Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fall Campaign Kick-Off

The conventional wisdom says that Democrats are in trouble this fall, and maybe that's true.  But the campaign traditionally only kicks off on Labor Day Weekend, and has two full months to go, so it seems a bit early to me to start counting the results.    Here is President Obama yesterday in fine campaign form, reminding the audience in Milwaukee that the sky is blue, fish live in the sea, and that the Democrats were not the ones who drove the economy into a ditch.  They are the ones pulling it out of the ditch.  And if you want to move forward, you shift into "D."  To go backward, choose "R."


  1. The President has a lot of work to do within his own party -- let alone every where else.

    Krugman pretty much sums up what I here of the frustration within the democratic party directed at Obama. Like I have repeatedly said, his advisors have hurt him.


  2. I think one of the points that Kruman and some Progressives fail to recognize is that Obama and the Democratic party could not have done much more than they have because of opposition from within the Democratic party itself and from their own corporate and business supporters.

  3. Krugman should stick to economics because he doesn't know much about politics. He is just a frustrated former Hillary supporter who would rather stand up for his principles and lose, than take the legislative victories you can actually gain. The fact is that Obama has a record now of legislative accomplishment that is unmatched since Johnson, or maybe FDR. And he did it with far less political support in Congress. If the Democrats get hammered this fall, it won't be because the Obama team was not ambitious enough in its agenda. It will be for similar reasons that Clinton got hammered in his first midterm elections, and Reagan also got hammered in his first midterm elections: Backlash is a powerful force, and the economy is recovering very slowly.

    But following Krugman's advice would have put the Democrats in a worse position, because in that case, they probably would not have been able to pass the bills that Krugman advocated. So the economy would still have sucked, and the Republicans would be able to say that the Democrats had gotten nothing done.

  4. Was in Milwaukee yesterday, and couldn't summon more than a "Meh" in thinking about whether to go see Obama. Why? Basically, I really didn't want to hear about more "Stimulus Lite," when America's jobless are suffering.

    The White House announced three new measures to stimulate growth: 100% up-front depreciation of capital investments; a permanent and slightly expanded R&D tax credit; and $50 bn in infrastructure spending. They could be helpful but are unlikely to have a large effect on growth for four reasons: (1) some of them cover multiple years, spreading out the fiscal impulse; (2) the incremental effect is smaller than the headline numbers imply, as some are modifications of existing proposals or policies and one is essentially an interest free loan; (3) the President proposes offsetting the cost of some of the proposals with targeted corporate tax increases of an equal amount; and (4) the likelihood of enactment of some of these proposals is low.

    Wow! More money for corporations. Just what we need. when they're earning great profits by laying off people. I particularly liked the R&D aspect, by which corporations will be able to figure out new ways to be productive without workers.

    With two months to go, one would think that Obama would be interested in capturing the imagination of the workers of America, breaking paradigms, and launching programs which people might reasonably think could improve THEIR futures. Something bold and innovative, unlike this "been there, done that" stuff. Meh indeed,

    But I had a great Labor Day clearing brush, planting trees, and improving

  5. << Obama has a record now of legislative accomplishment that is unmatched since Johnson, or maybe FDR. >>

    The very issues at the core of many of the problems this country faces are unaddressed in the legislation you refer to. I don't believe "health care reform" or "finacial reform" were real reform. Neither addresses the structural issues causing our current crisis: 1) TBTF (Too Big To Fail) banks (2) dealing with China's gaming the markets (3) and employer based health care provided by insurance monopolies. In my view, those are the issues that are preventing economic growth and a greater control of debt. Obama + Congress + past administrations have failed us on these points for the last 30 years! Lots of blame to go around and not much credit to anyone.

    ZK, I agree that we need all out committment to economic growth. No more quick fixes -- no more pretend tax cuts -- no more handout another programs. We need committment. I don't see it in either party. This bus is about to go over the cliff with all of us on board.

  6. The Pres did it again today. Move along, nothing new to see here. We have had R&D tax credits for the last 20 years that are renewed each five years. Investment tax credits cause small amounts of investment and then drop off -- like cash for clunkers and mortgage tax credits. They don't last. The infrastructure plan calls for creating jobs in one sector by taking them away in another to pay for it. Let's remember, Obama capaigned on addressing China's undervalued currency, yet he was silent (AGAIN) on that today. Regional banks have no money to lend, while his policies have finaced some of the largest Wall Street bonuses ever. Please, Mr Presdident, stop worrying so much about Chinese workers and focus on workers in the midwest.