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Obama's Mighty Economic Challenge



Recent economic developments underscore the tenuous situation that Obama faces when he takes office on Jan. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

The last 24 hours -- dominated by yesterday's contentious Senate hearing with the top executives of the American auto industry and today's announcement that 533,000 jobs had been lost in November -- have crystallized the depth and breadth of the challenge that President-elect Barack Obama will inherit when he takes office on Jan. 20.

At no time in modern political history has a president stepped into as tenuous and politically treacherous a moment as Obama will next month. Former President Bill Clinton was faced with a sluggish economy when he took office in 1992 but nothing like the fundamental economic restructuring that is taking place right now. President George W. Bush was nearly a year into his term before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 reshaped and refocused his presidency.

And, because of the way Obama won -- a sweeping national victory centered on the idea of changing the way politics is done in America -- there are certain to be high (and at times unrealistic) expectations of the president-elect to quickly reverse the economic slide.

Doug Hattaway, a Democratic consultant, relayed a recent conversation with a woman in his office building who proclaimed that everything was going to be "wonderful" under an Obama Administration. "It's great that people are so hopeful, but it may be hard to keep the hope alive when hundreds of thousands of people are losing their jobs," said Hattaway. "It's a massive challenge from both a policy and political perspective."

Carter Eskew, a longtime Democratic strategist, said that the only apt historical comparison for Obama's predicament is that of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

"In [FDR's] longer transition period, the economy weakened dramatically from its already damaged state," said Eskew. "This gave him even more running room to enact his reforms, as I think it will Obama."

The bigger question, according to Eskew, is not whether Obama will have the freedom and leeway to make big change happen but rather what that big change will be. "The scary question for Obama, as it was for Roosevelt is: what do you actually do?," asked Eskew. "The old economic orthodoxies seem inadequate to today's reality."

Obama, for his part, is using the worsening economic news to ramp up the pressure on Congress to pass an economic stimulus package. In a statement released following the job loss announcement this morning, Obama touted his plan to create 2.5 million new jobs over the next two years through a re-dedicated effort to rebuild America's infrastructure. "There are no quick or easy fixes to this crisis, which has been many years in the making, and it's likely to get worse before it gets better," said Obama. "But now is the time to respond with urgent resolve to put people back to work and get our economy moving again."

Bob Kerrey, a former Nebraska senator and now the president of the New School in New York City, said that specific policy proposals by Obama are less important than re-instilling confidence in the American people. "Stay calm," advised Kerrey. "Be decisive and lead."

Kerrey added that the most important trait for Obama to keep in mind is the post-partisan attitude that he adopted during his successful primary and general election races. "Most of all be practical not ideological: We need a little John Maynard Keynes and a little Adam Smith," Kerry advised.

From a purely political perspective, the American public seems more than willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the economy.

In a recent Gallup poll, 58 percent of the sample said they would be inclined to support an economic stimulus package with a price tag between $500 and $700 billion. In a separate survey, roughly two-thirds of those tested expressed confidence in Obama's ability to be a good president -- a number that has remained virtually unchanged since his election on Nov. 4.

Obama may also benefit from the sentiment that the current problems with the economy are the result of bad policies during the Clinton and Bush Administrations rather than the result of anything he will do during the first years of his own presidency. Following that line of thinking, anything Obama does that is seen -- practically or symbolically -- as strengthening the economy will accrue to his benefit while any continued struggles of the economy will be laid at the feet of his predecessors.

"It is possible that Obama's inauguration will only be a milestone along the deeper slide, but once it hits bottom he gets all the upside," said one Democratic strategist granted anonymity to speak candidly. "Obama can hardly be blamed for the immediate situation getting worse. His challenge is to provide the dawn."

Glen Bolger, a prominent Republican pollster, echoed that sentiment -- warning Republicans that any celebration about the difficult circumstances under which Obama will assume the presidency is decidedly premature.

"As tempting as it is to feel schadenfreude at President-elect Obama's predicament, Republicans have to recognize that at some point, the economy is going to turn around," said Bolger. "When that happens, Obama is going to benefit politically (see [former President Ronald] Reagan 1982 and 1984, or Clinton 1994/1996)."

No matter where you fall on the ideological spectrum and no matter your personal feelings about the president-elect, it's impossible to dispute that the economy -- and how Obama handles it -- will be the defining issue of his first years in office. A turnaround of some sort would almost certainly strengthen Obama's reelection prospects while a continued downturn could lead some voters to begin to turn their ire and blame on the new chief executive.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 5, 2008; 12:35 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
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Comments

oh, yes the world has had universal health care and the world is always better then the U.S. that's why the "world's leaders" when they need medical treatment come to the U.S..Truly staggering the stupidity of these posts.

Posted by: drdumb_5 | December 6, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

To read these comments is truly frightening. The "Democrats" are going to redesign the US economy for the 21st century? you mean the democrats that gave us Fannie Mae ?

The Labor laws are what led to good wages? So in other words prosperity extends from government and legislation?

We should "build Japan in the U.S"? Have you looked at a map? Then of course we have the total nutjobs-"the Republicans have used the CIA against the people. that's illegal". Morons..Total morons.

So let's see-Obama has speedily put together a team of financial advisors whose mentor is the scumbag Robert Rubin who made 110 million but says he has no responsibility for CitiBanks failure? He had the CEO of Fannie Mae and their CFO as his "economic advisors" and he worked for Acorn indicted in 12 states for voter fraud that lobbied to stop credit worthiness as a qualification for mortgages ?

There's no "DP" in GDP ? Are there really people this stupid? If the posts here are a reflection we are truly doomed. Then again 60% of Obama supporters don't even know who controls Congress....Sheep..Stupid, moronic, sheep.

Posted by: drdumb_5 | December 6, 2008 7:50 AM | Report abuse

"At no time in modern political history has a president stepped into as tenuous and politically treacherous a moment as Obama..."

Come on, Chris, I know you were an infant when Reagan took office and so you have never personally experienced 'interesting times', but surely you were taught some history at Loomis Chaffee and Georgetown.

With that kind of high-powered education, you should be aware of the very difficult situation Ronald Reagan stepped into in 1981. Unemployment was at 7%, the inflation rate was above 10% and we had coined a new term, 'stagflation' to describe the unprecedented economic conditions of no growth and high inflation.

We had hostages in Iran, the cold war still raged, the Russians were in Afghanistan, the Communist Sandinistas had deposed Somoza in Nicaragua, and the Iranians and Iraqis had just begun an eight-year war of attrition. We did not yet understand that the age of Islamic Terrorism against the West had already begun.

You only reference the experience of Clinton and George W. as though 'modern political history' began in 1992. Reagan inherited problems at least as difficult as Obama's and I think a pretty good argument can be made for the maiden experiences of Gerald Ford, Lyndon Johnson and Harry Truman as each took the helm from his fallen predecessor. And what about that zenith year of tenuous and treacherous, 1933? I guess that in your definition, Franklin Roosevelt is not part of the Modern.

It's sad that those in your generation can't seem to recognize that there is any history before that which you have personally experienced. It's our fault: it's the Boomers' fault, we failed to educate you.

With any luck, you will now learn over the next two years what a real recession is. Since the '80-'82 recession ended, we had 25 years of prosperity punctuated by two short periods of slowdown that hardly qualified as recessions and certainly included no real pain. Neither slowdown was anything like the recessions that occurred in the postwar period through 1982.

So, as you observe the current recession, I suggest you bone up on your history of those 'ancient' periods prior to 1992--it will make you a better observer of, and commentator on, current events.

Bill Eastland

Posted by: BillEastland | December 6, 2008 4:40 AM | Report abuse

"Most of all be practical not ideological: We need a little John Maynard Keynes and a little Adam Smith," Bob Kerry advised.

It is interesting that Keynes was brought up on Adam Smith, including growing up with the idea that free trade promotes peace, and in the last years of his life thought that the situation was being created that what he called 'the wisdom of Adam Smith' could come back into its own again.

So there is not as much of a gulf between Keynes and Adam Smith as people often think!

This is all set out in places like Markwell's book about Keynes.

Posted by: DSLamont | December 6, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATS HAVE THE CHANCE IN THIS BANCROPT ECONOMY TO MAKE THE NEW ECONOMY OF 21 CENTURY..THEY SHOULD FOKUS ON RETOOLING AUTO INDUSTRY TO MAKE SMALL AND ELECTRIC CARS...THEY SHOULD BUILD AND IMPROVE THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT WITH ELECTRIC AND NATURAL GAS BUSSES AND BUILD MORE FAST TRAINS LIKE IN JAPAN...WE SHOULS ACCEPT THE FACT THAT AMERICA IS BIG LAND AND IS EXPENSIVE FOR EVERY FAMILY TO TRAVEL WITH TRUCKS AND SUVS AND WITH AIRPLANES WHO SPENT 100 000 DOLLARS IN GAS EVERUDAY.....IT IS MORE GREEN AND CHEAPER THE PUBLIC TRAIN TRANSPORT OVER LONG DISTANCES...JUST LOOK AT JAPAN AND BUILD JAPAN IN USA..JAPAN IS THE SIMPLE SOLLUTION AND GOOD EXAMPLE OF COUNTRY THAT ALLREADY LIVES IN THE FUTURE...JAPAN IS ALSO HIT BAD AT THE MOMENT BECAUSE OF AMERICAN RECCESION..WE HAVE MANAGED TO BRING THE WHOLE WORLD IN CRISIS BECAUSE OF OUR COWBOY LIVING AND SPENDING...AMERICANS ARE THE FATTEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO PRODUCE THE MOST GARBAGE AND CARBON GASSES IN THE WORLD AND DRIVE THE BIGGEST CARS IN THE WORLD AND LIVE IN THE BIGGEST HOUSES...NO WONDER THE MONEY IS GONE IN THE TOILET...SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO STOP AND LOOK AROUND YOU WHAT OTHER COUNTRIES ARE DOING....

Posted by: kendreik | December 5, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I was hoping I was going to hear more of Muppet's economic plan! Oh no, he doesn't have one - just like his hero!

Posted by: rupertornelius | December 5, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

The history-making part of the Obama administration, for better or worse, will begin when the tame, tried and true "economic stimulus plan" fails, and things keep getting worse.

My prediction is that an articulate Obama will then, but not before then, move a suffering nation to the left.

Posted by: officermancuso | December 5, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

before we continue expecting+demanding from new team what should have been stopped on time shouldn't we mandate them to take a break? we are not vampires, are we?
they might collapse anytime exhausted and be devoured by blood-thirsty predators popping suddenly in the news.

Posted by: tabita | December 5, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Wtf is going on with this blog?

Posted by: JohnDoug | December 5, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

How can you talk about how bad the economy is on one article, then brag about Obama's campaign raised nearly $1 billion dollars? It seems that there is not a slow economy, but the money has changed from one hat to another. The same corporations crying out for bailouts are the same who gave to Obama. It seems as though the only one who has money is Obama.

That is how he made it to office. He took from the poor to give to the rich to help him be elected. He took all the money now he wants to look good by passing it back around to those who supported him.

Posted by: anotherperspective11 | December 5, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

the republicans have used the cia against the people in country.


that's against the law.


it's the primary reason that the republicans have been successful


at the polls. Diebold VOTING MACHINES, were a division of Halliburton.

Robert M. Gates, George H.W. Bush, William Casey commited treason interfering with Jimmy Carters presidency.


Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush rigged FLORIDA's 2000 election. Ken Blackwell Ohio's guardian of the electoral process gave Ohio to George W., he was thrown out of office post 2000, and now works for a NEO CON think tank in George Towne, courtesy of George W. "Lips" BUSH....the brown-eye pie guy.

.

Posted by: tesser_actsoflove1 | December 5, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Today, GDP, actually reflects nothing more really than paper traded…

there is no DP in GDP

looky here:

GDP growth is not all derived from manufacturing as we been _led_ to believe.

It is the movement of money from one business transaction - a product is not necessarily created, but fees are generated, mortgages, corporate buyouts, downsizing, transactional legal fees, selling of credit derivatives, etc.

These constitute the movement of money which registers GDP growth although nothing was created.

There is also a report from two leading economics I believe at Harvard which discusses how the current administration has incorrectly equated imports as GDP growth - by some happy accident - they didn’t plan it!? Please, there were WMD weren’t they, and someone went to jail over the Plame affair….citing referential points of integrity - not making a political comment.

(How can anyone talk about the economy and not include politics? 60 percent of the economy goes to some DOD project.)

If oil were sold in Euros and not dollars, the US would lose primary control of the oil markets. There was discussion that prior to our invasion of Iraq, Saddam Hussein was planning to revalue Iraqi oil in euros, thereby destablizing American markets. Further discussion can be found on line, about the joining of Mexico, Canada and the US - the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America which calls for use of a common currency the Amero. To justify a common currency between our three countries,

the dollar must bottom out so this idea can be sold to the American public.

Which to me explains the almost

intentional

devaluation of our currency by the current administration and their friends -

it certainly looks as though they planned to tank the economy - don’t it?

catch a clue --

things are cheaper if you and your friends are the only people with ANY MONEY - - that would be anyone in the war profiteering, oil, the current administrations circle of friends...dick cheney, James Baker the III, Blackwater, KBR, Halliburton, UAE, Saudis, Kuwaitis, Carlyle Group, Bechtel, Karl Rove, the bushes, Mike McConnel, adm Poindexter, John Negroponte, Michael Chertoff...and so on...whatever their current tribal members names are.

how cheap are things now!!!!!!! wow! You could buy New Jersey for half a case of beer....wotta deal.


those are your homes and jobs AMERICA, they want to send them over seas...they need to pay import duties, and tarrifs...because they are FOREIGN MADE GOODS...sorry.


.

Posted by: afraidofme | December 5, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

this is an important comment. it describes the reality of the situation we “The People,” looking at, it is not a theory.

what is going on is this:

there has been a deliberate obfuscation of data and a redirection of facts by the current administration.

this comment is not just a political comment,

this is comment about controlling the information stream, and how that creates bad decisions, lack of real response,
it’s somewhat akin to thinking that you’re at the bottom of the stairs and you have two more to step down before you’re at ground level and step off into space unaware.

Let’s talk Economics, the market runs on accurate data.

with that in mind read this:

how is it possible that people are _surprised_ that the economy CURRENTLY in the dustbin?

how does that disconnect happen?

It should be unavoidably obvious, that there is no economy.

After all, Most of AMERICA has been down-sized, outsourced and internationalized and all or most production of goods is done overseas….for the majority of purportedly United States of American companies, howzat invisible?

but what I just stated is that nothing or very little is produced in the United States.

which means that there is no DOMESTIC in GDP, and certainly no in-country PRODUCT.

the MARKET uses this number to tell the strength of a country when the number.

Today, GDP, actually reflects nothing more really than paper traded…

there is no DP in GDP

looky here:

GDP growth is not all derived from manufacturing as we been _led_ to believe.

It is the movement of money from one business transaction - a product is not necessarily created, but fees are generated, mortgages, corporate buyouts, downsizing, transactional legal fees, selling of credit derivatives, etc.

Posted by: afraidofme | December 5, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND????

is that the current administration and appointees are treating imported/foreign manufactured goods as_if they were made in_country….

They have been saying, propagandizing that the economy is good…”don’t worry,” for 8 years purposely, to dissuade examination - they’re not stupid. I posted a comment at the Washington Post two years ago alluding to the imminent danger of the conditions of the economy, the environment, and food production….my set of comments disappeared within two hours….I have never had that happen before and I have posted some pretty outrageous stuff. I also posted about the math involved.

The economy was not in “good condition,” and that has been obscured because of their “creative accounting,”

aka propagandizing the information stream.

to cover the administrations theft of your future purposely, the obscuration didn’t just happen,
they’ve been occluding your vision with re-framing aka scamming.

like calling the illegal invasion of IRAQ a war - it’s rank colonialism.

Bottome Line?: putting THE NATION’s money into an economy with no actual GDP - has no real effect, except that it

makes it so that the current administrations deals float…-as they try to sneak out…

and your deals and your lives float away.

there is _N_O_ DOMESTIC in GDP.

be brave. let this through, what's with the blocking on this comment Chris?

You controlling that or someone with a fencing filter?

.call me.

Posted by: afraidofme | December 5, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

(How can anyone talk about the economy and not include politics? 60 percent of the economy goes to some DOD project.)

If oil were sold in Euros and not dollars, the US would lose primary control of the oil markets. There was discussion that prior to our invasion of Iraq, Saddam Hussein was planning to revalue Iraqi oil in euros, thereby destablizing American markets. Further discussion can be found on line, about the joining of Mexico, Canada and the US - the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America which calls for use of a common currency the Amero. To justify a common currency between our three countries,

the dollar must bottom out so this idea can be sold to the American public.

Which to me explains the almost

intentional

devaluation of our currency by the current administration and their friends -

it certainly looks as though they planned to tank the economy - don’t it?

catch a clue --

things are cheaper if you and your friends are the only people with ANY MONEY - - that would be anyone in the war profiteering, oil, the current administrations circle of friends.

how cheap are things now!!!!!!! wow! You could buy New Jersey for half a case of beer.


end

WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND????

is that the current administration and appointees are treating imported/foreign manufactured goods as_if they were made in_country….

They have been saying, propagandizing that the economy is good…”don’t worry,” for 8 years purposely, to dissuade examination - they’re not stupid. I posted a comment at the Washington Post two years ago alluding to the imminent danger of the conditions of the economy, the environment, and food production….my set of comments disappeared within two hours….I have never had that happen before and I have posted some pretty outrageous stuff. I also posted about the math involved.

let's see if this get through.

Posted by: afraidofme | December 5, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

GDP growth is not all derived from manufacturing as we been _led_ to believe.

It is the movement of money from one business transaction - a product is not necessarily created, but fees are generated, mortgages, corporate buyouts, downsizing, transactional legal fees, selling of credit derivatives, etc.

These constitute the movement of money which registers GDP growth although nothing was created.

There is also a report from two leading economics I believe at Harvard which discusses how the current administration has incorrectly equated imports as GDP growth - by some happy accident - they didn’t plan it!? Please, there were WMD weren’t they, and someone went to jail over the Plame affair….citing referential points of integrity - not making a political comment.

Posted by: afraidofme | December 5, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

with that in mind read this:

how is it possible that people are _surprised_ that the economy CURRENTLY in the dustbin?

how does that disconnect happen?

It should be unavoidably obvious, that there is no economy.

After all, Most of AMERICA has been down-sized, outsourced and internationalized and all or most production of goods is done overseas….for the majority of purportedly United States of American companies, howzat invisible?

but what I just stated is that nothing or very little is produced in the United States.

which means that there is no DOMESTIC in GDP, and certainly no in-country PRODUCT.

the MARKET uses this number to tell the strength of a country when the number.

Today, GDP, actually reflects nothing more really than paper traded…

there is no DP in GDP

Posted by: afraidofme | December 5, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

well that got through, don't know if the blocking is local or at the ISP, or at the Washington Post level...could be a sniffer too

someone "pretending" to filter out swear words that slipped in phrase specific culling strings....heh heh...

Posted by: afraidofme | December 5, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

what is going on is this:

there has been a deliberate obfuscation of data and a redirection of facts by the current administration.

this comment is not just a political comment,

this is comment about controlling the information stream, and how that creates bad decisions, lack of real response,
it’s somewhat akin to thinking that you’re at the bottom of the stairs and you have two more to step down before you’re at ground level and step off into space unaware.

Let’s talk Economics, the market runs on accurate data.

Posted by: afraidofme | December 5, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

o, I see, you're blocking the comment about GDP...not everything.

Posted by: afraidofme | December 5, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

what's up with the blocking Chris?

Posted by: afraidofme | December 5, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

"But I am not rich so the best I can do is boycott Obama, and not buy anything as long as he is in power."

I'm surprised you even know what boycott means.

(of course, in your usage, you aren't boycotting Obama)

Posted by: DDAWD | December 5, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm getting tired of all the propaganda regarding Our Great Leader. Things were a lot worse when Jimmy Carter wrecked the economy in the 70s and early 80s. A lot worse. But Obama's redistributionist ideology will result in similar catastrophic results. Why should anyone produce when the profits are going to be stolen and handed over to parasites? If I were rich, I'd be working on getting a lot poorer. But I am not rich so the best I can do is boycott Obama, and not buy anything as long as he is in power. The way to kill liberal fascism is to starve it.

Posted by: doctorfixit | December 5, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

More recently, since 2003, when they retook control of Congress, Democrat's *expanded* the H1-B visa program,

So that's it. Now, the Democrats took over 3 years before they really did.

Brilliant!

Posted by: tgaylord1999 | December 5, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

How is BHO declaring war on Japan going to help the economy? Just because it worked for FDR doesn't mean it will work now.

Posted by: leapin | December 5, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

What is it with the nutball rightwinger's obssession with Jimmy Carter? They lost and they'll lose again, because they think it's still 1980 and they haven't thought about anything that's happened since then. Clueless. Stuck in time -- a pity. LOL

Posted by: cassandra13 | December 5, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

i have a proposal to make....
since I caught about 45 minutes of it last night and will watch, in entirety, on Saturday...

Screaming Bloody Murder....

everyone watch this CNN special investigation.

then let's all blog/complain/praise/ and literally raise holy hell about our country and President-Elect Obama on Monday......

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 5, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

"Pretty soon President Obama will be sitting by the fire in a sweater telling us how we have to cut back and not be such bad people like Jimmy Carter did in the 1970s."

And people wonder why politicians feel the need to pander to people.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 5, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

The economic situation is the worse it's been since the 1970s - which is why the solutions - government spending, government regulations, government "solutions" - sound just like the 1970s. Pretty soon President Obama will be sitting by the fire in a sweater telling us how we have to cut back and not be such bad people like Jimmy Carter did in the 1970s. Instead of standing up to terrorism and extremism, we will have "world symposiums" and sit down to tea with our enemies. Remember that after the 1970s came the 1980s. Reagan became Reagan thanks to the excesses of the 1970s. I'm getting out my skinny ties and new wave music and getting ready for 2012 or 2016. There's light at the end of this tunnel.

Posted by: kenpasadena | December 5, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

'Muppet' not just by name, I see.

Posted by: rupertornelius | December 5, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Clearly Obama is as much an ultracapitalist as any other US senator- why would republicans be so approving towards all his appointments?

Posted by: rupertornelius | December 5, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse


wait a second here....

"3,000,000 U.S. workers have lost their jobs directly due to misconceived Democratic legislation".

I don't think so.


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 5, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Here is a good example of how politicians craft their actions, or rather present a facade of action: yesterday, Mr. Obama was pledging to "save or create 2.5 million jobs".
However, after observers questioned how a job is "saved" or how this can be identified and quantified, Mr. Obama now presents through the media the goal of "creating" 2.5 million jobs. When "wordsmithing" is the prime objective, there is no need to wonder what the underlying strategy for achieving this goal will be, because there IS NONE! As long as it sounds good, than it is...

Posted by: kondrek | December 5, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Once again Obama gladly gives women the shaft. His job plans is focused on creating triditionally male jobs, bad news for unemployed women out there.

GIven the small number of women in the house and senate, Obama's sexist stimulus package will fly through without a hitch and without a quota to ensure an equal number of women are employed with their own tax dollars.

Posted by: mgd1 | December 5, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

AdrickHenry - "This crisis took years..." You et it did, but the Democrats were hard work at it back in the 1990's, when the tossed trade tariff's, ended import duties, and cobbled together a whole host of "free trade" legislation that has cost this country millions of jobs. More recently, since 2003, when they retook control of Congress, Democrat's *expanded* the H1-B visa program, foist between two and three cheap foreign workers up this country for every job opening in hi-Tech. The result, to no ones surprise, is that more than 3,000,000 U.S. workers have lost their jobs directly due to misconceived Democratic legislation! Sure, Bush and Republicans have been a disaster, but the Democrats are no better, ought to know better, actually ran on a platform to clean up the mess they made. Why aren't they? Too much corporate money?

Posted by: mibrooks27 | December 5, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

This crisis took years to make. It cannot be solved overnight.

In addition to massive, irresponsible de-regulation, fighting 2 wars with no increase in tax revenue, borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars from China and sending trillions of dollars to oil producing countries (who don't like us very much as McCain liked to say) in a historic transfer of wealth akin to Spain's looting of Aztec and Incan silver and gold it is no surprise we are in a world of hurt.

is anybody surprised? Oh yeah, the same folks that Bush's line of Supply Side Economics (Voodoo Economics) crap.

Posted by: AdrickHenry | December 5, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

hmmmm, what's with the socialism kick?
socialism is the ANTONYM of capitalism.

in other words, the opposite of......

Besides, we have federalism (government owns everything & everyone) and militarism (USA Patriot Act )right here in our backyard and living rooms that we must address first.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | December 5, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

hey armpeg-
when you talk about Obama's "socialst marxist" policies, you probably shouldn't also say "Obama is inheriting a booming economy" in the same entry. it doesn't make you seem very credible or knowledgeable on the subject.

Posted by: erin5 | December 5, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"Armpeg" must have been to the McCain school of economics because he says that "Obama will inherit a booming economy." Sounds a lot like "The fundamentals of our economy are sound." Remember that one? All this sounds like partisan BS to me and a gross and frightful lack of understanding of what is going on in the economy right now. In November we lost more than a half million jobs. The Dow Jones dropped about 4000 points. Yet Armpeg is saying that Obama will inherit a booming economy. I wonder what a bad economy would look to him/her. With that kind of an attitude it's no wonder the Republicans took a shellacking in November.

Posted by: Opa2 | December 5, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

@armpeg

"... With Obama's Socialist Marxist policies ..."

Bush/Paulson gave $700 billion to Wall Street (without requiring any changes in the way the bankers operate). Who's the socialist?

Posted by: spotfoul | December 5, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I forgot. Bob Kerrey thinks we are not spending because we lost our confidence. WRONG, we are not spending because we lost our jobs to China. We don't have a big stash in the mattress like ex-senators do.

Posted by: wigglwagon | December 5, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

With Obama's Socialist Marxist policies, I suspect that Obama will be another Carter.

Posted by: armpeg
****************
oh, dear...did someone get into the spiked eggnog early? Still with the socialist spin? I thought your GOP reebos were laughing at us liburrals for being had by "centrist" Obama. Well, when you sober up, let us know...

Posted by: LABC | December 5, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

This article was pointless- obviously Americans already understand that the next president is facing a very dangerous and threatening economic recession. This is what I DON'T understand: Obama hasn't even officially gained office, produced legislation, developed policy, or done ANY work other than assemble his administration (in record time, mind you), and people on this blog are already claiming that Obama has no ideas or answers??? You are the people who have never and will never give him a chance because of your predisposed prejudices. Your skepticism and negative judgment means nothing when you have no evidence to base it upon. Just because you wanted the other candidate to win doesn't mean that your critiques of the president-elect are even remotely accurate or legitimate. At the very least, wait until the man is in office before you say he is empty and worthless. Anyone with open eyes (and an unbiased mind) can see that despite his being a typical politician, Obama has demonstrated remarkable competency and intelligence, as well as a deep understanding of and familiarity with international and domestic issues. As of yet, he has done nothing to earn these critiques....but I guess that isn't really what matters to the haters out there--they will justify their rejection in any way they see fit. I'll stop wasting my time....

Posted by: erin5 | December 5, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

re. Barack Obama's "Mighty Economic Challenge"
When comparing an in-comming administrations economic problem, I guess you liberal Obama Socialists (already looking for excuses that maybe the Obama administration will put our economy into the tank with their Marxist ideas in a few years) have conveniently "forgotten" that no administration in the last 50 years has had a worse economy handed them than the Ronald Reagan one. Jimmy Carter left an economic mess close to the 1929 crash. Barack Obama by contrast is getting a booming economy. With Obama's Socialist Marxist policies, I suspect that Obama will be another Carter.

Posted by: armpeg | December 5, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

The current problems are definitely bipartisan, but they go a lot further back than Clinton. As soon as the labor code was passed in the 30's, big money interests started lobbying to get it watered down. They did not realize they were shooting themselves, not in the foot but in the heart. Since then there have been a lot of politicians from both parties who have helped destroy the three most basic fundamentals of a healthy economy.
1. As Cassandra said, they tore down the regulatory structure that protected our essential industries. Just look at Wall Street.
2. They systematically dismantled the labor code which gave birth to a well paid workforce. This provided the demand which allowed business to thrive supplying that demand. If we still had a healthy Wall Street or a well paid, employeed work force, the Big Three would not be in DC begging for a loan.
3. They enacted FREE TRADE agreeements which allowed them to move their factories over seas and exploit virtual slave labor. Until we abolish free trade, everything else is a waste of time and money.

Posted by: wigglwagon | December 5, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"the current problems with the economy are the result of bad policies during the Clinton and Bush Administrations"

Right. And what 'bad policies' during the Clinton administration were you referring to? The ones that resulted in a huge surplus? Sorry, Mr. Cilizza -- you can't blame this on Clinton. This was all the work of republicans who tore down the regulatory structure. Let's stop pretending it was bipartisan, shall we?

Posted by: cassandra13

Try the "bad policies" of Greenspan, Rubin and Summers that allowed the disemboweling of the banking and investment regulations enacted during the Depression to prevent something like that happening again. Like Gramm-Leach-Bliley and other regulatory rollbacks that Clinton and his financial "wizards" either ignored or favored. How about NAFTA? And don't forget that Clinton rode the crest of the Internet bubble, particularly the huge spending based on the fear of the Y2K meltdown--a crisis that never materialized. Knowing history is helpful when mouthing an opinion.

Posted by: edwcorey | December 5, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"Oh thats right, its all Bush's fault."

No, actually I don't think you're giving Cheney enough credit.

Posted by: cassandra13 | December 5, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Interesting column from EJ Dionne today. (I already closed the window, so no link) about how Obama can use the bailout money to push more progressive industries instead of blowing it on auto. In essence, he has the chance to stabilize the economy and push his agenda simultaneously. This is not something that is afforded most presidents in hard economic times.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 5, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"Kerrey added that the most important trait for Obama to keep in mind is the post-partisan attitude that he adopted during his successful primary and general election races. 'Most of all be practical not ideological: We need a little John Maynard Keynes and a little Adam Smith,' Kerry advised."

Did Kerr(e)y change his name mid-quote?

Posted by: edwcorey | December 5, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow! You mean the freshman senator from Illinois might not be the wiz that he and so many others were/are still proclaiming? You mean he doesn't actually have all the answers? As Keith Olbermann used to say in a former life, lets go to the videotape! But we were all sooooo full of HOPE. Oh thats right, its all Bush's fault. We will all come out of this but lets be honest, the president (Republican or Democrat) probably won't be the one responsible for it!

Posted by: StJohn1 | December 5, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Good news, everybody!

Obama has some ideas other than the "do nothing" we're getting from Bush. Now, if we can just keep the economy from falling apart before he takes power and becomes able to act.

Posted by: lonquest | December 5, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

rupertonelius wrote; Sorry, what am I saying?! He's black -that will solve everything.

Rupert, your an idiot, and that solves nothing.

Posted by: MUPPET | December 5, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"When you're in a crisis you need ideas. Apart from meaningless catchphrases and slogans, what does Obama have?

Ronald Reagan faced a similar situation and meaningless catchphrases and slogans worked fine for him, numbnutz.

Did you not notice all those people Obama has hired to work for him? Some of them are pretty smart. They just might have some good ideas.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | December 5, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Well, in desperation there is opportunity!

With millions out of work in this Bush Depression, President Obama can finally give the US what the rest of the world has had forever: UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE!

This is CLEARLY the first thing that needs to be done for the economy! Clear out the insurance leeches, get rid of Big Pharma's lobbyists and bring it on!

Posted by: JC505 | December 5, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, what am I saying?! He's black -that will solve everything!

Posted by: rupertornelius | December 5, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

When you're in a crisis you need ideas. Apart from meaningless catchphrases and slogans, what does Obama have?

Posted by: rupertornelius | December 5, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"the current problems with the economy are the result of bad policies during the Clinton and Bush Administrations"

Right. And what 'bad policies' during the Clinton administration were you referring to? The ones that resulted in a huge surplus? Sorry, Mr. Cilizza -- you can't blame this on Clinton. This was all the work of republicans who tore down the regulatory structure. Let's stop pretending it was bipartisan, shall we?

Posted by: cassandra13 | December 5, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

TEAM OBAMA MUST CONFRONT THE REAL POSSIBILITY THAT SECRET GOV'T PROGRAMS AND POLICIES WORSENED THE MORTGAGE MELTDOWN THAT SPAWNED A GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS.

Extrajudicial Targeting: A Root Cause of Global Financial Crisis?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/targeting-u-s-citizens-govt-agencies-root-cause-wall-street-financial-crisis

OR http://members.nowpublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 5, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

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