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View Diary: Summers Sees The US As "Halfway To A Lost Economic Decade" (48 comments)

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  •  Sorry... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap, blueoasis

    ...we all may have suffered, but the pragmatists were enabling and emboldening the likes of Summers in advancing FANTASY Economics -- tax cuts at the expense of more spending.  

    Where was the administration making the case for more spending?  Is it even making that case now, when the effects of the Stimulus are waning?  Nope.  The administration is asking people to be patient -- not to read too much into the anemic job creation numbers, and that we should all be thankful that they're getting serious about the deficit.  Pragmatic voices carried the day then, and they carry the day today.  The very fact that the administration has succumbed to all this deficit reduction talk advanced by Republicans is all the proof I need to see that the administration was too eager to compromise and eager to avoid a fight.

    And now Summers has the gall to warn against a Lost Decade.  We should call it The Summers' Decade.

    •  We likely had somewhere between 45-55 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      satrap

      democratic votes for a much larger stimulus.  Sadly the remaining 5-15 votes (mostly senate conservadems plus a couple republicans) weren't there to get us past the filibuster.  They conservadems put the kibosh on everything.  

      You are equating pragmatists and conservadems, and they ain't, unless you think that 45-55 democratic senators are true progressives.  In reality, we've got 5-10 mostly progressive dems, 5-10 conservadems, and the rest are those pragmatists.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 11:45:48 AM PDT

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      •  Did the administration... (0+ / 0-)

        ...ever claim that this wasn't the bill they wanted?  Or did the president take to the airwaves, signing pens at his side, and ceremonially sign the bill.

        Had he reluctantly signed the bill with the caveat that while this bill would ensure that we would not slip immediately into a Depression, it would do virtually nothing to create the number of jobs necessary to keep the economy from hovering around the precipice.  And, as he changed pens during that signing ceremony, he should have said:  "This pen is for Joe Lieberman; this one is for Susan Collins; this one is for Max Baucus; and this one is for Olympia Snowe.  I want the American people to see just exactly who is responsible for this weak tea I have no choice but to sign.  I wanted more spending and less in tax cuts."

        However, that's nowhere near the message the president projected when he signed the bill.  It was HAILED as a landmark spending bill and a miracle of modern political pragmatism...an incremental approach.  The WRONG approach, as we are witnessing.

        Today does not mark the end of our economic troubles. Nor does it constitute all of what we must do to turn our economy around. But it does mark the beginning of the end - the beginning of what we need to do to create jobs for Americans scrambling in the wake of layoffs; to provide relief for families worried they won't be able to pay next month's bills; and to set our economy on a firmer foundation, paving the way to long-term growth and prosperity.

        The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that I will sign today - a plan that meets the principles I laid out in January - is the most sweeping economic recovery package in our history. It is the product of broad consultations - and the recipient of broad support - from business leaders, unions, and public interest groups, the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, Democrats and Republicans, mayors as well as governors. It is a rare thing in Washington for people with such different viewpoints to come together and support the same bill, and on behalf of our nation, I thank them for it, including your two outstanding new Senators, Michael Bennet and Mark Udall.

        ~snip

         I want to thank Max Baucus, Chairman of the Finance Committee, without whom none of this would have happened. And I want to thank all the Committee Chairs and members of Congress for coming up with a plan that is both bold and balanced enough to meet the demands of this moment. The American people were looking to them for leadership, and that is what they provided.

        And now we need more.  And we don't control the House, and are on the verge of losing the Senate.  And the only way we keep the Senate and re-take the House is if, by some miracle, the jobs start appearing in record numbers.  It is now a matter of political expedience, which is why tax cuts which cut into Social Security are an option...an option that plays right into the hands of Republicans.

        And the presidnet will, once again, be defended as having no good options because of a hostile House and an ostensibly evenly split Senate.  Too bad, so sad.

        •  Uh (0+ / 0-)

          Basically said exactly this in a comment a few up.

          And your comment does not relate to my statement about pragmatists.

          "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

          by Empty Vessel on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 01:42:06 PM PDT

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          •  Fair enough... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Empty Vessel

            ...however, the chief paragmatist isn't in the Congress.  He sits in the Oval Office.

            You ask:  Should Obama have fought for more spending and less in tax cuts?  And you reply:  Sure.

            I ask:  Did Obama WANT more spending and LESS tax cuts?  I reply:  No.  He didn't.  Which is why Summers won all the in-house battles.  He believed in the incremental approach, which empowered the Liebermans  and Collinses and Snowes and Baucuses.  President Obama wasn't fighting these particular Senators, he was WITH them.  They were in agreement on how to approach the solution...taking it in steps instead of addressing it boldly.

            Obama isn't a conservadem -- he's a pragmatist.  We didn't get this bill because Republicans obstructed en masse, or because conservadems in the Senate stymied a bolder plan proposed by the administration.  We got the stimulus bill we got because it WAS the bill the administration wanted...much to its chagrin now.

            •  My guess (1+ / 0-)
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              4kedtongue

              And it is a guess, is that Obama wanted more stimulus, public option, etc, but knew he didn't have the votes, so took what he could get--the pragmatist side that i can agree with.

              The mistake Obama has made, in my view, is to never admit that he only got half of what he wanted.  I think he and his advisors think that makes him look weak, and perhaps would alienate the moderate voters who like this moderate crap.  I think this approach is a mistake, but not the mistake of pragmatism per say.

              Could I be wrong, yes.  You certainly have the public statements on your side...and Christ those public statements suck.  But this is my guess as to what Obama's primary failing is.  The inability to take credit for victory, while noting that it was not a complete victory.

              "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

              by Empty Vessel on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 02:51:17 PM PDT

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    •  I like The Summers Decade. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, 4kedtongue

      From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

      by satrap on Mon Jun 13, 2011 at 11:56:53 AM PDT

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