Free Markets, Free People


Economists Flunk Obama and Geithner

A group of economists asked to assess the efforts of both Obama and Geithner were none too impressed:

U.S. President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner received failing grades for their efforts to revive the economy from participants in the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.

The economists’ assessment stands in stark contrast with Mr. Obama’s popularity with the public, with a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll giving him a 60% approval rating. A majority of the 49 economists polled said they were dissatisfied with the administration’s economic policies.

On average, they gave the president a grade of 59 out of 100, and although there was a broad range of marks, 42% of respondents rated Mr. Obama below 60. Mr. Geithner received an average grade of 51. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke scored better, with an average 71.

The big criticism has to do with “overpromising and underdelivering”:

[E]conomists’ main criticism of the Obama team centered on delays in enacting key parts of plans to rescue banks. “They overpromised and underdelivered,” said Stephen Stanley of RBS Greenwich Capital. “Secretary Geithner scheduled a big speech and came out with just a vague blueprint. The uncertainty is hanging over everyone’s head.”

The Hill reports that lack of progress is starting to really concern some Democrats in Congress:

Members of Congress and old political hands say [Obama] needs to show substantial progress reviving the economy soon.

Some Democrats have started to worry that voters don’t and won’t understand the link between economic revival and Obama’s huge agenda, which includes saving the banking industry, ending home foreclosures, reforming healthcare and developing a national energy policy, among much else.

While lawmakers debate controversial proposals contained in the new president’s debut budget — cutting farm subsidies, raising taxes on charitable contributions, etc. — there is a growing sense that time is running out faster than expected.

Democrats from states racked by recession say Obama needs to produce an uptick by August or face unpleasant consequences. Others say that there is more time, but that voters need to see improvement by the middle of next year.

The most optimistic say Obama and Democrats in Congress will face a political backlash unless the economy improves by Election Day 2010.

Of course, as mentioned previously, it becomes increasingly clear that he, Geithner and others really don’t know what to do about all of this. And careful and objective analysis of the money promised in both the bailout and stimulus see the former not accomplishing the bailout hoped for and the latter not being at all properly targeted to stimulate the job creating, wealth producing private sector.

And Democrats are right – the sausage making legislative process is of little interest to most Americans, especially those in trouble. They want results and they want them now. He promised to  fix it and now they are going to expect results. There was no reality in his promises so it is rather difficult to understand why the American public which elected him should suddenly understand the reality of the situation. He promised, they took him up on it, now he has to deliver.

That’s the downside of actually winning after making a raft of promises that reality won’t let you keep.

~McQ

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15 Responses to Economists Flunk Obama and Geithner


  • If Democrats are nervous about The Clown™, it is for one reason and one reason only: if his failure continues, it will all come down on their heads next year.

    I keep saying it, and I hope someone is keeping track: if the economy is not vastly improved by this time next year, watch as Democrats do to The Clown™ what they did to Clinton in 1994: pretend that he does not exist, and he is not a Democrat.

    And, as I predict, the GOP will pick up enough seats to end the reign of Speaker Nancy Shmancy the Air Force Pilot…which can’t come soon enough.

  • Some Democrats have started to worry that voters don’t and won’t understand the link between economic revival and Obama’s huge agenda, which includes saving the banking industry, ending home foreclosures, reforming healthcare and developing a national energy policy, among much else.

    ***
    Maybe because there really isn’t one?

    • Exactly.  The “stimulus” package was nothing but a liberal wishlist combined with porkbarrel on a breathtaking scale.  It will do little or nothing to stimulate the economy, unless one considers payouts to liberal interest groups and hiring more people for the federal government to be “stimulus”.

      The problem is that MiniTru (predictably) will not do the analysis that would quickly and clearly show this.  Further, they are parrotting the lefty mantra that “fixing” health care (i.e. nationalizing it) will somehow be a panacea for the economy.  The fact that Europe has nationalized health care and is in even worse economic shape than we are is something that their befuddled minds can’t quite grasp (in general, how hiring the government to rob Peter to pay Paul is “good” for the economy escapes me).

  • Proof positive
    that Obama has now switched from cigarettes to cigars

  • The indecision we see from Obama and Gethner just now is drievn ask much as anything by being stunned that their plans didn’t work. they have always figured onthe standard set of lefist ‘if/then’ being the solution for any problem they might face. what we are seeing now, is shock that not only did liberalism not solve the issue, it’s made things worse. This confusion is then compounded by voter anger, even among their supporters.

    Those are all huge hurdles to get over before they can take other action. the delay at the moment is them, trying to come up with a new plan, one that will actually work and that doesn’t run afoul of their liberal mindset… Of course such a plan doesn’t exist, nor can it given the nature of both economies and liberalism.

  • again, sorry for typos… I,m mobile.

  • Eric, it’s an interesting theory. Right now Obama is publicly telling us to just wait, the fix will just take some time to work but it’ll happen… perhaps they are also re-assuring themselves?

  • Obama’s doing fine, and if you get away from the ODS right wing websites and overall he’s getting good coverage.

    It’s also good that the “stimulus” was not about trying to increase jobs through short term consumption.  That is not what our imbalanced economy (thanks to the failure of Reaganism) needed.  We had too much consumption, too little production.   We need to invest to increase production, and to get state budgets in order.  The Economic Recovery act (not a stimulus) focuses on that.   Obama has so far been winning most of his fights and setting the agenda.  The Republicans have been looking foolish, trying to pretend that their policies haven’t caused this disaster.   Obama and the Democrats are in the process of reshaping the system in a way that the right will not be able to undo.  And that’s why you guys are so bitter — you’re losing, and you know it.

    • I’m going to assume that you’re not parodying yourself or simply trying to get a rise out of the rest of us.  So, please explain:

      1.  In light of press reports both at home and abroad that indicate growing, serious questions about TAO’s stewardship of his office, how can you say that “he’s doing fine”?  What, exactly, IS he “doing fine”?

      2.  The fact that he’s getting “overall good coverage” should lead you to question just how unbiased MiniTru is.  I’m not holding my breath, though.

      3.  It’s also good that the ‘stimulus’ was not about trying to increase jobs through short term consumption. Well, as near as anybody can tell, the stimulus package wasn’t about increasing jobs much at all.  Much of the money won’t be spent for at least a couple of years.  What IS being spent seems geared more toward rewarding liberal constituencies and fulfilling liberal wish lists than putting people to work.  TAO made an appearance in OH a few days ago, crowing about police officers that would be hired.  Yes, they will be: for a year.  Then, the federal money runs out, and the budget-strapped city will either have to try to find money to continue paying the officers… or let them go.  Talk about McJobs…

      I’m curious about what’s wrong with “short-term consumption”, anyway.  A job is a job, no?  Whether a worker is building a bridge (which is short-term work, when you think of it) or making lattes, he’s still working, paying taxes, and consuming things himself.  I’d MUCH prefer that more of our economy was geared to heavy industry, but I’m not going to sneer if people are working to provide “short-term” consumer goods and services, especially in this economy.

      4.  We need to invest to increase production, and get state budgets in order.  The only way the government “invests” to “increase production” is when it buys tangible items.  “Investing” in education and health care, for example, don’t produce a damned thing.  If TAO was serious about “increasing production”, he could have bumped the DoD budget by about 15% and ordered lots of things like aircraft, ships, tanks, rifles, etc.  You know: those things that the dems (spit) complained that our “broken” military didn’t have the past eight years, but show a sudden lack of interest in now that they COULD do something about that problem?  Modest efforts toward beefing up the military was actually part of the New Deal, something modern dems (spit) like to ignore.

      As for getting state budgets in order… That is the responsibility of the governors and legislatures, NOT the Congress.  If California or Mississippi or Minnesota can’t balance their books, then their governments either need to raise taxes, cut spending, or both, NOT force taxpayers across the country to pay for their irresponsibility.  Once again, I’m reminded of some pre-election liberal hypocrisy, when they would rant about money being “taken” from the blue states to fund the red states.  Now that they can change things, they’re not interested.  I’m also curious how Uncle Sugar bailing out the states will encourage them to adopt better fiscal policies in the future.

      5.  The Economic Recovery act (not a stimulus)…  Oh, it’s NOT a “stimulus”?  Strange: TAO and the Congress and MiniTru must not have gotten the memo on that, because they all refer to it as such.

      6.  Obama and the Democrats are in the process of reshaping the system in a way that the right will not be able to undo.  And that’s why you guys are so bitter — you’re losing, and you know it.  Substitute “terrified” for “bitter” and you might understand how we feel about watching TAO and the filthy dems – with help from certain turncoat RINO’s – turn our country into a socialist republic.  I’m glad, however, that you admit what they are up to.  Honesty is refreshing.

    • if you get away from the ODS right wing websites

      Yes, we all know about that famous ODS sufferer, Evan Bayh:

      The Senate should reject this bill. If we do not, President Barack Obama should veto it…

      Our nation’s current fiscal imbalance is unprecedented, unsustainable and, if unaddressed, a major threat to our currency and our economic vitality…

      The solution going forward is to stop wasteful spending before it starts. Families and businesses are tightening their belts to make ends meet — and Washington should too…

      But the bloated omnibus requires sacrifice from no one, least of all the government. It only exacerbates the problem and hastens the day of reckoning. Voters rightly demanded change in November’s election, but this approach to spending represents business as usual in Washington, not the voters’ mandate.

      Gosh, that kind of sounds like some of the things Erb used to write on this blog before Obama became president. But that was before Erb fell in love with huge debt and government waste. At least Erb doesn’t pretend anymore.

    •  We need to invest to increase production, and to get state budgets in order.  The Economic Recovery act (not a stimulus) focuses on that. 

      No, it doesn’t.  It doesn’t do a thing to get state budgets in order.  In fact, it’s a net drag on state budgets, creating unfunded mandates just a couple of years out.

      And there’s nothing in the bill that increases production, unless you consider expanding government “production”.

      The bill creates a much higher spending baseline in the future.  For someone who keeps railing about how the current crisis was created by living beyond our means for 30 years, it’s rather curious that you’d defend spending even more money beyond our current means.

  • Obama’s doing fine, and if you get away from the ODS right wing websites and overall he’s getting good coverage. Our wise leftist colleagues in the media are making sure of that.

    It’s also good that the “stimulus” was not about trying to increase jobs through short term consumption. Nope, what we need are jobs that foster long term investment. Like investment in wise leftist university professors to indoctrinate, uh, make that educate the children of dense righties so that the glorious revolution can continue to advance. Now that the Bush regime is over (finally!), we must put measures in place to make sure we never retrace that wicked road.

    No, consumption is not what our imbalanced economy (thanks to the failure of Reaganism) needed. I’m telling you, that Reagan was a complete failure, because we needed to stick with the misery of the Carter years to pay for our sins of American hegemony and imperialism around the world. Low unemployment and low interest rates? Who needs them? Instead we need the common citizens to learn to live with less, and that will make them much more pliable for their wise leftist rulers.

    We had too much consumption, too little production. We need to invest to increase production, and to get state budgets in order. And how going further into debt and continuing vast social programs is going to do that is a complex, political sciency thing that you dense righties wouldn’t understand, but it obviously involves soaking those rich fat cats who benefitted from all that living beyond our means. It’s only fair for them to sacrifice for the common good.

    The Economic Recovery act (not a stimulus) focuses on that, especially on the soaking the rich part. Obama has so far been winning most of his fights and setting the agenda, and the fact that he has some kind of nomination debacle every day or two is completely beside the point, so stop talking about that!! I’m telling you, he’s cool and confident, and you all appreciate his Christlike visage as much as we wise leftists do.

    The Republicans have been looking foolish, trying to pretend that their policies haven’t caused this disaster. And it was all the Republicans, as I’ve explained ad infinitum, and no Democrats ever did anything to contribute to these problems. Yes, I know the Democrats put in place all those social programs and the loan programs that led to the financial meltdown, but those were all from the best of intentions, so they don’t count! By the holy writ of postmodernism, only wicked Republicans can be responsible for bad things. Stop laughing!

    Obama and the Democrats are in the process of reshaping the system in a way that the right will not be able to undo. Yes, before Obama is through, the glorious revolution will have firmly established leftists in control for the rest of your lives. And that’s why you guys are so bitter — you’re losing, and you know it. And you deserve to lose, because you’re so mean.

    Heck, just look at the mean way you treat me. If you treat your intellectual and moral betters that way, it can only be explained by pure meanness. And I come here and try so hard to educate you about how mean you are and how you need to accept your leftist overlords. And I don’t come here to have someone to look down upon in order to bolster my own self-worth!! Stop saying that! And stop laughing at me!!!!

  • LOL. At the very least you have Erb dead to rights.

  • But Obama is for fiscal sanity …

    Hero of the Anti-War Left, retired General Eric Shinseki, who wants to save a few bucks at the Veterans Administration by making men and women injured in the service of our country pay for their care

  • Military cuts  (And post military cuts such as the VA) are the only place where spending was actually cut under Clinton.
    This is change?
     

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