Economics

Two Thumbs Down on Barack Obama

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Over at the excellent Splice Today, a couple of articles suggest Obama's in bigger doo-doo than is commonly acknowledged. First up, Russ Smith (an acknowledged McCain supporter) notes that Bush-bashing can only take you so far when the Dow is trading lower than Bill Clinton's pants during an Oval Office pizza party:

As the recession deepens, with even congenitally optimistic economists unable to predict any semblance of recovery in 2009, Obama will be held accountable by citizens who've lost their jobs, seen savings evaporate and the stock market—which Obama unwisely commented about last week, saying that daily DJIA/NASDAQ tallies are similar to gyrating political polls—is in the sewer. As any young businessman will tell you, nothing kills off a bad product (like Obama's economic recovery plan) faster than a good salesman. The President's a great cheerleader, and it helps that he's perceived as a hands-on chief executive, but if the results aren't there, his rhetoric will ring hollow….

Bush will be one of the quietist ex-presidents in modern times, both for being AWOL since Katrina and because, unlike Bill Clinton, he doesn't court publicity. Given the nation's collective short attention span, it's likely that by Memorial Day Bush will, except to the minority of never-say-die partisans (Keith Olbermann's the captain of that brigade), have vanished from the scene.

More here.

In a separate piece, Bragg Van Antwerp (yes, it sounds made up!) writes,

Obama continues his incredibly ambitious and expensive plans with almost no regard for the growing economic mayhem. On a day when the Dow again lost another four percent, Obama announced plans for healthcare reform with a $650 billion price tag. He's prepared to sign a $3.6 trillion budget which will double our national debt and add more to our deficit than all of his predecessors combined; he is prepared to sign the $410 billion omnibus spenging bill replete with its 8570 earmarks-something Obama promised to eliminate. Meanwhile, Geithner has yet to offer any sort of concrete plans to address the economy. The house is crumbling around him, but the President seems determined to make it bigger anyway.

Barack Obama didn't cause the problems he now faces, but he's exacerbated them. What Obama and his administration should have done—and perhaps still can—is set aside other plans and focus almost myopically on the economy. Fix this, and Obama's political capital will be nearly limitless. But fix it, and fix it now.

More here.