Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 10:25 AM ET, 12/31/2010

Column: Pinning down 'Obamanomics'

By Ezra Klein

3484822900_48c22cf871.jpg

We're two years into the Obama administration, and "change we can believe in" has become "continuity we can believe in." So far, five senior members of the president's team have resigned their posts - and not one has been replaced with a candidate from outside the administration.

That isn't to understate the differences between members of the administration: Christina Romer, its first chair of the Council of Economic Advisers was a macroeconomist. Austen Goolsbee, her replacement, is a microeconomist. Rahm Emanuel loves cursing. His replacement, Pete Rouse, loves cats. Ben Bernanke, who chaired the Federal Reserve when President Obama entered office, is a specialist in the Great Depression. Ben Bernanke, who Obama renominated when Bernanke's term expired is, well, the same guy.

But two years into the Obama administration, the president seems confident in the people around him and the approach they've persuaded him to take. "When I reflect back on the last two years," Obama told the New York Times, "we probably spent much more time trying to get the policy right than trying to get the politics right." That self-assessment is a long way from, "It's time for some new ideas." And it raises the question: What is the overarching policy they spent so much time getting right? What is Obamanomics?

When I asked participants and observers that question, they all started with the same premise: The administration didn't have time for philosophy. It had to put out fires - and fast. But faced with the greatest economic crisis in generations, a crisis that spread across many sectors, their response, in retrospect, was remarkably consistent.

Isolate the eight key economic decisions of the Obama presidency: The intervention in the financial sector, the intervention in the auto sector, the intervention in the housing sector, the stimulus package, the health-care bill, financial regulation, and the tax deal. (The financial and auto interventions, it should be noted, were begun under George W. Bush but carried out and expanded under Obama.) In each case, the Obama administration sought to support or improve private markets. It refused to leave the market to sort itself out, as some on the right would have preferred, and resisted entreaties to take it over, as some on the left advocated.

Where there was a market that they considered functional-but-frozen, they worked to unfreeze it. That's what TARP was, and the stress tests. It's not quite right to group the Federal Reserve's actions with the administration's. But the Fed and team Obama were in close contact, and the basic philosophy was the same: Get the market for securitized assets moving again, restore confidence in the banks, give participants some assurance that it was safe to keep borrowing, lending and investing. Calls to nationalize the banks were rejected. Calls to fundamentally remake the financial sector were also resisted, and regulation focused on new safeguards and emergency procedures rather than a new way of doing business.

That wasn't true in the auto bailout. The government essentially took over General Motors and Chrysler. But the administration says it did so because the market for debtor-in-possession financing - the money that keeps you running through bankruptcy - had dried up. Bankruptcy in a credit freeze would become liquidation rather than reorganization. Members of the administration believe they did what a working market would've done, shepherding the automakers through a modified bankruptcy process, with the intention of selling off the government's stakes in the companies and returning them to the private market.

The stimulus followed a similar theory: There was no particular reason that people had stopped buying and making things. There wasn't a plague of rust or coordinated sabotage of the nation's storefronts and factories. Rather, the markets had frozen, and no one knew what disaster would next befall the economy. So people were hoarding cash. The government's role was to pump demand into the economy and create sufficient confidence to get the market functioning again.

In housing, this approach was perhaps clearest of all. Rather than fundamentally reform the market, the administration and Federal Reserve focused on backstopping it. Buying a house in 2009 and 2010 was little different from 2004 and 2005. What had changed was the Fed using every tool in its toolkit -- and a few that people didn't even know were in there -- to keep interest rates low, the federal government handing first-time home buyers $8,000 to get into the market, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buying virtually every mortgage that was issued.

Elsewhere, when a market didn't exist but needed to, they tried to create one. In the health-care overhaul, the administration looked to construct a functioning market for individuals and small groups, to replace one where for people with preexisting conditions, health insurance wasn't available at any price. Although the administration supported a public option, neither it nor Medicare-for-All figured prominently in the reforms. The focus was on constructing a better private market not replacing it with a government program.

What's missing from this list is cap-and-trade environmental legislation, which is perhaps the most notable failure of Obama's first two years. But the administration, though failing to pass cap-and-trade, pursued it in service of a similar theory: The market should factor in the cost of the damage that carbon-intensive activities do. It's failing to do so. That should be fixed.

All of these efforts showed the same basic intuition: A preference for markets populated by private actors, but a belief that many such markets fail if the government doesn't set appropriate rules and keep an eye on the proceedings. It also shows an essential caution: Though some bolder instincts were suppressed because the White House didn't see 60 votes in the Senate for boldness, many others were suppressed because the White House was worried about what would happen if they sought disruptive, dramatic change -- and then got it wrong. The decision to avoid nationalizing the banks, for instance.

The ambitions of Obamanomics have thus been horizontal, not vertical: This first two years were remarkable more for how many different markets the White House managed to reform than for the ambition and scope of their reforms in any particular market.

But the moment that made Obamanomics possible is over. When the administration took office, markets were failing left and right. Democrats held such large majorities that ambitious interventions and reforms were suddenly, and unexpectedly, possible. The question is what comes next?

Photo credit: The White House.

By Ezra Klein  | December 31, 2010; 10:25 AM ET
Categories:  Obama administration  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Reconciliation
Next: The real Rosie

Comments

For Once In His NeoCon Life-Charles Krauthammer, May Have This One Right...

The net effect of 18 months of Obamaism will be to undo much of Reaganism.

Both presidencies were highly ideological, grandly ambitious and often Underappreciated by their own side.

In his early years, Reagan was bitterly attacked from his right. (Typical Washington Post headline: "For Reagan and the New Right, the Honeymoon Is Over" -- and that was six months into his presidency!)

Obama is attacked from his left for insufficient zeal on gay rights, immigration reform, closing Guantanamo -- the list is long.

The critics don't understand the big picture. Obama's transformational agenda is a play in two acts.

Act One is over. The stimulus, Obamacare, financial reform have exhausted his first-term mandate. It will bear no more heavy lifting.

And the Democrats will pay the price for ideological overreaching by losing one or both houses, whether de facto or de jure.

The rest of the first term will be spent consolidating these gains (writing the regulations, for example) and preparing for Act Two.

The next burst of ideological energy -- massive regulation of the energy economy, federalizing higher education and "comprehensive" immigration reform (i.e., amnesty) -- will require a second mandate, meaning Re-Election in 2012.

That's why there's so much tension between Obama and congressional Democrats. For Obama, 2010 matters little.

If Democrats lose control of one or both houses, Obama will probably have an easier time in 2012, just as Bill Clinton used Newt Gingrich and the Republicans as the foil for his 1996 reelection campaign.

Obama is down, but it's very early in the play.

Like Reagan, he came here to do things. And he's done much in his first 500 days. What he has left to do he knows must await his next 500 days -- those that come after reelection.

The real prize is 2012. Obama sees far, farther than even his own partisans. Republicans underestimate him at their peril.

Posted by: omaarsblade | December 31, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse


Since the Constituation is "100 years old" why don't we revise that First Amendment portion regarding "freedom of the press" and toss out that tired old unnecessary provision.

Posted by: Czer | December 31, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Nice article -- and to the extent that it reflects the administration's view, it leads me to respect what they are doing and have done. I like markets and think that overall they are the best way to allocate resources.

Why, then, do I feel so uncomfortable about what Obama has accomplished? Perhaps it's because in supporting markets it also supported the people who abused markets. The banks are probably the best example. No one was talking about having the Federal government take over the credit market. It could have restarted that market without bailing out the banks the way it did. Nationalizing the banks and selling them off the way it did with the car manufacturers would have worked just as well -- probably better -- and would have made most of us a lot more comfortable.

-- Russ Abbott

Posted by: RussAbbott | December 31, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

All these people whining about ideology and the age of the constitution, when the important thing is that Ezra is unable to spell 'Austan'.

Badly done, Ezra. Badly done indeed.

Posted by: vagueofgodalming | December 31, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

@RussAbbott - "Nationalizing the banks and selling them off the way it did with the car manufacturers would have worked just as well -- probably better -- and would have made most of us a lot more comfortable."

Choosing not to nationalize the banks was a political calculation. Doing so would have sparked a huge, angry outcry against the government of Obama, possibly far louder and more angry than the auto takeover. Moreover, it would have rattled the markets even more and led to even more financial hoarding as businesses wondered who was next and skepticism of the Admin. would have grown exponentially.

Overall, it would have been disastrous policy. Moreover, because Bush's team set up the TARP program in conjunction with Congress, Obama had few options in designing or running the program once he took office.

We must all remember that the prevailing theory in Congress, as well as across the country, was that the financial people were the smartest people around and that financial people knew what they were doing and would nothing to destroy the economy, along with the belief that there were enough safeguards - electronic systems and regulators - to keep any market crash and major corruption from occurring. As a result, Congress and the Bush Admin. were thoroughly stunned - shocked beyond belief - at what had occurred and when the Dow precipitously dropped the day after the initial TARP vote failed to pass, Congress was again stunned and feared a complete wipe out of the stock market and the economy. Consequently, they pretty much gave in to Paulson - all previous negotiations and arguments and dissent seemed to whither away as everyone watched the dramatic fall in the stock market.

Could TARP have been designed better? Most assuredly, but the shock of the event overcame rational thinking. But the design and execution of TARP, overall, cannot be laid at the feet of Obama, but rather at the close physical and philosophic alliance between Congress (and the Bush Admin) and the financial sector.

Posted by: valkayec | December 31, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

but a belief that many such markets fail if the government doesn't set appropriate rules and keep an eye on the proceedings.

bwahahahahaha, good one, Ezra. every single one of the TBTF Banks we handed trillions to have, and are continuing, to break the law and violate the "rules" established by unindicted criminal Tim Geithner.

but we do appreciate your sense of humor on this, no matter how black and ironic that humor is.

Posted by: johninflorida | December 31, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

To put any lable on Obama's economics policies is inappropriate, since he has NO particular theory except "Whatever is Doable." Can't get kust tax breaks on lower incomes? Trade for DADT, New Start, and everything else. Not economics, just pragmatics. He didn't lose anything he could actually have won, but he won quite a lot everyone thought he had lost. (And I still think he could have won on tax cuts, but I wasn't the one doing the horse trading)

Watching the world's economies collapse? Get whatever Congress will give you and do the best you can. And it is still working, but very slowly.

Obama has no single principle that could be called Obamanomics, and what he has in its place already has an accepted name: Realpolitik. Spell check even passes it as a normal word.

As for the economics practiced by the Other party, well it two has a preexisting term: Third World. The Rich get what they want and the rest of us must step deferentially out of their way. Because of our third world taxation we have now a third world economy, and a third world manufacturing sector where we buy our basic goods from someone else. We have a third world health system where if you are rich you can get whatever medical care you want, otherwise you depend on the charity of others.

Why do we need new terms for our practices when there exist old terms that are so particularly descriptive?

Posted by: ceflynline | December 31, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Ezra,
This is a bit of whitewashing, I'm afraid. You're doing PR for the Administration. The Obama Administration has been incredibly weak on the "setting rules" portion of this stated philosophy. He mostly has "done deals" with the large financial actors rather than regulated them. There are some very minor regulations of the financial industry that have been past, but the elephant is still sitting there in the room.

This a pretty superficial analysis, though you are serving a journalistic "market niche" between critics on the Left and critics on the Right of the Obama Administration. In serving that niche, I suppose you are performing a public service. It would however, be more honest and better journalism for you to portray this portrayal as the Administration's own favored self-perception rather than an operative philosophy. A contrast with something outside that self-perception would help orient the reader to uncomfortable or disconfirming facts.

Posted by: michaelterra | December 31, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

valkayec ceflynline:You Two Are Dead Dog Wrong On Obama, Too Much Fox News-Tea Partying-Birthering & AM:Hate Radio, To See Facts Over Fox News [Propaganda]

_______________________

1. The Team Of Bush-Cheney Paulson Gave Us TARP One & GM-Chrysler, Bailouts, Most All Has Been Paid Back To U.S. Tax Payers.

2. Obama's Team of Geithner-Summers-Orzag Overhauled & Extended The Bailouts [Successfully] I Might Add.

3. Wall Street,AIG-Bear-Sterns-Morgan-Stanley-Goldman-Sachs-Mega Bankers & GM+Chrysler Owe President Obama, He saved All of Them.

4. Bush-Cheney-Paulson had Only 4-5 Months Putting the TARP Funding Plan Together, so tyhey Hardly Rescued The Financial Markets, They Rushed Their Plan, Because Their Time In the Oval office Was Running Out and Obama was coming Into the Oval Office..

[You Two-Partisan-Dummies]

Posted by: omaarsblade | December 31, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

michaelterra valkayec ceflynline:You Two Are Dead Dog Wrong On Obama, Too Much Fox News-Tea Partying-Birthering & AM:Hate Radio, To See Facts Over Fox News [Propaganda]

_______________________

1. The Team Of Bush-Cheney Paulson Gave Us TARP One & GM-Chrysler, Bailouts, Most All Has Been Paid Back To U.S. Tax Payers.

2. Obama's Team of Geithner-Summers-Orzag Overhauled & Extended The Bailouts [Successfully] I Might Add.

3. Wall Street,AIG-Bear-Sterns-Morgan-Stanley-Goldman-Sachs-Mega Bankers & GM+Chrysler Owe President Obama, He saved All of Them.

4. Bush-Cheney-Paulson had Only 4-5 Months Putting the TARP Funding Plan Together, so they Hardly Rescued The Financial Markets, They Rushed Their Plan, Because Their Time In the Oval office Was Running Out and Obama was coming Into the Oval Office..

[You 3-Partisan-Dummies]

Posted by: omaarsblade | December 31, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/05/gop-senators-dirty-little-secret.php

Their Dirty Little Secret: GOP Senators Say Bailouts Worked -- Just Please Don't Tell Anyone!
_________________

Over the past couple days, I've asked a number of GOP senators whether, nearly two years later, they think the bailout bill was effective. Their answers were revealing.

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), who's retiring at the end of the year and is therefore unencumbered by the need to defend himself from the GOP base, has nothing to run away from.

"It was extremely effective," Gregg told me.

"Not only was it effective and stabilized the financial industry, it also returned to the taxpayers almost $20 billion in interest and dividends that they would have otherwise not have."

Posted by: omaarsblade | December 31, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

everything you need to know about ObamoNomaEbonics has been around for millenia. lol


VOODOO WITCH DOCTOR 3RD WORLD ECONOMY

Posted by: theSwimmah | December 31, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Ezra's analysis is not the least superficial, it is merely broad & descriptive. Faulting it for not being evaluative misses the point: Obama's economic efforts have largely sought to reform private markets rather than replace (or even supplement) them with government programs. Apart from our evaluation of the efficacy of such efforts, this observation is valuable in its own right by distinguishing the efforts from "government takeover" actions, as suggested by the dominant rhetoric that blurs regulation & programs.

Personally, I think this is most important for independents/moderates to notice: for whatever reason, Obama has been erring on the side of moderation, NOT forcing strong government programs as a response to the manifest market problems. Plus, aside from particular legislation, his administration is staffed with persons committed to the regulatory endeavor, something that sets it apart from previous Republican administrations. Thus, unless we choose to ignore how so many markets have utterly failed to work for most people, we should see such efforts as the minimum needed to maintain rule of law in the crucial sphere of business.

Of course, knowing Obama's efforts to be moderate/reformist give us an opportunity to see whether such measures are adequate or whether they need to be strengthened or perhaps that non-market options are indeed reasonable after all.

Posted by: Trogdorprof | December 31, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Trogdorprof:

Obama's whole first two years have been an exercise in getting as much done as Mitch and friends will let him. That is probably why Health Care took such priority. Most of the work got done before the R's could get organized, and the long haul fight was to wiggle through to a win with as much of HCR as he could keep intact.

Now for the next two years it is realpolitik while the House engages in T&R flights of fantasy and non-science fiction. Because there will be an ideological civil war in the conservative ranks, fought out in conference rooms and eventually on the floors of the House and Senate, Doable is a very limited option, and must do will get insufficient priority most of the time.

But we will have subpoenas for Obama to deliver notes on the First lady's consideration of which wines to serve at state banquets, and debates on whether unicorns really did insist on playing silly games instead of getting in the ark.

Of course, it will really depend on whether JB makes the House come in on Tuesday Morning and not recess until Friday afternoon. Since His schedule last time was Wednesday and part of Thursday, there might not be as much time for Darryl Issa to investigate Obama's role in Whitewater as Darryl might like.

Posted by: ceflynline | December 31, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Ezra,
My concern in trying to suggest that there is a guiding philosophy behind Obama's economic policy is that it gives the Administration too much credit. If this were the philosophy, why not explain it as such to the American people? I believe this is post-hoc rationalization, courtesy of you.

Furthermore this rationalization, without some caveats as I suggest above, is itself dangerous because I think a plausible case can be made that you and others are giving cover to unsavory collusion between Obama and, among others, the bankers. This is not the collusion that is yelled about by Fox News and Tea Partiers but a "behind the scenes dealmaking" strategy that fits in with Obama's "pragmatism".

By the way, Taibbi has some interesting thoughts about this:
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/mutually-beneficial-propaganda.html

I hope you are not seeing your role as a propagandistic one. I realize the Right's propaganda against Obama looks unfair and like "bullying" to you (I know you are against bullying). But if Obama is premising his policies on what ultimately is fuzzy thinking, you are abandoning your journalistic role by giving the Admin. cover, even if they are being "bullied".

Omaarsblade -
You seem to think that everybody critical of Obama is a misinformed dolt who listens to Fox News. Fox News is completely out to lunch. However Matt Taibbi and MSNBC are not.

Posted by: michaelterra | December 31, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Clearly Obama efforts in Housing Sector failed miserably and most. There was no creativity, no imagination and no out-of-box thinking. For example, WH could have proposed 'cash to banks on-behalf of home-owner in lieu of equity to a government backed agency' so that home owners do not have to pay truck load of money to 'refinance' and take advantage of lower rates. Clearly Administration missed the bus over there. It would have been kind of TARP for common people, at much less size of $100 to 150B value with much more recovery stimulus.

Anyways, that is all water under the bridge now. Summers is gone...

Going forward - I guess it will be all taxation and triangulation for Budget Deficit with GOP. I doubt Obama is going to get any 'space' to do anything apart from budget fights. He may prefer to cannibalize Economic Policy positions for lawyers to fight House Republicans...

Basically it will be ditching Paul Krugman completely and embracing Megan McArdlee and David Brooks all along. Keynesian or not, template will be British guys again - David Cameron and his fiscal austerity plans except with Bernanke twist at Fed.

Growing Economy - at 3.5% year around - would help both Obama and GOP to execute their austerity plans.

The key thing will be Euro. If that crisis expands it will be a strange situation - on one hand it will strengthen GOP argument for austerity, but on the other hand Dollar bonds will stop their slide lower making stimulus possible; if at all any political support is left in any manner for any kind of stimulus. Going by Obama strategy of Lame-duck it would mean Obama may be able to afford one more Tax Cut, funded by borrowed money at lower cost. As we know, GOP loves that; so it should not come as a surprise.

Not sure Obama would want to thread the needle here, but if he goes to American people saying that our basic tax collection is insufficient to cover 3 programs - medicare & related medical expenses of Fed, Social Security and Defense - GOP is simply trying to scrap through other spending when that is unlikely to solve our problems; Americans may start finally getting the message. Key thing is constantly putting these 2 figures in front of Americans - Tax Collected and Spending on these sacred Programs. Because that is where the basic contradiction easily exposed. This will make life 'difficult' to Paul Ryan's of the world. Will Obama do that? Precisely because it will make life uncomfortable to GOP, Obama would not dare that. That is because he has tested the blood - by compromising with GOP he gets lot. The mistake he is likely to make is he will be 'in love' with this incestuous relationship with GOP and will not know when it no longer works and by then he would have lost opportunities to make things 'uncomfortable' to GOP and bring back this country from the impeding economic brink.

Posted by: umesh409 | December 31, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

It's not even worth mentioning, I guess, that after all this "right" policy things are worse.

Posted by: AlanSF | December 31, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Hahaha, idiot liberals. Elections have consequences!

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/135451-budget-skirmish-starts-over-ryan-rule


A proposed House rule granting new powers to the GOP chairman of the Budget Committee has sparked outrage from Democrats.

The proposed rule would allow the Budget Committee chairman to set spending ceilings for 2011 without a vote by the full House. By approving the rules package, the House would give authority to the new Budget panel chairman to set budget ceilings at a later time and his decision would not be subject to an up-or-down vote on the floor.

Hey, Chris Van Hollen. Stop whining!

Posted by: krazen1211 | December 31, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

My dad told me about "Clearance Auto Insurance" or something which helped him to find a lower priced Auto insurance (with ALMOST similar coverage) he is recommending this to me. What do you think of them? BTW you can find more about them online.

Posted by: lessiefant | January 1, 2011 1:39 AM | Report abuse


Mortgage refinancing is an outstanding plan particularly as the home mortgage rates are imminent downward. Under such state of affairs it will be beneficial for you to refinance your home as you’ll be able to obtain a lower interest rate thereby reducing the amount of your monthly payment. Search online for "123 Mortgage Refinance".

Posted by: judyalt123 | January 1, 2011 2:57 AM | Report abuse

Klein, what an ignorant piece of trash you are. You must have been spawned from trash.

Posted by: DCer1 | January 1, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Ezra, thanks for as coherent an analysis as the somewhat chaotic reality permits. I might add as a minor extension that some of the things he did or didn't do were constrained by the need to be publicly nice to the Republicans in the service of his delusion of working with them and being a transformational President.

I am afraid the philosophy was not adequate to the occasion. It was particularly disastrous here:

"Elsewhere, when a market didn't exist but needed to, they tried to create one. In the health-care overhaul, the administration looked to construct a functioning market for individuals and small groups, to replace one where for people with preexisting conditions, health insurance wasn't available at any price. Although the administration supported a public option, neither it nor Medicare-for-All figured prominently in the reforms. The focus was on constructing a better private market not replacing it with a government program."

Economists since Arrow have explained why a market approach cannot work. In addition to the points the economists make, this approach leaves no scope for attacking a crippling flaw in the American health care: it costs a trillion dollars a year too much.

The money is siphoned off in rents paid to pharma, doctors, and insurance companies. I regard it as basically stolen. Instead of attacking this he made a deal. Sometimes called a sell-out.

Posted by: student16 | January 1, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

"The Constitution is the guide which I will never abandon" -George Washington
Is that difficult for you to understand Ezra?

Posted by: FascistNanny | January 1, 2011 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand the thinking that says "we were too busy for philosophy." That kind of statement reveals a huge misunderstanding of what philosophy means. Intelligent thinking is never "too busy" to have a guiding philosophy guiding its decisions and actions. But what we have from the Obama administration is a series of reactions which seem to indicate that the President and his advisors have no idea how to fix the big problems. Since his advisors continue to include a lot of the people who created the mess, that's not terribly surprising.

As for the horror stories about how there would have been a national revolution if Obama had nationalized the banks, that's really kind of funny. People hate the banks. Holding the bankers responsible for their recklessness and arrogance would have been a huge political success for Obama. Indeed, the opposite choice, a series of hugely expensive bailouts, is his albatross right now.
Somehow the AT&T monopoly was broken up in 1982 by Ronald Reagan's Department of Justice. Somehow, people didn't rise up in revolt. Indeed, anti-monopolism is a key feature of free market capitalism.
A ludicrous claim is made that Obama wasn't considering politics when addressing his problems. That assessment doesn't meet the laugh test. The opposite is true: politics is Obama's only guiding philosophy. He has no idea what would make a functioning economy, but he does know what will keep his major donors happy.

Posted by: rick_desper | January 1, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

EZRA KLEIN for Some White House Economic Post Vacated by Some Old Person.

"He will explain things well, whether they work or not".

Posted by: grat_is | January 1, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

There is one "LITTLE" thing that need to be address...

From the book "AN AUTISTIC WORLD (1)"

The excessive lobbying must stop, or the few avenues that societies have to achieve same sort of positive resolution will be buried in the sand together with the hopes of feasible democracies. To me one thing is clear, the actual separation of powers that the constitution of the United States proclaims, it is not enough. The U.S. citizens must add to the list the dangerous influence that the lobbying of companies and associations inflict in the ideology of a free society. The continuous approval of laws and regulations friendly to sectorial interests with the excuse of more jobs and prosperity, is producing an irresponsible adaptation of the possibilities that the individuals of this country have to identifying themselves with what the founder fathers had in mind more that two centuries ago. Like the religious influences that the European countries had suffered in the past while taking key decisions on how to govern a nation, big corporations have slipped in the closed network of some politicians that instead looking to find just and comprehensive social policies, dedicate themselves on satisfying the personal interest of few egotistic shop-keepers.

Posted by: kanino | January 1, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

yes, the same old same old, different president's name, same policies.

reporters like Klein repeat the lines fed to them.

Ah the days of nabobs of nattering negativity, when truth prevailed over obeisance. those "good old days" of yore.

the more some things change......

Posted by: Beleck31 | January 1, 2011 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Obamanomics is Darwinomics...just kinder and gentler. But it is still business focused. And trickle down. For example after the crash, the banks were saved, but not the banks customers, the mortgage holders. The banks were not allowed to run out of money, but their customers, the unemployed and underemployed, were. It would have been and still is possible to put foreclosures on hold until the mortgage holder is back productively on a decent payroll. Even better would be to sell the foreclosed houses back to the original mortgage holder instead of a glut of foreclosed houses depressing the demand for new houses. But that would be percolate up economics and that seems not to be in Obama's mindset.

Posted by: denim39 | January 1, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, Just saw your interview on MSNBC about the Constitution.
What a joke! Please don't quit your day job.
Should we adopt a new constitution every 100 years? 20 years? 2years?
With your superior intellect, there would be total anarchy if you were running the asylum. Please brush up on the definition of the "Rule of Law" as well as the roles of the three branches of government (Executive, Congressional, Judicial). Maybe then you'll understand why the MAJORITY of people don't want to be nannied by you self-proclaimed deep thinker types.
Idiot.

Posted by: Rogthedodge | January 1, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, Just saw your interview on MSNBC about the Constitution.
What a joke! Please don't quit your day job.
Should we adopt a new constitution every 100 years? 20 years? 2years?
With your superior intellect, there would be total anarchy if you were running the asylum. Please brush up on the definition of the "Rule of Law" as well as the roles of the three branches of government (Executive, Congressional, Judicial). Maybe then you'll understand why the MAJORITY of people don't want to be nannied by you self-proclaimed deep thinker types.
Idiot.

Posted by: Rogthedodge | January 1, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse


If you are planning a mortgage refinance then you should search online for "123 Mortgage Refinance" before you decide they found 3.25% refinance with bad credit history and also did instant analysis of my mortgage.

Posted by: erinjarvis123 | January 2, 2011 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Interested read here Ezra - you give a compelling argument that big o is essentially unsticking the stuck mechanisms of america without explicitly taking any of them over. It's funny because the right constantly berates him for essentially being everything short of a communist when his policy seems to bend over backwards to accommodate industry.

I worry that the philosophy is too soft for the times but maybe time will prove me wrong. Great read.

Posted by: staypuftman | January 2, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Obamanomics philosophy - Spend billions of taxpayer money to reward Unions and lazy deadbeat democRat voters.
Washington Compost philosophy- Do everything possible to aid and protect their inept, unqualified Hero.

Posted by: fe59 | January 3, 2011 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Obamanomics philosophy - Spend billions of taxpayer money to reward Unions and lazy deadbeat democRat voters.
Washington Compost philosophy- Do everything possible to aid and protect their inept, unqualified Hero.

Posted by: fe59 | January 3, 2011 8:53 AM | Report abuse

What comes next is austerity.

The spending binge (a 23% increase in spending in two years) is over, and the hang-over is just beginning.

Oh, the markets will grow, some jobs will be created and friendly media will sing Happy Days are Here Again. But, for the 16 million unemployed (a majority more than 6 mo.) and the 4 million grossly underemployed...this line of economic spaghetti isn't sticking to the wall.

Selling Obamanomics and Obamacare will take
better salesmen and women than the Journolist has, but nice try.

Posted by: BluePelican | January 3, 2011 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company