings.  No one will mind if the measure outperforms the expectations.

        "I told you so" is a hell of a lot better position that "No one knew".

        To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

        by sneakers563 on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 11:04:47 AM PST

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        •  how is it a matter of "siding" with them? (0+ / 0-)

          he needed them to vote one way, which they might not otherwise have done.  Who suffers more from blaming the republicans for passing a stimulus that was too small?  The republicans or the people who benefited from it?  Now imagine had compromise not happened and nothing passed.  the downside to the republicans would be (arguably) political -- it's not like the stimulus is overwhelmingly popular.  Obama's compromise did significantly more good than harm.

          The rest of the comment is a bit of a false dichotomy.  Obama has pushed for additional spending and blamed the GOP for being recalcitrant, so he's really doing both.  The "no one knew" was a very specific point and only partially related to the size of the stimulus, though that's an easier target for progressive angst than multipliers and Q4 GDP data.

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 11:11:21 AM PST

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