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Posts Tagged ‘Obama

Anti-Stimulus

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Part of the process of going through a recession is rationalization. Old businesses fail and new businesses emerge. As Obama steps up his attacks on the excesses of the past decade, we will see more and more businesses complain about  “Anti-Stimulus”.

Las Vegas has recently become target number one, as many businesses cancel retreats or conferences in the city of sin. It has become unfashionable or unwise for corporations to plan trips to the city, as the increased scrutiny on spending leads to less business travel. The travel industry is really going to take it on the chin with many layoffs and reduced wages. These casino heads do have a point that recent Obama speak has been populist and damaging to their industries.

It is unfortunate that many companies are simply wasting money by canceling and rebooking trips closer to home, as the cancellation charges can be hefty (Goldman Sachs reportedly canceled a conference in Las Vegas by paying a 600,000 USD cancellation fee and then having the same conference closer to home just to avoid the evening news).

Two thoughts: will the waitress who survives on tip revenue find these developments helpful in taking care of her family, or is Las Vegas just an exaggerated example of what is wrong with America?

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Written by currancomment

February 17, 2009 at 11:26 pm

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Bipartisanship is dead.

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Bipartisanship is dead. With Judd Gregg withdrawing from the role of Commerce Secretary, Obama`s experiment in post-partisan Washington is officially dead. Bipartisanship only makes sense with shared ideology.

A case in point is Robert Gates. Both Obama and Gates believe that the real front on the war on terrorism is Afghanistan and both are to be commended on sharing views on this important battle. When there is a shared vision, it does not matter if you fall under the label of Democrat or Republican.  However, it is clear that there is nothing to be gained by appointing Republicans to the cabinet or compromising on legislation to try to gain “bipartisan support” if there is not a similar mindset. It simply becomes a farce for no benefit.

Obama has attempted to create a post-partisan Washington without any support to his agenda. If he were to receive votes or consensus to his mandate it would make sense. However, in receiving nothing in return, he weakens his mandate. Obama has received an overwhelming public mandate to implement new policies. He should act correspondingly.

In fact, bipartisanism makes no sense in a Republic where all three branches of government are controlled by one party. There is simply no point. The incentives are stacked against all involved.

Without shared ideology, there is no such thing as a bipartisan world. Nor should there be. Partisan politics isn`t something to be derided. It is democracy at its finest.

Written by currancomment

February 13, 2009 at 7:25 am

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Poetic Realities

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Cuomo coined the phrase that you “campain in poetry, but govern in prose”. Another way of saying this is that you campaign in rhetoric, but govern in reality.

Obama’s short honeymoon officially ended with Geithner’s economic announcement. Panned by the markets, it became just another example of the lack of specificity that the Obama administration has demonstrated in the many announcements since taking office. It makes me think that the transition from campaigning to governing has not been easy for Obama and his team. He must shift from campaign mode into governing. He is finding out that this isn’t too simple.

The economic announcement was not the first time Obama has mistaken campaigning for governing. He uses nuance to really muddle what he is trying to achieve. An example of this would be his job creation plans. He claims that his plans will create or save 4 million jobs. There is no way to measure job preservation. Saving a job is not the same as creating one. If unemployment stabilizes at 10%, will he claim that it could have been worse and he has saved 4 million jobs and an even worse unemployment rate from occuring? I hope not. Stopping the bleeding is important, but job creation not saving is the real key to recovery.

The reality is that time is ticking. People are losing their jobs, they are unable to pay their bills. These kitchen table issues will become a real problem for the Democrats, as Obama will not be judged over the next 4 years. Public perception will be much more immediate. With House elections in 2 years, his plans must be put in place sooner rather than later.  Announcements that lack specific plans or plans that are laced with non-commital or measurable language will leave the world wondering if there is more behind the man with the moving oratory.

Written by currancomment

February 13, 2009 at 12:35 am

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